CLEARANCE, com. law. The name of a certificate given by the collector of a port, in which is stated the master or commander (naming him) of a ship or vessel named and described, bound for a port, named, and having on board goods described, has entered and cleared his ship or vessel according to law.
2. The Act of Congress of 2d March, 1790, section 93, directs, that the master of any vessel bound to a foreign place, shall deliver to the collector of the dis ot from which such vessel shall be about to depart, a manifest of all the cargo on board, and the value thereof, by him subscribed, and shall swear or affirm to the truth thereof; whereupon the collector shall grant a clearance for such vessel and her cargo; but without specifying the particulars thereof in such clearance, unless required by the master so to do. And if any vessel bound to any foreign place shall depart on her voyage to such foreign place, without delivering such a manifest and obtaining a clearance, the master shall forfeit and pay the sum of five hundred dollars for every such offence. Provided, anything to the contrary notwithstanding, the collectors and other officers of the customs shall pay due regard to the inspection laws of the states in which they respectively act, in such manner, that no vessel having on board goods liable to inspection, shall be cleared out, until the master or other person shall have produced such certificate, that all such goods have been duly inspected, as the laws of the respective states do or may require, to be produced to the collector or other officer of the customs. And provided, that receipts for the payment of all legal fees which shall have accrued on any vessel, shall, before any clearance is granted, be produced to the collector or other officer aforesaid .
3. According to Boulay-Paty, Dr. Com. tome 2, p. 19, the clearance is imperiously demanded for the safety of the vessel; for if a vessel should be found without it at sea, it may be legally taken and brought into some port for adjudication, on a charge of priacy. Vide Ship's papers.
CLEARING HOUSE, com. law. Among the English bankers, the clearing house is a place in Lombard street, in London, where the bankers of that city daily settle with each other the balances which they owe, or to which they are entitled. Desks are placed around the room, one of which is appropriated to each bankiug house, and they are: occupied in alphabetical order. Each clerk has a box or drawer along side of him, and the name of the house he represents is inscribed over his head. A clerk of each house comes in about half-past three o'clock in the afternoon, and brings the drafts or cheeks on the other bankers, which have been paid by his house that day, and deposits thein in their proper drawers. The clerk at the desk credits their accounts separately which they have against him, as found in the drawer. Balances are thus struck from all the accounts, and the claims transferred from one to another, until they are so wound up and cancelled, that each clerk has only to settle with two or three others, and the balances are immediately paid. When drafts are paid at so late an hour that they cannot be cleared that day, they are sent to the houses on which they are drawn, to be marked, that is, a memorandum is made on them, and they are to be cleared the next day. See Gilbert's Practical Treatise on Banking, pp. 16-20, Babbage on the Economy of Machines, n. 173, 174; Kelly's Cambist; Byles, on Bills, 106, 110; Pulling's Laws and Customs of London, 437.


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