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II.1.120 CONVENTION ON THE TERRITORIAL SEA AND THE CONTIGUOUS ZONE, 1958

The Ratification of Maritime Conventions

Chapter I.1.120

CONVENTION ON THE TERRITORIAL SEA AND THE CONTIGUOUS ZONE, 1958

ADOPTED: Done at Geneva on 29 April 1958
REFERENCE: 516 UNTS 205
UN TREATY NUMBER: I 7477
ENTERED INTO FORCE: 10 September 1964
DEPOSITARY: Secretary-General, United Nations
SECRETARY: Secretary-General, United Nations

IMPLEMENTATION

SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION AND ACCESSION

Article XXVI

This Convention shall, until 31 October 1958, be open for signature by all States Members of the United Nations or of any of the specialized agencies, and by any other State invited by the General Assembly of the United Nations to become a Party to the Convention.

Article XXVII

This Convention is subject to ratification. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article XXVIII

This Convention shall be open for accession by any States belonging to any of the categories mentioned in article XXVI. The instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article XXIX

1. This Convention shall come into force on the thirtieth day following the date of deposit of the twenty-second instrument of ratification or accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

2. For each State ratifying or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of the twenty-second instrument of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification or accession.

AMENDMENTS

Article XXX

1. After the expiration of a period of five years from the date on which this Convention shall enter into force, a request for the revision of this Convention may be made at any time by any Contracting Party by means of a notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

2. The General Assembly of the United Nations shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken in respect of such request.

DECLARATIONS, RESERVATIONS AND OBJECTIONS

(Unless otherwise indicated, the declarations, reservations and objections were made upon ratification, accession or succession)

Australia

Objections to the following reservations

“(a) The declaration made with reference to article XXII by Venezuela on signature and the reservation made to that article by Venezuela on ratification.

(b) The reservation made to article XIV by Iran on signature.

(c) The reservations made to article XIV and XXIII by Czechoslovakia and Hungary on signature and confirmed on ratification.

(d) The reservation made to paragraph 4 of article XVI by Tunisia on signature.

(e) The reservation made with regard to the application of articles XIX and XX to government ships operated for commercial purposes by Czechoslovakia on signature and confirmed on ratification.

(f) The reservations made to article XX by Bulgaria on signature and on ratification.

(g) The reservations made to article XX by the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Romania, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on signature and confirmed on ratification.

(h) The reservation made to article XXI by Hungary on signature and confirmed on ratification.

(i) The reservations made to article XXIII by Bulgaria on signature and on ratification.

(j) The reservations made to article XXIII by the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Romania, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on signature and confirmed on ratification.

(k) The reservation made to paragraphs 2 and 3 of article XXIV by Venezuela on ratification.

If the statements referred to above with regard to article XXIII are juridically in the nature of declarations rather than of reservations strictly so-called, the objections recorded by the Government of Australia will serve to record disagreement with the opinions so declared.”

31 January 1968

“The Government of Australia places on record the formal objection to the reservations made by the Government of Mexico.”

29 September 1976

“Objection to the reservation by the German Democratic Republic concerning article XX of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, 1958, and contained in the instrument of accession of the German Democratic Republic to the said Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone.”

Bulgaria

Article XX. The Government of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria considers that government ships in foreign waters have immunity and that the measures set forth in this article may therefore apply to such ships only with the consent of the flag state.

Article XXIII (Sub-section D. Rules applicable to warships). The Government of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria considers that the coastal State has the right to establish procedures for the authorization of the passage of foreign warships through its territorial waters.

Reservations made upon ratification

Article XX. The Government of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria considers that government ships in the territorial sea of another State have immunity and that the measures set forth in this article may therefore apply to such ships only with the consent of the flag State.

Article XXIII (Sub-section D. Rules applicable to warships). The Government of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria considers that the coastal State has the right to establish procedures for the authorization of the passage of foreign warships through its territorial sea.

Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic

Article XX. The Government of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic considers that government ships in foreign territorial waters have immunity and that the measures mentioned in this article may therefore be applied to them only with the consent of the flag State.

