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A duty of 50 cents per ton, to be denominated “light money”, shall be levied and collected on all vessels not of the United States which may enter the ports of the United States. Such light money shall be levied and collected in the same manner and under the same regulations as the tonnage duties: Provided, That no such duty shall be required where a vessel owned by citizens of the United States, but not a vessel of the United States, after entering an American port, shall, before leaving the same, be registered as a vessel of the United States.
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