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II.1.130 CONVENTION ON THE CONTINENTAL SHELF, 1958

The Ratification of Maritime Conventions

Chapter I.1.130

CONVENTION ON THE CONTINENTAL SHELF, 1958

ADOPTED: Done at Geneva on 29 April 1958
REFERENCE: 499 UNTS 311
UN TREATY NUMBER: I 7302
ENTERED INTO FORCE: 10 June 1964
DEPOSITARY: Secretary-General, United Nations
SECRETARY: Secretary-General, United Nations

IMPLEMENTATION

SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION AND ACCESSION

Article VIII

This Convention shall, until 31 October, 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 IX

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

Article X

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

ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article XI

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 the deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification or accession.

RESERVATIONS

Article XII

1. At the time of signature, ratification or accession, any State may make reservations to articles of the Convention other than to articles I to III inclusive.

2. Any contracting State making a reservation in accordance with the preceding paragraph may at any time withdraw the reservation by a communication to that effect addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

AMENDMENTS

Article XIII

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.)

Canada

Reservation

“The Government of Canada wishes to make the following declaration with respect to article I of the Convention

In the view of the Canadian Government the presence of an accidental feature such as a depression or a channel in a submerged area should not be regarded as constituting an interruption in the natural prolongation of the land territory of the coastal state into and under the sea.”

Objections

“The Government of Canada wishes to declare as follows

(i) That it does not find acceptable the declaration made by the Federal Republic of Germany with respect to article V, paragraph 1.

(ii) That it reserves its position concerning the declaration of the Government of the French Republic with respect to article I and article II, paragraph 4; and further that it does not find acceptable the reservations made by the Government of the French Republic to articles IV, and V, paragraph 1.

(iii) That it does not find acceptable the reservation made by the Government of the French Republic to article VI, paragraphs 1 and 2, insofar as that reservation relates to a boundary calculated from baselines established after 29 April 1958 or to a boundary extending beyond the 200 metre isobath.

(iv) That it reserves its position concerning the reservation made by the Government of the French Republic to article VI, paragraphs 1 and 2, insofar as that reservation relates to a boundary in areas where there are ‘special circumstances’ within the meaning of article VI, paragraphs 1 and 2.

(v) That it does not find acceptable the reservation made by the Iranian Government to article IV.”

China

“With regard to the determination of the boundary of the continental shelf as provided in paragraphs 1 and 2 of article VI of the Convention, the Government of the Republic of China considers

  • 1) that the boundary of the continental shelf appertaining to two or more States whose coasts are adjacent to and/or opposite each other shall be determined in accordance with the principle of the natural prolongation of their land territories; and
  • 2) that in determining the boundary of the continental shelf of the Republic of China, exposed rocks and islets shall not be taken into account.”

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.”

France

Declarations

In depositing this instrument of accession, the Government of the French Republic declares

Article I

In the view of the Government of the French Republic, the expression “adjacent” areas implies a notion of geophysical, geological and geographical dependence which ipso facto rules out an unlimited extension of the continental shelf.

Article II (paragraph 4)

The Government of the French Republic considers that the expression “living organisms belonging to sedentary species” must be interpreted as excluding crustaceans, with the exception of the species of crab termed “barnacle”; and it makes the following reservations:

Article IV

The Government of the French Republic accepts this article only on condition that the coastal State claiming that the measures it intends to take are “reasonable” agrees that if their reasonableness is contested it shall be determined by arbitration.

Article V (paragraph 1)

The Government of the French Republic accepts the provisions of article V, paragraph 1, with the following reservations:

  • (a) An essential element which should serve as the basis for appreciating any “interference” with the conservation of the living resources of the sea, resulting from the exploitation of the continental shelf, particularly in breeding areas for maintenance of stocks, shall be the technical report of the international scientific bodies responsible for the conservation of the living resources of the sea in the areas specified respectively in article I of the Convention for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries of 24 January 1959.
  • (b) Any restrictions placed on the exercise of acquired fishing rights in waters above the continental shelf shall give rise to a right to compensation.
  • (c) It must be possible to establish by means of arbitration, if the matter is contested, whether the exploration of the continental shelf and the exploitation of its natural resources result in an interference with the other activities protected by article V, paragraph 1, which is “unjustifiable”.

Article VI (paragraphs 1 and 2)

In the absence of a specific agreement, the Government of the French Republic will not accept that any boundary of the continental shelf determined by application of the principle of equidistance shall be invoked against it:

—if such boundary is calculated from baselines established after 29 April 1958;

—if it extends beyond the 200-metre isobath;

—if it lies in areas where, in the Government’s opinion, there are “special circumstances” within the meaning of article VI, paragraphs 1 and 2, that is to say: the Bay of Biscay, the Bay of Granville, and the sea areas of the Straits of Dover and of the North Sea off the French coast.

Objection

The Government of the French Republic does not accept the reservations made by the Government of Iran with respect to article IV of the Convention.

German Democratic Republic

The German Democratic Republic considers that articles VIII and X 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.

Germany, Federal Republic of

“In signing the Convention on the Continental Shelf of 29 April 1958, the Federal Republic of Germany declares with reference to article V, paragraph 1 of the Convention on the Continental Shelf that in the opinion of the Federal Government article V, paragraph 1 guarantees the exercise of fishing rights (Fischerei) in the waters above the continental shelf in the manner hitherto generally in practice.”