Article XXIII (Sub-section D. Rules applicable to warships). The Government of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic considers that the coastal state has the right to establish procedures for the authorization of the passage of foreign warships through its territorial waters.

Colombia

With respect to the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, the delegation of Colombia declares that, under article 98 of the Colombian Constitution, authorization by the Senate is required for the passage of foreign troops through Colombian territory and that, by analogy, such authorization is accordingly also required for the passage of foreign warships through Colombian territorial waters.

Czechoslovakia

Articles XIV and XXIII. “In view of the fact that the Conference had not adopted a special article concerning the passage of warships through the territorial waters of foreign States, the Government of the Czechoslovak Republic deems it necessary to stress that articles XIV and XXIII cannot in any sense be interpreted as establishing a right of innocent passage for warships through the territorial waters.”

Article XXI. “The Government of the Czechoslovak Republic holds that under international law in force all government ships without distinction enjoy immunity and therefore does not agree with the application of articles 19 and 20 of the Convention to government ships operated for commercial purposes.”

Denmark

“The Government of Denmark declares that it does not find acceptable:

The reservations made by the Governments of Czechoslavakia and Hungary to article XIV;

The reservation made by the Government of Tunisia to article XVI, paragraph 4;

The reservations made by the Government of Czechoslovakia to article XIX;

The reservations made by the Governments of Bulgaria, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Czechoslovakia, Romania, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to article XX and the reservations made by the Governments of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Mexico to article XXI.

The above-mentioned objections shall not affect the coming into force of the Convention, according to article XXIX, as between Denmark and the contracting parties concerned.”

31 October 1974

“ The Government of Denmark does not find acceptable the reservations made by the German Democratic Republic on December 27, 1973 to article XX of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone.

The Government of Denmark also finds unacceptable the reservation made by the German Democratic Republic on the same date to article IX of the Convention on the High Seas.

The above-mentioned objections shall not affect the coming into force of the conventions as between Denmark and the German Democratic Republic.”

Fiji

“The Government of Fiji maintains all other objections communicated to the Secretary-General by the United Kingdom Government to the reservations or declarations made by certain States with respect to this Convention, reserving only its position on that Government’s observation bearing on the application of the Optional Protocol of Signature pending final disposition of the question of the succession by the Government of Fiji to the said Protocol.”

German Democratic Republic

Reservation concerning article XX

The German Democratic Republic considers that government ships in foreign territorial waters have immunity and that the measures set forth in this Article may therefore apply to such ships only with the consent of the flag State.

Declaration concerning articles XXVI and XXVIII

The German Democratic Republic considers that articles XXVI and XXVIII of the Convention are inconsistent with the principle that all States pursuing their policies in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations shall have the right to become parties to conventions affecting the interests of all States.

Hungary

Articles XIV and XXIII. “The Government of the Hungarian People’s Republic is of the opinion that the coastal State is entitled to make the passage of warships through its territorial waters subject to previous authorization.”

Article XXI. “The Government of the Hungarian People’s Republic is of the opinion that the rules contained in Sub-Section B of Section III of Part I of the Convention are generally inapplicable to government ships operated for commercial purposes so far as they encroach on the immunities enjoyed under international law by all government ships, whether commercial or non-commercial, on foreign territorial waters. Consequently, the provisions of Sub-Section B restricting the immunities of government ships operated for commercial purposes are applicable only upon consent of the State whose flag the ship flies.”

Iran, Islamic Republic of

Upon signature: Reservation

Article XIV. The Iranian Government maintains the objection on the ground of excess of competence, expressed by its delegation at the twelfth plenary meeting of the Conference on the Law of the Sea on 24 April 1958, to the articles recommended by the Fifth Committee of the Conference and incorporated in part in article XIV of this Convention. The Iranian Government accordingly reserves all rights regarding the contents of this article in so far as it relates to countries having no sea coast.

Israel

“Objection to all reservations and declarations made in connection with the signing or ratification of or accession to the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone and the Convention on the High Seas which are incompatible with the purposes and objects of these Conventions. This objection applies in particular to the declaration or reservation made by Tunisia to article XVI, paragraph 4, of the first of the above-mentioned Conventions on the occasion of signature.”

