No. 21.
Mr. Magee to Mr. Bayard .

No. 101.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I am in receipt of a note from his excellency Count Ehrensvörd, secretary of foreign affairs, in response to my inquiry based upon your instruction No. 49, of date August 5 last.

From the note of his excellency I am informed no discrimination exists at the present time, or has since the year 1827, in tonnage or other duties charged upon shipping as between native and foreign-built vessels. The only exception is fishing vessels entering ports of the United Kingdom from the Arctic and White Seas.

I have caused to be translated section 4 of the royal ordinances relating to tonnage dues, etc., and inclose such translation with this dispatch.

I also inclose a translation of section 9 of the royal ordinances of Norway regulating tonnage charges, etc.

In Norway the tax is calculated on the actual amount of cargo tons embarked or discharged, and not on the ship’s measurement. Since 1876 tonnage tax and light-house charges have been united in a single tax.

In 1827 the following classification was established in Norway:

Vessels coming from all places outside of the European ports with the exception of the ports in the Mediterranean.
Vessels coming from Mediterranean ports.
Vessels coming from all European ports not comprised in item B.

By circular dated August 9, 1828, vessels coining from ports of the United States or returning there were ranked in class C.

This classification is still in force. Perhaps this information is not as full and complete as you would desire. It is in substance what has been furnished me.

I have, etc.,

Rufus Magee.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 101.]

royal ordinance in relation to tonnage, etc. (sweden.)

The tonnage duties to the State are alike for Swedish-and foreign vessels, fixed to 10 öre per ton, according to the existing hill of tonnage, and has to be paid every time, both when incoming and outgoing; but, if a ship during the time of one year makes several voyages between Sweden and foreign countries, the duty for outgoing is only paid for the first voyage, and for repeated incoming only for vessels loaded, when they unload more or less of their cargo, and will also be considered, as ballasted, but whose quantity of load is of less importance compared to their tonnage; in which ease will be applied the stipulation in § 44 in the royal statute regarding the pilot department, February 15, 1881, as this paragraph reads according to the royal edict, November 17, 1882. Regarding alterations in certain parts of the above-named statute—

When vessels have been loaded and unloaded at different places, tonnage duty is only paid at the first port of loading or unloading, of which a certification has to be made on the bill of measurement or passport. The following ships are free from tonnage duties:

Ship destined or not destined to a Swedish port, coming in and going out in ballast.

Ship which, running between foreign countries, enters a Swedish port in order to leave passengers and their baggage, or discharges to another ship goods for export.

[Page 1885]

Ship which, from urgent necessity or to receive further orders, enters a Swedish port without taking on hoard any other loading than that necessary for the crew, passengers, or ship.

Ship which, in consequence of average, about which protest is made, enters a Swedish port for discharging her cargo and, after repairs, reloads the same for export.

Ship which, from the above-stated reasons, discharges and sells more or less of the cargo when such sale is limited to what is necessary for defraying the cost of repairs.

Ship which, during voyage between foreign countries, loads or unloads in a Swedish port goods not exceeding a quarter of the ship’s tonnage, which shall be calculated according to the ship’s documents.

In all these cases the master of the ship has to follow those regulations in the statute of customs which prescribe that he shall report himself at the nearest customhouse and deliver the bill of measurement, observing also what being applicable in that said statutes may be there stipulated regarding demands of duty pass.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 101.]

royal ordinance of norway regulating tonnage tax.

Tonnage duty and light-house dues have to be paid with 80 öre per ton by ships importing or exporting goods according to the following rules:

No duty is charged for ships going out of the kingdom for fishing, Provided, That if goods be exported to foreign countries duty has to be paid both for outgoing and incoming. If on returning home goods are brought from foreign countries, the duty for incoming is paid after the general rules.
Duty for direct voyage between Norway and Sweden is only 30 öre per ton when the whole cargo is loaded and unloaded in these countries. From the date when for such voyages no shipping dues are charged in Sweden duty ceases.
Ships when trading between the ports of the White Sea or Arctic Ocean only pay 40 öre per ton.

In charging these duties it must be observed that they are charged according to the tonnage in the ship’s bill of measurement when the custom-house officer declares the ship to be full loaded, else the duty is charged according to as many tons as the ship has loaded or unloaded, never, though, for more tons than the ship’s bill of measurement indicates. If the cargo loaded or unloaded at the same custom-house does not amount to one ton, no tonnage duties or light-house dues are paid.

The regulations necessary for reducing goods into tons are promulgated by Government.