1869, Alcock Convention - Britain

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Supplementary Convention to the Treaty of Commerce and
Navigation of the 26th of June 1858 Between Great Britain
and China.*

Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and His Majesty the Emperor of China, desiring to secure the better execution of the Treaty of Commerce concluded between them on the 26th of June 1858, having resolved, in accordance with the provision made in the twenty-seventh Article to the effect that either of the High Contracting Parties may demand a further revision of the Tariff and of the commercial articles of that Treaty at the end of ten years, to negotiate a complementary arrangement; and they have for that purpose named as their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say:

Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Sir Rutherford Alcock, Knight Commander of the most honourable Order of the Bath, Her said Majesty’s Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the Emperor of China.

And His Majesty the Emperor of China, His Imperial Highness, Ho Shuo Prince of Kung; Wenhsiang, President of the Board of Civil Office; Pao Chün, President of the Board of Revenue; Tung Hsün, President of the Board of Revenue; Tan Ting Hsiang, President of the Board of Punishment; Chung Lun, President of the Colonial Office.

Who, after having communicated to each other their respective full Powers, found to be in good and due form, have agreed upon the following Articles.

Article I.

China having agreed that British subjects shall participate in all advantages accorded by Treaty to the subjects of other Powers, it is further agreed that British subjects, desiring to participate in the advantages accorded by Treaty to the subjects of other Powers, shall participate in such advantages on the same conditions on which they have been accorded to, and are participated in by, the subjects of such other Powers.

Article II.

China having agreed that China may appoint Consuls to reside at every Port open to Trade, it is further agreed that China may appoint Consuls to reside at all ports in the British dominions.

The Consuls so appointed shall respectively be entitled to the treatment accorded to the most favoured nation.

Article III.

It is agreed that commodities of the following classes and denominations, viz.: Cottons, Linens, Woollens, Woollen and Cotton mixtures, etc., etc., imported by British merchants, shall pay both Import duty and Transit Due simultaneously at the time of importation.

On the other part, China agrees that the abovementioned commodities imported by British merchants and having paid Import Duty and Transit Due simultaneously at the time of importation, shall be exempt from all other taxes and charges whatsoever in Treaty Port provinces.

Article IV.

It is agreed that native produce, purchased in the interior by British merchants, furnished with the documents prescribed by the supplementary Regulations, shall pay all inland dues and charges on its way to the Treaty Port.

On the other part, China agrees that any such native produce, having paid all inland dues and charges on the way to the Port from the place of purchase, shall be entitled to the return of any amount that may have thus been paid over and above the Treaty Transit Due (half export duty) provided exportation by British Merchants to a Foreign Port takes place within twelve months.

It is further agreed that native produce shipped to another Treaty Port shall not be entitled to such refund.

Article V.

It is agreed that Chinese produce shipped from Hongkong to a Treaty Port shall not be carried inland under the Transit rule, but shall pay dues, duties and inland charges like all other native produce at all barriers passed.

On the other part, China agrees to issue to native produce, shipped by British Merchants from Treaty Ports to Hongkong, the ordinary export duty proofs, and to collect on such produce, on arrival at a second Treaty Port, the ordinary coast Trade (half import) duty.

Article VI.

It is agreed that the port of Wen-chow in Chekiang shall be opened to British Trade, and that Kiungchow, named in the Treaty of Tientsin, shall be removed from the list of Treaty Ports.

Article VII.

It is agreed that British Merchant vessels shall not be called upon to pay Tonnage Dues oftener than once in four months.

On the other part, England agrees that British Merchant vessels of every description, whether used for the transport or storage of merchandise, conveyance of passengers, or residence (Merchant ships, hulks, chops, etc.), as well as all craft of the Chinese type owned by British subjects, shall pay Tonnage Dues according to their tonnage, if trading from Port to Port, on the expiration of their special certificates, and, if used as hulks in port, on the expiration of the term of four months, as the case may be.

Article VIII.

