Ambassador Tower to the Secretary of State.

No. 617.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose to yon herewith a translation into English of the text of the additional convention to the treaty of commerce and navigation between Germany and Russia of January 29 [February 10], 1894, of July 15 [July 28], 1904, of which the ratifications were exchanged on February 28, 1905. This additional convention will go into effect on March 1, 1906.

I have, etc.,

Charlemagne Tower.

Additional convention to the treaty of commerce and navigation between Germany and Russia of January 29 [February 10], 1894, of July 15 [July 28], 1904.

His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, in the name of the German Empire of the one part and His Majesty the Emperor of Russia of the other part, led by the wish to make the commercial relations between Germany and Russia more active, have resolved to conclude an additional convention to the treaty of commerce and navigation of January 29 [February 10], 1894,a and the final protocol annexed to it, and have named for this purpose as their plenipotentiaries, to wit:

  • His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia;
  • His Excellency Count Bernhard von Buelow, his imperial chancellor, and
  • His Majesty the Emperor of Russia;

His Excellency Mr. Sergius de Witte, his secretary of state, actual privy councilor and president of the committee of ministers, who, after having communicated to one another their full powers found to be in due and proper form, have agreed to the following articles:

Article 1.

The treaty of commerce and navigation of January 10 [February 10], 1894, is modified in the following manner:

I.—Article 2.

The following new paragraph is to be added after Paragraph I:

“The term of three years fixed by the Imperial Russian ukase of March 14, 1887, for the liquidation of real property by foreigners, is extended for German subjects to ten years.”

The words “They will likewise be able,” at the beginning of paragraph 2 of article 2, are replaced by “The subjects of each of the two contracting parties will be able.”

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II.—Article 6.

The article is drawn up as follows:

Article 6.

“The products of the soil and industry of Russia which will be imported into Germany and the products of the soil and industry of Germany which will be imported into Russia, destined for consumption, warehousing, reexporting, or transit, will be treated in the same manner as the products of the most favored nation. In no case and on no account will they be liable to duties, charges, taxes, or dues higher or other, nor be subjected to surtaxes or to exclusion from importation by which the similar products of any other country are not affected. Especially any favor and facility, any immunity, and any reduction of the customs dues contained in the general tariff or in the treaty tariffs which one of the contracting parties may give to a third power permanently or temporarily, gratuitously or for compensation, will immediately and without conditions, reservations, or compensation be extended to the products of the soil and industry of the other.”

III.—Article 7.

The tariff schedules mentioned in this article are replaced by the annexed tariff schedules A and B.a

IV.—Article 11.

At the end of paragraph 1 of No. 3 the following is added:

“Nevertheless the German imports shall benefit equally from all customs facilities accorded to imports into these territories of a European or North American State.

V.—Article 12.

In paragraph 2:

After the word “samples,” the words “of all kinds” are added.
The words “within a space of time fixed upon in advance” are replaced by the words “within a space of one year.”

VI.—New article.

The following article is inserted after article 12:

Article 12.a

“The Imperial Russian Government declares itself ready to enter into negotiations within a period of three years following the going into effect of the present convention with the Imperial German Government, in regard to the conclusion of an arrangement respecting the reciprocal protection of the rights of authors to literary, artistic, and photographic works.”

Article 2.

The final protocol of the treaty of commerce and navigation of January 29 [February 10], 1894, is modified in the following manner:

I.—First part, in regard to the text of the treaty.

1. New provision to article 1, the following provision is inserted:

To Article 1.

“Household articles which have already been used and which constitute a part of the furniture of the subjects of one of the contracting parties who are about to establish themselves in the territory of the other will not be liable in the latter to any entrance customs duty.

“German professional consulates and the officials of the diplomatic missions and of the said consulates who will be sent to Russia by the German Government shall enjoy full and complete liberty, as regards the Russian censor, as well for newspapers as for the products of the sciences, arts, and belles-lettres.

“The privileges and exemptions extended to the consular officers by article 2 of the convention of November 26 [December 8], 1874, between Germany and Russia will also be accorded to the special officials attached to the German consulates in Russia and to the agents of the Russian ministry of finance and their secretaries (or attachés) in Germany.”

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2. To articles 1 and 12 the following paragraphs are added:

“The duration of the validity of passport visés is extended in Russia to a period of six months.

“This provision also applies to the visé of passports of German commercial travelers of the Mosaic religion.

“The fee for issuing passports for abroad to Germans residing in Russia will not be above the sum of 50 copeks.

