SHIP'S PAPERS. The papers or docu ments required for the manifestation of the ownership and national character of a 'ves sel and her cargo, and to show her compli ance with the revenue and navigation laws of the country to which she The want of these papers or any of them renders the character of a vessel suspicious ; 2 Boulay-Paty, Droit Com. 14 ; and the use of false or simulated papers frequently sub jects the vessel to confiscation ; 15 East 46, 70, 364 ; or avoid an insurance, unless the insurer has stipulated that she may such papers ; id.
The absence of any one of a ship's roper papers is not conclusive against the good faith of the ship; 1 Kent *157. Spoliation of ship's papers is an aggravated ground of suspicion and is said to be almost conclusive of guilt ; 1 Dods. 480; but it is not of itself a ground of condemnation; The Pizarro, 2 Wheat. (U. S.) 227, 4 L. Ed. 226.
A. ship's papers are of two sorts: first, those required by the law of the particular country to which the ship belongs: as, the certificate of registry or of enrolment, the license, the crew-list, the shipping articles, clearance, etc. ; and, second, such as are re quired by the law of nations to be on board of neutral ships as evidence of their title to that character: as, the sea brief or letter, or passport ; the proofs of property in the ship, as bills of sale, etc.; the charter-par ty ; the bills of lading; the invoices; the crew-list or muster-roll ; the log-book, and the bill of health. M'Culloch, Com. Diet.
The following constitute a ship's papers according to 1 Kent *157 ; a certificate of registry, sea-letter, muster-roll, log-book, charter-party, invoice, and bill of lading. As
to what are ship's papers under the rules of various foreign nations, see 2 Halleck, Int. L., Baker's ed. 98.
The register, or other document in lieu thereof, together with the clearance and oth er papers granted by the officers of the cus toms to any foreign vessel, at her departure from the port from which she may have ar rived, are required to be produced to the col lector of any United States port previous to her entry. The master is required, within forty-eight hours after entry, to deposit the papers with the consul or vice-consul of the nation to which the vessel belongs, and to deliver to the collector of the port the cer tificate of such consul or vice-consul that he has done so ; R. S. § 4209.
An application by a vice-consul for a per mit for a vessel to depart, a bill of lading signed by the captain, a license to sail, a certificate of the custom-house official that the vessel had paid its tax for hospital dues, and a bill of health signed by the maritime sub-delegate; the bill of lading being identi fied by the mate and the other papers being official documents under seal executed by the Chilian authorities, are entitled to confidence and should be admitted in evidence as demi ments of a public nature; Grace v. Browne, 86 Fed. 156, 29 C. C. A. 621. It is not neces sary that they should be confirmed and sanc tioned by the ordinary tests of truth; id., citing 1 Greenl. Ev. § 423.
See SEA LETTER.