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II.1.173 AGREEMENT FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA OF 10 DECEMBER 1982

The Ratification of Maritime Conventions

Chapter I.1.173

Conservation of Fish Stocks Agreement, 1995

ADOPTED: Done on 4 August 1995 at the United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks
REFERENCE: A/CONF.164/37
ENTERED INTO FORCE: 11 December 2001
DEPOSITARY: Secretary-General, United Nations
SECRETARY: Secretary-General, United Nations

IMPLEMENTATION

SIGNATURE

Article XXXVII

This Agreement shall be open for signature by all States and the other entities referred to in article 1, paragraph 2(b), and shall remain open for signature at United Nations Headquarters for twelve months from the fourth of December 1995.

RATIFICATION

Article XXXVIII

This Agreement is subject to ratification by States and the other entities referred to in article 1, paragraph 2(b). The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

ACCESSION

Article XXXIX

This Agreement shall remain open for accession by States and the other entities referred to in article 1, paragraph 2(b). The instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

ENTRY INTO FORCE

Article XL

1. This Agreement shall enter into force 30 days after the date of deposit of the thirtieth instrument of ratification or accession.

2. For each State or entity which ratifies the Agreement or accedes thereto after the deposit of the thirtieth instrument of ratification or accession, this Agreement shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the deposit of its instrument of ratification or accession.

PROVISIONAL APPLICATION

Article XLI

1. This Agreement shall be applied provisionally by a State or entity which consents to its provisional application by so notifying the depositary in writing. Such provisional application shall become effective from the date of receipt of the notification.

2. Provisional application by a State or entity shall terminate upon the entry into force of this Agreement for that State or entity or upon notification by that State or entity to the depositary in writing of its intention to terminate provisional application.

RESERVATIONS AND EXCEPTIONS

Article XLII

No reservations or exceptions may be made to this Agreement.

DECLARATIONS AND STATEMENTS

Article XLIII

Article 42 does not preclude a State or entity, when signing, ratifying or acceding to this Agreement, from making declarations or statements, however phrased or named, with a view, inter alia, to the harmonization of its laws and regulations with the provisions of this Agreement, provided that such declarations or statements do not purport to exclude or to modify the legal effect of the provisions of this Agreement in their application to that State or entity.

DECLARATIONS AND RESERVATIONS

(Unless otherwise indicated, the declarations were made upon ratification or accession.)

Argentina

In regard to the United Kingdom’s extension of the Agreement to various territories (see note 2 above), on 4 December 1995, the Government of Argentina made the following declaration:

The Argentine Republic rejects the inclusion of and reference to the Malvinas, South Georgian and South Sandwich Islands by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as dependent territories in its signing of the [said] Agreement, and reaffirms its sovereignty over those islands, which form an integral part of its national territory, and over their surrounding maritime spaces.

The Argentine Republic recalls that the United Nations General Assembly has adopted resolutions 2065 (XX), 3160 (XXVIII), 31/49, 37/9, 39/6, 40/21, 41/40, 42/19 and 43/25, in which it recognizes the existence of a sovereignty dispute and requests the Governments of the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to initiate negotiations with a view to finding the means to resolve peacefully and definitively the problems pending between both countries, including all aspects on the future of the Malvinas Islands, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

Bulgaria

13 December 2006

The Republic of Bulgaria declares that the declarations made by the European Community upon ratification of the 1995 Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, with regard to the transfer of competence by the Member States to the European Community in respect of certain matters governed by the Agreement, shall be also applicable to the Republic of Bulgaria as from the date of its accession to the European Union.

Canada

Pursuant to Article 30, paragraph 4 of the Agreement, the Government of Canada declares that it chooses an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 as the means for the settlement of disputes under Part VIII of the Agreement. In light of Article 30, paragraph 1 of the Agreement, the Government of Canada also declares that it does not accept any of the procedures provided for in section 2 of Part XV of the Convention with respect to disputes referred to in Article 298 paragraph 1 of the Convention.

