Act No. 520

An Act Permitting The Issuing Of Special Licenses To Engage In The Coastwise Trade Of The Philippine Islands Until July First, Nineteen Hundred And Four, To Vessels Not Entitled To General Coastwise-Trade Licenses Under The Customs Administrative Act And Authorizing The Fixing Of Maximum Rates For Transportation Of Merchandise And Passengers In The Coastwise Trade

Act No. 520

Coastwise Trade Act

By authority of the United States, be it enacted by the Philippine Commission, that:

Whereas the President of the United States, upon October twenty-third, nineteen hundred and two, signed an executive order providing that “the executive order of July third, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, prescribing the conditions upon which officers of the customs in the Philippine Islands, ceded to the United States by Spain, may issue a certificate of protection entitling the vessel to which it is issued to the protection and flag of the United States on the high seas and in all ports, shall not be deemed to preclude the power and authority of the Philippine Commission to enact laws extending the right or privilege of inter-island or coastwise trade in the Philippine Archipelago to foreign vessels during the period while the laws regulating the coastwise trade of the United States are inapplicable thereto under the provisions of Act of Congress entitled ‘An Act temporarily to provide revenue for the Philippine Islands and for other purposes,’ approved March eighth, nineteen hundred and two:”

Section 1. The Collector of Customs for the Philippine Archipelago is hereby authorized to issue a special coastwise license to any vessel belonging in whole or in part to a citizen of the United States, to a citizen of the Philippine Islands, or to a citizen or subject of any country with which the United States is at peace, entitling said vessel to engage in the coastwise trade of the Philippine Islands upon the terms and conditions hereinafter prescribed.

Section 2. The owner, managing owner, charterer, or master of any vessel for which a special coastwise license is sought shall make application therefor under oath to the Collector of Customs for the Philippine Archipelago, setting forth the name and residence of the owner or owners, the nationality, name, and place of construction of the vessel, her class, gross and net tonnage, number of decks and masts, her length, breadth, and depth, and a statement that the vessel is intended for legitimate trade only.

If satisfied of the bona fide of the application, the Collector of Customs for the Philippine Archipelago shall issue a special coastwise license for a period not to exceed one year, upon the payment of a license fee of one dollar per year for each ton of registered tonnage of the vessel, or at the rate of fifteen cents per registered ton per month for any shorter period: Provided, That in no case shall a license fee of less than fifteen cents per ton be collected.

Section 3. In case the vessel is owned by an incorporated company, the application may be made by the president, vice-president, acting president, or secretary of such company, or by the master of the vessel.

Section 4. Upon the death, removal, or resignation of the person in whose name the license is granted, or of one of the above-mentioned officers of an incorporated company, or of a master of a vessel, whose name appears in the license, a new license must be obtained, and the same shall be issued without charge for the unexpired period of the original license.

Section 5. In assessing the license fee above prescribed, the vessels of the United States, Great Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Austria-Hungary, the German Empire, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Spain, the Netherlands Russia, Finland, Portugal, and Japan, whose registers indicate their gross and net tonnage under their present law, shall be taken to be of the tonnage so expressed in their documents, without admeasurement or charge therefor in the Philippine Islands, but all other vessels shall be subject to the usual admeasurement and fees at the port of Manila before being granted the license above described.

Section 6. Vessels operating under the special coastwise license shall hoist their national ensign, and shall fly at the mainmast the “Philippine coastwise emblem,” which shall consist of a rectangular white flag with one blue and one red star ranged from staff to tip in a horizontal median line.

Section 7. The provisions of section one hundred and thirty-four, one hundred and thirty-six, one hundred and thirty-seven, one hundred and thirty-eight, one hundred and forty-eight, one hundred and forty-nine, one hundred and fifty-two, one hundred and fifty-three, and one hundred and fifty-five of the Philippine Customs Administrative Act shall apply to all vessels, their cargoes, masters, officers, and crews operating or being carried under the special coastwise license hereinbefore authorized.