“Russia will continue to accord a period of 28 days for the validity of the certificates of legitimation which are valid within a frontier zone of 30 kilometres and give to the bearer the right, as is at present the case, to cross the frontier several times at different points of passage. This period of validity will be counted on both sides from the day on which the certificate has been used for the first time to cross the frontier in such wise that the said certificates lose their validity if they have not been used for the first time at latest on the fifteenth day from the day of their delivery. This period of twenty-eight days will in no case be affected by a change of year occurring during the time of the validity of the certificates. Certificates of legitimation drawn up in two languages, in German and in Russian, will only be delivered, on both sides, to the nationals and subjects of the other country domiciled in the country where the certificates are delivered.

“The date of crosing the frontier will in the future be marked by the Russian and German authorities upon the certificates according to the calendar in use in Russia as well as according to the calendar in use in Germany. Certificates will continue to be delivered, as it is done at present, to Christians as well as to Israelites.

“The Russian laborers who cross into Germany in order to work at agricultural pursuits or in pursuits connected with agriculture will be provided gratuitously, as up to the present, with documents of legitimation valid from February 1st to December 20th, new style.

“These documents likewise will be drawn up in Russian and German.”

3. New provision to article 3; the following provision is inserted:

To Article 3.

“In so far as the subjects (ressortissants, Angehoerige) of a third state are exempt from guardianship in Russia by virtue of treaties and conventions in force, German subjects in Russia will enjoy the same privilege regarding the guardianship of minors other than German.”

4. New provision to article 5; the following provisions are inserted:

To Article 5.

“The veterinary measures taken by the German Government as regards Russian imports will not be introduced in a more severe manner than those taken as regards states which are situated in respect to the contagious diseases of animals and veterinary arrangement in the same circumstances as Russia.

“This provision does not apply to the veterinary convention between Germany and Austria-Hungary.

“The number of living hogs which are permitted to be imported into Upper Silesia by virtue of the arrangements in force will be augumented to 2,500 a week.

“Meat which may be considered as prepared within the meaning of the German meat inspection law of June 3, 1900, will be admitted into Germany agreeably to the provisions of the said law.

“The concessions contained in paragraphs 3 and 4 of the present arrangement may be revoked or suspended temporarily if exceptional reasons of veterinary police require it.

“The Russian Government binds itself for the term of the present convention not to impose any export duties upon unhewn or unsquared wood not especially named in number 6 of the table of export duties, nor to forbid its export.”

5. New provision to article 6; the following provision is inserted:

To Article 6.

“The German Federal Council (Bundesrat) will not during the entire present term of the present convention make use of its right to revoke the authorization in regard to establishing mixed transit storehouses for grain at Koenigsberg, Danzic, Altona, Mannheim and Ludwigshafen.”

6. To articles 6 to 9; at the end of this provision the last words, starting from “equivalent to” are struck out and replaced by the following:

“equivalent to 462 roubles (1 rouble=l/15 Imperial). In the same ratio the Russian customs will accept in paying customs duties the notes of the German Imperial Bank (Reichsbanknoten).”

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7. To articles 6 and 7, after the words “imported into the other” are inserted the words “if this merchandise is subjected to a different customs treatment according to the country of origin.”

8. New provision to article 12; the following provision is inserted:

To Article 12.

“In order to exercise in Russia the right provided for in paragraph 1 of article 12, the persons therein named must be provided with special trade certificates, the fee for which, for the benefit of the State, shall not exceed 150 roubles for a whole year and 75 roubles for the second half of the year.

“If persons provided with the certificates mentioned desire to exercise the right provided for in paragraph 1 of article 12 by means of commercial travelers in their employ, these commercial travelers must each be provided in addition with a personal trade certificate, the fee for which shall not exceed 50 roubles for the whole year and 25 roubles for the second half of the year.

“The trade certificates provided for in paragraph 1 of the present stipulation may be delivered in the name of the persons who are themselves proceeding to Russia, and in this case these persons will not be obliged to provide themselves in addition with the personal trade certificate.

“Regarding the delivery of the trade certificates and the amount of the fee for them, no distinctions will be made between persons of the Christian and Mosaic religions.

“In so far as the importation of firearms from abroad is not forbidden in Russia, German commercial travelers may carry with them samples of these arms on the express condition that they will submit to all general or local regulations which are or will be in force concerning firearms.”

9. To article 13, the following is added:

“German ships proceeding to Russia by waterways which cut across the common frontiers to return later into Germany, will be allowed to enter into Russia without paying or guaranteeing the payment of import duty.

“The period within which these ships must be reexported into Germany is fixed at two years from the day of their entrance into Russia. If the ship is sold in Russia or remains there more than two years, it is liable to the import duty provided. The said period will be lengthened if the ship is detained by circumstances independent of the will of the master, such as an insufficient depth of water, damage necessitating considerable repairs or other analogous causes. Import duties will not be levied if the ship is destroyed by fire or shipwreck.

