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II.3.70 (TONNAGE, 1969) INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON TONNAGE MEASUREMENT OF SHIPS, 1969

The Ratification of Maritime Conventions

Chapter I.3.70

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON TONNAGE MEASUREMENT OF SHIPS, 1969, AS AMENDED

Note: The present text incorporates the original text as modified by the following amendments:

  Date of entry
  into force
—2013 Amendments (A.1084(28)) (Annexes I and III) 28.02.2017
ADOPTED: Done at London, 23 June 1969
REFERENCE: TONNAGE 1969
ENTERED INTO FORCE: 18 July 1982
DEPOSITARY: IMO, London
SECRETARY: IMO, London

IMPLEMENTATION

SIGNATURE, ACCEPTANCE AND ACCESSION

Article XVI

(1) The present Convention shall remain open for signature for six months from 23 June 1969, and shall thereafter remain open for accession. Governments of States Members of the United Nations, or of any of the Specialized Agencies, or of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice may become parties to the Convention by:

  • (a) signature without reservation as to acceptance;
  • (b) signature subject to acceptance followed by acceptance; or
  • (c) accession.

(2) Acceptance or accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of acceptance or accession with the Organisation. The Organisation shall inform all Governments which have signed the present Convention or acceded to it of each new acceptance or accession and of the date of its deposit. The Organisation shall also inform all Governments which have already signed the Convention of any signature effected during the six months from June 23, 1969.

ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article XVII

(1) The present Convention shall come into force twenty-four months after the date on which not less than twenty-five Governments of States the combined merchant fleets of which consti- tute not less than sixty-five per cent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant shipping have signed without reservation as to acceptance or deposited instruments of acceptance or accession in accordance with Article XVI. The Organisation shall inform all Governments which have signed or acceded to the present Convention of the date on which it comes into force.

(2) For Governments which have deposited an instrument of acceptance of or accession to the present Convention during the twenty-four months mentioned in paragraph (1) of this article, the acceptance or accession shall take effect on the coming into force of the present Convention or three months after the date of deposit of the instrument of acceptance or accession, whichever is the later date.

(3) For Governments which have deposited an instrument of acceptance of or accession to the present Convention after the date on which it comes into force, the Convention shall come into force three months after the date of the deposit of such instrument.

(4) After the date on which all the measures required to bring an amendment to the present Convention into force have been completed, or all necessary acceptances are deemed to have been given under sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph (2) of Article XVIII in case of amendment by unanimous acceptance, any instrument of acceptance or accession deposited shall be deemed to apply to the Convention as amended.

DENUNCIATION

Article XIX

1. The present Convention may be denounced by any Contracting Government at any time after the expiry of five years from the date on which the Convention comes into force for that Government.

2. Denunciation shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument with the Organisation which shall inform all the other Contracting Governments of any such denunciation received and of the date of its receipt.

3. A denunciation shall take effect one year, or such longer period as may be specified in the instrument of denunciation, after its receipt by the Organisation.

AMENDMENTS

Article XVIII

1. The present Convention may be amended upon the proposal of a Contracting Government by any of the procedures specified in this Article.

2. Amendment by unanimous acceptance:

  • (a) Upon the request of a Contracting Government, any amendment proposed by it to the present Convention shall be communicated by the Organisation to all Contracting Governments for consideration with a view to unanimous acceptance.
  • (b) Any such amendment shall enter into force twelve months after the date of its acceptance by all Contracting Governments unless an earlier date is agreed upon. A Contracting Government which does not communicate its acceptance or rejection of the amendment to the Organisation within twenty-four months of its first communication by the latter shall be deemed to have accepted the amendment.

3. Amendment after consideration in the Organisation:

  • (a) Upon the request of a Contracting Government, any amendment proposed by it to the present Convention will be considered in the Organisation. If adopted by a majority of two-thirds of those present and voting in the Maritime Safety Committee of the Organisation, such amendment shall be communicated to all Members of the Organisation and all Contracting Governments at least six months prior to its consideration by the Assembly of the Organisation.
  • (b) If adopted by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting in the Assembly, the amendment shall be communicated by the Organisation to all Contracting Governments for their acceptance.
  • (c) Such amendment shall come into force twelve months after the date on which it is accepted by two-thirds of the Contracting Governments. The amendments shall come into force with respect to all Contracting Governments except those which, before it comes into force, make a declaration that they do not accept the amendment.
  • (d) The Assembly, by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting, including two-thirds of the Governments represented on the Maritime Safety Committee present and voting in the Assembly, may propose a determination at the time of its adoption that an amendment is of such an important nature that any Contracting Government which makes a declaration under sub-paragraph (c) of this paragraph and which does not accept the amendment within a period of twelve months after it comes into force, shall cease to be a party to the present Convention upon expiry of that period. This determination shall be subject to the prior acceptance of two-thirds of the Contracting Governments.
  • (e) Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the Contracting Government which first proposed action under this paragraph on an amendment to the present Convention from taking at any time such alternative action as it deems desirable in accordance with paragraphs 2 or 4 of this Article.

