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Note to XII, sec. II—Continued
this applies also to the question of shipping fees. Hereby the German Government presupposes that reciprocity will be granted on the navigable streams of the other states involved."
This notification, which was given some sort of status by publication in the Reichsgesetzblatt (1936, 11, 361) on November 26, was made to the governments represented on the Danube, Elbe, Oder, and Rhine commissions. Those governments did not enter a joint protest with the German Government, as the French Government first suggested. By December 3, 1936 the Governments of the United Kingdom, France, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Rumania, and Yugoslavia made formal representations against the unilateral nature of the German action purporting to terminate part of a multilateral treaty. Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Italy, and Switzerland made no protest and Italy later withdrew from the Central Rhine Commission. The prospect held out to the Netherlands and Switzerland of concluding bilateral agreements with Germany which would secure their interests on the Rhine did not materialize.
CHAPTER I.-FREEDOM OF NAVIGATION.
The nationals of any of the Allied and Associated Powers as well as their vessels and property shall enjoy in all German ports and on the inland navigation routes of Germany the same treatment in all respects as German nationals, vessels and property.
In particular the vessels of any one of the Allied or Associated Powers shall be entitled to transport goods of any description, and passengers, to or from any ports or places in German territory to which German vessels may have access, under conditions which shall not be more onerous than those applied in the case of national vessels; they shall be treated on a footing of equality with national vessels as regards port and harbour facilities and charges of every description, including facilities for stationing, loading and unloading, and duties and charges of tonnage, harbour, pilotage, lighthouse, quarantine, and all analogous duties and charges of whatsoever nature, levied in the name of or for the profit of the Government, public functionaries, private individuals, corporations or establishments of any kind.
In the event of Germany granting a preferential regime to any of the Allied or Associated Powers or to any other foreign Power,
this regime shall be extended immediately and unconditionally to all the Allied and Associated Powers.
There shall be no impediment to the movement of persons or vessels other than those arising from prescriptions concerning customs, police, sanitation, emigration and immigration, and those relating to the import and export of prohibited goods. Such regulations must be reasonable and uniform and must not impede traffic unnecessarily.
Note to XII, 327
The note of the Supreme Council dated May 5, 1921 found Germany in default as regarded fulfilment of article 327, and the German Government on May 11 stated its resolve to execute the unfulfilled portions of the treaty.
For the inapplication of this article to Siam, see note under article 137.
CHAPTER II.-FREE ZONES IN PORTS.
The free zones existing in German ports on August 1, 1914, shall be maintained. These free zones, and any other free zones which may be established in German territory by the present Treaty, shall be subject to the régime provided for in the following Articles.
Goods entering or leaving a free zone shall not be subjected to any import or export duty, other than those provided for in Article 330.
Vessels and goods entering a free zone may be subjected to the charges established to cover expenses of administration, upkeep and improvement of the port, as well as to the charges for the use of various installations, provided that these charges shall be reasonable having regard to the expenditure incurred, and shall be levied in the conditions of equality provided for in Article 327.
Goods shall not be subjected to any other charge except a statistical duty which shall not exceed 1 per mille ad valorem, and which shall be devoted exclusively to defraying the expenses of compiling statements of the traffic in the port.
The facilities granted for the erection of warehouses, for packing and for unpacking goods, shall be in accordance with trade re
quirements for the time being. All goods allowed to be consumed in the free zone shall be exempt from duty, whether of excise or of any other description, apart from the statistical duty provided for in Article 328 above.
There shall be no discrimination in regard to any of the provisions of the present Article between persons belonging to different nationalities or between goods of different origin or destination.
Import duties may be levied on goods leaving the free zone for consumption in the country on the territory of which the port is situated. Conversely, export duties may be levied on goods coming from such country and brought into the free zone. These import and export duties shall be levied on the same basis and at the same rates as similar duties levied at the other Customs frontiers of the country concerned. On the other hand, Germany shall not levy, under any denomination, any import, export or transit duty on goods carried by land or water across her territory to or from the free zone from or to any other State.
