Belgian-American Diplomacy - Convention Relative to Import Duties and Capitalization of Scheldt Dues: May 20, 1863(1)
Art 1 Art 2 Art 3 Art 4 Art 5
Declaration annexed to the additional convention

Concluded May 20, 1863;
Ratification advised by the Senate February 26,1864;
Ratified by the President March 5, 1864;
Ratifications ex-changed June 24, 1864;
Proclaimed November 18, 1864.

The President of the United States of America on the one side, His Majesty the King of the Belgians on the other side, having deemed it advantageous to complete, by new stipulations the treaty of commerce and navigation entered into by the United States and Belgium on the 17th day of July, 1858, have resolved to make a convention in addition to that arrangement, and have appointed for their Plenipotentiaries, namely:

The President of the United States, Henry Shelton Sanford, a citizen of the United States, their Minister Resident near His Majesty the King of the Belgians; His Majesty the King of the Belgians, the Sieur Charles Rogier, Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold, decorated with the Iron Cross, Grand Cross of the Order of the Ernestine Branch of Saxony, of the Polar Star of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus, of our Lady of the Conception of Villa Vicosa, of the Legion of Honor, of the White Eagle. &c., a member of the Chamber of Representatives, his Minister of Foreign Affairs;

Who, after having communicated to each other their full powers, found to be in good and proper form., have agreed upon the following articles:


From and after the day when the capitalization of the duties levied upon navigation in the Scheldt(2) shall have been secured by a general arrangement:

1st. The tonnage dues levied in Belgian ports shall cease.

2d. Fees for pilotage in Belgian ports and in the Scheldt, in so far as it depends on Belgium, shall be reduced twenty per centum for sailing vessels, twenty-five per centum for vessels in tow, thirty per centum for steam-vessels.

3d. Port dues and other charges levied by the city of Antwerp shall be throughout reduced.


In derogation to the ninth article of the treaty of the 17th of July, 1858, the flag of the United States shall be assimilated to that of Belgium for the transportation of salt.


The tariff of import duties resulting from the treaty of the 1st of May, 1861, between Belgium and France, is extended to goods imported from the United States, on the same conditions with which it was extended to Great Britain by the treaty of the twenty-third of July, eighteen hundred and sixty-two.

The reduction made by the treaties entered into by Belgium with Switzerland on the eleventh of December, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, with Italy on the ninth of April, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, with the Netherlands on the 12th of May, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, and also with France on the twelfth of May, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, shall be, equally applied to goods imported from the United States.

It is agreed that Belgium shall also extend to the United States the reductions of import duties which may result from her subsequent treaties with other powers.


The United States, in view of the proposition made by Belgium to regulate, by a common accord, the capitalization of the Scheldt dues, consents to contribute to this capitalization under the following conditions:

a. The capital sum shall not exceed thirty-six millions of francs.

b. Belgium shall assume for its part one-third of that amount.

c. The remainder shall be apportioned among the other States, pro rata to their navigation in the Scheldt.

d. The proportion of the United States, to be determined in accordance with this rule, shall not exceed the sum of two millions seven hundred and seventy-nine thousand two hundred francs.

e. The payment of the said proportion shall be made in ten annual installments of equal amount, which shall include the capital and the interest on the portion remaining unpaid at the rate of four per centum.

The first installment shall be payable at Brussels, on the first day of April, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, or immediately after the Congress of the United States shall have made the requisite appropriation. In either event, the interest shall commence to run on the date of the first of April, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, above mentioned.

The Government of the United States reserves the right of anticipating the payment of the proportion of the United States.

The above-mentioned conditions for the capitalization of the Scheldt dues shall be inserted in a general treaty, to be adopted by a conference of the maritime States interested, and in which the United States shall be represented.


The Articles I. and IV. of the present additional convention shall be, perpetual; and the remaining articles shall, together with the treaty of commerce and navigation made between the high contracting parties on the seventeenth of July, eighteen hundred and fifty-eight, have the same force and duration as the treaties mentioned in Article III.

The ratifications thereof shall be exchanged with the least possible delay.

In faith whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the present convention, and have affixed thereto their seals.

Made in duplicate. and signed at Brussels the twentieth day of May, eighteen hundred and sixty-three.


Declaration annexed to the additional convention signed this day between the United States and Belgium:

The Plenipotentiary of the United States having required that the attributions, of the Consuls of the United States in Belgium should become the object of farther stipulations, and it having been impracticable to complete in season the examination of the said stipulations, it is agreed that the Belgian Government will continue that examination with the sincere intent to come to an agreement as early as may be possible.

Done at Brussels, in duplicate, the twentieth of May, eighteen hundred and sixty-three.


(1) The articles of this treaty not transitory have been superseded by the treaty of 1875.Back

(2) A river that originates in northern France and flows through Belgium and the Netherlands on it way to the North Sea. (Note added by the Avalon Project). Back

Treaties, Conventions, International Acts and Agreements Between the United States of America and Other Powers 1776-1909.
Compiled by William M. Malloy
Under Resolution of the Senate of January 18, 1909
Washington : Government Printing Office, 1910.
127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.