Pacific Islands Treaty Series
AGREEMENT FOR AN EXCHANGE OF POSTAL PARCELS BETWEEN THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA AND OCEAN ISLAND AND GILBERT AND ELLICE ISLANDS
(Suva-Melbourne, 8 May-12 July 1911)
ENTRY INTO FORCE: 01 JULY 1911
The undersigned being desirous of promoting greater facilities than at present exist for the exchange of parcels between Ocean Island, Gilbert and Ellice Islands, and the Commonwealth of Australia, have agreed, on behalf of their respective Governments, to the following Articles:
There shall be a regular exchange of uninsured parcels between Ocean Island, Gilbert and Ellice Islands on the one hand, and the several States of the Commonwealth of Australia on the other hand, which shall be effected by means of the ordinary postal service between Ocean Island, Gilbert and Ellice Islands, and the several States of the Commonwealth of Australia.
The offices of exchange shall be the Post Offices of Ocean Island, Butaritari, Tarawa, Nanouti and Beru in the Gilbert Group and Funafuti in the Ellice Group, and for the Commonwealth of Australia, Sydney.
The maximum limit of weight of a parcel shall be 5 kilograms or eleven pounds, and no parcel shall exceed three feet six inches in length, or six feet in length and girth combined.
There shall be no limit to the value of the contents of any parcel.
The postage for the conveyance of a parcel from the place of posting to the place of destination must in all cases be prepaid by means of postage stamps, which must be affixed to the parcel by the sender. The postage rates to be levied on parcels from the Commonwealth of Australia to Ocean, Gilbert and Ellice Islands shall be at the rate of eightpence (8d) for the first lb and sixpence (6d) for each succeeding lb up to 11 lbs, and like rates shall be charged on parcels from the Protectorate to Australia.
The parcels shall be despatched in mail bags, boxes or baskets, with the ordinary mails. If boxes or baskets be used, the cost thereof, and of any repairs thereto, shall be shared equally between the office representing the Ocean, Gilbert and Ellice Islands and the Postmaster General's Department of the Commonwealth of Australia.
The exchange office of receipt, in consideration of the share of postage allowed to such office, shall deliver or transmit to destination all parcels forwarded.
On parcels despatched from the Commonwealth of Australia to Ocean, Gilbert or Ellice Islands, the office representing those islands shall receive credit at the rate of threepence (3d) for first lb, and twopence (2d) on each succeeding lb, and on parcels despatched from Ocean, Gilbert or Ellice Islands to the Commonwealth of Australia, the latter shall receive credit at the rate of threepence (3d) for first lb, and twopence (2d) on each succeeding lb, also a sea transit charge of twopence (2d) per lb rate on all parcels conveyed by steamers subsidised by the Commonwealth of Australia.
Every parcel shall bear the name and address of the person for whom it is intended, given with such completeness as will enable delivery to be effected. No parcel shall be accepted for transmission unless it be securely packed, in such a manner as to protect the contents from damage.
Every parcel shall be accompanied by a declaration of its contents and value, in form similar to that annexed hereto and marked "A", which must be signed by the sender (whose address should be stated) and be affixed to the parcel. The form of declaration shall have also marked thereon the number of the parcel, as shown on the parcels bill, and the name of the place to which the parcel is addressed.
No parcel may contain a letter or other postal packet. If a parcel be posted with such an enclosure, the parcel will be forwarded to its destination, charged with postage on the enclosure, at the unpaid rate applicable to such enclosure if forwarded through the post separately, and such postage shall be in addition to any other charges to be paid on delivery of the parcel.
No parcel may contain another parcel intended for delivery at an address other than that borne by the parcel itself. If such enclosed parcel be detected, it will be withdrawn and sent forward charged with the unpaid postage from the country of origin to the place of destination.
Substances of a dangerous, damaging or offensive nature, or contraband articles, or liquids (unless securely packed in proper cases), or current coin, diamonds, specie, bullion or gold (in dust or nuggets) shall not be enclosed in a parcel.
Should any parcel containing any such prohibited article be detected in transit through the post, the parcel will be, without other formality, returned to the despatching office of exchange.
The respective offices of exchange shall communicate to each other a list of the articles which their laws or regulations prohibit being sent by parcel post.
For each mail there shall be prepared a parcel still, similar in form to that annexed hereto and marked "B". The parcel bill shall be made out in triplicate, one copy to be retained by the despatching office of exchange and the other two copies to accompany the mail to the office of exchange of the country or State of destination. The parcels bills shall be numbered consecutively, commencing with number 1 on 1 January in each year, and each entry in a parcels bill shall be number consecutively, commencing with No. 1.
Where not provided for in this Agreement, the conditions as to the posting transmission and delivery of parcels (including the levy of Customs duty and other charges) and redirection within the limits of the country or State of destination shall be governed by the regulations of that country or State.
