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Navigation Laws

american, vessels, vessel and foreign

NAVIGATION LAWS. Very little change has been made in the navigation laws of the United States since their adoption in 1792-1793. The main fea tures of these laws may be summed up as follows: No vessel, unless entirely built in this country and wholly owned and officered by Americans, is considered an American vessel having the right to be protected by the American flag. No foreign vessel is permitted to engage in the American coasting trade, the same extending from Atlantic to Pacific ports. American vessels are no longer consid ered as such if even a part-owner (with a few exceptions) resides abroad for a short time. Transfer of an American vessel to foreigners prohibits it from ever again sailing under the American flag. If an American vessel makes any i repairs in a foreign port,_ duty must be paid on the value of all such repairs on her return to this country. The repair ing of foreign vessels in our ports, with foreign materials, is placed under restric tion. A tax of six cents per ton of their burden, called a tonnage tax, is imposed on all vessels (except fishing and pleas ure vessels) engaged in trade to ports not in North or Central America and a few other specified places, the maximum aggregate tax in any one year not ex ceeding 30 cents. Foreign vessels pay the same tax, but if one of the officers of an American vessel is a foreigner, it mended the sea, but their power waned between 870 and 650 B. C., and Carthage,

a Phoenician colony, gradually surpassed the parent state in sea-power. One of the earliest recorded sea-fights was the battle of Salamis, 480 B. C., when the Greeks under Themistocles defeated the fleet of Xerxes, which marked the turn ing point in the last Persian invasion. A Carthaginian vessel wrecked on the coast of Italy supplied the Romans with the model for their navy. The first great naval battle of the Romans was fought 260 B. C. off the Lipari Islands when Duilius defeated a superior Carthagin ian fleet under Hannibal.

The galley, the warship of the Greeks, is forced to pay an additional tax of 50 cents. Materials for the construction of vessels for foreign trade may be im ported free of duty, but the duty must be paid if the vessel engages for more than two months a year in the coasting trade. American vessels may unload at any port of delivery in the customs district, but foreign vessels can only discharge their cargoes at a port of entry, which is a certain designated port in each cus toms district in the United States. Ex ceptions are made when they are laden with coal, salt, or similar merchandise in bulk.