Section 8. Vessels operating under the special coastwise license, arriving at ports in the Philippine Islands from a port or place outside of the Islands, shall be subject to all the laws, regulations, orders, provisions, fines, forfeitures, and other penalties provided for foreign vessels, for vessels possessing the certificate of protection issued under section one hundred and seventeen of the Philippine Customs Administrative Act when entering from a port or place outside of the Philippine Islands, and for other vessels so entering the Philippine Islands.

Section 9. The master of any vessel engaging in the coastwise trade of the Philippine Islands without being duly licensed in accordance with this Act shall, on conviction, be fined not exceeding five thousand dollars, or imprisoned at hard labor not more than ten years, or both, in the discretion of the court, and the vessel and the cargo may be seized and forfeited.

Section 10. In addition to the penalties prescribed by section three hundred and two of the Philippine Customs Administrative Act, the master of any vessel operating under a special coastwise license which shall have any firearms, gunpowder, cartridges, dynamite, or any other class of explosives or munitions of war, concealed on board the vessel, or not duly manifested, may also, on conviction, be imprisoned at hard labor not more than ten years, in the discretion of the court; and any officer, member of the crew, or other person aboard such vessel, who, having guilty knowledge of the presence on board of such concealed or unmanifested firearms, gunpowder, cartridges, dynamite, or other explosives or munitions of war, shall fail to report, or to make due effort to report, the same to the first authority of the Insular Government with whom communication can be had, shall, on conviction, be fined not more than two thousand dollars, or imprisoned at hard labor not more than five years, or both, in the discretion of the court.

Section 11. In addition to the penalties prescribed by section one hundred and fifty-one of the Philippine Customs Administrative Act, the master of any vessel operating under a special coastwise license which shall enter any closed port in the Philippine Islands without the special permission of the collector of customs at a port of entry shall, on conviction, be fined not to exceed two thousand dollars, or be imprisoned at hard labor not more than five years, or both, in the discretion of the court.

Section 12. Every vessel for which a special coastwise license is sought shall first be required to specially register in the office of the Collector of Customs for the Philippine Archipelago all firearms, side arms, cartridges or ammunition therefor, lead, and other articles on board or in the possession of either crew or passengers, which the Collector of Customs for the Philippine Archipelago may designate for such purpose, in addition to having the same regularly manifested as required by law.

Section 13. The special coastwise license by this Act provided shall not be issued to any vessel having Chinese persons in its crew who are excluded by law from entering the Philippine Islands, until the master of such vessel shall have given bond, conditioned for the payment of five hundred dollars, in money of the United States, for every such Chinese member of the crew who shall escape to the shores of the Philippine Islands from the vessel, and for the payment of the expenses of capture and deportation hereinafter described. The amount of such bond shall be fixed by the Collector of Customs for the Philippine Archipelago and shall contain a provision that, in addition to the payment of the penalties above provided which it secures, it shall also cover the payment of all expenses incident to the capture and deportation of such Chinese members of the crew escaping from such vessel into the Philippine Islands. The bond shall be signed and executed by the master of the vessel and by one or more sufficient sureties, to be approved by the Collector of Customs for the Philippine Archipelago, with whom it shall be filed. In addition to the security of the bond the Collector of Customs shall have authority to seize and hold the vessel until the penalties above provided and imposed, and the expense of capture and deportation of such escaped Chinese person, shall have been paid: Provided, That where such a Chinese member of the crew shall escape to the shores of the Philippine Islands without the connivance of the master or the officers of the vessel, and they, or either of them, shall retake and return to the vessel such Chinaman within five days from the time of his escape, the penalties herein provided may be reduced or remitted by the Collector of Customs for the Philippine Archipelago in his discretion.

Section 14. Upon being informed of the escape of any such Chinese member of the crew of a vessel receiving a special coastwise license under this Act the Collector of Customs for the Philippine Archipelago shall apply to the proper Constabulary, provincial, or municipal authorities for the capture and return of the escaped Chinaman, and, if captured, he shall be deported from the Philippine Islands to the place from which he last sailed at the expense of the master of the vessel from which he escaped, the expense thereof to be collected out of the penalty of the bond in addition to the penalty already imposed.

