p.2 AMERICAN SHIPPING REGULATIONS
The following letter has been addressed to the Chicago Journal:-
In a late circular from the Treasury Department of the United States, issued on the 1st of November, 1866, are found the following instructions:
Tonnage Dues Paid In the Nature of Penalties
"An American or foreign built vessel, owned in whole or in part by foreigners, is not a vessel of the United States that can be 'entitled to privileges' as such, and she cannot be registered, enrolled and licensed, or licensed, and, if not documented as a foreign vessel, must enter and clear at every port, and pay tonnage dues and fees as an alien vessel; such vessels cannot engage in the coasting trade, save under penalty of forfeiture.
A vessel wholly owned by citizens of the United States, not registered, nor enrolled and licensed, may carry on the coasting trade - that is, a trade not foreign, but from a port in one State to a port in another - yet her cargo must consist wholly of domestic goods, other than distilled spirits; and she must also pay alien tonnage duty and light money at every entry - she being required to enter and clear at every port at which she may take in or discharge cargo as a consequence of being without marine papers."
Undocumented Home Vessels
"A foreign built vessel, owned wholly by citizens of the United States, may engage in the coasting trade under disadvantages similar to those of home vessels, without marine papers, by virtue of a certified 'bill of sale,' whereby she will be protected as 'American property,' and may go to a foreign port; but should she return, 'in ballast,' she must pay alien tonnage duty, and if with cargo, she will be forfeited. Such vessels will also be excluded from the privileges extended to vessels properly trading within the proviso, and under like penalties."
The above is of great importance to our vessel owners and Captains, and covers several points upon which we have previously been uninformed officially. It also fully sustains the action of the Collector of this port in giving a coasting clearance to the schooner Alpha upon the 17th of October last. The Alpha was a vessel owned by Americans, but with a foreign bottom. The action of the Collector was thought by many commercial men of the city to be wrong, but by the above extracts from the treasury circular, he is fully borne out in his decision and sustained in his action. The case of the Alpha is a good illustration, and, being familiar to vessel men, I cite it as an example. Hoping you will publish this for general information,
I remain yours, Subscriber.
Imports - 10,11.