Italy

The Government of the Republic of Italy, besides exercising control for the purposes of article XXIV, paragraph 1 in the zone of the high seas contiguous to the territorial sea, reserves the right to exercise surveillance within the belt of sea extending twelve nautical miles from the coast for the purpose of preventing and punishing infringements of the customs regulations in whatever point of this belt such infringements may be committed.

Japan

“1. …The Government of Japan wishes to state that it does not consider acceptable any unilateral statement in whatever form, made by a State upon signing, ratifying or acceding to the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, which is intended to exclude or modify for such State legal effects of the provisions of the Convention.

2. In particular, the Government of Japan finds unacceptable the following reservations:

  • (a) The reservations made by the Government of Czechoslovakia to article XXIX, by the Governments of Bulgaria, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Czechoslovakia, Romania, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to article XX, and by the Government of Hungary to article XXI.
  • (b) The reservation made by the Government of Tunisia to article XVI, paragraph 4.
  • The reservation made by the Government of Italy to article XXIV in its instrument of accession.
  • The reservation made by the Government of Mexico to article XXI in its instrument of accession.”

Lithuania

…The Republic of Lithuania declares the establishing of the procedure for the authorization of the passage of foreign warships through its territorial waters for the warships of those States which have established the procedure for the authorization of the passage of foreign warships through its territorial waters.

Madagascar

The Malagasy Republic formally expresses its objection to all reservations and statements made in connection with signature or ratification of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone or in connection with accession to the said Convention which are inconsistent with the aims and purposes of this Convention.

This objection applies in particular to the statements or reservations made with regard to the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone by Bulgaria, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Tunisia, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Mexico

The Government of Mexico considers that government ships, irrespective of the use to which they are put, enjoy immunity, and it therefore enters an express reservation with regard to article XXI of Sub-Section C (Rules applicable to government ships other than warships) in so far as it applies to article XIX, paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, and article XX, paragraphs 2 and 3, of Sub-Section B (Rules applicable to merchant ships).

Netherlands

“…The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands declare that they do not find acceptable:

the reservations made by the Government of Czechoslovakia to article XIX, by the Governments of Bulgaria, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Czechoslovakia, Romania, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to article XX, and by the Governments of Hungary and Czechoslovakia to article XXI;

the reservations made by the Iranian Government to article XIV;

the declaration by the Government of Colombia as far as it amounts to a reservation on article XIV;

the reservation made by the Government of the Tunisian Republic to article XVI, paragraph 4;

the declarations made by the Governments of Bulgaria, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Romania, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on article XXIII, and the declarations made by the Governments of Czechoslovakia and Hungary on the articles XIV and XXIII as far as these declarations amount to a reservation to the said articles;

the reservation made by the Government of the Republic of Italy to article XXIV, paragraph 1.

The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands reserve all rights regarding the reservations made by the Government of Venezuela on ratifying the present Convention in respect of article XII and article XXIV, paragraphs 2 and 3.”

17 March 1967

“The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands do not find acceptable the reservations made by the Government of Mexico.”

Portugal

27 December 1966

“The Government of Portugal cannot accept the reservation proposed by the Mexican Government requiring the exemption of government ships from the dispositions laid down in the Convention, irrespective of the use to which these ships are put.”

Romania

Article XX. The Government of the Romanian People’s Republic considers that government ships have immunity in foreign territorial waters and that the measures envisaged in this article may not be applied to such ships except with the consent of the flag State.

Article XXIII. The Government of the Romanian People’s Republic considers that the coastal State has the right to provide that the passage of foreign warships through its territorial waters shall be subject to previous approval.

Solomon Islands

“The succession of Solomon Islands to the said Treaty shall be without prejudice to the right of Solomon Islands

  • (1) to employ straight base lines drawn between its islands as the basis for the delimitation of its territorial sea and contiguous zone, and
  • (2) to designate all waters enclosed by the said straight base lines as internal or archipelagic water.”

Spain

Spain’s accession is not to be interpreted as recognition of any rights or situations in connexion with the waters of Gibraltar other than those referred to in article X of the Treaty of Utrecht, of 13 July 1713, between the Crowns of Spain and Great Britain.

