Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 5, 1905
Ambassador Storer to the Secretary of State.
Vienna , February 17, 1905 .
Sir: I have the honor to forward by this mail, under separate cover, addressed to the diplomatic bureau, an official copy of the commercial treaty just signed between Austria-Hungary and Germany, which has been already the subject of correspondence with the Department.
I have, etc.,
His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, etc., and Apostolic King of Hungary, on the one hand, and his Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, in the name of the German Empire, on the other hand, animated by the desire to revise the commercial and tariff convention of December 6, 1891,a existing between Austria-Hungary and the German Empire have decided to conclude an additional convention to this convention and have named for that purpose as plenipotentiaries:
His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, etc., and Apostolic King of Hungary, his chamberlain, actual privy councillor, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary near his Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, Ladislaus Szögyény-Marich von Magyar-Szögyén and Szolgaegyhaza.[Page 62]
His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia: his minister of state, actual privy councillor, secretary of state of the interior, Arthur Count von Posadowsky-Wehner, and his actual privy councillor, secretary of state of the foreign office, Oswald Baron von Richthofen, who, under reservation of reciprocal ratification, have arrived at the following agreements:
The separate articles of the existing convention are modified as follows:
I. The following is substituted for Article 3 with the therein-named annexes A and B:a
Upon importation into the German tariff territory of Austrian and Hungarian agricultural and industrial products denoted in Annex A and upon importation into the Austro-Hungarian tariff territory of German agricultural and industrial products denoted in annex B no import duties, respectively, none higher than those fixed in these annexes shall be levied.
Should one of the contracting parties place a new domestic tariff or an addition to the domestic tariff on any of the articles mentioned in Annex A, respectively B, of the present convention, a like and corresponding tariff may be placed on a similar article upon importation.
II. The following new paragraph is added to Article 14 of the existing convention:
With reference to the dispatch and expedition of goods which are being transported from the territory of the one party into that of the other or are in transit through the latter, in so far as they are forwarded therein by shipping enterprises on rivers and canals and with reference to those transportation charges of these enterprises which are instituted by governmental action for specified goods, the contracting parties agree to make no regulations by which such advantages are not granted to goods of the other party.
III. The following stipulation is substituted for the second and third paragraphs of Article 16:
The contracting parties assure to each other reciprocally every possible assistance in the matter of railway tariff, also especially in applications for the preparation of direct passenger and freight tariffs, according to actual requirements.
IV. The following clause is added to Article 17:
They will work to that end that the needs of the through transit will be given the most practicable consideration by the preparation of interlocking train schedules for passenger and freight service.
V. The fifth paragraph of Article 19 is worded as follows:
Stock companies and other commercial, industrial, or financial companies, including insurance companies, which are domiciled in the territories of one of the contracting parties and which exist legally according to its laws shall be entitled in the territories of the other party also upon observance of the respective laws and regulations there in force to enforce all their rights and especially to conduct suits at law before the courts as plaintiffs or defendants. The question whether and to what extent such companies can acquire real estate and other property in the territories of the other party is to be decided according to the laws in force in these territories. As to the permission to conduct their business in the territories of the other party, the legal and regulating ordinances there in force must be applied. In every case the said companies shall enjoy in the territories of the other party the same rights which are accorded to similar companies of a third country which have been recognized as legally existing or which will in the future be accorded to them.
VI. The following new paragraph is added to Article 20:
With reference to the immunities in the matter of direct taxation, an agreement exists that the consuls of both parties shall profit thereby only if they do not possess the citizenship of that state in which they exercise their functions and not in the broader sense as the diplomatic representatives of the contracting parties.
The following new article is inserted in the existing convention:
Article 23a. If a difference of opinion occurs between the contracting parties over the interpretation or application of the tariffs of the present convention (annexes A and B)a and of the additional stipulations of these tariffs, or over the application of the most favored nation clause in reference to the actual application of other treaty tariffs which are in force, it shall upon demand of either of the parties be decided by arbitration.
The tribunal of arbitration is formed in such a manner that each party appoints from its nationals two qualified persons as arbitrators and that poth parties choose a national of a third friendly state as umpire. Both parties reserve the right to come to an agreement in [Page 63] advance and in a specified period of time about the person who is to be appointed as umpire in the specific case. In the case and on condition of a special agreement the contracting parties will submit differences of opinion other than those denoted in paragraph 1 over the interpretation and application of the present convention to arbitral decision.
