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Import Duty  by DADGAD

Bills of Lading

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.’

’Transporting organisation?’ the King looked puzzled, ‘but that was …’

‘Yes,’ said Thenweg, becoming suddenly enthusiastic, ‘for example in the event of the imported items being transported by sea, we’d need a receipt from the ship’s Master, I think it’s called a ‘Bill of Lading’, stating that the goods had been received and inspected - that the item was a sword and not anything else, as described on the end-user certificate and the certificate of quality. Also, the Bill of Lading would state the point at which the item changed ownership. For example, ownership might change at the point the sword is taken onto the ship before it starts its journey, which is called ‘Free on Board’ if I recall rightly, or it might only change when the ship arrives at the destination port, which I believe is called ‘ex ship’…

Aragorn, recognising Thenweg’s increasing enthusiasm for the topic, made a hasty intervention. ‘Surely all this is irrelevant to my case, I was carrying Anduril myself the whole time?! We don’t need any of these receipts, bills or whatever?’

Thenweg looked pained at his King, who clearly hadn’t grasped all the implications of what his loyal advisor was saying. ’The trouble with that, Your Grace, is that a person who brings in a weapon claiming it’s for personal use, might actually be seeking to resell or otherwise trade the weapon. If we let people self-certify like that, we’d get all the wine merchants claiming their 10 barrels of Dorwinion were for personal use, and so should not be charged any excise duty. Where would it stop? People refusing to pay road tolls and taxes because they were not travelling for commercial purposes? And Your Grace did say that you wished to comply with all the laws imposed on your subjects?’

‘Are you comparing me with a smuggler?’ Aragorn looked as if he was about to finally lose patience, when Angren intervened. ‘Excuse me your Grace, but all this talk of ships has reminded me. Didn’t you come to Gondor on a ship? That you had taken from the Corsairs? Couldn’t we say that vessel was the transporting organisation?’

Aragorn grasped at the proffered straw. ‘Well, it certainly did deliver both myself and Anduril to Minas Tirith in a timely fashion, but I’m not so sure it’s totally appropriate …’

Thenweg interrupted, eyebrows drawing together as he concentrated in thought. ‘Yes, that might suffice. We would need a letter or certificate from the Captain or Master’s Mate of the vessel, describing the exact timing and contract of the delivery - do you recall who that was, Your Grace? And what was the name of the vessel?’

‘Well as I recall, the name of the ship was something like ‘Umbar’s Revenge’ and the Captain was last seen swimming down the Anduin followed by the Dead of Dunharrow. I didn’t quite get his name or have time to ask for a receipt for his vessel or any cargo, so I’m not sure if the helps us’ said the King. ‘Then a number of volunteers from Lamedon and Pelargir helped us sail up Anduin. I don’t recall any specific sailors, although I suppose some inquiries could be made of Angbor.’ Aragorn frowned. ‘I can arrange for letters to be sent to Angbor tomorrow, and if we get a suitable reply, will that be everything? Have we done our import duty, as you call it Master Angren? Master Thenweg?’ 

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