Jurisdiction in Marginal Seas: With Special Reference to Smuggling

By William E. Masterson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
DISCUSSION OF THE RUSSIAN FISHERY AND CUS-
TOMS LAWS, TAKING JURISDICTION FOR FOUR
LEAGUES, BY THE UNITED STATES, GREAT
BRITAIN, RUSSIA, AND JAPAN, 1910-1912

§ 60. The Russian Customs Law

In 1910, Russia promulgated a law which reads:

"To interpret in the following manner the fourth paragraph of the supplement to paragraph 2 of the Customs regulations ( Collection of Laws, volume VI, Edition of 1904).

"1. The Surface of the water for twelve marine miles from extreme low-water mark from the seacoasts of the Russian Empire, whether mainland or islands, is recognized as the Marine Customs area, within the limits of which every vessel, whether Russian or foreign, is subject to supervision by those Russian authorities in whose charge is the guarding of the frontiers of the Empire.

"The President of the Council of Empire,

December 10, 1909. "M. AKIMOFF."1

It should be noted that this law goes rather far in subjecting "every vessel" to supervision within twelve miles of the shore, whereas English and American legislation has always been confined to craft known to be engaged in or attempting to engage in illicit trade with the coast, or whose conduct invites suspicion. If the Russian law is interpreted literally, it authorizes supervision of all vessels, including those passing innocently

____________________
1
U S. Forn. Rel., 1912, p. 1289.

-286-

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