Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Document in History: 1858 Regulations under which American Trade is to be conducted in Japan

Townsend HarrisIn 1858, the Harris Treaty opened Japan further to Americans. Alongside the treaty came regulations for the expanding Japan-US trade. Explore the attached regulations to the Harris Treaty bellow.

Regulations under which American Trade is to be conducted in Japan

Regulation 1. Within 48 hours (Sundays except) after the arrival of an American ship in a Japanese port, the captain or commander shall exhibit to the Japanese Custom-House authorities the receipt of the American Consul, showing that he has deposited the ship’s register and other papers, as required by the laws of the United States, at the American Consulate, and he shall then make an entry of his ship, by giving a written paper, stating the name of the ship, and the name of the port from which she comes, her tonnage, the name of her captain or commander, the names of her passengers (if any), and the number of her crew, which paper shall be certified by the captain or commander to be a true statement, and shall be signed by him; he shall at the same time deposit a written manifest of his cargo, setting forth the marks and numbers of the packages and their contents, as they are described in his bills of lading with the names of the person or persons to whom they are consigned. A list of the stores of the ship shall be added to the manifest. The captain or commander shall certify the manifest to be a true account of all the cargo and stores on board the ship, and shall sign his name to the same. If any error is discovered in the manifest, it may be corrected within 24 hours (Sundays excepted) without the payment of any fee; but for any alteration or post entry to the manifest made after that time, a fee of 15 dollars shall be paid. All goods not entered on the manifest shall pay double duties on being landed. Any captain or commander that shall neglect to enter his vessel at the Japanese Custom-House within the time prescribed by this regulation shall pay a penalty of 60 dollars for each day that he shall so neglect to enter his ship.

Regulation 2. The Japanese Government shall have the right to place Custom-House officers on board of any ships in their ports (men-of-war excepted). All Custom-House officers shall be treated with civility, and such reasonable accommodation shall be allotted to them as the ship affords. No goods shall be unladen from any ship between the hours of sunset and sunrise, except by special permission of the Custom-House authorities, and the hatches, and all other places of entrance into that part of the ship where the cargo is stowed, may be secured by Japanese officers, between the hours of sunset and sunrise, by affixing seals, locks, or other fastenings; and if any person shall, without due permission, open any entrance that has been so secured, or shall break or remove any seal, lock, or other fastening that has been affixed by the Japanese Custom-House officers, every person so offending shall pay a fine of 60 dollars for each offence. Any goods that shall be discharged or attempted to be discharged from any ship, without having been duly entered at the Japanese Custom-House, as hereinafter provided, shall be liable to seizure and confiscation.

Packages of goods made up with an attempt to defraud the revenue of Japan, by concealing therein articles of value which are not set forth in the invoice, shall be forfeited.

American ships that shall smuggle, or attempt to smuggle, goods in any of the non-opened harbours of Japan, all such goods shall be forfeited to the Japanese Government, and the ship shall pay a fine of 1,000 dollars for each offence. Vessels needing repairs may land their cargo for that purpose without the payment of duty. All goods so landed shall remain in charge of the Japanese authorities, and all just charges for storage, labour, and supervision shall be paid thereon. But if any portion of such cargo be sold, the regular duties shall be paid on the portion so disposed of. Cargo may be transshipped to another vessel in the same harbor without the payment of duty; but all transhipments shall be made under the supervision of Japanese officers, and after satisfactory proof has been given to the Custom-House authorities of the bona fide nature of the transaction, and also under a permit to be granted for that purpose by such authorities. The importation of opium being prohibited, if any person or persons shall smuggle or attempt to smuggle, any opium, he or they shall pay a fine of 15 dollars for each catty of opium so smuggled or attempted to be smuggled; and if more than one person shall be engaged in the offence, they shall collectively be held responsible for the payment of the foregoing penalty.

Regulation 3. The owner or consignee of any goods, who desires to land them, shall make an entry of the same at the Japanese Custom-House. The entry shall be in writing, and shall set forth the name of the person making the entry, and the name of the ship in which the goods were imported, and the marks, numbers, packages, and contents thereof, with the value of each package extended separately in one amount, and at the bottom of the entry shall be placed the aggregate value of all the goods contained in the entry. On each entry the owner of consignee shall certify, in writing, that the entry then presented exhibits the actual cost of the goods, and that nothing has been concealed whereby the Customs of Japan would be defrauded; and the owner or consignee shall sign his name to such certificate.