The certificates containing the obligation to reexport the ship or to pay the import duty will be exempt from all dues.

“As long as the ship is in Russia the measurement certificate of the ship (Schiffseichschein) will be deposited in the custody of the Russian customs authorities.

“German passenger steamers on the Niemen are allowed as far as Georgenburg, and Russian passenger steamers are allowed as far as Schmaleningken and may winter in this port.

“The stamping of bills of carriage and bills of lading for the cargoes of the ships bound for Germany is done by the Russian customs-houses established upon the banks of the Vistula.”

II.—Second and third part, in regard to the tariff schedules.

These two parts are struck out.

III.—Fourth part, in regard to customs regulations.

1. § 1. Paragraph 1 is drawn as follows:

The contracting parties are agreed to recognize that the first-class Russian customs-houses at Kroettingen and Praszka may be changed into second-class customs-houses and the branch customs-house at Sluziew into a point of passage if the powers especially stipulated for these customs-houses in the list annexed hereto are left to them.

As to the rest, the Imperial Russian Government not only will leave to the existing customs-houses the rank and powers which they possess, especially to the first-class customs-houses at Slupce and Herby, to the third-class customs-house at Piotrkow, to the branch customs-house at Twroki and Zakrzewo and to the points of passage at Degutzky, Rakowka, Upidamisch, Bakalarzewo, Skulsk, and Gostinczyk, but also it will raise the rank of some existing customs-houses and will grant to them more extensive powers and will establish some new customs-houses in places which are not yet provided with them.

In performance of what precedes:

The third-class customs-houses at Dobrzyn and Modrzewo are raised to the rank of second-class customs-houses;
The branch customs-houses at Paschwenty, Wladislawowo, Wilczyn, Gola, and Podlenka, as well as the point of passage at Radziejewo, to the rank of third-class customs-houses;
Points of passage will be established at Kirkily, Kibarty, and at Pelty;
The bureaux at Ayssehnen, Kirkily, Wladislawowo, Czarnowka, Dombrowo, Karw, Osiek, Dobrzyn, Radziejewo, Wilczyn, Piesern, Gola, Podlenka, Gniazdow, Nezdara, Czeladz, and at Modrzejewo, named in the list annexed, will receive the powers especially indicated for each of these bureaux in the said list.

The extension of these powers will take place as soon as possible, and in any case in the course of the year following the going into effect of the present convention.

The point of passage at Kibarty will remain at the same time an advisory bureau for the first-class customs-house at Wirballen.

Second-class and third-class customs-houses and branch customs-houses will have power to clear:

Agricultural machinery and apparatus, indicated in the circular of the department of customs of January 31st, 1900, No. 2154.
The articles named in numbers 41, paragraphs 1, 2, and 3, 89 and 103, paragraph 1 of the Russian customs tariff.

All these concessions are accorded on the condition that Germany will establish and maintain opposite the Russian customs-houses and points of passage control bureaux or posts as German stations of passage and will invest them with equivalent powers. Especially the German customs-house at Zollhaus Gurzno, opposite Karw, will remain near the frontier and will not be moved into the town of Gurzno.

The contracting parties finally bind themselves to investigate with care requests, accompanied by the reasons for them, for establishing new customs-houses, for raising existing customs-houses to a higher rank, and for extending their powers, which one of the parties may address to the other even during the term of validity of the present convention and to give effect to them so far as possible. In the same manner the contracting parties will come to an understanding in regard to questions as to abolishing a customs-house, lowering, its rank, or reducing its powers.

Any modification effected by one party in the character or powers of one of its customs-houses will immediately be brought to the knowledge of the other.

2. § 2. The following sentence is added at the end of the paragraph:

“A similar power has also been granted to the German first-class customs-house (Nebenzollamt 1. Klasse) at Preussisch-Herby, and this power will be left to it as long as the Russian first-class customs-house at Russisch-Herby is invested with corresponding powers.”

3. §7. (1) The words “three roubles gold” are struck out and replaced by “fifteen roubles.”

(2) The words “nine marks” are struck out and replaced by “thirty-five marks.”

4. New paragraph; the following provision is inserted after 8:

“8a. Except for the special provisions in regard to river ships (V. I. No. 9, paragraph 1–4 of the present article)., vehicles (véhicules, Fahrzeuge) of every kind, including their fittings, employed at the time of their entry in the transportation of persons or of merchandise and imported solely for this reason temporarily into Russia by persons known to the Russian or German customs authorities, will be admitted to enter by the Russian authorities without a deposit of the customs duties or of security for these duties if the conductor (conducteur, Führer) of the vehicle binds himself to reexport it within a fixed time. The drafting of the obligation will be made gratuitously and without fees of any kind.”