It is agreed that all British Merchant vessels shall report to the Customs their port of destination, and shall hand in export manifests when about to clear.

On the other part, China agrees that the amount of any fine for false manifests, where British subjects are concerned, shall be determined in accordance with the special circumstances, and shall not, in any case, exceed the sum of Five hundred Taels.

Article IX.

It is agreed that in all cases of fines arising out of breaches of Customs regulations, the Superintendent or the Commissioner of Customs may have a seat on the bench and take part with the British Consul in inquiring into the case; and that in all cases of confiscation arising out of breaches of Customs Regulations, the British Consul may have a seat on the bench with the Superintendent or the Commissioner of Customs, and take part in inquiring into the case.

It is further agreed that England and China shall, in consultation, draw up a commercial Code.

Article X.

On the one part China agrees to issue Licenses to Pilots.

On the other part England agrees to punish British subjects piloting, or who employ persons to pilot, not having licenses.

It is further agreed that effect shall be given to the stipulation of the Treaty of Tientsin that “for the due restraint of crews of Ships, regulations will be drawn up by the Consuls and the local authorities.”

Article XI.

It is agreed that drawbacks issued to Foreign goods re-exported by British Merchants to Foreign countries within three months from the date of importation, shall be convertible (at the Haikwan Bank) into Cash.

On the other part, England agrees that Foreign goods, re-exported by British merchants to Foreign countries, after the expiration of three years from the date of importation, shall not be entitled to Drawback of Import Duty.

Article XII.

It is agreed that Opium shall pay Import duty at an increased rate.

On the other part, China agrees;

1st. That British subjects, holding passports, may use their own vessels, resembling Chinese craft, and propelled by oars or sails, when visiting non-Treaty Ports or places in the interior;

2nd. That Bonded Warehouses shall be established for British subjects at such Treaty Ports as may be expedient;

3rd. That the Superintendent of Customs at Kiukiang shall provide a Tug for the use of British-owned Chinese-like boats on the Poyang, and in the vicinity of Hukow;

4th. That Bonds entered into by British Merchants for the re-export of teas shipped from Yangtsze ports shall, as an experiment, be done away with;

5th. That the Imperial Commissioner in the South shall open Coal-mines at two or three places; and

6th. That the duty on Native coal exported by British Merchants from the Southern Ports shall be reduced.

Article XIII.

It is agreed that Silk shall pay Export Duty at an increased rate.

On the other part, China agrees;

1st. That Wuhu in Anhui shall be opened to British trade;

2nd. That Foreign Grain may be re-exported, and without payment of duty, by British Merchants;

3rd. That materials used by British subjects in Docks for the repairs of British vessels shall be exempt from duty;

4th. That the list of duty-free goods for British Household use and Ships’ Stores shall be revised;

5th. That Foreign coal, and guano, imported by British Merchants, shall be exempt from duty; and

6th. That Import duties shall be reduced on Watches, Tin-plates, Pepper, black and white, and Timber, imported by British subjects.

Article XIV.

It is agreed that each Custom House shall draw up rules fixing the touch of Sycee to be received in the payment of duties by the Bank at each Port.

It is further agreed that the various documents issued to British subjects (Transit papers, Passports, etc.) shall be returnable on the expiration of one year from the date of issue.

Article XV.

It is agreed, on both parts, that the Articles untouched by the present revision shall be hereby declared to be renewed and confirmed, and that the revised version shall rule in the case of such articles as the present revision affects.

Article XVI.

The present Convention shall be ratified, and the ratification shall be exchanged at Peking, as soon as possible.

In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Convention, the supplementary regulations appended, and the Tariff affecting goods in respect of which duties have been hereby changed, and have fixed thereto their seals.

Done at Peking, in quadruplicate this twenty-third day of October in the year of Our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred and Sixty-nine.

[L.S.]* (Signed) Rutherford Alcock

Seal
of the
Tsung-li
Yamen.

(Chinese Plenipotentiaries, six signatures.)