Germany shall draw up the necessary regulations to secure and guarantee such freedom of transit over such railways and waterways in her territory as normally give access to the free zone.
CHAPTER III.-CLAUSES RELATING TO THE ELBE, THE ODER, THE NIEMEN (RUSSSTROM-MEMEL-NIEMEN) AND THE
The following rivers are declared international:
the Elbe (Labe) from its confluence with the Vltava (Moldau), and the Vltava (Moldau) from Prague;
the Oder (Odra) from its confluence with the Oppa; the Niemen (Russstrom-Memel-Niemen) from Grodno; the Danube from Ulm;
and all navigable parts of these river systems which naturally provide more than one State with access to the sea, with or without transhipment from one vessel to another; together with lateral canals and channels constructed either to duplicate or to improve
naturally navigable sections of the specified river systems, or to connect two naturally navigable sections of the same river.
The same shall apply to the Rhine-Danube navigable waterway, should such a waterway be constructed under the conditions laid down in Article 353.
On the waterways declared to be international in the preceding Article, the nationals, property and flags of all Powers shall be treated on a footing of perfect equality, no distinction being made to the detriment of the nationals, property or flag of any Power between them and the nationals, property or flag of the riparian State itself or of the most favoured nation.
Nevertheless, German vessels shall not be entitled to carry passengers or goods by regular services between the ports of any Allied or Associated Power, without special authority from such Power.
Where such charges are not precluded by any existing conventions, charges varying on different sections of a river may be levied on vessels using the navigable channels or their approaches, provided that they are intended solely to cover equitably the cost of maintaining in a navigable condition, or of improving, the river and its approaches, or to meet expenditure incurred in the interests of navigation. The schedule of such charges shall be calculated on the basis of such expenditure and shall be posted up in the ports. These charges shall be levied in such a manner as to render any detailed examination of cargoes unnecessary, except in cases of suspected fraud or contravention.
The transit of vessels, passengers and goods on these waterways shall be effected in accordance with the general conditions prescribed for transit in Section I above.
When the two banks.of an international river are within the same State goods in transit may be placed under seal or in the custody of customs agents. When the river forms a frontier goods and passengers in transit shall be exempt from all customs formalities; the loading and unloading of goods, and the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers, shall only take place in the ports specified by the riparian State.
No dues of any kind other than those provided for in the present Part shall be levied along the course or at the mouth of these rivers.
This provision shall not prevent the fixing by the riparian States of customs, local octroi or consumption duties, or the creation of reasonable and uniform charges levied in the ports, in accordance with public tariffs, for the use of cranes, elevators, quays, warehouses, etc.
In default of any special organisation for carrying out the works connected with the upkeep and improvement of the international portion of a navigable system, each riparian State shall be bound to take suitable measures to remove any obstacle or danger to navigation and to ensure the maintenance of good conditions of navigation.
If a State neglects to comply with this obligation any riparian State, or any State represented on the International Commission, if there is one, may appeal to the tribunal instituted for this purpose by the League of Nations.
Note to XII, 336
The Organization for Communications and Transit of the League of Nations became the tribunal for the consideration of appeals; for its establishment see article 379.
The same procedure shall be followed in the case of a riparian State undertaking any works of a nature to impede navigation in the international section. The tribunal mentioned in the preceding Article shall be entitled to enforce the suspension or suppression of such works, making due allowance in its decisions for all rights in connection with irrigation, water-power, fisheries, and other national interests, which, with the consent of all the riparian States or of all the States represented on the International Commission, if there is one, shall be given priority over the requirements of navigation.
Appeal to the tribunal of the League of Nations does not require the suspension of the works.
The régime set out in Articles 332 to 337 above shall be superseded by one to be laid down in a General Convention drawn up by the