Annex C of the existing convention is modified as follows:
I. In the list of articles under Figure 3, which under certain assumptions may by indirect means have free entry or export, strike out the words “beehives with live bees” and add before “peat” the words “firewood, coal.”
II. Figure 5 is worded as follows:
5. For cattle brought temporarily for work from one territory into the other and returned from work from the latter to the former, likewise for agricultural machines and implements brought for temporary use from one frontier district into the other and returned after use to the former, further, for cattle imported and reexported for weighing, free entry is granted under the registry method of existing boards of control.
III. Figure 8 is worded as follows:
8. The concessions existing in the traffic between the inhabitants of both frontier districts relative to articles for personal use in repairs or mechanical trades, which is to be classed with domestic hired labor and which may extend also to the dyeing of yarns and fabrics, are continued. In the manufacturing traffic with materials for the manufacture of clothing free entry is also extended to trimmings used in the manufacture.
IV. The following new number is added:
11. Curds (Topfen) and gypsum which originated in the German frontier district and which is introduced into the Austrian frontier district for use therein are admitted free of duty in Austria-Hungary. Equal treatment is given to onions and garlic from the neighborhood of Zittau which are brought into the Bohemian frontier districts by wagon traffic.
Cranberries which originate in the Austrian frontier districts and are imported into the German frontier districts for consumption therein are admitted free of duty in the German Empire.
Each of the contracting parties reserves the right to couple these favors, as far as they concern its territory, with the performance of specific conditions.
The tariff cartel in force (Annex D of the existing convention), with the autonomous modifications for its execution pertaining thereto, is continued in force without prejudice to a reorganization of the latter.
The final protocol of the existing convention is modified as follows:
I. The following figure (2a) is added to the stipulations of Article 1 of the existing convention:
2a. The transit of weapons, munitions, explosive materials, as well as goods of every sort of which the transit state has a monopoly, shall be delayed as little as possible.
If a special permit for the said articles is required for their transit, a decision to grant or refuse a permit shall be rendered by the competent authority as soon as possible.
When munitions or explosive materials are reported for transit, samples of specimens can, as a rule, be subjected to examination only at the first transit of such articles, preparations, etc. A repeated examination can take place only in cases of urgent doubt, and only then when shipments are not covered by regular certificates from the competent authorities of the country of origin about the quality of the goods. These certificates must be attached to the application for the grant of the permit for transit. The contracting parties will come to an understanding in regard to the authorities which shall be competent to issue certificates in the country of origin, as well as in regard to the regulations corresponding to the existing state of technics which are to be observed in issuing them. The transit country has the privilege, according to its judgment, to take from the shipments covered by such certificates specimens and samples without detaining the shipments themselves. Whenever an abuse of these privileges is established, the transit country has the privilege to prescribe corresponding restrictions of the same.
II. Figure 4 of the stipulations pertaining to Article 1 of the existing convention is worded as follows:
4. The contracting parties will communicate all prohibitions and restrictions upon importation, exportation, or transit issued against each other.
III. The following additions are made to the stipulations of Article 1 of the existing convention:[Page 64]
5. The contracting parties concur to enter into an agreement in regard to the reciprocal recognition of the proving stamp of small arms.
6. Goods of precious metals which are imported by commercial travelers solely as samples for the purpose of exhibition in the import registry proceedings for tariff protection and which, therefore, can not pass into free traffic shall, upon request of the party, be exempted from the compulsory stamping when corresponding guarantee is furnished, which is forfeited in case the reexportation of the samples does not take place within the proper period.
7. In the treatment of the transit of goods which takes place to or from the Bavarian community Balderschwang through Austrian territory to or from the rest of Bavaria, the existing facilities remain in force.
