1869, Land Trade - Russia

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(Signed at Peking, April 15/27, 1869)

            Whereas on the 4th day of March (20th February O.S.) in the year 1862 certain Regulations for the frontier trade between Russia and China were drawn up and declared to be in force, experimentally, for a period of three years; and whereas the said period has now expired: It has now been agreed in concert between the Prince of Kung and the Ministers of the Yamen of Foreign Affairs of the Empire of China, on the one part, and General A. Vlangaly, Envoy Extraordinary and minister Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Czar of Russia, on the other part, that the said Regulations shall be amended as follows:


Article I.

            No duties shall be levied upon trade on the frontier of the two countries within the limit of a hundred li (30 miles).

            It shall be at the option of either Government to adopt measures of supervision in accordance with its own frontier regulations.

Article II.

            Russian merchants shall be at liberty to proceed to all parts of Mongolia subject to China in which [Chinese] officers are stationed, as also to all the tribes under the government of the said officers, for purposes of trade, and shall likewise be exempt from the levy of duty. China will throw no impediment whatever in the way of Russian merchants wishing to proceed for purposes of trade to parts of Mongolia where no Chinese officers are stationed, but such merchants must be provided with certificates issued by the frontier authorities of their own Government, such certificates being stamped in Russian, Chinese, an Mongolian characters, specifying the name of the bearer, the description of his merchandise and its packages, and the number of camels, oxen, and horses he takes with him. This certificate is to be presented for inspection at the first Chinese frontier post arrived at, where it shall be attested either by stamping or by signature.

            In the event of persons being found without such passport, their merchandise shall be confiscated, and they shall themselves be dealt with in conformity with the provision of Article X of the Treaty of Peking relating to the apprehension and return of refugees. The Consuls will exercise a strict supervision to prevent Russian subjects unprovided with passports from proceeding [into Chinese territory] to trade.

Article III.

            Russian merchants transporting Russian merchandise to Tientsin must be provided with certificates stamped by the Russian frontier officers and Chinese Resident at Kiakhta, such certificates to specify in Russian and Chinese the names of the said merchant and his attendants, the description of his cargo, and number of packages. Caravans of this class shall be permitted to travel only by way of Kalgan, Tung-pa, and T’ung-chow direct to Tientsin. The Chinese officials at all Customs stations on the line of travel shall be authorised to take note of the number of packages and to examine their contents without delay, and to examine the transit certificate and affix their stamp to the same, granting passage thereupon. If the packages are opened for inspection of their contents at any Customs station, they shall, on completion of the search, be repacked again under seal by the Customs, and a note shall be made on the certificate stating the number of packages opened. The inspection to be made by the Customs shall not occupy a longer time than two hours. The certificate shall be surrendered and cancelled at the Customs at Tientsin within six months [from the date of issue].

            If any certificate be lost, the bearer shall make report forthwith to the authority by whom the document was issued, specifying the date and number of the missing certificate. A duplicate shall hereupon be issued to the applicant without delay, upon which the word “substitute” shall be endorsed, and report shall at the same time be made at the nearest Custom house, where on inspection [of the merchandise] and on finding the same to be correct, a temporary pass shall be issued, enabling the bearer to proceed, in order to obviate delay. If the report and application for the pass be made at Kalgan, security shall be given on the part of the applicant by the Russian merchants at that place before the pass is issued.

            If on arrival at Tientsin the description of merchandise or the number of packages is found not to agree with the substitute for the original certificate, the case shall be dealt with in conformity with Article VII, the firm concerned being held responsible, and the lost certificate shall become null and void.

Article IV.

            Russian merchants transporting merchandise from Kiakhta shall be authorised on their passage through Kalgan to deposit at that place a portion of the merchandise bound for Tientsin, to be sold on the spot. Report must be made within three days to the Superintendent of Customs, who will issue a permit accordingly. Merchandise to be stopped at Kalgan shall pay duty before it is permitted to be sold. It shall not be necessary, however, to appoint a consul or to establish mercantile firms [lit., hongs and storehouses] at the said place.

Article V.