According to Article 42 of the Agreement, no reservations or exceptions may be made to the Agreement. A declaration or statement pursuant to Article 43 of the Agreement cannot purport to exclude or modify the legal effect of the provisions of the Agreement in their application to the State or entity making it. Consequently, the Government of Canada declares that it does not consider itself bound by declarations or statements pursuant to Article 43 of the Agreement that have been made or will be made by other States or by entities described in Article 2(b) of the Agreement and that exclude or modify the legal effect of the provisions of the Agreement in their application to the State or entity making it. Lack of response by the Government of Canada to any declaration or statement shall not be interpreted as tacit acceptance of that declaration or statement. The Government of Canada reserves the right at any time to take a position on any declaration or statement in the manner deemed appropriate.

China

Statement upon signature

It is the belief of the Government of the People’s Republic of China that the [said Agreement] is an important development of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This Agreement will have a significant impact on the conservation and management of living marine resources, especially fish resources in the high seas, as well as on the international cooperation in fishery. Upon signing the Agreement, the Government of the People’s Republic of China wish to make the following statement in accordance with article 43 of the Agreement:

1. About the understanding of paragraph 7 of article 21 of the Agreement: The Government of China is of the view that the enforcement action taken by the inspecting State with the authorization of the flag State involves state sovereignty and national legislation of the States concerned. The authorized enforcement action should be limited to the mode and scope as specified in the authorization by the flag State. Enforcement action by the inspecting State under such circumstances should only be that of executing the authorization of the flag State.

2. About the understanding of subparagraph (f), paragraph 1 of article 22 of the Agreement: This subparagraph provides that the inspecting State shall ensure that its duly authorized inspectors “avoid the use of force except when and to the degree necessary to ensure the safety of the inspectors and where the inspectors are obstructed in the execution of their duties. The degree of force used shall not exceed that reasonably required in the circumstances.” The understanding of the Chinese Government on this provision is that only when the personal safety of the authorized inspectors whose authorization has been duly verified is endangered and their normal inspecting activities are obstructed by violence committed by crew members of fishermen of the fishing vessel under inspection, may the inspectors take appropriate compulsory measures necessary to stop such violence. It should be emphasized that the action of force by the inspectors shall only be taken against those crew members or fishermen committing the violence and must never be taken against the vessel as a whole or other crew members or fishermen.

Estonia

7 August 2006

As a Member State of the European Community the Republic of Estonia has transferred its competence for certain matters governed by the Agreement to the European Community. These matters are mentioned in the Declaration of 19 December 2003 made by the European Community upon ratification of the Agreement.

The Republic of Estonia confirms the interpretative declarations of 19 December 2003 made by the European Community upon ratification of the Agreement.

European Community

Declaration upon signature concerning the competence of the European Community with regard to matters governed by the [said Agreement]

(Declaration made pursuant to article 47 of the Agreement)

1. Article 47(1) of the Agreement on the implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea relating to the conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks provides that in cases where an international organization referred to in annex IX, article 1, of the Convention does not have competence over all the matter governed by the Agreement, annex IX of the Convention [with the exception of article 2, first sentence, and article 3(1)] shall apply mutatis mutandis to participation by such international organization in the Agreement.

2. The current members of the Community are the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, Ireland, the Italian Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Austria, the Portuguese Republic, the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

3. The Agreement on the implementation of the provisions of the [said Convention] shall apply, with regard to the competences transferred to the European Community, to the territories in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applied and under the conditions laid down in that Treaty, in particular article 227 thereof.

4. This declaration is not applicable in the case of the territories of the Member States in which the said Treaty does not apply and is without prejudice to such acts or positions as may be adopted under the Agreement by the Member States concerned on behalf of and in the interests of those territories.

