CUSTOMS DUTY STORES CONSUMED ON BOARD PUBLIC VESSEL : WHETHER NEW GUINEA GOVERNMENT VESSEL IS PUBLIC VESSEL AND PERMITTED TO SHIP STORES EX WAREHOUSE
CUSTOMS ACT 1901, Part VII
The State Collector, Queensland, on 6 August 1902, telegraphed to the Comptroller-General as follows:
Is the New Guinea Government steam vessel Merrie England used as a patrol vessel amongst the Islands to be allowed to ship stores ex warehouse for use of crew on the Australian coast? Prior to federation, she was allowed use of stores same as vessel of war.
The Minister for Trade and Customs referred the matter to the Minister for External Affairs, asking, 'Does the Merrie England belong to the Commonwealth, or how does the matter stand?'
The Minister for External Affairs refers the matter to me. The Secretary for External Affairs states that the vessel is owned and controlled by the Government of British New Guinea.
I am of opinion that the Merrie England is a public vessel of the possession of British New Guinea (see Hall, International Law, §44), and that therefore in accordance with my opinion of 12 May 1902(1), the provisions of the Customs Act as to duty on stores consumed on board do not apply to her. She may therefore be allowed to ship stores ex warehouse for the use of the crew on the Australian coast.
[Vol. 2, p. 221]
(1) Opinion No. 62