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II.7.70 (INTERVENTION 1969) INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION RELATING TO INTERVENTION ON THE HIGH SEAS IN CASES OF OIL POLLUTION CASUALTIES, 1969

The Ratification of Maritime Conventions

Chapter I.7.70

(INTERVENTION 1969) INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION RELATING TO INTERVENTION ON THE HIGH SEAS IN CASES OF OIL POLLUTION CASUALTIES, 1969

ADOPTED: Done at Brussels, 29 November 1969
REFERENCE: INTERVENTION 1969
UN TREATY NUMBER: I 14049
ENTERED INTO FORCE: 6 May 1975
DEPOSITARY: IMO, London
SECRETARY: IMO, London

IMPLEMENTATION

SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE, APPROVAL, ACCESSION

Article IX

1. The present Convention shall remain open for signature until 31 December 1970 and shall thereafter remain open for accession.

2. States Members of the United Nations or 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 this Convention by:

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

Article X

1. Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be effected by the deposit of a formal instrument to that effect with the Secretary-General of the Organization.

2. Any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession deposited after the entry into force of an amendment to the present Convention with respect to all existing Parties or after the completion of all measures required for the entry into force of the amendment with respect to those Parties shall be deemed to apply to the Convention as modified by the amendment.

ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article XI

1. The present Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day following the date on which Governments of fifteen States have either signed it without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval or have deposited instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Secretary-General of the Organization.

2. For each State which subsequently ratifies, accepts, approves or accedes to it the present Convention shall come into force on the ninetieth day after deposit by such State of the appropriate instrument.

DENUNCIATION

Article XII

1. The present Convention may be denounced by any Party at any time after the date on which the Convention comes into force for that State.

2. Denunciation shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument with the Secretary-General of the Organization.

3. A denunciation shall take effect one year, or such longer period as may be specified in the instrument of denunciation, after its deposit with the Secretary-General of the Organisation.

AMENDMENT

Article XIV

1. A Conference for the purpose of revising or amending the present Convention may be convened by the Organisation.

2. The Organisation shall convene a Conference of the States Parties to the present Convention for revising or amending the present Convention at the request of not less than one-third of the Parties.

TERRITORIAL APPLICATION

Article XIII

1. The United Nations where it is the administering authority for a territory, or any State Party to the present Convention responsible for the international relations of a territory, shall as soon as possible consult with the appropriate authorities of such territories or take such other measures as may be appropriate, in order to extend the present Convention to that territory and may at any time by notification in writing to the Secretary-General of the Organization declare that the present Convention shall extend to such territory.

2. 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.

3. The United Nations, or any Party which has made a declaration under paragraph 1 of this Article may at any time after the date on which the Convention has been so extended to any territory declare by notification in writing to the Secretary-General of the Organization that the present Convention shall cease to extend to any such territory named in the notification.

4. 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 Secretary-General of the Organization.

DECLARATIONS, RESERVATIONS AND STATEMENTS

Argentina

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

note: The depositary received the following communication dated 4 August 1987 from the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office:

  • “The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland cannot accept the reservation made by the Argentine Republic regarding the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have no doubt as to United Kingdom sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and, accordingly, their right to extend the application of the Convention to the Falkland Islands.
  • While noting the Argentine reference to the provisions of Article IV of the Antarctic Treaty signed at Washington on 1 December 1959, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have no doubt as to the sovereignty of the United Kingdom over the British Antarctic Territory, and to the right to extend the application of the Convention in question to that Territory.”

Australia

The instrument of ratification of the Commonwealth of Australia was accompanied by the following declaration:

  • “Australia recalls the statement made by the Australian Delegation to the International Conference on Marine Pollution, 1973 which was in the following terms:
  • …Australia believes that no coastal State would refrain from taking whatever action was necessary to protect areas under its jurisdiction from serious environmental damage and it believes that this right of a coastal State to intervene on the high seas to protect areas under its jurisdiction is recognized under customary international law.
  • In becoming a party to the Convention, Australia declares that it believes that it may still take action to protect areas and resources under its jurisdiction which is permitted under customary international law and which is consistent with the Convention.”

