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CHAPTER XIII.

COMPARISON OF THE PANAMA AND SUEZ MEASURE

MENT RULES.

CHAPTER XIII.

COMPARISON OF THE PANAMA AND SUEZ MEASUREMENT RULES.

INTRODUCTION.

The Panama and Suez measurement rules are based upon the same general principles. Both sets of rules seek to include in gross tonnage the entire closed-in capacity of vessels and to make net tonnage the approximate equivalent of the earning capacity of vessels.

The two sets of rules, moreover, correspond closely in their main provisions, although they differ in detail. The variations in the two measurement codes are due chiefly to the fact that the Panama rules were drafted 40 years after the Suez rules were formulated. During that time the progress in ship building has brought about great changes in the designs of ships, and entirely new types of vessels have come into existence. There has been a differentiation and specialization in the types of carriers used for the performance of ocean transportation. Moreover, the navigation laws and regulations affecting crew spaces and other maritime matters have been amended from time to time.

The Panama rules, naturally, have been framed with present-day ship-building and navigation practices in mind. It is probable that if the Suez rules were being drafted anew to-day they would vary in numerous details from the provisions of the rules that were adopted by the International Tonnage Commission which met at Constantinople in 1873. To some extent the Suez rules have been modified and supplemented to keep them abreast of ship designs and maritime practice, but, as the rules were formulated by an international commission, the Suez Canal Co. has no authority to modify the rules and has not been able to secure many changes in the rules as they were drafted in 1873.

As has been pointed out in this report, the several national rules have important variations and they differ widely from the Suez rules. The provisions of the British, German, American, and Suez rules have been compared in detail in the text of this report, and in Appendix VIII of the report there is a comparative analysis of the French, British, and German rules. The report, moreover, states fully the reasons why it was thought wise to base the Panama rules upon the principles that underlie those of the Suez Canal Co. and to make the main provisions of the two measurement codes as nearly alike as was warranted by the changes that have been made during recent decades in ship designs, navigation laws, and maritime practice.

The Suez rules being well understood by vessel owners and ship builders and by the measurement officials of all commercial countries, it will doubtless contribute to a more ready understanding of the Panama rules to point out briefly the similarities of and differences in the provisions of the two measurement codes. This comparison may also assist those who may in the future consider the possibility of amalgamating the two codes of rules with a view to laying the foundation of the international unification of tonnage and vessel measurement.

STANFORD LIBRARIES

SIMILARITIES OF THE PANAMA AND SUEZ RULES.

The similarity of the Panama and Suez rules will be made evident by a brief reference to the provisions which necessarily constitute the main elements not only of those two sets of rules but of all vessel measurement codes, the provisions as to the system of measuring spaces and as to the unit adopted for expressing the tonnage, the provisions regarding gross and net tonnage, the definition of closed-in spaces, and the deduction made for propelling machinery and fuel.

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Vessel spaces are measured in practically all countries by the Moorsom system, and the tonnage of vessels is everywhere expressed in Moorsom tons of 100 cubic feet. The Panama, the Suez, and all the national rules are practically the same as regards the system of measuring vessels and as to the unit employed in the expression of tonnage. The Panama rules provide that vessel spaces may be measured either by the Moorsom system as contained in the rules themselves or by the Moorsom system followed by the officials who measure vessels in different countries for national registry, provided the rules of the foreign country whose officials are making the measurement are substantially the same as the Moorsom system of measurement as set forth in the Panama measurement rules. It is expected that the tonnage of vessel spaces measured by the officials of foreign countries for the national registry of vessels will be practically the same as the tonnage would be if the spaces were measured by the system of measurement set forth in the Panama rules.

The Suez Canal Co.'s rules embody the Moorsom system of measurement, but do not specifically provide for accepting the tonnage of spaces when measured by the Moorsom system as contained in the national measurement codes. It is, however, the practice of the Suez Canal Co. to accept as correct the tonnage of spaces as stated in the certificates of national registry. In other words, the Suez Canal Co. does not require the admeasurers of Great Britain, Germany, and other countries actually to measure all parts of a vessel before issuing a Suez tonnage certificate, provided the vessel has previously been measured in accordance with the national registry rules. The requirement of the Panama and Suez rules as to the measurement of spaces included in gross tonnage will thus be essentially the same in practice.

It being the aim of both the Suez and Panama rules to include in gross tonnage the entire closed-in capacity of vessels, the sole criterion to be applied in deciding whether particular spaces, other than double-bottom compartments, shall be measured in, or exempted from, gross tonnage, is whether the spaces are, or are not, closed-in. No spaces, other than those in the double-bottom, are to be exempted from measurement because of the use to which they are put. Strict adherence to this principle gives a definite meaning to gross tonnage as determined by each of the two sets of rules.

The provisions of the Panama and Suez rules concerning deductions from gross tonnage to determine net tonnage are intended to make net tonnage the closest practicable equivalent of actual earning capacity. Vessels being of many types, the spaces required for crew, navigation, and power purposes vary greatly and the spaces deducted are much larger for some vessels than for others. It is, accordingly, hardly to be expected that the deductions provided for by the Panama rules drafted in 1913 will be exactly identical with the deductions provided for in the rules framed in 1873 (although the rules of 1873 have been subsequently modified to some extent); but the general adherence, in the provisions of both sets of rules, to the principle that deductions shall be limited to spaces not available for the accommodation of passengers or the stowage of cargo, results in nearly the same deduction in both the Panama and Suez rules. The differences in the deductions actually made by the rules will be pointed out in a later connection.

Both the Panama and Suez rules so define “permanently covered and closed-in spaces” as to include therein all spaces that are so inclosed as to make them available for the accommodation of dry cargo, stores, crew, or passengers. Both sets of rules provide that spaces under a deck with an opening that can be closed-in after the ship has been measured so that the spåce under the deck will be thereby better fitted for the transport of goods or passengers shall be considered as closed in. Thus a "tonnage opening" that can be closed when the vessel is at sea, but which, under the British and German rules, would entitle the space between the deck with the “tonnage opening” and the deck next below to exemption is not recognized by the Panama and Suez rules as an opening which makes the between-deck space "open.” The Panama and Suez rules seek by careful definition to prevent spaces usable for cargo or passengers in superstructures or under a deck with a "tonnage opening" from being exempted from gross and net tonnage. The two sets of rules further agree in stipulating that the use of

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