The non-receipt of a parcel advised as having been despatched, the receipt of a parcel in a damaged or imperfect condition; and every discrepancy between a parcels bill and the parcels entered therein; or other error in a parcels bill, observed by the receiving office of exchange shall be recorded in a verification certificate in similar form to that annexed hereto and marked "C", which certificate shall be forwarded by return mail to the despatching office of exchange.
If no verification certificate is received a parcels mail shall be considered as duly delivered, having been found on examination correct in all respects.
Half-yearly accounts relating to parcels exchanged between Ocean, Gilbert and Ellice Islands and the several States of the Commonwealth of Australia shall be prepared by the Post Office of Sydney in the Commonwealth of Australia on one account which shall be forwarded to the Resident Commissioner. These accounts shall be based on the entries contained in the parcels bills, for the half year, corrected by the verification certificates received up to the date of preparation of the accounts.
Two copies of each of these accounts shall be furnished by the Postmaster General's Department of the Commonwealth of Australia to the office representing the Ocean, Gilbert and Ellice Islands for examination and verification, and the balance found to be due shall be remitted by the Department by which the same is owing to the Department to which the amount is due.
In the case of a parcel which cannot be delivered the sender shall, if possible, be consulted through the medium of the offices of exchange, as to the disposal of the parcel. If within six months after the despatch of a letter of enquiry, the office of destination has not received adequate instructions, the parcel will be returned to the office of origin. The parcel should also be returned if its delivery at a new address cannot be effected.
Articles liable to deterioration or corruption may be sold immediately without previous notice or formality, for the benefit of the right party, an account of the sale being duly drawn up. A parcel becoming offensive or injurious to any officer of the post office or other person, may be dealt with or disposed of as the office of exchange of the country or State in whose possession such parcel may be shall determine.
A missent parcel will be forwarded to its destination by the most direct route at the disposal of the office retransmitting it. If no means exist of transmitting a missent parcel directly to its destination, it should be returned to the office of origin in which case the amount credited in the parcels bill in respect of such parcel is cancelled, and the retransmitting office of exchange sends the parcel to the corresponding office simply recording it on the parcels bill after having called attention to the error by means of a verification certificate. If on the other hand, a missent parcel can be transmitted direct to its destination, and if the amount credited to the retransmitting office is insufficient to cover the expenses of retransmission which it has to defray, it will recover the difference by raising the amount entered to its credit in the parcels bill of the despatching office of exchange. The reason for this rectification will be notified to the said office by means of a verification certificate.
A parcel redirected in consequence of the removal of the addressee to another country with which arrangements for the exchange of parcels have been made, is subjected by the delivering office to a charge, to be paid by the addressee, representing the prepaid rate of postage from the office of redirection to the place of delivery. Any parcel, the addressee of which has left for a country between which and the office of address no parcels post exists, will be dealt with as "undeliverable". A parcel which has to be returned to the sender will be dealt with and taxed as in the case of redirection through the removal of the addressee. If the amount chargeable for the further conveyance of a returned or redirected parcel is paid at the time of its retransmission, the parcel is dealt with as if it had been addressed direct from the retransmitting country or State to the country or State of new destination, and delivered without any postal charge in respect of such return or redirection.
Parcels which cannot be delivered, returned to sender, or redirected, and which have thus become "undeliverable" should be sent back to the exchange office of origin for disposal, but will give rise to no charge in the parcels bill, and to no account. Such parcels should be entered on the parcels bill, with the addition of the word "returned" in the column for observations.
Neither of the countries parties to this agreement will be responsible for the loss of or damage to any parcel, and no indemnity can consequently be claimed from either country by the sender or addressee of a parcel which may become lost or damaged in transmission through the post.
Subject to the general provisions of this agreement, parcels may be exchanged through the intermediary of the offices of exchange of the countries parties to such agreement, between either of such countries, and any other country with which a direct exchange of parcels has been arranged by either of the contracting countries; and there shall be paid by the country of origin to the country serving as intermediary, the credits specified in Article 6 hereof, in addition to any "onward transit" charges which may be payable for the conveyance of such parcels beyond the intermediary country to the place of destination.
The two countries of exchange shall mutually decide upon all other measures of detail necessary for the carrying out of this agreement, which shall come into operation on and from 1 July 1911 and remain in force until one year after the date on which one of the parties thereto shall have notified the other party of its intention to terminate such agreement.
EXECUTED in duplicate and signed at Suva, Fiji on the Eighth day of May 1911 and at Melbourne, on the twelfth day of July 1911.
Postmaster-General Commonwealth of Australia
High Commissioner for the Western Pacific
ANNEXES A, B AND C
[Not reproduced here.]