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If the period within which the demand for a revision is admissible be very short (as that stipulated in the above mentioned Protocol of Washington of the 22nd of May, 1902), it will very rarely happen that a new fact, giving rise to a revision, will be discovered in time.
If, on the contrary, a rather long period be stipulated, or if the right be accorded of demanding a revision at any time, the obligatory force of the arbitral verdict will remain for a long time or forever in suspense. This does not seem to be at all desirable.
In fact the arbitral verdict will almost always provoke discontent in one of the parties.
If this feeling be not appeased in the shortest possible time by reason of the chose jugée or of the fait accompli the conflict between the nations in litigation may assume an acute character endangering international peace.
Hence the undersigned express the opinion:
That in the compromise the smallest possible use be made of the power accorded by Article LV of The Hague Convention.
Such, Mr. Minister, are the few views and observations that we have the honor to submit to your high approval with the respectful request that they be sent to all the signatory Powers of The Hague Convention for the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes.
Accept, Mr. Minister, the assurances of our high consideration.
TREATY OF COMMERCE AND RIVER NAVIGATION BETWEEN BRAZIL AND
Signed at Rio de Janeiro August 21, 1908.
The Republic of the United States of Brazil and the Republic of Colombia, ever desirous of taking advantage of every opportunity to strengthen their long standing friendly relations and to promote and to facilitate commerce and navigation in the region of the Amazon and at the frontier which has been so happily fixed, have resolved to determine, in a special treaty, the principles and bases of the said commerce and navigation, and for such purpose have named plenipotentiaries as follows:
The President of the Republic of the United States of Brazil, Mr. José Maria da Silva Paranhos do Rio Branco, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Enéas Martins, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary on special mission to Colombia; and
The President of the Republic of Colombia, Mr. Luis Tanco Argáez, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Brazil;
Who, after having exchanged their full powers, which were found in good and due from, have agreed on the following articles:
The navigation of the rivers recognized as common to Brazil and Colombia by their boundary treaty of April 24, 1907,1 is absolutely free to Brazilian and Colombian merchant vessels and for the latter there shall likewise be free the navigation of the Amazon and of the other rivers which Brazil has opened or may open in the future to the commerce of all nations and which are not the subject of a special agreement between the two countries.
Brazilian and Colombian vessels shall be subject to the revenue and police regulations now established or which may be established by each of two republics within its territorial limits.
In this freedom of navigation coasting trade or commerce from port
1 SUPPLEMENT, 3:97.
to port of the same country is not included and shall continue in each of the two states subject to the respective laws.
The revenue and police regulations, to which the above article refers, shall be as favorable to commerce and navigation and as uniform in the two countries as possible.
Brazilian and Colombian vessels owned and named according to the laws of their respective countries shall be considered Brazilian in the ports of Colombia and Colombian in the ports of Brazil.
Absolutely no duty shall be levied upon merchandise, whatever the nationality of the vessel, in transit on the Amazon River, nor upon merchandise in transit on the rivers to which the present treaty refers if the vessel be Brazilian or Colombian, even though the trans-shipment of the said merchandise from one vessel to another in the customs ports of the two countries or its passage to the river or land entrepots or deposits with a view to awaiting another vessel should become necessary. In this last case, the charges for the handling and storage shall be paid in accordance with the legislation of each country.
The packages which contain merchandise in transit shall not be opened by the customs authorities of the intermediate ports.
Except for the use of stamped paper or stamps, no tax shall be collected for the documents relating to the dispatch in transmit of stored merchandise.
In place of the old taxes, called lighthouse and buoy taxes, for the benefit of navigation, Brazil and Colombia shall collect in their river ports only the tonnage tax upon the total capacity of the vessel.
This tax shall affect only such vessels as discharge in the said ports, except those which do so because of force majeure.
The maximum tax per ton shall be:
Sixteen milreis in Brazil and five dollars gold in Colombia for vessels of 30 to 150 tons;
Thirty-two milreis in Brazil and ten dollars gold in Colombia for vessels of 150 to 200 tons;
Forty-eight milreis in Brazil and fifteen dollars gold in Colombia for vessels of 200 to 400 tons;
Sixty-four milreis in Brazil and twenty dollars gold in Colombia for vessels of 400 to 700 tons;
Eighty milreis in Brazil and twenty-five dollars gold in Colombia for vessels over 700 tons.
There are exempted from payment of the tonnage tax :
1. Warships and transports provided they do not carry articles for mercantile use;
2. Merchant ships displacing less than 30 tons;
3. Vessels which are cruising for official reasons or for purely scientific purposes or for pleasure; and
4. Vessels which put into a harbor because of force majeure, provided they sail with the same cargo in transit or this has been trans-shipped and continues to its destination.
With the exception of the charges for handling and storage, under the conditions stated in Article IV, of the charges for stamped paper and for stamps mentioned in Article VI and of the tonnage tax which is treated of in Articles VII and VIII, trade by river as well as by land shall be burdened, neither directly nor indirectly, by any tax, no matter what its name or object may be.
No nationality shall be ascribed to merchandise. Consequently merchandise of foreign origin which shall be exported from Brazil for Colombia or from Colombia for Brazil shall pay in both countries the respective charges.
For the purpose of dispatching articles in transit for importation or exportation Brazil may maintain customs agents in the customs houses
or revenue posts which Colombia has established or shall establish in the regions to which the present treaty refers. In reciprocation, Colombia may maintain customs agents in the Brazilian customs houses of Pará or of Manáos and in the other customs posts which Brazil has established or shall establish in these regions.
The vessels employed in the transit commerce may carry revenue agents of both countries, according to the requirements of the service, for the purpose of verifying the destination or the origin of the merchandise.
Brazil and Colombia shall enjoy the additional rights and concessions which, in regard to the commerce and river navigation, each of them has recognized or conceded or shall recognize or concede to the other states which are or may be considered riparian as regards the Amazon or its branches.
The warships and transports of Brazil may navigate freely the Colombian waters of Yapurá and Caquetá and the warships and transports of Colombia may navigate freely the Brazilian waters of Yapurá and Caquetá and the Amazon and the other rivers which Brazil has opened or shall open to foreign navigation, the two states reserving the right to limit, by mutual agreement, the number of warships which may navigate the waters under their respective jurisdictions.
Warships and transports temporarily receiving or carrying articles for mercantile use, shall be subject to the revenue and police regulations of the country through which they pass.
Any disagreement as to the meaning or execution of this treaty shall be adjusted by arbitration.
With the exception of the stipulation of Article I regarding the free navigation of the rivers recognized as common property by the boundary treaty of April 24, 1907, a right which both countries have recognized in it as perpetual, the present treaty shall be binding for ten years counting from the day of exchange of ratifications and shall continue in force