8. Unadulterated wines (select Tokay, Szamorodner) which were raised in Hungary in the community of Tokay and in the remaining community of the Tokay wine district, are not to be considered as dessert wines (southern wines, sweet wines) of foreign origin in the sense of the German imperial law of May 24, 1901, relating to the traffic in wines, beverages containing wine and resembling wine. (Reichs-Gesetzblatt, 1901, p. 175.) The enactment of §2 of the said law is therefore not applicable to them, that in the recognized cellar treatment, inclusive the preservation of dessert wines (southern wines, sweet wines) of foreign origin a greater quantity of alcohol than one cubic measure to one hundred cubic measures of wine may be added without finding therein an adulteration or imitation of the wine in the sense of §10 of the German imperial law of May 14, 1879, relating to the traffic in provisions, table luxuries, and articles of use. (Reichs-Gesetzblatt, 1879, p. 145.) In conformity with §3 No. 3, §5, §13, §16, and §18 of said law of May 24, 1901, it is further forbidden in the district where the latter is in force to manufacture professionally or to imitate beverages which come into traffic under the designation of Tokay, medicinal Tokay, select Tokay, Szamorodner, or under any other designation pointing to localities of the Tokay wine district, by the use of dried fruits (also of extracts or decoctions) or by condensed grape juice, or to sell or to offer for sale such beverages in so far as they have been manufactured, even if not professionally, by the use of such fruits and materials.
The Tokay wine district includes:
- In the territory of the Comitat Zemplén, the territory of the community Bekecs, Erdöbénye, Erdöhorváti, Golop, Jóseffalva, Károlyfalva, Bodrogkeresztur, Kisfalud, Legyesbénye, Mád, Monok, Bodrogolaszi, Olaszliszka, Ond, Petrahó, Rátka, Sárostatak, Sátoraljauhely, Szegilong, Szerencs, Szölöske, Tállya, Tarczal, Tokaj, Tolcsva, Kistoronya, Vámosujfalu, Végardó, zombor, Bodrogzsadány;
- In the comitat Abauj-Torna, the territory of the community Abaujszántó.
IV. The following stipulations are added to Article 2 of the existing convention:
- Upon the export of barley or barley malt from the free traffic of the German tariff territory certificates of importation will be issued with the provision only that the determination of its tariff valuation is based upon the lowest tariff rates which are for the time being in force for separate kinds of barley or its uses.
- The Austro-Hungarian export tariff on rags (Hadern) and other waste for the manufacture of paper will not exceed 9.60 K. for 100 kilograms.
- It is agreed that in reference to the enactment of laws relating to sugar, neither of the contracting parties can be restrained by the enactments of the present convention from carrying out the requirements imposed upon them by the Brussels convention of March 5, 1902.
V. The following is substituted for Figure 1 of the stipulations of Article 3 of the existing convention:
1. Articles produced in the territory of one of the contracting parties by the manufacture of foreign materials having a favored tariff for refining purposes are not excluded from the treatment as trade products of that contracting party.
In the traffic between the contracting parties the granting of the tariff favors of the present convention upon the articles named therein which are of greater economic importance for the export country, are subject to the production of proof of origin only when the requirement of an urgent commercial policy exists therefor.
VI. For Figures 3 and 4 of the stipulations of Article 3 of the existing convention the following is substituted:
3. Tariffs A and B—import tariffs in both tariff territories.
- Under the general German tariff A (annex to the present convention) and the stipulations pertaining thereto, the tariff of December 25, 1902, as framed in the law of like date is understood, and under the general Austro-Hungarian tariff B (annex to the present convention) and the stipulations pertaining thereto, the draft of the new general tariff for the Austro-Hungarian tariff territory is understood.
- When a basic tariff and additional or supplemental tariff is to be levied on articles mentioned in one of the appended convention tariffs A and B, in the calculation of the tariff rate the basic tariff of the lowest rate to be levied on the products of the other party is used, unless the two convention tariffs provide special exceptions. Under the same condition, in [Page 65] case of tariff reference for an article mentioned in both convention tariffs, the lowest rate of tariff to be levied by the other party must be taken as basis, if the purport of the several concessions in accord with the convention which come into consideration for this tariff are in accord with such procedure. The words “of the general tariff” added to the nomenclature of tariff numbers, sections, or classes in the convention tariffs A and B, constitute no exception to the above rule.
