File No. 704.1900    No. 442. General Instruction. Consular


To the American Consular Officers (Including Consular Agents)

Gentlemen: Having reference to previous instructions relative to the interests of the Republic of Panama, you are instructed to continue to use your good offices in representation of these interests and of the citizens of Panama in the country to which you are accredited, provided that the Government of Panama has not appointed consular officers in that country. In connection with the discharge of the duties of consular officers in behalf of the Panaman Government, your attention is directed to paragraphs 174 and 453 of the Consular Regulations of 1896.

Your signature in your official capacity on all papers executed for Panama should be followed by the words: In charge of the interests of Panama. (Circular of January 12, 1904.)

certification of documents

Duplicates of all invoices certified in behalf of the Panaman Government should be sent direct to the Minister of Hacienda, Panama, and duplicates of manifests should be forwarded to the inspector of the Panaman port of destination of the vessel. (Circular of April 23, 1904.)

Invoices, manifests, and other documents for vessels or cargoes belonging to or for the use of the Isthmian Canal Commission (as specified in section 1 of the Executive Order of December 3, 1904), cleared or consigned for or from the ports of Ancon or Cristobal, are to be certified by officials of the United States; but such documents as do riot appertain to such specially designated goods, wares, and merchandise are, by virtue of section 1 of the Executive Order of December 6, 1904, to be certified by officials of the Republic of Panama or persons authorized to act for them. (Circular of April 5, 1909)

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Masters of vessels clearing for Canal Zone ports carrying cargo subject to the payment of duty to Panama are required to carry an extra copy of their manifests for the customs authorities of Panama. (Circular of July 20, 1909.)

fees for services performed

Previous instructions (circular of December 12, 1904) authorized the retention as personal compensation of one-half the gross amount of fees, not in excess of fifty (50) pesos a month, collected for such consular services as may be performed, the remaining amount being required to be remitted to the Government of Panama.

You are now informed that, in accordance with the regulations of the Government of Panama for its consular service, honorary consular officers, who are named by the executive power to places where there is no established salaried consular officer, may retain each month as a remuneration of service and to defray the office expenses fifty per cent of the fees they collect up to one hundred (100) balboas ($100 United States gold) per month.

When the monthly fees exceed two hundred (200) balboas, all monies received over the sum of one hundred (100) balboas, which is to be retained, must be remitted to the Panaman Government.

You are authorized, therefore, in accordance with the laws of the Government of Panama, to retain one-half of the gross amount of fees collected for services performed by you for that Government, not in excess of one hundred balboas ($100 United States gold) per month.

The fees so retained should be turned into the Treasury of the United States under the instructions relating thereto in Circular No. 330, of July 10, 1914.

Your offices have been furnished with copies of the tariff of consular fees prescribed by the Government of Panama, as indicated in the circular of April 28, 1905. The tariff is also contained in the Digest of Circular Instructions of 1908.

public health service

Officers of the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service of the United States detailed for duty at foreign ports are under instructions to act in regard to vessels sailing for ports of Panama as they do in regard to vessels sailing for United States ports. Consuls at ports at which medical officers are stationed will cooperate with them in carrying out these instructions. (Circular of April 23, 1904.)

The following circulars, the substance of which has been incorporated in the instructions herein contained, are therefore revoked: January 12, 1904: April 23, 1904; December 12, 1904; April 5, 1909; July 20, 1909.

Reference is made to circulars of July 20, 1904, and March 16, 1905, enclosing orders from the War Department, and of April 28, 1905, enclosing the Panama Tariff of Cousular Fees.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Wilbur J. Carr