New Commercial Statute of 1667

New Commercial Statute of 1667

 

a law for domestic and foreign commerce in Russia, drawn up through the efforts of A. L. Ordin-Nashchokin and the administrative secretaries G. Dokhturov and L. Golosov. It consisted of an introduction and 94 main articles, with seven additional articles that constituted a separate commercial statute for foreigners.

Basic principles of commercial and economic policy were set forth in the introduction. The statute expressed concern for replenishing the state treasury while supporting the country’s merchants and established the principles by which a credit system was to be organized. It issued detailed rules for domestic commerce, based on the commercial statute of 1653. Power over trade and customs was taken away from the voevody (military governors). Questions of the frequency, manner, and amount of customs duties were considered in detail.

Many of the statute’s articles were devoted to regulating commerce conducted by foreigners. Foreign merchants were restricted to certain border cities and to the times of trade fairs, and they could deal only in specified goods. They were prohibited from carrying on retail trade and bargaining among themselves. Most foreign merchants were forbidden to trade at all in the interior cities of Russia. The New Commercial Statute proposed that a centralized government office be set up to handle all questions involving commerce. With certain modifications, the statute also applied in Siberia. In amended form, it remained in effect until the mid-1750’s, when it was replaced by the Customs Statute of 1755.

REFERENCE

Chistiakova, E. V. “Novotorgovyi ustav 1667 g.” In the collection Ar-kheograficheskii ezhegodnik za 1957g. Moscow, 1958.

E. V. CHISTIAKOVA

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