- Hops in closed air-tight metallic cylinders may be dispatched without examination of the contents if the shipment is accompanied by a certificate from a customs or finance bureau, certifying that the contents of the cylinder consists of hops, and, furthermore, that the cylinder was officially closed by the respective bureau; or that in shipments of entire railway carloads the latter were placed under customs lock and seal.
- Bottles, jugs, and similar vessels which have served for the export of mineral water into the territory of the other party are, upon their return, when empty, admitted free of duty by each of the contracting parties upon request of the party and upon observance of the forms of the registry proceedings.
- For buttons of horn, horn material, or bone as well as for such made of vegetable ivory, areca, and the like, concurrent administrative regulations will be issued that only the cards of pasteboard or paper to which the buttons are sewed or otherwise fastened will be considered as belonging to the dutiable net weight of the goods, and that pasteboard boxes (cartons), including those having a sample button fastened thereto, into which the buttons or the cards with attached buttons are packed, are not subject to the tariff.
- No. 107 of tariff A. Upon payment of duty on live chickens of all kinds and on other live fowl (except geese) which are imported without special packing in railway cars, the valuation of the dutiable net weight will be determined by weighing on the railway scales (centesimal balance) in such a manner that the weight of the empty car (adding in coop cars and other railway cars specially prepared for the transportation of fowls the weight of the fixed appliances) is deducted from the total weight of the car including the cargo. Upon importation of chickens, etc., in special packing (cages, coops, and the like) four-fifths of the total weight are taken as the net weight as a basis for the tariff valuation.
VII. Figure 2 of the stipulations of Articles 6 of the existing convention is worded as follows:
2. In import traffic by both parties the following articles are admitted free, subject to local revocation or restriction of this favor in case of abuse of the same:
Meat, butchered, fresh and prepared, in quantities of not more than two kilograms.
Mill products of grain and legume, common pastry (bread), in quantities of not more than three kilograms, provided these goods for the inhabitants of the frontier district are not imported by mail.
But each of the contracting parties reserves the right to abrogate entirely or in part the favors agreed upon in Figure 2 after six months’ notice has been given.
VIII. The following new stipulation is added:
To Article 9 of the convention.
As long as Austria and Hungary collect the internal beer revenue on German beer on the basis of the saccharimetric strength of its wort, the certificates of this strength issued by German scientific institutions are recognized by the Austrian and Hungarian authorities. The shipments of beer accompanied by such certificates will not be subjected anew to an examination in regard to the saccharimetric strength, provided that the respective prescriptions are complied with by the scientific institution, and that no special doubts as to the correctness of the certificate exists.
The customs authorities by whom imported shipments of beer are expedited have the right to take samples now and again without detaining the shipment. These samples must be provided with the prescribed identification marks and must be sent under seal of the authorities and of the party to the examination bureau of the technical finance control at Vienna, respectively Budapest, for examination as to the exact strength of the wort. Should this examination disclose faults in the preparation of the certificate, notice of the same must be given immediately to the respective ministry of finance.
On the other hand, the German authorities will recognize the certificates of the result of the examination of Austrian or Hungarian wine which were issued by Austrian or Hungarian scientific institutions, in cases where the examination is necessary for the expedition by the customs authorities. The shipments of wine accompanied by such certificates will not be subjected anew to an examination, provided that the respective prescriptions are complied with by the scientific institution, and that no special doubts as to the correctness of the certificate exists.
The governments of the contracting parties will arrive at an agreement in regard to the scientific institutions which shall be empowered to issue the certificates, as well as to the prescriptions to be observed in issuing the certificates and the preceding examination of the beer and wine.[Page 66]
Each of the contracting parties reserves the right, in case abuses should occur, to withdraw under six months’ notice from this agreement.
IX. The first paragraph of the stipulations of Article 15 of the existing convention is eliminated. At the beginning of the second paragraph the words “The contracting parties” are substituted for the words “The same.”
X. Figure 4 of the stipulations of Article 16 and 18 of the existing convention is worded as follows:
For the tariff despatch in reciprocal railway traffic and for the application of the sealing of vessels the stipulations specially agreed to are in force.
XI. The following new Figure 1 is inserted under the stipulations of Article 19 of the existing convention:
1. In the valuation of duties of every kind on commerce and trade the origin of the goods handled in these enterprises will not in itself result in a more unfavorable calculation of these duties.