I. MATTERS FOR WHICH THE COMMUNITY HAS EXCLUSIVE COMPETENCE

5. The Community points out that its Member States have transferred competence to it with regard to the conservation and management of living marine resources. Hence, in this field, it is for the Community to adopt the relevant rules and regulations (which the Member States enforce) and within its competence to enter into external undertakings with third States or competent organizations.

This competence applies in regard of waters under national fisheries jurisdiction and to the high seas.

6. The Community enjoys the regulatory competence granted under international law to the flag State of a vessel to determine the conservation and management measures of marine fisheries resources applicable to vessels flying the flag of Member States and to ensure that Member States adopt provisions allowing for the implementation of the said measures.

7. Nevertheless, measures applicable in respect of masters and other officers of fishing vessels, e.g. refusal, withdrawal or suspension of authorizations to serve as such, are within the competence of the Member States in accordance with their national legislation.

Measures relating to the exercise of jurisdiction by the flag State over its vessels on the high seas, in particular provisions such as those related to the taking and relinquishing of control of fishing vessels by States other than the flag State, international cooperation in respect of enforcement and the recovery of the control of their vessels, are within the competence of the Member States in compliance with Community law.

II. MATTERS RELATING FOR WHICH BOTH THE COMMUNITY AND ITS MEMBER STATES HAVE COMPETENCE

8. The Community shares competence with its Member States on the following matters governed by this Agreement: requirements of developing States, scientific research, port State measures and measures adopted in respect of non-members of regional fisheries organizations and non-Parties to the Agreement.

The following provisions of the Agreement apply both to the Community and to its Member States:

—general provisions: (Articles 1, 4 and 34 to 50)

—dispute settlement: (Part VIII)

INTERPRETATIVE DECLARATIONS

1. The European Community and its Member States understand that the terms “geographical particularities”, “specific characteristics of the sub-region”, “socio-economic geographical and environmental factors”, “natural characteristics of that sea” or any other similar terms employed in reference to a geographical region do not prejudice the rights and duties of States under international law.

2. The European Community and its Member States understand that no provision of this Agreement may be interpreted in such a way as to conflict with the principle of freedom of the high seas, as recognized by international law.

3. The European Community and its Member States understand that the term “States whose nationals fish on the high seas” shall not provide any new grounds for jurisdiction based on the nationality of persons involved in fishing on the high seas rather than on the principle of flag State jurisdiction.

4. The Agreement does not grant any State the right to maintain or apply unilateral measures during the transitional period as referred to in article 21(3). Thereafter, if no agreement has been reached, States shall act only in accordance with the provisions provided for in articles 21 and 22 of the Agreement.

5. Regarding the application of article 21, the European Community and its Member States understand that, when a flag State declares that it intends to exercise its authority, in accordance with the provisions in article 19, over a fishing vessel flying its flag, the authorities of the inspecting State shall not purport to exercise any other authority under the provisions of article 21 over such vessel.

Any dispute related to this issue shall be settled in accordance with the procedures provided for in Part VIII of the Agreement. No State may invoke this type of dispute to remain in control of a vessel which does not fly its flag.

In addition, the European Community and its Member States consider that the word “unlawful” in article 21, paragraph 18 of the Agreement should be interpreted in the light of the whole Agreement, and in particular, articles 4 and 35 thereof.

6. The European Community and its Member States reiterate that all States shall refrain in their relations from the threat or use of force in accordance with general principles of international law, the United Nations Charter and the United Nations Law of the Sea.

Furthermore, the European Community and its Member States consider that the relevant terms and conditions for boarding and inspection should be further elaborated in accordance with the relevant principles of international law in the framework of the appropriate regional and sub-regional fisheries management organizations and arrangements.

7. The European Community and its Member States understand that in the application of the provisions of article 21 paragraphs 6, 7 and 8, the flag State may rely on the requirements of its legal system under which the prosecuting authorities enjoy a discretion to decide whether or not to prosecute in the light of all the facts of a case. Decisions of the flag State based on such requirements shall not be interpreted as failure to respond or to take action.