Bulgaria

The instrument of accession of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria contained the following declaration (in the Bulgarian language):

  • [translation] “The People’s Republic of Bulgaria consider that:
  • (a) The provisions of article 9, paragraph 2 of the Convention which restrict the opportunity for certain States to become party to the Convention have discriminatory character and they are contrary to the generally recognized principle of the Sovereign equality of States.
  • (b) The provisions of article 13 of the Convention are not in accordance with the UN Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (resolution 1514/XV/December 14, 1960) which proclaims the necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations.”

Cuba

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

  • [translation] “In connexion with the provision of article 1, paragraph 2, the Republic of Cuba wishes to record that, in deciding to become a Party to the present Convention, it has done so with the desire of reconciling in this exceptional case, within the framework of this Convention, the principle, consistently maintained by our Government, of ‘Sovereign Immunity of Ships owned or operated by a State’ with the interest of protecting the marine environment and connected interests of coastal States.
  • Also we reaffirm the position that our merchant ships enjoy the right of sovereign immunity.
  • The provisions of article IX, paragraph 2, establishing which States will have the right to become Parties to the Convention are of a discriminatory nature and are contrary to the principle of universality, based on the sovereignty and equality of all States.
  • We consider the provisions of article XIII, according to which the Contracting Parties may extend the Convention to those territories for whose international relations they are responsible, as obsolete and in contradiction with the Declaration of the United Nations on the granting of independence and sovereignty to colonial peoples (resolution 1514(XV) of 14 December 1960 of the United Nations).”

note: On 16 October 1978 the depositary received communications from the Government of France (in the French language) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany (in the English language), deposited concurrently and stating the following:

  • “The Government of [the Federal Republic of Germany][France] has taken note of the declaration made by the Government of Cuba in connection with its accession to the Convention of 1969 relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties.
  • It takes this opportunity to reaffirm once more that according to international law and the Brussels Convention of April 1926, ships operated by a State but used on commercial service do not enjoy the immunities granted to State ships.”

The depositary received the following communication (in the English language) dated 9 March 1979 from the Chargé d’affaires, Embassy of Japan, London.

  • “It is the understanding of the Government of Japan that the aforementioned Declaration is not intended to have the effect that the Republic of Cuba may claim sovereign immunity with respect to its ships used for commercial purposes, when measures are to be taken against such ships in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.”

German Democratic Republic

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

  • [translation] “The German Democratic Republic takes note of the statement made by the Federal Republic of Germany on the application of the provisions of the Convention to Berlin (West) and proceeds on the understanding that the application of the provisions of the Convention to Berlin (West) shall be in conformity with the Quadripartite Agreement of 3 September 1971 according to which Berlin (West) is not a constituent part of the Federal Republic of Germany and is not to be governed by it.
  • The German Democratic Republic considers that the provision of article IX, paragraph 2, of the Convention is 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.
  • The position of the German Democratic Republic on article XIII 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(XV) of 14 December 1960) proclaiming the necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations.”

Syrian Arab Republic

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

  • [translation] “ . . . this accession [to the 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.”

U.S.S.R.

The instrument of accession of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was accompanied by the following declaration (in the Russian language):

  • [translation] “In acceding to the Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics considers it necessary to declare that:
  • (a) the provisions of paragraph 2 of article IX of the Convention, according to which certain States may not become Party to the latter is of a discriminatory nature and conflicts with the universally recognized principle of the sovereign equality of States, and
  • (b) the provisions of article XIII of the Convention laying down that the Contracting Parties may extend it to territories for whose international relations they are responsible are obsolete and conflict with the Declaration of the United Nations Organization on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples (resolution 1514(XV) of 14 December 1960).”

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