The former No. 1 will be denoted as 1a.
XII. The following new number is added to the stipulations of Article 19:
3. Under freight-conveyance enterprise, in the sense of the fourth paragraph of Article 19, the professional expedition of goods and persons on land routes, excepting railroads, must be understood. Under license tax every tax imposed on industrial traffic, including the tax on the income from the same, must be understood, no matter whether the tax is collected for the account of the State, of the community, etc.
In so far as the industrial carries on transportations between separate localities lying within the territory of the other contracting party he is subject to the tax in accordance with the laws of the land, taking into account the existing agreements in order to avoid the imposition of a double tax.
If the industrial is engaged in the territories of the other contracting party, in addition to freight conveyance or shipping enterprises in another independent business not directly dependent upon the pursuit of these enterprises or possesses real estate, he is subject to the taxes for the same also, without reduction in accordance with the laws of the country.
In the shipping enterprise the management of another independent business is not considered to mean that the industrial transmits on the stations lying in the territories of the other party the goods which have arrived from his home country by means of his transportation facilities to the recipients residing at that locality direct or by means of the railroads, etc., and vice versa, that he receives the goods designated for transportation by his transportation facilities and directs them to be brought to his transportation facilities for embarkation, nor can the mere maintenance of a permanent business connection with an independent forwarding agent resident within the territories of the other party be construed as constituting such business.
XIII. The following new stipulations are added:
To Article 20 of the convention.
It is understood that with reference to the stated stipulation of reciprocity the privileges, functions, and favors to be granted to the consuls of the one party in the territories of the other in accordance with the most favored nation clause cannot be granted in a greater measure than are granted to the consular representatives of the latter party in the territories of the first party.
To Article 23a of the convention.
With reference to the procedure in cases in which, in conformity with the first and second paragraphs of Article 23a arbitration takes place, the following is agreed to between the contracting parties:
In the first litigation the arbitration tribunal has its session in the territories of the defendant party, in the second litigation in the territories of the second party, and thus alternating in the territories of one or the other party, in a city which will be designated by the respective contracting party.
This party has to provide for the preparation of the rooms, the clerical force, and the servants required by the arbitration tribunal for its work. The umpire is president of the arbitration tribunal which decides by a majority of votes.
The contracting parties will come to an agreement in each separate case or once for all about the procedure of the tribunal of arbitration. In default of such agreement the procedure will be decided upon by the tribunal of arbitration itself. The procedure may be written if neither of the contracting parties enters protest. In this case the stipulations of the preceding article may be waived.
Concerning the summons and examination of witnesses and experts, the authorties of each of the contracting parties will, upon the request to be made by the tribunal of arbitration to the respective government, give legal assistance in the same manner as upon request by the local civil courts.[Page 67]
The contracting parties obligate themselves in friendly cooperation to investigate the treatment of workmen of the one party in the territories of the other in regard to the protection and insurance of the workmen for the purpose of insuring reciprocally to these workmen, through suitable agreements, a treatment which offers them the most equitable advantages.
These agreements will be put in force by a special convention, irrespective of the taking effect of the present additional convention.
The present additional convention will take effect February 15, 1906.
The existing commercial and tariff convention of December 6, 1891, with the modifications and additions stipulated by the additional convention, shall remain in force until December 31, 1917.
But each of the contracting parties reserves the right to denounce the convention twelve months before December 31, 1915, with the effect that the same expires on that date.
In case neither party takes advantage of this right nor gives notice twelve months before December 31, 1917, that the convention is to become inoperative on that day, the convention with its said modifications and additions shall remain in force beyond December 31, 1917, until the expiration of one year from the day on which one or the other of the contracting parties shall have denounced it.
The present convention shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be exchanged as soon as possible.
In witness whereof both plenipotentiaries have signed the present additional convention and have affixed their seals thereto.
- Printed in British and Foreign State Papers, vol. 83, p. 169.↩
- Annexes A and B, containing the German and Austro-Hungarian tariffs, not printed. Copy deposited in the library of the Department of State.↩
- Annexes A and B, containing the German and Austro-Hungarian tariffs, not printed. Copy deposited in the library of the Department of State.↩