France

Declarations upon signature

1. The Government of the French Republic recalls that the requirements for implementing the Agreement must be strictly in conformity with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

2. The Government of the French Republic hereby declares that the provisions of articles 21 and 22 apply only to maritime fishing operations.

3. These provisions cannot be regarded as capable of being extended to cover vessels engaged in maritime transport under another international instrument, or of being transferred to any instrument not dealing directly with the conservation and management of fisheries resources covered by the Agreement.

Hungary

20 April 2009

1. The Government of the Republic of Hungary declares that as a Member State of the European Community the Republic of Hungary transferred competence to the European Community in respect of certain matters governed by the Agreement.

2. The Government of the Republic of Hungary hereby confirms the declarations made by the European Community on 19 December 2003 upon ratification of the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.

3. The Government of the Republic of Hungary agrees that the expressions such as “geographical characteristics”, “individual characteristics of the given sea”, and other similar expressions used in respect of a geographical region do not infringe upon the rights and obligations of the States under international law.

4. The Government of the Republic of Hungary agrees that none of the provisions of this Agreement may be interpreted in a way that is contrary to the principle of the freedom of the high seas as recognized by international law.

5. The Government of the Republic of Hungary agrees that the expression of “the States whose nationals fish on the high seas” represents new jurisdictional grounds on the basis of the principle of the jurisdiction of the flag State rather than on the basis of the nationality of the persons fishing on the high seas.

6. The Agreement does not grant any State the right to maintain or apply unilateral measures during the transitional period mentioned in Article 21(3). After this period, in case of failure to conclude an agreement, the States may proceed only in accordance with the provisions set out in Articles 21 and 22 of the Agreement.

7. In respect of the application of Article 21, the Government of the Republic of Hungary agrees that if a flag State declares that in accordance with the provisions of Article 19 it intends to exercise its jurisdiction over a fishing vessel flying its flag, then, in accordance with the provisions of Article 21, the authorities of the State inspecting the mentioned vessel may not exercise any further jurisdiction.

Any dispute in connection with this issue shall be settled in compliance with the procedures provided for in Part VIII of the Agreement. None of the States may initiate a dispute of this nature with the aim to maintain its control over a vessel not flying its flag.

The Government of the Republic of Hungary holds that the word “unlawful” in Article 21(18) shall be interpreted in light of the entire Agreement and especially Articles 4 and 35 thereof.

8. The Government of the Republic of Hungary reiterates that in its relationship it shall refrain from using threat and force in accordance with the general principles of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Furthermore the Government of the Republic of Hungary emphasizes that under Article 22 the use of force shall mean extraordinary measures which must be based on the strictest observation of the principle of proportionality, and that its abuse shall result in the international liability of the controlling State.

In each case abuse shall be clarified by peaceful means and in accordance with the procedures relating to the settlement of disputes.

Furthermore, the Government of Hungary holds that the conditions relating to the boarding and inspection of vessels should be further elaborated in accordance with the relevant principles of international law and in the framework of the appropriate regional and sub-regional fisheries management organisations and arrangements.

9. The Government of the Republic of Hungary agrees that in the application of Article 21(6), (7) and (8) a flag State may rely on the regulations of its legal system under which the criminal prosecuting authorities enjoy a discretion to decide whether or not to prosecute in the light of all facts of the case. The decisions of a flag State based on such regulations may not be interpreted as a failure to respond or take action.

Italy

On 4 June 1999, the Government of Italy informed the Secretary-General that “Italy intends to withdraw the instrument of ratification it deposited on 4 March 1999, in order to proceed subsequently to complete that formality in conjunction with all the States members of the European Union”.

Latvia

Declaration of 12 April 2007

Pursuant to Article 47(1) of the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (applying mutatis mutandis Article 5(2) and 5(6) of the Annex IX of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982), the Republic of Latvia recalls that as a Member of the European Community the Republic of Latvia has transferred competence to the European Community in respect of certain matters governed by the Agreement.