            Russian merchants transporting Russian merchandise shall on their arrival at Tientsin pay import duty at the rate of one-third less than that specified in the general Foreign Tariff. This shall be paid at Tientsin. Merchandise left at Kalgan shall pay import duty at the place according to the general Foreign Tariff.

Article VI.

            Any Russian merchandise which shall have been left behind at Kalgan, and having paid duty at that place and having received the duty certificate, may, if not disposed of, be transported by the merchant to T’ung-chow or Tientsin for sale, and shall pay no further duty. The Russian merchant shall also in such case have refunded to him the extra one-third duty paid at Kalgan. A certificate to this effect shall be issued to him from the Customs at that place.

Article VII.

            If it be found on the arrival of Russian merchandise, brought by a Russian merchant to Tientsin, that any of the goods, beside those reported for stoppage at Kalgan, have been disturbed or exchanged, or if the amount of merchandise to be left at Kalgan be found incorrect, the whole of the merchandise belonging to the person guilty of the breach of Regulations shall be confiscated.

            In the event of any actual damage accruing on the journey to the bales or boxes containing merchandise, rendering fresh packing necessary, report of the same shall be made at the first Custom House reached after the repacking has taken place, when, if the description of merchandise be found correct, an endorsement to that effect shall be made upon the certificate, and the bearer shall thereupon be exempt from the infliction of a penalty.

            If any person repairs to other places apart from the direct route, travelling by a road other than that specified in Article III, and disposes of his merchandise in an irregular manner, on the identity of a person guilty of a breach of the Regulations being ascertained, the whole of his merchandise shall be confiscated. In cases where the offender has merely diverged from the direct route and has not trafficked in merchandise, he shall be punished by the levy of the amount of the full duty on the goods.

            Where merchandise shall have become subject to confiscation, if the owner be willing to compound by payment of its value, arrangement must be made by consultation with the Chinese authorities, and it shall be allowable to pay over to the authorities such sum as may be justly estimated as the value of the goods.

Article VIII.

            Russian merchants transporting Russian merchandise by sea from Tientsin to any of the other ports shall make good at Tientsin the one-third Tariff duty, remission of which they have previously been granted, and shall pay no further duty on arrival at another port. Any merchandise carried into the interior from Tientsin or any other port shall pay an additional outport duty in conformity with the general Foreign Tariff (i.e., one-half of the Tariff duty).


Article IX.

            Russian merchants purchasing Chinese merchandise at any of the Treaty ports and exporting or importing the same, as also on importation or exportation by the sea route of foreign goods brought from Russia, shall submit to the general Regulations in force with reference to Foreign trade.

Article X.

            Russian merchants transporting Chinese merchandise from any of the ports by way of Tientsin en route to Russia, and not retaining the same for sale at Tientsin, if provided with documents certifying that the full duty has been paid elsewhere, shall be liable to no further levy at Tientsin. The Russian Consul at that port will issue a certificate in Russian and Chinese, to be stamped by the Customs at Tientsin, setting forth the bearer’s name, the description of merchandise, and the number of packages, which shall enable the goods to be transported to Kiakhta without further levy of duty. The merchandise shall be required to follow the route laid down in Article III, and the disposal of merchandise in transitu shall be prohibited. Any infraction of these provisions shall be dealt with in conformity with Article VII.

            The merchandise shall be subject to examination on its passage through T’ung-chow, Tung-pa, and Kalgan, as provided in Article III. The transit pass shall be surrendered at Kiakhta within six months of the date of issue; or if any delay interposes, report must be made within the stipulated period to the Consul and the local authorities. A penalty shall be inflicted in case of violation of this rule. In the event of the loss of the transit certificate by the holder, measures shall be taken as provided in Article III.

Article XI.

            Russian merchants purchasing at Tientsin, T’ung-chow, or elsewhere, Chinese merchandise brought from the interior, and intending to transport the same to Russian territory by the land route prescribed in Article III, shall pay the full duty as laid down in the general Foreign Tariff, receiving a certificate for the same, after which no further levy of duty shall be incurred. Such merchandise must not be disposed of en route.

