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Import Duty  by DADGAD

 Some time later… (The Meeting Continues)

We need... a Certificate of Origin countersigned and validated by an official representative of the country where it was manufactured. Can you tell me where and when the sword was made?

Thenweg’s impeccable composure was starting to fray at the edges a fraction. Surely the King could recognise that ‘wrought by Telchar in the depths of time, in the lost city of Nogrod’ was not a sufficient description for a Certificate of Origin of an imported weapon? And that despite its history and special nature (admittedly it had once cut off a finger of the Dark Lord himself) it still needed an ‘independent weapons testing certificate’ to comply with the law? It almost felt like the King was being deliberately obtuse on these points, but that surely couldn’t be the case? It was Angren that rescued the situation.

‘Excuse me Your Grace, is my understanding correct, the weapon was completely remade in Imladris, having lain shattered in pieces for three thousand years?’ Yes, the King confirmed that was the case. It had been reforged by Elven smiths with some input and advice from the Dwarf Gimli, son of Gloin. ‘So, everything except the hilt, the grip guard and pommel, had been melted, hammered and reforged? ‘Well,’ continued Angren, ‘that sounds like the larger part of the sword was in fact remade in Imladris rather than Nogrod. Master Thenweg, can we not state Imladris as the place of origin on the Import Certificate?

Thenweg paused. ‘Well yes, I suppose we could, but does that help us at all? Imladris is supposedly many leagues to the Far North? Are Elves still there? Can we get documentation about Anduril from all that way? Your Grace, I believe you have brothers there, do you think they could help us? 

‘My foster brothers still live in Imladris, but I do not know when they plan to next come here,’ commented the King, ‘I suppose I could write them a letter outlining the document, we need - what did you call it, a ‘Certificate of Origin’? Master Thenweg, if you could prepare a description of even an example of what we need, to send to them? I have no idea how long it would take to get a response as they are often away from home.’

‘Now what about a Certificate of Quality from a recognised Independent Assessor of Metal-making skills’ said Thenweg thoughtfully. ‘Angren, do you think we can find such an Assessor in Minas Tirith?’  

‘Well, there are plenty of skilled weapon makers in our Guild, but I’m not sure any of them have ever produced a Certificate of Quality before, so I’m not sure how they could be described as ‘recognised’. And as well, would they be truly independent when they are being asked to judge a sword made by what some would consider a foreign manufacturer?’  Angren was certainly doing his best to comply with both the letter and spirit of the regulations, thought the King, with a sigh.

‘A truly Independent Assessor probably implies someone from ‘outwith Gondor’’, continued Angren, ‘but who has craftsmen recognised in the area of sword-making? The swords of the Rohirrim are serviceable, but of no special reputation, those of Dale used to be of high quality before the coming of the Dragon, but I know little of them now, we can hardly ask in Harad or Umbar, and Elven smiths would not be considered independent… 

… wait a minute, what about the Dwarves? They are famous craftsmen in metal and stone, do you think we could get an expert from Erebor?  That would certainly be independent!’ 

‘Hmm’ responded Thenweg, ‘perhaps Master Gimli could help? Is he in Minas Tirith at the moment? That would certainly speed things up’

‘Sadly not, said Aragorn, ‘he left the city after overseeing last summer’s work on the gates here. He may be back in Erebor, but I know he was planning a project in the west of Rohan, in the caves at the Hornburg’. It may take a few letters to track him down. But at least, Master Thenweg, we are agreed that we could ask him about the ‘Certificate of Quality’ and he would be a suitably independent assessor? Is that not everything covered now?’

‘Hmm let me see,’ said Thenweg ‘we have discussed the End-user form, the Criminal Records Check, the unique nature of Anduril, the Certificate of Origin, and the Certificate of Quality, there just seems to be one last form here. Yes, it refers to the transport of the imported device. Typically, goods will be despatched from the manufacturer via some form of transport, either overland or via sea. So, there should be a document, stating how the sword was delivered from the point of manufacture to the owner in Minas Tirith, its value, the point at which ownership was transferred, and a receipt from the transporting organisation.’


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