The Republic of Latvia hereby confirms the declarations made by the European Community upon ratification of the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.

Lithuania

Declaration

…the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania declares that, as a Member State of the European Union, the Republic of Lithuania has transferred the competence to the European Community in respect of certain matters governed by this Agreement. The Republic of Lithuania also endorses the declarations of the European Community, made when ratifying this Agreement.

Luxembourg

It will be recalled that the Government of Luxembourg had deposited an instrument of ratification on 5 October 2000, which it withdrew on 21 December 2000, indicating the following:

The Permanent Mission of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg had indeed received instruction to deposit the instrument of ratification of the above-mentioned Agreement with the Secretary-General of the United Nations; this was done on 5 October 2000. It turned out, however, that deposit on that date was premature since, in accordance with decision 98/414/CE of the Council of the European Union, of 8 June 1998, the instrument was to be deposited simultaneously with the instruments of ratification of all States members of the European Union.

Accordingly, [the Government of Luxembourg would] be grateful if [the Secretary-General] would note that Luxembourg wishes to withdraw the instrument of ratification deposited on 5 October 2000. A simultaneous deposit of the instruments of the Community and of all member States is to take place subsequently.

Mauritius

The Republic of Mauritius rejects the inclusion of any reference to the so-called British Indian Ocean Territory by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as territories on whose behalf it could sign the said Agreement, and reaffirms its sovereignty over these islands, namely the Chagos Archipelago which form an integral part of the national territory of Mauritius and over their surrounding maritime spaces.

Netherlands

For the Kingdom in Europe.

Declaration upon signature in respect of article 47

Upon signing the Agreement the Netherlands recalls that, as a Member State of the European Community, it has transferred competence to the Community with respect to certain matters governed by the Agreement. A detailed declaration on the nature and extent of the competence transferred to the European community has been made by the European Community on the occasion of its signature of the Agreement, in accordance with article 47 of the Agreement. Interpretative declarations made upon signature of the Agreement:

[Same interpretative declarations, mutatis mutandis, as those made under European Community.]

Norway

Declaration pursuant to article 43 of the Agreement

According to article 42 of the Agreement, no reservations or exceptions may be made to the Agreement. A declaration pursuant to its article 43 cannot have the effect of an exception or reservation for the State making it. Consequently, the Government of the Kingdom of Norway declares that it does not consider itself bound by declarations pursuant to article 43 of the Agreement that are or will be made by other States or international Organisations. Passivity with respect to such declarations shall be interpreted neither as acceptance nor rejection of such declarations. The Government reserves Norway’s right at any time to take a position on such declarations in the manner deemed appropriate.

Declaration pursuant to article 30 of the Agreement

The Government of the Kingdom of Norway declares pursuant to article 30 of the Agreement, cf. article 298 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, that it does not accept an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for disputes concerning law enforcement activities in regard to the exercise of sovereign rights or jurisdiction excluded from the jurisdiction of a court or tribunal under article 297, paragraph 3, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, in the event that such disputes might be considered to be covered by this Agreement.

Poland

Declaration

The Government of the Republic of Poland recalls that, as a Member State of the European Community, it has transferred competence to the European Community in respect of certain matters governed by the Agreeement.

At the same time, the Republic of Poland confirms the declarations made by the European Community upon ratification of the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.

Russian Federation

Declaration

The Russian Federation states that it considers that the procedures for the settlement of disputes set forth in article 30 of [the said Agreement] include all the provisions of part XV of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that are applicable to the consideration of disputes between States Parties to the Agreement.