The original invoice or invoices of the goods so entered shall be presented to the Custom-House authorities, and shall remain in their possession until they have examined the goods contained in the entry.

The Japanese officers may examine any or all of the packages so entered, and for this purpose may take them to the Custom-House, but such examination shall be without expense to the importer or injury to the goods, and after examination, the Japanese shall restore the goods to their original condition in the packages (so far as may be practicable), and which examination shall be made without any unreasonable delay.

If any owner or importer discovers that his goods have been damaged on the voyage of importation before such goods have been delivered to him, he may notify the Custom-House authorities of such damage, and he may have the damaged goods appraised by two or more competent and disinterested persons, who, after due examination shall make a certificate setting forth the amount per cent. of damage on each separate package, describing it by its mark and number, which certificates shall be signed by the appraisers in presence of the Custom-House authorities, and the importer may attach the certificate to his entry, and make a corresponding deduction from it. But this shall not prevent the Custom-House authorities from appraising the goods in the manner provided in Article IV of the Treaty, to which these regulations are appended.

After the duties have been paid, the owner shall receive a permit authorizing the delivery to him of the goods, whether the same are at the Custom-House or on shipboard. All goods intended to be exported shall be entered at the Japanese Custom-House before they are placed on ship-board. The entry shall be in writing, and shall state the name of the ship by which the goods are to be exported, with the marks and numbers of the packages, and the quantity, description, and value of their contents. The exporter shall certify in writing that the entry is a true account of all the goods contained therein, and shall sign his name thereto. Any goods that are put on board of a ship for exportation before they have been entered at the Custom-House, and all packages which contain prohibited articles, shall be forfeited to the Japanese Government.

No entry at the Custom-House shall be required for supplies for the use of ships, their crews, and passengers, nor for the clothing, &c., of passengers.

Regulation 4. Ships wishing to clear shall give 24 hours’ notice at the Custom-House, and at the end of that time they shall be entitled to their clearance; but if it be refused, the Custom-House authorities shall immediately inform the captain or consignee of the ship of the reasons why the clearance is refused, and they shall also give the same notice to the American Consul.

Ships of war of the United States shall not be required to enter or clear at the Custom-House, nor shall they be visited by Japanese Custom-House or police officers. Steamers carrying the mails of the United States may enter and clear on the same day, and they shall not be required to make a manifest, except for such passengers and goods as are to be landed in Japan. But such steamers shall, in all cases, enter and clear at the Custom-House.

Whale ships touching for supplies, or ships in distress, shall not be required to make a manifest of their cargo; but if they subsequently wish to trade, they shall then deposit a manifest, as required in Regulation 1.

The word ship, wherever it occurs in these Regulations, or in the Treaty to which they are attached, is to be held as meaning hip, barque, brig, schooner, sloop, or steamer.

Regulation 5. Any person signing a false declaration or certificate with the intent to defraud the revenue of Japan, shall pay a fine of 125 dollars for each offence.

Regulation 6. No tonnage duties shall be levied on American ships in the ports of Japan, but the following fees shall be paid to the Japanese Custom-House authorities: for the entry of a ship, 15 dollars; for the clearance of a ship, 7 dollars; for each permit, 1 1/2 dollars; for each bill of health 1 ½; for any other document, 1 ½ dollars.

Regulation 7. Duties shall be paid to the Japanese Government on all goods landed in the country according to the following tariff:

Class 1. 

All articles in this class shall be free of duty.
Gold and silver, coined or uncoined.
Wearing apparel in actual use.
Household furniture and printed books not intended for sale, but the property of persons who come to reside in Japan.

Class 2. A duty of 5 per cent. shall paid on the following articles:

All articles used for the purpose of building, rigging, repairing, or fitting out of ships.
Whaling gear of all kinds.
Timber for building houses.
Steam machinery.
Salted provisions of all kinds.
Bread and breadstuffs.
Living animals of all kinds.
Raw silk. 

Class 3. A duty of 35 per cent. shall be paid on all intoxicating liquors, whether prepared by distillation, fermentation, or in any other manner.

Class 4. All goods not included in any of the preceding classes shall pay a duty of 20 per cent.

All articles of Japanese production, which are exported as cargo, shall pay a duty of 5 per cent., with the exception of gold and silver coin and copper in bars. Five years after the opening of Kanagawa the import and export duties shall be subject to revision if the Japanese Government desires it.

(L.S.) Townsend Harris.

Gubbins, J.H. The Progress of Japan, 1853 - 1871. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1911. 

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