4. Amendment by a Conference:

  • (a) Upon the request of a Contracting Government, concurred in by at least one-third of the Contracting Governments, a conference of Governments will be convened by the Organisation to consider amendments to the present Convention.
  • (b) Every amendment adopted by such a conference by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting of the Contracting Governments shall be communicated by the Organisation to all Contracting Governments for their acceptance.
  • (c) Such amendment shall come into force twelve months after the date on which it is accepted by two-thirds of the Contracting Governments. The amendment shall come into force with respect to all Contracting Governments except those which, before it comes into force, make a declaration that they do not accept the amendment.
  • (d) By a two-thirds majority of those present and voting, a conference convened under sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph may determine at the time of its adoption that an amendment is of such an important nature that any Contracting Government which makes a declaration under sub-paragraph (c) of this paragraph, and which does not accept the amendment within a period of twelve months after it comes into force, shall cease to be a Party to the present Convention upon the expiry of that period.

5. The Organisation shall inform all Contracting Governments of any amendments which may come into force under this Article, together with the date on which each such amendment will come into force.

6. Any acceptance or declaration under this Article shall be made by the deposit of an instrument with the Organisation which shall notify all Contracting Governments of the receipt of the acceptance or declaration.

TERRITORIAL APPLICATION

Article XX

1. (a) The United Nations, in cases where they are the administering authority for a territory, or any Contracting Government responsible for the international relations of a territory, shall as soon as possible consult with such territory or take such measures as may be appropriate in an endeavour to extend the present Convention to that territory and may at any time by notification in writing to the Organisation declare that the present Convention shall extend to such territory.

(b) The present Convention shall, from the date of receipt of the notification or from such other date as may be specified in the notification, extend to the territory named therein.

2. (a) The United Nations, or any Contracting Government which has made a declaration under sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph 1 of this Article at any time after the expiry of a period of five years from the date on which the Convention has been so extended to any territory, may by notification in writing to the Organisation declare that the present Convention shall cease to extend to any such territory named in the notification.

(b) The present Convention shall cease to extend to any territory mentioned in such notification one year, or such longer period as may be specified therein, after the date of receipt of the notification by the Organisation.

3. The Organisation shall inform all the Contracting Governments of the extension of the present Convention to any territories under paragraph 1 of this Article, and of the termination of any such extension under the provisions of paragraph 2 stating in each case the date from which the present Convention has been or will cease to be so extended.

DECLARATIONS, RESERVATIONS AND STATEMENTS

Argentina

The depositary received, on 11 August 1995, the following communication from His Excellency the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of the Argentine Republic, London:

[translation] “The Argentine Republic rejects the statement by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in connection with the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969, to the effect that the provisions of the Convention shall apply to the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands ‘with immediate effect’. The Argentine Republic reaffirms its sovereignty over these islands and their surrounding maritime spaces, which constitute an integral part of its national territory.

The Argentine Republic recalls the adoption, by the General Assembly of the United Nations, of resolutions 2065(XX), 3160(XXVIII), 31/49, 37/9, 38/12, 39/6, 40/21, 42/19 and 43/25, acknowledging the existence of a dispute concerning sovereignty and urging the Governments of the Argentine Republic and of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to enter into negotiations with a view to identifying means of pacific and final settlement of the outstanding problems between the two countries, including all matters concerning the future of the Malvinas Islands, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.”

Bulgaria

The instrument of acceptance of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria contained the following declarations:

[translation] “(a) The People’s Republic of Bulgaria declares that the provisions of article XVI of the Convention are in contradiction with the principle of sovereign equality of States and are not in line with the internationally adopted practice of concluding international treaties of universal significance.

(b) The People’s Republic of Bulgaria declares that the provisions of article XX of the Convention concerning its application by the States Parties on the territories of the international relations of which they are responsible, do not correspond to the Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and People’s (resolution 1514(XV)) of December 14, 1960.”

Chile

The instrument of accession of the Republic of Chile contained the following reservation (in the Spanish language):

[translation] “. . . amendments referred to in article XVIII of the Convention shall not be binding on Chile until such time as it has brought into operation the internal procedure established by the Political Constitution of the Republic for the approval of international treaties.”

China

The instrument of accession of the People’s Republic of China contains the following declaration:

[translation] “[The Government of the People’s Republic of China] wish to declare illegal and null and void the signing of the Convention by the Authorities in Taiwan in the name of China.”

Cuba

The instrument of accession of the Republic of Cuba contained the following declarations (in the Spanish language):

[translation] “The Government of the Republic of Cuba considers that the provisions contained in article II(3), article III(1)(b) and article XX of the Convention, to the extent that they accept that the international relations of any territory may be the responsibility of another Government, are not applicable in that respect because they are contrary to the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (resolution 1514 adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 14 December 1960), which proclaims the necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations.

The Government of the Republic of Cuba considers that article XVI(1) of the Convention, despite the fact that its provisions deal with questions of interest for all States, is of a discriminatory nature in that it withholds from a number of States the right of signature and accession, which is contrary to the principle of universality.”

