Commercial Statute of 1653

Commercial Statute of 1653

 

a law establishing a set of duties and other norms to be applied in Russian commerce. It was adopted in the interests of the Russian merchantry and on the initiative of the torgovye liudi (low- and middle-ranking merchants and tradesmen) of Moscow and other cities, who had petitioned the tsar for a reform of customs duties.

The Commercial Statute replaced the various taxes on trading activities with a single tax of ten den’gi per ruble for the sale of most goods (there were 200 den’gi to the ruble); one grivna (20 den’gi) was collected for the sale of salt, and special taxes on the sale of furs and fish were retained. Foreign merchants were required to pay 12 den’gi per ruble (6 percent of the price) for goods sold in the interior cities of Russia, and they had to pay an additional four den’gi per ruble in border cities.

The Commercial Statute of 1653 formed the basis of the Charter of Apr. 30, 1654, which prohibited the secular and clerical feudal lords from collecting tolls for travel across their lands. The Commercial Statute of 1653 together with the New Commercial Statute of 1667, remained in effect until the mid-1750’s, when both were replaced by the Customs Statute of 1755.

REFERENCE

Tikhonov, Iu. A. “Tamozhennaia politika Russkogo gosudarstva s ser. XVI v. do 60-kh gg. XVII v.” In the collection Istoricheskiezapiski, vol. 53. Moscow, 1955.
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