The Russian Federation states that, taking into account articles 42 and 43 of the Agreement, it objects to all declarations and statements which were made in the past and which may be made in the future when signing, ratifying or acceding to the Agreement or on any other occasion in connection with the Agreement and which are not in accordance with article 43 of the Agreement. It is the position of the Russian Federation that such declarations and statements, in whatever form they may be made and however they may be named, cannot exclude or modify the legal force of the provisions of the Agreement in their application to a Party to the Agreement that has made such a declaration or statement, and therefore will not be taken into consideration by the Russian Federation in its relations with that Party to the Agreement.

Slovak Republic

22 April 2009

In relation to article 47 para. 1 of the Agreement:

As a Member State of the European Community the Slovak Republic has transferred its competence for certain matters governed by the Agreement to the European Community. These matters are mentioned in the Declaration of 19 December 2003 made by the European Community upon ratification of the Agreement.

Slovenia

Declaration

The Republic of Slovenia declares upon the deposit of the Instrument of Accession of the Agreement on the implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks that she has, as a Member State of the European Community, transferred competence to the Community in respect of the following matters governed by the Agreement:

I. MATTERS FOR WHICH THE COMMUNITY HAS EXCLUSIVE COMPETENCE

1. Member States have transferred competence to the Community with regard to the conservation and management of living marine resources. Hence, in this field, it is for the Community to adopt the relevant rules and regulations (which the Member States enforce) and within its competence to enter into external undertakings with third States or competent organisations. This competence applies in regard of waters under national fisheries jurisdiction and to the high seas.

2. The Community enjoys the regulatory competence granted under international law to the flag State of a vessel to determine the conservation and management measures for marine fisheries resources applicable to vessels flying the flag of Member States and to ensure that Member States adopt provisions allowing for the implementation of the said measures.

3. Nevertheless, measures applicable in respect of masters and other officers of fishing vessels, for example refusal, withdrawal or suspension of authorisations to serve as such, are within the competence of the Member States in accordance with their national legislation.

Measures relating to the exercise of jurisdiction by the flag State over its vessels on the high seas, in particular provisions such as those related to the taking and relinquishing of control of fishing vessels by States other than the flag State, international cooperation in respect of enforcement and the recovery of the control of their vessels, are within the competence of the Member States in compliance with Community law.

II. MATTERS FOR WHICH BOTH THE COMMUNITY AND ITS MEMBER STATES HAVE COMPETENCE

The Community shares competence with its Member States on the following matters governed by this Agreement: requirements of developing States, scientific research, port-State measures and measures adopted in respect of non-members of regional fisheries organisations and non-Parties to the Agreement. The following provisions of the Agreement apply both to the Community and to its Member States:

  • — general provisions: (Articles 1, 4, and 34 to 50)
  • — dispute settlement: (Part VIII).

Interpretative Declaration

1. The Republic of Slovenia understands that the terms “geographical particularities”, “specific characteristics of the sub-region or region”, “socioeconomic geographical and environment factors”, “natural characteristics of that sea” or any other similar terms employed in reference to a geographical region do not prejudice the rights and duties of States under international law.

2. The Republic of Slovenia understands that no provision of this Agreement may be interpreted in such a way as to conflict with the principle of freedom of the high seas, recognised by international law.

3. The Republic of Slovenia understands that the term “States whose nationals fish on the high seas” shall not provide any new grounds for jurisdiction based on the nationality of persons involved in fishing on the high seas rather than on the principle of flag State jurisdiction.

4. The Agreement does not grant any State the right to maintain or apply unilateral measures during the transitional period as referred to in Article 21(3). Thereafter, if no agreement has been reached, States shall act only in accordance with the provisions provided for in Articles 21 and 22 of the Agreement.

5. Regarding the application of Article 21, the Republic of Slovenia understands that, when a flag State declares that it intends to exercise its authority, in accordance with the provisions in Article 19, over a fishing vessel flying its flag, the authorities of the inspecting State shall not purport to exercise any further authority under the provisions of Article 21 over such a vessel. Any dispute related to this issue shall be settled in accordance with the procedures provided for in Part VIII of the Agreement. No State may invoke this type of dispute to remain in control of a vessel which does not fly its flag. In addition, the Republic of Slovenia considers that the word “unlawful” in Article 21(18) of the Agreement should be interpreted in the light of the whole Agreement, and in particular, Articles 4 and 35 thereof.

