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II.3.280 (SAR 1979) INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON MARITIME SEARCH AND RESCUE, 1979, AS AMENDED

The Ratification of Maritime Conventions

Chapter I.3.280

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON MARITIME SEARCH AND RESCUE, 1979, AS AMENDED

ADOPTED: Done at Hamburg, 27 April 1979
REFERENCE: SAR, 1979
ENTERED INTO FORCE: 22 June 1985
DEPOSITARY: IMO, London
SECRETARY: IMO, London

Note: The present text incorporates the following amendments:

  Date of entry into force
—1998 amendments adopted by MSC (70)(69) 01.01.2000
—2004 Amendments adopted by MSC.155(78) 01.07.2006

IMPLEMENTATION

SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE, APPROVAL AND ACCESSION

Article IV

(1) The Convention shall remain open for signature at the Headquarters of the Organization from 1 November 1979 until 31 October 1980 and shall thereafter remain open for accession. States may become Parties to the Convention by:

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

(2) Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument to that effect with the Secretary-General.

(3) The Secretary-General shall inform States of any signature or of the deposit of any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession and the date of its deposit.

ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article V

(1) The Convention shall enter into force 12 months after the date on which 15 States have become Parties to it in accordance with article IV.

(2) Entry into force for States which ratify, accept, approve or accede to the Convention in accordance with article IV after the condition prescribed in paragraph (1) has been met and before the Convention enters into force, shall be on the date of entry into force of the Convention.

(3) Entry into force for States which ratify, accept, approve or accede to the Convention after the date on which the Convention enters into force shall be 30 days after the date of deposit of an instrument in accordance with article IV.

(4) Any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession deposited after the date of entry into force of an amendment to the Convention in accordance with article III shall apply to the Convention, as amended, and the Convention, as amended, shall enter into force for a State depositing such an instrument 30 days after the date of its deposit.

(5) The Secretary-General shall inform States of the date of entry into force of the Convention.

DENUNCIATION

Article VI

(1) The Convention may be denounced by any Party at any time after the expiry of five years from the date on which the Convention enters into force for that Party.

(2) Denunciation shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of denunciation with the Secretary-General who shall notify States of any instrument of denunciation received and of the date of its receipt as well as the date on which such denunciation takes effect.

(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 Secretary-General.

AMENDMENTS

Article III

(1) The Convention may be amended by either of the procedures specified in paragraphs (2) and (3) hereinafter.

(2) Amendment after consideration within the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (hereinafter referred to as the Organisation):

  • (a) Any amendment proposed by a Party and transmitted to the Secretary-General of the Organisation (hereinafter referred to as the Secretary-General), or any amendment deemed necessary by the Secretary-General as a result of an amendment to a corresponding provision of Annex 12 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, shall be circulated to all Members of the Organisation and all Parties at least six months prior to its consideration by the Maritime Safety Committee of the Organisation.
  • (b) Parties, whether or not Members of the Organisation, shall be entitled to participate in the proceedings of the Maritime Safety Committee for the consideration and adoption of amendments.
  • (c) Amendments shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Parties present and voting in the Maritime Safety Committee on condition that at least one-third of the Parties shall be present at the time of adoption of the amendment.
  • (d) Amendments adopted in accordance with sub-paragraph (c) shall be communicated by the Secretary-General to all Parties for acceptance.
  • (e) An amendment to an Article or to paragraphs 2.1.4, 2.1.5, 2.1.7, 2.1.10, 3.1.2 or 3.3.3 of the Annex shall be deemed to have been accepted on the date on which the Secretary-General has received an instrument of acceptance from two-thirds of the Parties.
  • (f) An amendment to the Annex other than to paragraphs 2.1.4, 2.1.5, 2.1.7, 2.1.10, 3.1.2 or 3.1.3 shall be deemed to have been accepted at the end of one year from the date on which it is communicated to the Parties for acceptance. However, if within such period of one year more than one third of the Parties notify the Secretary-General that they object to the amendment, it shall be deemed not to have been accepted.
  • (g) An amendment to an Article or to paragraphs 2.1.4, 2.1.5, 2.1.7, 2.1.10, 3.1.2 or 3.1.3 of the Annex shall enter into force:
    • (i) with respect to those Parties which have accepted it, six months after the date on which it is deemed to have been accepted;
    • (ii) with respect to those Parties which accept it after the condition mentioned in sub-paragraph (e) has been met and before the amendment enters into force, on the date of entry into force of the amendments;
    • (iii) with respect to those Parties which accept it after the date on which the amendment enters into force, 30 days after the deposit of an instrument of acceptance.
  • (h) An amendment to the Annex other than to paragraphs 2.1.4, 2.1.5, 2.1.7, 2.1.10, 3.1.2 or 3.1.3 shall enter into force with respect to all Parties, except those which have objected to the amendment under sub-paragraph (f) and which have not withdrawn such objections, six months after the date on which it is deemed to have been accepted. However, before the date set for entry into force, any Party may give notice to the Secretary-General that it exempts itself from giving effect to that amendment for a period not longer than one year from the date of its entry into force, or for such longer period as may be determined by a two-thirds majority of the Parties present and voting in the Maritime Safety Committee at the time of the adoption of the amendment.