Article XII.

            Russian merchants purchasing at Tientsin Chinese re-imports to be conveyed overland to Russian territory shall pay no further duty if the merchandise in question has already paid the full duty at the original port [of shipment], and is removed from Tientsin within the period of one year, for conveyance to Russia, in full compliance with all the existing Regulations under this head. The half-duty paid upon re-importation and storage at Tientsin shall further be refunded by means of a drawback certificate. Such merchandise shall not be disposed of en route. Transit certificates shall be issued in such cases, and all other steps be taken as is provided in Article X.

Note.—On any change being agreed upon hereafter between China and other Powers respecting the levy of duty on re-imports at Tientsin, Russia will adopt the same alteration.

Article XIII.

            Russian merchants purchasing Chinese produce at T’ung-chow for conveyance to Russian territory shall give notice in advance at Tung-pa, and pay full duty according to the general Foreign Tariff. On receipt of the duty at Tung-pa a certificate shall be issued specifying the description of merchandise and number of packages. Such merchandise shall not be disposed of en route.

Article XIV.

            Russian merchants purchasing Chinese produce at Kalgan for conveyance to Russian territory shall pay export duty thereupon at the rate of the outport or coast trade duty (i.e., half the full duty) in the general Foreign Tariff. On this being paid at Kalgan a certificate shall be issued by the Customs there, and further levy shall thereafter be made. Such merchandise shall not be disposed of en route.

Article XV.

            Russian merchants purchasing, either at Tientsin or at other ports, Foreign merchandise coming from other countries for conveyance overland to Russian territory shall not be subject to further levy of duty if the Foreign importer has already paid the Tariff duty and half duty, and holds a duty receipt in testimony thereof. If only the import duty has been paid, and not the coast trade duty, the Russian purchaser shall make good the half duty by payment at the Custom House in accordance with the general Foreign Tariff.

Article XVI.

            Russian merchants conveying merchandise to Russian territory by way of Tientsin, T’ung-chow, and Kalgan must have their goods accompanied by the Customs permit, for purposes of examination. All matters relating to the period specified for the surrender of the transit certificate and proceedings in case of the loss of this document shall be conducted in conformity with Article X.


Article XVII.

            The provisions contained in the second article of Regulations for trade appended to the Foreign Tariff shall be equally applied to the overland trade on the part of Russian merchants.

Article XVIII.

            In the event of Russian merchants being guilty of acts of smuggling or of the carriage of prohibited articles, such as are specified in Articles III and V of the general Tariff Regulations, the merchandise in question shall likewise be confiscated. Merchants carrying weapons for their own defence shall make report of the same to their own authorities, whereupon an entry will be made upon the transit certificate.

            One military weapon will be allowed to each person.

Article XIX.

            Foreign or Chinese merchandise of any description not enumerated in the general Foreign Tariff shall be dealt with in accordance with the Russian Supplementary Rules agreed upon at Tientsin.

            Goods unenumerated in both the Supplementary Rules and the general Tariff shall pay duty at the rate of 5 per cent ad valorem, in conformity with the rules applicable to other nationalities.

Article XX.

            Russian merchants shall not lend their protection to Chinese merchants for the conveyance of goods from one port to another.

Article XXI.

            The Chinese authorities shall be at liberty, in conformity with the general rule applicable to all other Powers, to devise and carry into effect from time to time all such measures as may be necessary for the stringent prevention of smuggling.

Article XXII.

            The Regulations now agreed upon shall continue in force for the period of five years, on the expiry of which period, if either the Russian or Chinese governments be desirous of a revision, six months notice previous to the expiry of the said period shall be given. If no notice be given by the time the period has expired, the present Regulations shall continue in force for a further period of five years, after which time their revision shall be conducted during the period of six months [antecedent to their expiry]. Any points of importance or presenting objectionable features shall forthwith be taken jointly into consideration and made subject to alteration before the expiry of the period assigned above.

            The above Articles having been agreed to and signed by the High Commissioners of the two Contracting Powers, and stamped with their respective seals, shall be notified to all concerned, for general observance.