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custom house tolls, tonnage, anchorage, light-house, wharf, pilot, or quarantine dues, nor any other charges or taxes of any kind shall be levied or imposed by the Government of Colombia upon any vessel using or passing through the canal or belonging to or employed by the United States, directly or indirectly, in connection with the construction, maintenance, and operation of the main work or its auxiliaries, or upon the cargo, officers, crew, or passengers of any such vessel; it being the intent of this convention that all vessels and their cargoes, crews, and passengers shall be permitted to use and pass through the canal and the ports leading thereto, subject to no other demands or impositions than such tolls and charges as may be imposed by the United States for the use of the canal and other works. It being understood that such tolls and charges shall be equal for vessels of all nations.
The ports leading to the canal also shall be free to the commerce of the world, and no duties or taxes shall be imposed, except upon merchandise destined to be introduced for the consumption of the rest of the Republic of Colombia, or the department of Panama, and upon vessels touching at the ports of Colon and Panama and which do not cross the canal." Though the said ports shall be free and open to all, the Government of Colombia may establish in them such custom-houses and guards as Colombia may deem necessary to collect duties on importations destined to other portions of Colombia and to prevent contraband trade. The United States shall have the right to make use of the ports at the two extremities of the canal as places of anchorage, in order to make repairs for loading, unloading, depositing, or transshipping cargoes either in transit or destined for the service of the canal.
ARTICLE IX. There shall not be imposed any taxes-national, municipal, departmental, or of any other class-upon the canal, the vessels that may use it, tugs and other vessels employed in the service of the canal, the railways and auxiliary works, storehouses, workshops, offices, quarters for laborers, factories of all kinds, warehouses, wharves, machinery and other works, property, and effects appertaining to the canal or railroad or that may be necessary for the service of the canal or railroad and their dependencies, whether situated within the cities of Panama and Colon or any other place authorized by the provisions of this convention.
Nor shall there be imposed contributions or charges of a personal character of whatever species upon officers, employees, laborers, and other individuals in the service of the canal and its dependencies.
It is agreed that telegraph and telephone lines, when established for canal purposes, may also, under suitable regulations, be used for public and private business in connection with the systems of Colombia and the other American Republies and with the lines of cable companies authorized to enter the ports and territory of these Republics; but the official dispatches of the Government of Colombia and the authorties of the Department of Panama shall not pay for such service higher tolls than those required from the otlicials in the service of the United States.
The Government of Colombia shall permit the immigration and free access to the lands and workshops of the canal enterprises of all employees and workmen of whatever nationality under contract to work upon the said canal and its dependencies, with their respective families, and all such persons shall be free and exempt from the military service of the Republic of Colombia.
The United States may import at any time into the said Zone, free of customs duties, imposts, taxes, or other charges, and without any restrietion, any and all vessels, dredges, engines, cars, machinery, tools, explosives, materials, supplies, and other articles necessary and convenient in the construction, maintenance, and operation of the canal and auxiliary works; also all provisions, medicines, clothing, supplies, and other things necessary and convenient for the officers, employees, workmen, and laborers in the service and employ of the United States within the said Zone and for their families. If any such articles are disposed of for use without the Zone and within the territory of the Republic, they shall be subject to the same import or other duties as like articles under the laws of Colombia or the ordinances of the Department of Panama.
The United States shall have authority within the said Zone to protect and make secure the canal, as well as railways and other auxiliary works, and to preserve order and discipline among the laborers and other persons who may congregate in that region in consequence of the proposed work.
The Governments of Colombia and the United States shall agree upon the regulations necessary for said purpose, as well as to the capture and delivery of criminals to the respective authorities. Special reyulations also shall be agreed upon, in the manner aforesaid, for the establishment of laws and jurisdiction to decide controversies that may arise respecting contracts relative to the construction and management of the canal and its dependencies, as well as to the trial and punishment of crimes that may be committed within the said zone of the canal.
The works of the canal, the railways, and their auxiliaries shall be declared of public utility, and in consequence all areas of land and water necessary for the construction, maintenance, and operation of the canal and the other specified works may be expropriated in conformity with the laws of Colombia, except that the indemnity shall be conclusively determined, without appeal by a joint commission appointed by the Governments of Colombia and the United States.
The indeninities awarded by the commission for such expropriation shall be borne by the United States, but the appraisal of said lands and the assessment of damages shall be based upon their value before the commencement of the work upon the canal.
The Republic of Colombia grants to the United States the use of all the ports of the Republic open to commerce as places of refuge for any vessels employed in the canal enterprise, and for all vessels in distress having the right to pass through the canal and wishing to anchor in said ports. Such vessels shall be exempt from anchorage and tonnage dues on the part of Colombia.
The canal, when constructed, and the entrances thereto shall be neutral in perpetuity, and shall be opened upon equal terms to the vessels of all nations at uniform tonnage and other rates that may be imposed in virtue of the stipulations of this convention and in conformity with the stipulations
of the treaty entered into by the Governments of the United States and Great Britain on November 18, 1901, and known as the Hay-Pauncefote treaty.
The Government of Colombia shall have the right to transport over the canal its vessels, troops, and munitions of war at all times without paying charges of any kind. This exemption is to be extended to the auxiliary railway for the transportation of persons in the service of the Republic of Colombia or of the department of Panama, or of the police force charged with the preservation of public order, as well as to their baggage, munitions of war, and supplies.