(3) Amendment by a Conference:

  • (a) Upon the request of a Party concurred in by at least one third of the Parties, the Organisation shall convene a Conference of Parties to consider amendments to the Convention. Proposed amendments shall be circulated by the Secretary-General to all Parties at least six months prior to their consideration by the Conference.
  • (b) Amendments shall be adopted by such a Conference by a two-thirds majority of the Parties present and voting, on condition that at least one-third of the Parties shall be present at the time of adoption of the amendment. Amendments so adopted shall be communicated by the Secretary-General to all Parties for acceptance.
  • (c) Unless the Conference decides otherwise, the amendment shall be deemed to have been accepted and shall enter into force in accordance with the procedures specified in sub-paragraphs (2)(e), (2)(f), (2)(g), and (2)(h) respectively, provided that reference in sub-paragraph (2)(h) to the Maritime Safety Committee expanded in accordance with paragraph (2)(b) shall be taken to the Conference.

(4) Any declaration of acceptance of, or objection to, an amendment or any notice given under sub-paragraph (2)(h) shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary-General who shall inform all Parties of any such submission and the date of its receipt.

(5) The Secretary-General shall inform States of any amendments, which enter into force, together with the date on which each such amendment enters into force.

DECLARATIONS, RESERVATIONS AND STATEMENTS

Australia

The instrument of accession of the Commonwealth of Australia was accompanied by the following statement:

“Australia has a federal constitutional system in which legislative executive and judicial powers are shared or distributed between the Commonwealth and the constituent States.

The implementation of the Treaty throughout Australia will be effected by the Commonwealth, State and Territory authorities having regard to their respective constitutional powers and arrangements concerning their exercise.”

Chile

The depositary received the following communication dated 14 October 1983 from the Embassy of Chile in London outlining the position of the Government of Chile with regard to the services established in compliance with the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, 1979:

[translation] “The Government of Chile states that the creation of the maritime search and rescue services and the delimitation of the corresponding regions must be carried out strictly in conformity with the standards set forth in paragraph 2.1.4 and 2.1.5 of chapter 2 of the Convention.

The Government of Chile states further that, without prejudice to co-operation with the International Civil Aviation Organization to harmonize aeronautical and maritime search and rescue plans and procedures, as recommended in resolution 1 of the Conference, the Parties to the Convention have full and sovereign liberty to establish within their territory and the waters under their jurisdiction such maritime search and rescue regions as they consider best suited to their interests.”

China

The instrument of approval of the People’s Republic of China contained the following declaration (in the English language):

“The delimitation of search and rescue regions, as stipulated in the Annex to the Convention 2.1.7, is not related to and shall not prejudice the delimitation of any boundary between States, either is not related to and shall not prejudice the delimitation of any exclusive economic zone and continental shelf between States.”

Cyprus

The instrument of accession of the Republic of Cyprus contained the following reservation:

“As far as the Republic of Cyprus is concerned, the search and rescue region referred to in paragraphs 2.1.4 and 2.1.5 of the Annex to the present Convention is the sea area which is included in the region of responsibility of the Republic of Cyprus, which has been delimited on the basis of the Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944, including the Thirteen Protocols attached thereon from 1947 to 1984, and ratified by the subsequent law of the Republic of Cyprus No. 213 of 1988.”

Greece

The following reservation was made at the time of signature of the Convention and was contained in the instrument of ratification:

“Region of responsibility: As far as Greece is concerned, the search and rescue referred to in paragraph 2.1.4 and 2.1.5 of the Annex to the present Convention is the region within which Greece has already assumed the responsibility for search and rescue purposes, established in accordance with the relevant Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the regulation 15 of Chapter V of the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea of 17 June 1960 (SOLAS 1960).

Such region, which constitutes the most appropriate arrangement in the sense of paragraph 2.1.5 of the Annex to that Convention, was notified to the International Maritime Organisation by document No.44/7.1.1975 of the Greek Ministry of Merchant Marine, and Greece has been continuously carrying out within it search and rescue operations.”

Trinidad & Tobago

The instrument of accession of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago contained the following declaration:

“The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago declares that the delimitation of maritime search and rescue regions pursuant to the provisional Caribbean Maritime Search and Rescue Plan is not related to and does not prejudice in any way the delimitation of maritime boundaries between Trinidad and Tobago and other States.”

Turkey

The depositary received the following communication dated 13 November 1989 from the Turkish Embassy in London:

“With reference to the IMO document SAR/Cir.41, regarding the ratification of the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, 1979, by the Government of Greece, I am writing to inform you that the Government of Turkey would like to record its formal objection to the reservation made by the Government of Greece on 4 September 1989 at the time of the ratification of the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, 1979.

Paragraphs 2.1.4 and 2.1.5 of the Annex to the Convention clearly stipulate that regions shall be established by agreement and cannot be established unilaterally.

On the other hand, Search and Rescue regions established in accordance with the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation of 7 December 1944, as referred by Greece, pertains exclusively to the SAR services regarding air navigation and as such remains outside the scope of and does not prejudice the Annex to the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, 1979.”

USSR

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

  • [translation] “Search and Rescue operations in and over the territorial waters (the territorial sea), the inland waters, the land territory of the USSR are performed as a rule by Soviet rescue units. In exceptional cases entry of foreign rescue units into and over the Soviet territorial waters (territorial sea), the inland waters and the land territory of the USSR for the purpose of searching and rescuing the survivors of maritime casualties is performed in accordance with the laws and regulations of the USSR unless otherwise is provided for by the treaties of the USSR”.

United Kingdom

The following declaration was made at the time of signature of the Convention:

  • “ . . . that the Convention will not enter into force for Gibraltar until 30 days after the date on which the Government of the United Kingdom notify the Secretary-General of the InterGovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization that the measures required to implement the provisions of the Convention in Gibraltar have been taken”.

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