Thailand

Objections to the following reservations:

  • 1. the reservations to article XX made by the Governments of Bulgaria, the Byelorussian SSR, Romania, the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR;
  • 2. the reservations to article XXI made by the Government of Czechoslovakia, Mexico and Hungary;
  • 3. the reservations to article XXIII made by the Governments of Bulgaria, the Byelorussian SSR, Colombia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR.

Tonga

“The Government of Tonga affirms that in the absence of any other statement expressing a contrary intention, it wishes to maintain all objections communicated to the Secretary-General by the United Kingdom to the reservations or declarations made by States with respect to any conventions of which the Secretary-General is the depositary.”

Tunisia

Reservation

The Government of the Tunisian Republic does not consider itself bound by the provisions of article XVI, paragraph 4 of this Convention.

Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

Article XX. The Government of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic considers that government ships in foreign territorial waters have immunity and that the measures mentioned in this article may therefore be applied to them only with the consent of the flag State.

Article XXIII (Sub-Section D. Rule applicable to warships). The Government of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic considers that the coastal State has the right to establish procedures for the authorization of the passage of foreign warships through its territorial waters.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Article XX. The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics considers that government ships in foreign territorial waters have immunity and that the measures mentioned in this article may therefore be applied to them only with the consent of the flag State.

Article XXIII (Sub-Section D. Rule applicable to warships). The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics considers that the coastal State has the right to establish procedures for the authorization of the passage of foreign warships through its territorial waters.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Reservation

Save as may be stated in any further and separate notices that may hereafter be given, ratification of this Convention on behalf of the United Kingdom does not extend to the States in the Persian Gulf enjoying British protection. Multilateral conventions to which the United Kingdom becomes a party are not extended to these States until such times as an extension is requested by the Ruler of the State concerned.”

Objections

6 November 1959

“Her Majesty’s Government…desire to place on record their formal objections to the following reservations and declarations:

  • (a) The reservations made by the Government of Czechoslovakia to article XIX, by the Governments of Bulgaria, the Byelorussian SSR, Czechoslovakia, Romania, the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR to article XX, and by Hungary to article XXI.
  • (b) The reservation made by the Government of Iran to article XIV.
  • (c) The reservation made by the Government of the Tunisian Republic to article XVI, paragraph 4.”

5 April 1962

“The reservation made by the Government of Venezuela to article XII and paragraphs 2 and 3 of article XXIV.”

2 November 1966

“The reservation to article XXI of Sub-section C contained in the Mexican instrument of accession.”

13 May 1975

“Her Majesty’s Government desire to place on record their formal objection to the reservations by the German Democratic Republic concerning article XX of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone.” (In this connection, the Government of the United Kingdom indicated that they had not received the circular letter reproducing the text of the reservations made by the Government of the German Democratic Republic until early in August 1974.)

United States of America

19 September 1962

“The United States of America does not find the following reservations acceptable:

  • 1. The reservations made by the Government of Czechoslovakia to article XIX, by the Governments of Bulgaria, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Czechoslovakia, Romania, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to article XX, and by Hungary to article XXI.
  • 2. The reservations made by the Government of the Tunisian Republic to article XVI, paragraph 4.
  • 3. The reservation made by the Government of Venezuela to article XII and to article XXIV, paragraphs 2 and 3.”

17 June 1965

“Objection to the reservation made by the Government of Italy in its instrument of accession.”

28 September 1966

“Objection to the reservation made by the Government of Mexico in its instrument of accession.”

11 July 1974

“The Government of the United States does not find acceptable the reservations made by the German Democratic Republic to article XX of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone and to article IX of the Convention on the High Seas. The Government of the United States, however, considers those Conventions as continuing in force between it and the German Democratic Republic except that provisions to which the above-mentioned reservations are addressed shall apply only to the extent that they are not affected by those reservations.”

Venezuela

With reference to article XII that there are special circumstances to be taken into consideration in the following areas: The Gulf of Paria and zones adjacent thereto; the area between the coast of Venezuela and the island of Aruba; and the Gulf of Venezuela.

Reservation made upon ratification

With express reservation in respect of article XII and paragraphs 2 and 3 of article XXIV of the said Convention.

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