Section 15. A Chinese member of the crew of a vessel receiving a special coastwise license under this Act escaping from the vessel, as described in sections thirteen and fourteen, may be apprehended upon a warrant issued either by a collector of customs, a justice of the peace, a municipal president, or the judge of a municipal court, upon an affidavit duly filed with said officer setting forth the fact that the person shall named in the warrant is a Chinese member of the crew of a vessel licensed under this Act, the vessel to be named in the warrant, and who had unlawfully escaped from such vessel; and any officer authorized to serve process in the Philippine Islands shall be authorized to serve such warrant and make due return thereof to the officer issuing the warrant.

Section 16. The master of any vessel for which a special coastwise license is sought shall first be required to register in the Office of the Collector of Customs for the Philippine Archipelago all aliens on board his vessel, either as master, officers, members of crew, passengers, or otherwise, who will continue on board while said vessel is engaged in the coastwise trade, by presenting for file separate alien manifests, in duplicate, containing the usual data in regard to all such persons.

Section 17. Vessels operating under a special coastwise license shall be permitted to carry coastwise cargoes from one port of entry to another simultaneously with foreign cargoes, provided that either all of such coastwise merchandise or all of such foreign merchandise be contained in separate holds or compartments, which may be securely fastened and sealed in a manner satisfactory to the customs authorities, and the simultaneous transportation of foreign and coastwise cargoes shall be subject generally to such limitations, bonds, and regulations as the Collector of Customs for the Philippine Archipelago may prescribe.

Section 18. No vessel shall receive a special coastwise license under this Act until the master or owner thereof shall have paid full customs duties upon all sea stores and supplies upon the vessel, which have not been purchased in the Philippine Islands.

Section 19. No foreign merchandise upon which duties have not been paid shall be transported to any but a port of entry in the Philippine Islands, and any violation of the provisions of this section or of those of the two next preceding sections shall render the vessel, her master, officers, and crew, or any other guilty person, subject to all the penalties prescribed by this Act, or otherwise by law, for smuggling and carrying unmanifested goods, and in case any of the goods so transported in violation of law shall be firearms, gunpowder, cartridges, dynamite, or any other class of explosives or munitions of war, the vessel, her master, officers, and crew, and any other guilty person, shall also be subject to all the penalties prescribed by section ten of this Act and section three hundred and two of the Philippine Customs Administrative Act.

Section 20. Vessels operating under a special coastwise license shall be permitted to carry passengers from one port to another in the Philippine Islands.

Section 21. Vessels operating under a special coastwise license shall not be permitted to engage in the lighterage or other exclusively harbor business in the Philippine Archipelago.

Section 22. All special coastwise licenses shall be numbered consecutively, starting with “F1”

Section 23. All vessels operating under the special coastwise license shall pay the regular fees prescribed by Chapter Twenty-two of the Philippine Customs Administrative Act for vessels having a regular first-class coastwise license.

Section 24. Any vessel possessing a certificate of protection issued under section one hundred and seventeen of the Philippine Customs Administrative Act, shall be entitled to the privileges and shall be subject to all the penalties directly or indirectly imposed in sections nineteen, twenty, and twenty-one of this Act, and all vessels engaged in the Philippine coastwise trade on or after the first day of January, nineteen hundred and three, shall fly the Philippine coasting emblem at the mainmast.

Section 25. All vessels engaged in the coastwise trade under this Act or under the Customs Administrative Act are hereby declared to be common carriers and subject to the provisions of Act Numbered Ninety-eight, entitled “An Act to regulate commerce in the Philippine Islands.”

Section 26. It shall be unlawful for two or more masters, owners, or agents of vessels engaged in the coastwise trade under this Act, or under the Customs Administrative Act, to enter into any agreement between themselves to fix, increase, or maintain rates of transportation for passengers or merchandise, or to divide the coastwise trade and business of these Islands, or between any port of the Islands, for the purpose of restraining and avoiding competition; and it shall be the duty of the Collector of Customs, after a due hearing, to withdraw and cancel the license to any vessel to engage in the coastwise trade whose master, owner, or agent shall have entered into such agreement. An appeal from the decision of the Collector will lie to the Court of Customs Appeals in cases arising under this section, as in other cases.