5. § 10. Paragraph 10 is drawn as follows:

“No special declaration will be required for the entry of merchandise into Russia by land when it is accompanied by bills of carriage. It is sufficient in this case to present the bills of carriage at the bureaux of entry. The number of the horses and carriages making up the convoy and the total number of bills of carriage and of the cases will then be entered upon one of the bills of carriage, and this statement will be signed by the chief conductor.”

6. New paragraph; the following provision is inserted after § 12:

Ҥ 12a. Within one year after the present convention is put into effect the Imperial Russian Government will publish:

  • “1. A systematic edition of all the circulars of the department of customs in regard to the application of the customs tariff as well as the decisions of the directing senate concerning the same matter;
  • “2. An alphabetical list of all the products named in the customs tariff and in the above-mentioned circulars and decisions.”

7. New paragraph; the following provision is inserted after the new § 12a, above:

Ҥ 12b. The fee payable for affixing identification marks will not exceed 5% of the total amount of the customs duties.

“The fees payable for affixing identification marks to buttons, ribands, laces, embroideries, and skins will not exceed 1 copek for each lead seal. The entire amount of the fees or the leading shall not exceed 5% of the sum total of the entrance duties in each special case.

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“If, however, the interested party himself desires that the goods be leaded in a manner beyond the need of identification, he will be held to pay the additional amount of the fees resulting from this.

“The marking of German gold and silver ware will not be liable to fees other or higher than the marking of similar native ware.”

8. § 13. (1) In paragraph 1 the words “counting from the day of beginning” are replaced by the words “counting from the fourth day after the beginning.”

(2) The words “5 to 14 days,” at the end of paragraph 2, are struck out and replaced by “5 to 14 days, augmented by the three days delay provided in paragraph 1.”

9. § 15. Paragraph 15 is drawn as follows:

“§ 15. The order contained in article 292 of the Russian regulations of May 15, 1901, regarding the importation of merchandise, according to which the difference between the declared weight of articles or merchandise and the weight ascertained at the examination will remain unpunished if it does not exceed 5% of the total weight of the articles or merchandise, is modified and the toleration limit is raised to 10% of the total weight.”

10. § 17. In paragraph 1 the words “at three weeks” are replaced by the words “at two months.”

11. § 20. Paragraph 2 is replaced by the folio wing stipulations:

“Local measures emanating from the personal initiative of the head of a district (Landrat in Germany, natchalnik, ouiesda, isprawnik in Russia) will immediately be communicated to the heads of districts concerned of the country. This communication shall contain at the same time the reasons for the measure unless the nature of this makes an indication of them superfluous.

“Measures emanating in Germany from a chief provincial president (Oberpraesident) or from a government president (Regierungspraesident) and in Russia from a governor-general or from a governor will be communicated reciprocally to the respective official having the corresponding rank. The communication of the reasons for these measures will be made through diplomatic channels.

“Measures emanating from the central authorities of the two countries, including the reasons for them, will be communicated reciprocally through diplomatic channels.

“It is understood that information regarding veterinary measures will be communicated reciprocally in advance, if possible, and at latest as soon as they will be decreed.

“The two governments will exchange lists, in which the authorities on both sides are designated, between whom the reciprocal exchange shall take place, in conformity with the manner indicated above.”

Article 3.

The present additional convention will come into force at the expiration of a delay of twelve months after the exchange of the ratifications, but at latest on June 18 [July 1], 1906.

After the going into force of the additional convention, the present treaty of commerce and navigation, concluded January 29 [February 10], 1894, with the modifications and additions brought into it by the said additional convention, will remain in force until December 18 [December 31], 1917.

In case neither of the contracting parties has notified, twelve months before the expiration of this period, its intention of allowing the effects of this treaty to cease, this last, with the modifications and additions above mentioned, will continue to be effective until the expiration of a year from the day when one or the other of the contracting parties has denounced it.

Article 4.

The present convention will be ratified and the ratifications will be exchanged at Berlin as soon as possible.

In token whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed it and have sealed it with their arms.

Done at Berlin July 15 [July 28], one thousand nine hundred and four.

[l. s.] Buelow.
[l. s.] Serge Witte.

The foregoing additional convention has been ratified and the exchange of the ratifications took place on February 28, 1905.

The additional convention goes into force on March 1, 1906.

  1. Printed in British and Foreign State Papers, vol. 86, p. 442 et seq.
  2. Not printed.