Czechoslovakia

The instrument of accession of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was accompanied by the following declaration (in the English language):

“Acceding to the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, the Government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic wishes to declare that article XVI of the Convention is at variance with the generally recognized principle of sovereign equality of States, and article XX with the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, adopted at the XVth session of the United Nations General Assembly on 14 December 1960.”

By a communication dated 13 June 1995 the depositary was notified that the Czech Republic, which is a Party to the above-mentioned Convention by virtue of its succession to the former Czechoslovakia, considers henceforth the declaration pertaining to articles 16 to 20 which accompanied the instrument of accession of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic as obsolete and having lost any relevance.

Denmark

The instrument of acceptance of the Kingdom of Denmark was accompanied by the following declaration:

“Even though the Convention has not yet entered into force for Denmark the Danish Government will apply the provisions of the Convention already as of 18 July 1982, insofar as regards both Danish ships and ships of States for which the Convention will enter into force on 18 July 1982 or at any date between the said date and the date of the formal entry into force of the Convention for Denmark.”

France

The instrument of acceptance of the French Republic contained the following reservation (in the French language):

[translation] “the French Government will not accept any invocation against it of a decision taken under the provisions of article XVIII(3)(d).”

German Democratic Republic

The instrument of accession of the German Democratic Republic was accompanied by the following declarations (in the German language):

[translation] “The Government of the German Democratic Republic considers that the provisions of article XVI of the Convention are inconsistent with the principle that all States pursuing their policies in accordance with the purpose and principles of the Charter of the United Nations shall have the right to become parties to conventions affecting the interests of all States.

The position of the Government of the German Democratic Republic of article XX of the Convention, as far as the application of the Convention to colonial and other dependent territories is concerned, is governed by the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (resolution 1514(VX) of 14 December 1960) proclaiming the necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations.”

Hungary

The instrument of accession of the Hungarian People’s Republic included the following statement:

[translation] “The Presidential Council of the Hungarian People’s Republic declares that the terms contained in article II, paragraph (3) and article XX of the Convention concerning the extension of the validity of the Convention to territories for the international relations of which the Contracting Governments are responsible, are incompatible with the Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly of December 14, 1960 on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.”

Israel

The depositary received a communication dated 11 February 1976 from the Chargex d’affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Israel, London. The communication, the full text of which was circulated by the depositary, includes the following:

“This statement by the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic is a political one and it is the view of the Government of Israel that the [International Maritime Organization] and its conventions are not the proper place for making such pronouncements. These pronouncements are, moreover, in flagrant contradiction to the principles, objects and purposes of the Convention in question.

The Government of Israel rejects the said statement as being devoid of any legal validity whatsoever and will proceed on the assumption that it cannot in any way affect the obligations incumbent on the Syrian Arab Republic under the above-mentioned Convention.

The Government of Israel will, in so far as concerns the substance of the matter, adopt towards the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic an attitude of complete reciprocity.”

Romania

The instrument of accession of the Socialist Republic of Romania was accompanied by the following statement (in the French language):

[translation] “(a) The Socialist Republic of Romania considers that the provisions of article XVI of the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships are not in accord with the principle whereby multilateral international treaties, the purposes of which are of concern to the international community as a whole, should be open to universal participation.

(b) The Socialist Republic of Romania considers that the maintenance in a state of dependency of certain territories, to which the provisions of article II(3) and article XX of the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships refer, is inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations and with the texts adopted by the United Nations regarding the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples, including the Declaration relative to the principles of international law concerning friendly relations and co-operation between States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations unanimously adopted in 1970 by the General Assembly of the United Nations by resolution 2625(XXV), which solemnly proclaims the duties of States to encourage the achievement of the principle of the equality of the rights of peoples and their right to self-determination with a view to bringing colonialism to a speedy end.”

Syrian Arab Republic

The instrument of accession of the Syrian Arab Republic contains the following sentence (in the Arabic language):

  • [translation] “ . . . this accession . . . to this Convention . . . in no way implies recognition of Israel and does not involve the establishment of any relations with Israel arising from the provisions of this Convention.”

USSR

The instrument of acceptance of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics contains the following statement (in the Russian language):

[translation] “The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics states that paragraph (1) of article XVI of the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement, 1969, under which Governments of a number of States are deprived of the opportunity to become Parties to this Convention, is of a discriminatory nature and believes that, in accordance with the principle of sovereign equality of States, the Convention should be open for participation to all the interested Parties without any discrimination or restrictions.

“The Government of the Soviet Union considers it necessary to state also that the provisions of article II (paragraph (3)) and article XX of the Convention on the extension by the Contracting Parties of its application to the territories, for whose international relations they are responsible are incompatible with the Declaration of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples (resolution 1514(XV) of 14 December 1960).”

United States

The instrument of acceptance of the United States of America contained the following understanding:

  • “That in the assessment of tolls for transit of the Panama Canal, the United States will continue to have the right to apply the present Panama Canal tonnage system or to adopt any other basis, in computing tonnages derived from volumes or other measures developed in connection with the said Convention.”

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