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PRIMAGE, merc. law. A duty payable to the master and mariner of a ship or vessel; to the master for the use of his cables and ropes to discharge the goods of the merchant; to the mariners for lading and unlading in any port or haven. Merch. Dict. h.t.; Abb. on Ship. 270.
     2. This payment appears to be of very ancient date, and to be variously regulated in different voyages and trades. It is sometimes called the master's hat money. 3 Chit. Com. Law, 431.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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(4) Over the last 100 years the Commonwealth has used a variety of conventions in relation to four dimensions; these are the valuation of imports, the commodities included (ships' stores, specie and gold bullion), the duties covered (the inclusion and exclusion of primage duties, miscellaneous duties, and revenue duties such as the two per cent duty on items previously cleared free of duty which applied from 1979 to 1988 and the three per cent duty on imported business inputs which applied from 1996 to 2005) and the treatment of refunds and drawbacks.