File No. 5727/145.

The Russian Ambassador to the Secretary of State.


Mr. Secretary of State: Under an agreement recently concluded between the Federal Government and Germany, certain customs facilities have been granted by the United States to the importation of goods from Germany. They have mainly to do with the assessment of customs duties which, by virtue of the agreement, are computed according to the value of the merchandise as established by invoices certified by American consuls and also by special certificates issued by the German chambers of commerce.

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Desirous of having these commercial advantages extended to Russian imports into the United States, I have the honor to ask, by order of my Government, that your excellency will be so good as to inform me whether the Federal Government is disposed to grant those facilities to Russian trade with the United States and, particularly, that which consists in levying ad valorem customs duties on the basis of the appraisement of Russian merchandise as determined by invoices duly certified by consuls of the United States and by special certificates delivered, in the absence of chambers of commerce, by committees of Russian exchanges (general and special).

The Imperial Government holds that the said committees, whose powers are set forth in articles 591–598 of the Russian Commercial Code, and more specially in the statutes of the St. Petersburg Exchange, after which the statutes of all the other exchanges are patterned, and which are annexed to the aforesaid code, are quite as competent in this respect as the chambers of commerce existing in Europe, and that certificates issued by them will have the same value as those delivered by the said chambers of commerce.

Hoping that this request will be favorably received by the Federal Government, I avail myself, etc.,