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Contraband

articles, country, trade, machinery, prohibitions, importation and enforced

CONTRABAND, from the Italian Contrabandu, against the proclamation, a term commonly used iu commercial lan guage to denote articles the importation or exportation of which is prohibited by law. Since the adoption of the ware housing system in Great Britain, the list of goods the importation of which is pro hibited has been made exceedingly short : it comprises at this time (1845) only the following articles:— Arms, ammunition, and utensils of war, by way of merchandise, except by license from his Majesty for the public stores only.

Books first printed in the United King dom, and reprinted in any other country and imported for sale. Notice must be given by authors or others to the Com missioners of Customs, that copyright is subsisting.

Clocks or watches, with any mark or stamp representing any legal British assay mark or stamp, or purporting to be of British make, or not having the came and abode of some foreign maker visible on the frame and the face, or not being complete.

Foreign goods bearing the names or marks of manufacturers in the United Kingdom are forfeited on importation.

Coin, counterfeit, or not of the esta blished standard in weight and fineness.

Malt.

Snuff-work, tobacco-stalks, and tobacco stalk flour.

The list of articles contraband as re gards exportation from the United King dom is still more limited, and comprises only the following articles :— Clocks and watches: the outward or inward case or dial-plate of any clock or watch without the movement complete, and with the clock or watchmaker's name engraved thereon.

Lace made of inferior metal, in whole or in part, to imitate gold or silver lace.

The schedule of prohibitions to im portations was formerly much more ex tensive. Under the Customs' Act of 3 & 4 Wm. IV. c. 56, cattle, sheep, fresh beef and pork, or slightly salted, and fish were contraband ; but under the tariff established by 5 & 6 Vict. c. 47, they have ceased to be contraband. Tools, utensils, and machinery were also con traband, but the restriction with respect to machinery was very much relaxed under the power given by act of parliament to the Board of Trade to license upon appli cation the exportation of such tools and machines as in the opinion of the Board might without inconvenience be allowed to go out of the country ; and the restric tion was at length limited almost entirely to machinery required for the prosecution of the processes of spinning various kinds of yarn. The act 6 & 7 Viet. c. 84, re

peals, with some exceptions, the pro hibition against machinery.

There are some other prohibitions by which trade in certain articles is restricted, but these refer to the manner in which the trade may be conducted, as the sire of the ship, or the package, or the country from or to which the trading may take place, and these being only of the nature of regulations, the articles in question cannot be considered contraband. Of this nature are the prohibitions which extend to our colonies, and which have for their object the encouragement of the trade of the mother country. The list of articles prohibited by many foreign countries is much larger than that enforced in this country.

Another sense in which the term Con traband is applied refers to certain branches of trade carried on by neutrals during the continuance of war between other countries. It has always been held under these circumstances that belli gerents have a right to treat as contra band, and to capture and confiscate, all goods which can be considered munitions of war, under which description are com prehended everything that can be made directly and obviously available to a hos tile purpose, such as arms, ammunition, and all kinds of naval stores, and all such other articles as are capable of being used with a like purpose, such as horses, and timber for building ships. Under some circumstances, provisions which it is at tempted to convey to an enemy's port are contraband, as when a hostile armament is in preparation in that port. These re strictions rest upon principles which are reasonable in themselves, and have been generally recognised by neutrals ; others which have at various times been enforced or attempted to be enforced have been contested, but a description of this branch of the subject belongs rather to the matter of International Law than to a descrip tion of contraband trading.