The United States shall have full power and authority to establish and enforce regulations for the use of the canal, railways, and the entering ports and auxiliary works, and to fix rates of tolls and charges thereof, subject to the limitations stated in Article XVI.
The rights and privileges granted to the United States by this convention shall not affect the sovereignty of the Republic of Colombia over the real estate that may be acquired by the United States by reason of the transfer of the rights of the New Panama Canal Company and the Panama Railroad Company lying outside of the said canal zone.
If, by virtue of any existing treaty between the Republic of Colombia and any third power, there may be privileges or concessions relative to an interoceanic means of communication which especially favors such third power, and which in any of its terms may be incompatible with the terms of the present convention, the Republic of Colombia agrees to cancel or modify such treaty in due form, for which purpose it shall give to the said third power the requisite notification within the term of four months from the date of the present convention; and
in case the existing treaty contains no clause permitting their involuntary annulment, the Republic of Colombia agrees to procure its modification or annulment in such form that there shall not exist any conflicts with the stipulations of the present convention.
The rights and privileges granted by the Republic of Colonbia to the United States in the preceding articles are understood to be free of all anterior concessions or privileges to other governments, corpora tions, syndicates, or individuals, and consequently, if there should arise any claims on account of the present concessions and privileges, tbe claimants shall resort to the Government of Colombia and not to the United States for any indemnity or compromise which may be required.
The Government of Colombia renounces the participation to which it might be entitled in the future earnings of the canal under Article XV of the contract with the “Universal Panama Canal Company," and it likewise renounces, now and hereafter, all the rights reserved in the said concession which shall belong to Colombia at the expiration of the term of ninety-nine years of the concession granted to the abovementioned company.
If it should become necessary at any time to employ armed forces for the safety or protection of the canal, or of the ships that make use of the same, or the railways and other works, the Republic of Colombia agrees to provide the forces necessary for such purpose, according to the circumstances of the case; but if the Government of Colombia can not effectively comply with this obligation, then, with the consent of or at the request of Colombia, or of her minister at Washington, or of the local authorities, civil or military, the United States shall employ such force as may be necessary for that sole purpose, and as soon as the necessity shall have ceased will withdraw the forces so employed. Under exceptional circumstances, however, on account of unforeseen or imminent danger to said canal, railways, and other works, or to the lives and property of the persons employed upon the canal, railways, and other works, the Government of the United States is authorized to act in the interest of their protection, without the necessity of obtaining the consent beforehand of the Government of Colombia; and it shall give immediate advice of the measures adopted for the purpose stated; and as soon as sufficient Colombian forces shall arrive to attend to the indicated purpose, those of the United States shall retire.
The Government of the United States agrees to complete the construction of the preliminary works necessary, together with all the auxiliary works, in the shortest time possible; and within two years from the date of the exchange of ratitication of this convention the main works of this canal proper shall be commenced, and it shall be
opened to the traffic between the two oceans within twelve years after such period of two years. In case, however, that any difficulties or obstacles should arise in the construction of the canal which are at present impossible to foresee, in consideration of the good faith with which the Government of the United States shall have proceeded, and the large amount of money expended so far on the works and the nature of the difficulties which may have arisen, the Government of Colombia will prolong the terms stipulated in this article to twelve years more for the completion of the work of the canal.
As the price or compensation for the right to use the zone granted in this convention by Colombia to the United States for the construction of a canal, together with the proprietary right over the Panama Railroad, and for the annuity of $250,000 gold, which Colombia ceases to receive from the said railroad, as well as in compensation for other rights, privileges, and exemptions granted to the United States, and in consideration of the increase in the administrative expenses of the department of Panama consequent upon the construction of the said canal; the Government of the United States binds itself to pay Colombia the amount of $7,000,000 in American gold on the exchange of the ratification of this convention after its approval by the legislative bodies of both countries, and fourteen years after the date aforesaid a fair and reasonable annuity, that shall be agreed upon by the contracting Governments three years before the expiration of the above-mentioned term of fourteen years.
In fixing this fair and reasonable annuity there shall be taken into consideration the present price of the usufruct of the railway as well as the compensation that is to be stipulated for the use of the zone and for the additional administrative expenses that the construction of the eanal will impose upon Colombia; and also the advanced payment of $7,000,000 and the comparative cost and conditions upon which the United States reasonably could have expected to acquire concessions satisfactory to it in respect of any other canal route.
Three years before the expiration of each term of one hundred years the annuity for the following term shall be fixed in a similar manner.
But in the event that the parties are unable to come to an understanding within the periods above referred to as to such fair and reasonable annuity, then before the second year prior to the termination of the periods above referred to, the contracting parties shall proceed to constitute a high commission, to be composed of five members, of whom two shall be appointed by Colombia, two by the United States, and the fifth (who shall be the president of such high commission) shall be the president, for the time being, of the International Peace Tribunal of the Hague; and the determination reached by said commission, by a majority vote, concerning such fair and reasonable innuity that is to be paid to Colombia by the United States in conformity with this article, shall be binding upon the contracting parties.
But no delay nor difference of opinion in fixing such amount shall affect nor interrupt the full operation and effect of this convention in all other respects,