- Project Runeberg -  Finland : its public and private economy /
169

(1902) [MARC] Author: Niels Christian Frederiksen
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for the import of its salt (with a duty of 25 penni per
100 kilos, against 50 for other countries), for its wine,
oil, &c., and again made concessions about the import
of wood, tar, &c., from Finland. But the most
important of these concessions were also given to other
countries which gave Finland the most favourable
tariff, as, for instance, France, Italy, and Portugal.
Some of Russia’s treaties with other countries might
also be quoted as profitable for Finland.

During the first half century of Finland’s union with
Russia, the customs duties were arranged on varying
bases. For a short time there was a certain amount
of reciprocity, but early in the twenties this was
changed in the one-sided interest of Russia.
According to the decree of 1835, not only could Russian
merchandise be imported free of duty into Finland,
except brännvin, which was forbidden to be imported,
but foreign wares could also be imported without
paying any duty whatever by land or by ship across Lake
Ladoga. On the other hand, free import to Russia
was only allowed to Finnish merchandise indicated in
particular lists; all the rest had to pay the same
duties as foreign imports. This system was both
economically and financially a great loss to Finland.
However, in the decree of 1859, Alexander II.
declared that he found it “necessary to introduce greater
reciprocity in the commercial relations between Russia
and Finland.” This decree increased, therefore, the
number of articles which could be introduced free of
duty into Russia, and, on the other hand, imposed
financial duties on the import of certain Russian
articles into Finland. But in 1885, after Finland’s
tariff had been reformed in a liberal manner in 1869,
and Russia’s tariff, on the contrary, had been increased
in the beginning of the eighties, the decree of 1859

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