Commerce Collegium

Commerce Collegium

 

(Russian, Kommerts-kollegiia; from Old German Kommerz, “trade”), the central state institution of Russia that dealt with trade, primarily foreign. The functions of the Commerce Collegium included constructing merchant ships, harbors, beacons, and warehouses; giving instructions to the trade consuls abroad and selling certain goods (such as furs and potash) over which the state treasury had a monopoly; supervising communications, fairs, and the collection of customs tariffs; and sponsoring the creation of merchants’ companies. It was established in 1717; between 1731 and 1742 it was amalgamated with the Industry Collegium and the Mining Collegium. In 1754 the State Commercial Bank was established under its auspices. It was placed under the Ministry of Commerce in 1802 and abolished in 1810.

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