Greece

…Pursuant to article XII of the Convention, the Kingdom of Greece makes a reservation with respect to the system of delimiting the boundaries of the continental shelf appertaining to States whose coasts are adjacent or opposite to each other, provided for in article VI, paragraphs 1 and 2, of the Convention. In such cases, the Kingdom of Greece will apply, in the absence of international agreement, the normal baseline system for the purpose of measuring the breadth of the territorial sea.

Iran, Islamic Republic of

“In signing this Convention on the Continental Shelf, I am instructed by the Iranian Government to make the following reservations

(a) Article IV. With respect to the phrase ‘the Coastal State may not impede the laying or maintenance of submarine cables or pipe-lines on the continental shelf’, the Iranian Government reserves its right to allow or not to allow the laying or maintenance of submarine cables or pipe-lines on its continental shelf.

(b) Article VI. With respect to the phrase ‘and unless another boundary line is justified by special circumstances’ included in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article, the Iranian Government accepts this phrase on the understanding that one method of determining the boundary line in special circumstances would be that of measurement from the high water mark.”

Montenegro

Reservation in respect of Article 6 of the Convention

In determining its continental shelf, [Montenegro] recognizes no “special circumstances” which should influence that delimitation.

23 October 2006

Objection

The Government of [Montenegro] does not accept the reservation made by the Government of the French Republic with respect to article 6 of the Convention on the Continental Shelf.

Netherlands

“In depositing their instrument of ratification regarding the Convention on the Continental Shelf concluded at Geneva on April 29th, 1958, the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands declare that they do not find acceptable

the reservations made by the Iranian Government to article IV;

the reservations made by the Government of the French Republic to articles V, paragraph 1, and VI, paragraphs 1 and 2.

The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands reserve all rights regarding the reservations in respect of article VI made by the Government of Venezuela when ratifying the present Convention.”

Norway

“In depositing their instrument of accession regarding the said Convention, the Government of Norway declare that they do not find acceptable the reservations made by the Government of the French Republic to article V, paragraph 1 and to article VI, paragraphs 1 and 2.”

Spain

Reservation

“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.

Spain also declares, in connexion with article I of the Convention, that the existence of any accident of the surface, such as a depression or a channel, in a submerged zone shall not be deemed to constitute an interruption of the natural extension of the coastal territory into or under the sea.”

Objections

Spain declares the following

  • 1. That it reserves its position with respect to the declaration made by the Government of the French Republic in connection with article I;
  • 2. That it deems unacceptable the reservation made by the Government of the French Republic to article VI, paragraph 2, especially as concerns the Bay of Biscay.

Thailand

On depositing the instrument of ratification, the Government of Thailand made objections to “the reservations to articles I, IV, V (paragraph 1) and VI (paragraphs 1 and 2) made by the Government of France.”

Tonga

The Secretary-General received on 22 October 1971 a communication from the Government of Tonga to the effect that the latter wishes to maintain all objections made by the United Kingdom to the reservations or declarations made by States with respect to this Convention.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

14 January 1966

Article I. The Government of the United Kingdom take note of the declaration made by the Government of the French Republic and reserve their position concerning it.

Article II (paragraph 4). This declaration does not call for any observations on the part of the Government of the United Kingdom.

Article IV. The Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the French Republic are both parties to the Optional Protocol of Signature concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes done at Geneva on the 29th of April, 1958. The Government of the United Kingdom assume that the declaration made by the Government of the French Republic is not intended to derogate from the rights and obligations of the parties to the Optional Protocol.

Article V (paragraph 1). Reservation (a) does not call for any observations on the part of the Government of the United Kingdom.

The Government of the United Kingdom are unable to accept reservation (b).

The Government of the United Kingdom are prepared to accept reservation (c) on the understanding that it is not intended to derogate from the rights and obligations of parties to the Optional Protocol of Signature concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes.

Article VI (paragraphs 1 and 2). “The Government of the United Kingdom are unable to accept the reservations made by the Government of the French Republic.”

United States of America

19 September 1962

“The United States does not find the following reservations acceptable

  • 1. The reservation made by the Iranian Government to article IV.
  • 2. The reservation made by the Federal Republic of Germany to article V, paragraph 1.”

9 September 1965

“The reservations [made by France] to articles IV, V and VI. The declarations by France with respect to articles I and II are noted without prejudice.”

16 July 1970

“The Government of the United States does not find acceptable the declaration made by the Government of Canada with respect to article I of the Convention on the Continental Shelf. The United States considers that Convention to be in force and applicable between it and Canada, but that such application does not in any manner constitute any concurrence by the United States in the substance of the declaration made by Canada with respect to article I of that Convention.”

Venezuela

In signing the present Convention, the Republic of Venezuela declares with reference to article VI that there are special circumstances to be taken into consideration in the following areas: the Gulf of Paria, in so far as the boundary is not determined by existing agreements, and in 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 VI of the said Convention.

Yugoslavia

The former Yugoslavia had signed and ratified the Convention on 29/04/1958 and 28/01/1966, respectively, with the following reservation:

Reservation in respect of article 6 of the Convention:

In determining its continental shelf, Yugoslavia recognizes no “special circumstances” which should influence that delimitation.

Objection

On 29/09/1965, the Government of the former Yugoslavia had communicated the following objection:

“The Government of Yugoslavia does not accept the reservation made by the Government of the French Republic with respect to article 6 of the Convention on the Continental Shelf.”

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