Warship as State Territory (Prussian Decree) Case

CourtObsolete Court (Prussia)
Date13 December 1932
Docket Number48
Germany, Prussian Supreme Administrative Court.
Case No. 48
Warship as State Territory (Prussian Decree) Case.

Territory — Fictitious Parts of — Ships as State Territory — Jurisdiction — Application to Warships of Statutes of Member-States of Federal States — Warships as State Territory.

The Facts.—Under Section 1 (1) of the Prussian Decree for the Temporary Regulation of the Trade Tax of November 23, 1923, trade tax was payable in respect of all trades which were carried on by keeping a place of business in Prussia. Section 1 (4) defined a place of business as any premises or establishment situated in a certain locality and used for the purposes of a trade. The appellant ran a ship's canteen on a German warship stationed at Kiel. He had been assessed for trade tax in respect of the running of the canteen, and he appealed against the assessment.

Held: that the appeal must be allowed. It was true that under international law warships were deemed to be parts of their State and were regarded as so-called moving territories. However, even if one were to hold that, according to that fiction, the warship was not only German Reich territory, but also at the same time territory of one of the Member-States of the Federal State, it did not follow that, by running a canteen on a warship, the appellant kept a place of business in Prussia. To fulfil the...

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