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1. The present Convention shall be open for signature in Helsinki on 22 March 1974 by the Baltic Sea States participating in the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, held in Helsinki from 18 to 22 March 1974. The present Convention shall be open for accession to any other State interested in fulfilling the aims and purposes of the present Convention, provided that this State is invited by all the Contracting Parties.
1. bis The present Convention shall be open for accession by the European Economic Community. Within the area of its competence, the European Economic Community is entitled to a number of votes equal to the number of its Member States which are contracting parties to the present Convention. The European Economic Community shall not exercise its rights to vote in cases where its Member States exercise theirs and conversely.
2. The present Convention shall be subject to ratification or approval by the States which have signed it.
3. The instruments of ratification, approval, or accession shall be deposited with the Government of Finland, which will perform the duties of the Depository Government.
1. The present Convention shall enter into force two months after the deposit of the seventh instrument of ratification or approval.
2. For the European Economic Community acceding to the Convention according to Article 26 the Convention shall enter into force two months after the deposits of the instrument of accession.
1. At any time after the expiry of five years from the date of entry into force of the present Convention any Contracting Party may, by giving written notification to the Depository Government, withdraw from the present Convention. The withdrawal shall take effect for such Contracting Party on the thirty-first day of December of the year which follows the year in which the Depository Government was notified of the withdrawal.
2. In case of notification of withdrawal by a Contracting Party the Depository Government shall convene a meeting of the Contracting Parties for the purpose of considering the effect of the withdrawal.
1. The provisions of the present Convention shall not be subject to reservations.
2. The provision of Paragraph 1 of this Article does not prevent a Contracting Party from suspending for a period not exceeding one year the application of an Annex of the present Convention or part thereof or an amendment thereto after the Annex in question or the amendment thereto has entered into force.
3. If after the entry into force of the present Convention a Contracting Party invokes the provisions of Paragraph 2 of this Article it shall inform the other Contracting Parties, at the time of the adoption by the Commission of an amendment to an Annex or a new Annex, of those provisions which will be suspended in accordance with Paragraph 2 of this Article.
A Conference for the purpose of a general revision of the present Convention may be convened with the consent of the Contracting Parties or at the request of the Commission.
1. Each Contracting Party may propose amendments to the Articles of the present Convention. Any such proposed amendments shall be submitted to the Depositary Government and communicated by it to all Contracting Parties, which shall inform the Depositary Government of either their acceptance or rejection of the amendment as soon as possible after the receipt of the communication.
The amendment shall enter into force ninety days after the Depositary Government has received notifications of acceptance of that amendment from all Contracting Parties.
2. With the Consent of the Contracting Parties or at the request of the Commission a conference may be convened for the purpose of amending the present Convention.
1. Any amendment to the Annexes proposed by a Contracting party shall be communicated to the other Contracting Parties by the Depositary Government and considered in the Commission. If adopted by the Commission, the amendment shall be communicated to the Contracting Parties and recommended for acceptance.
2. Such amendment shall be deemed to have been accepted at the end of a period determined by the Commission unless within that period any one of the Contracting Parties has objected to the amendment. The accepted amendment shall enter into force on a date determined by the Commission.
The period determined by the Commission shall be prolonged for an additional period of six months and the date of entry into force of the amendment postponed accordingly, if, in exceptional cases, any Contracting Party before the expiring of the period determined by the Commission informs the Depositary Government, that, although it intends to accept the proposal, the constitutional requirements for such acceptance are not yet fulfilled in its State.
3. An Annex to the present Convention may be adopted in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
4. The Depositary Government shall inform all Contracting Parties of any amendments or the adoption of a new Annex which enters into force under this Article and of the date on which such amendment or new Annex enters into force.
5. Any objection under this Article shall be made by notification in writing to the Depositary Government which shall notify all Contracting Parties and the Executive Secretary of any such notification and the date of its receipt.
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