Section 27. The Civil Governor is hereby authorized to appoint a commission of three persons, to membership in which any official of the Insular Government may be eligible, which commission shall exercise the authority and discharge the duties hereinafter prescribed and shall be known as the “Coastwise Rate Commission.” The Coastwise Rate Commission is authorized to classify vessels, merchandise, and passengers for the purpose of carriage in the coastwise trade and to fix the maximum rates to be charged thereunder for the transportation in the several classes of vessels of the various classes of merchandise and passengers from one point to another in the Philippine Islands.

Section 28. Each member of the Coastwise Rate Commission who shall not be an official of the Insular Government shall receive for his services while actually engaged in the work of said Rate Commission a per diem of ten dollars per day, in money of the United States. The Civil Governor is authorized to designate from some one of the Bureaus of the Insular Government a stenographer to act as secretary of the said Rate Commission, during its sessions, to take the evidence and transcribe the same, and to keep the minutes of its proceedings.

It shall be the duty of the Collector of Customs of the Philippine Archipelago to furnish rooms, furniture, and the necessary stationery for the work of the Rate Commission and its secretary. The Rate Commission shall meet at the call of the Civil Governor and may be adjourned from time to time by his order.

Section 29. It shall be the duty of the owner or master of any vessel engaged in the coastwise trade to comply with the requirements of the tariff of maximum rates fixed by the Coastwise Rate Commission as hereinbefore provided, and in case of failure to provide transportation at the prescribed rate, the Collector of Customs for the Philippine Archipelago shall withdraw the license of the vessel to engage in the coastwise trade, and the offending vessel, if it thereafter engages in the coastwise trade, and its owner, master, and officers, shall be liable to the same penalties as those which are imposed upon any vessel, its owner, master, or officers, engaged in the coastwise trade without a license: Provided, however, That if an appeal be taken from the decision of the Coastwise Rate Commission and the tariff fixed by it to the Court of Customs Appeals, as hereinafter provided, and the Court of Customs Appeals shall modify or change the maximum rates fixed by the Coastwise Rate Commission, then the maximum rates as modified by the Court of Customs Appeals shall be observed and obeyed by all vessels engaged in the coastwise trade subject to the penalties hereinbefore provided for violation of the rates of the Coastwise Rate Commission.

Section 30. The maximum rates shall be reasonable, and shall not be fixed as hereinbefore provided, except after a public hearing of all persons or companies engaged as common carriers in the transportation of freight or passengers.

Section 31. Any person deeming himself aggrieved by the order of the Coastwise Rate Commission fixing rates for transportation may appeal from the decision of the Coastwise Rate Commission to the Court of Customs Appeals, to which, upon notice of appeal, the Coastwise Rate Commission shall forward a record of the proceedings before it, including a transcript of all the evidence taken, and of its judgment thereon. The decision of the Court of Customs Appeals shall be final.

Section 32. It shall not be obligatory upon the Civil Governor to appoint the Coastwise Rate Commission herein provided unless he shall deem the rates prescribed to be excessive and such regulation to be necessary.

Section 33. All prosecutions for violations occurring under this Act shall be instituted in the Court of Customs Appeals in the manner provided in the Customs Administrative Act, and all appeals from penalties imposed by the Collector of Customs hereunder shall be taken to the Court of Customs Appeals as in that Act provided.

Section 34. Copies of sections ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, and seventeen of this Act, printed in both English and Spanish in bold type, shall be conspicuously posted in such places aboard vessels operating under a special coastwise license and in such manner the Collector of Customs for the Philippine Archipelago may direct.

Section 35. On and after the first day of December, nineteen hundred and two, the Collector of Customs may, in his discretion, with the approval of the Civil Governor and whenever the public interest shall require, issue a regulation providing that no vessel of more than one hundred and fifty tons of registered tonnage shall be permitted to enter, berth, or moor within the Pasig River for the purpose of loading or discharging cargo, or for any other purpose than to make necessary repairs which could not be made in Manila Bay.

Section 36. All existing decrees, laws, regulations, or orders, or parts thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, are hereby repealed.

Section 37. This Act shall be known and referred to as the “Coastwise Trade Act.”

Section 38. This Act shall take effect on its passage.