6. The Republic of Slovenia reiterates that all States shall refrain in their relations from the threat or use of force in accordance with general principles of international law, the United Nations Charter and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In addition, the Republic of Slovenia underlines that the use of force as referred to in Article 22 constitutes an exceptional measure which must be based on the strictest compliance with the principle of proportionality and that any abuse thereof shall imply the international liability of the inspecting State. Any case of non-compliance shall be resolved by peaceful means and in accordance with the applicable dispute-settlement procedures. Furthermore, the Republic of Slovenia considers that the relevant terms and conditions for boarding and inspection should be further elaborated in accordance with the relevant principles of international law in the framework of the appropriate regional and subregional fisheries management organisations and arrangements.

7. The Republic of Slovenia understands that in the application of the provisions of Article 21(6), (7) and (8), the flag State may rely on the requirements of its legal system under which the prosecuting authorities enjoy a discretion to decide whether or not to prosecute in the light of all the facts of a case. Decisions of the flag State based on such requirements shall not be interpreted as failure to respond or to take action.

Confirmation of the declarations made by the Euorpean Community

The Republic of Slovenia hereby confirms the declarations made by the European Community upon ratification of the Agreement for the implementing of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the conservation and management of straddling fish stocks.

United Kingdom

On 19 December 2003, an instrument of ratification was lodged by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (on behalf of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

It will be recalled that on 4 December 1995, the Agreement was signed by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on behalf of Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, Pitcairn Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, St. Helena including Ascension Island, and Turks and Caicos Islands. Further, in a communication received on 19 January 1996, the Government of the United Kingdom informed the Secretary-General that the signature of 4 December 1995 would also apply to Anguilla.

Subsequently, on 27 June 1996, the Agreement was signed by the United Kingdom for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

On 3 December 1999, an instrument of ratification was lodged by the United Kingdom on behalf of Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, Bermuda, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands and Anguilla with the following declarations:

“1. The United Kingdom understands that the terms ‘geographical particularities’, ‘specific characteristics of the sub-region or region’, ‘socio-economic geographical and environmental factors’, ‘natural characteristics of that sea’ or any other similar terms employed in reference to a geographical region do not prejudice the rights and duties of States under international law.

2. The United Kingdom understands that no provision of this Agreement may be interpreted in such a way as to conflict with the principle of freedom of the high seas, recognized by international law.

3. The United Kingdom understands that the term ‘States whose nationals fish on the high seas’ shall not provide any new grounds for jurisdiction based on the nationality of persons involved in fishing on the high seas rather than on the principle of flag State jurisdiction.

4. The Agreement does not grant any State the right to maintain or apply unilateral measures during the transitional period as referred to in Article 21(3). Thereafter, if no agreement has been reached, states shall act only in accordance with the provisions provided for in Articles 21 and 22 of the Agreement.”

Upon a request for clarification as to why the above ratification excluded the metropolitan territory of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and subsequent consultations, the following additional declaration was provided by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on 10 December 2001:

“1. The United Kingdom is a keen supporter of the Straddling Fish Stocks Agreement. Legislation of the European Communities (Council decision 10176/97 of 8 June 1998) binds the United Kingdom as a matter of EC law to deposit its instrument of ratification in relation to the metropolitan territory simultaneously with the European Community and the other Member States.

It is hoped that this event will take place later this year. The constraints imposed by that Council decision only apply in respect of the United Kingdom metropolitan territory and those overseas territories to which the EC treaties apply.

2. In the light of its temporary inability to ratify the Agreement in relation to the metropolitan territory, and the strong desire of the United Kingdom to implement the Agreement in respect of those overseas territories to which the EC treaty does not apply, because of the advantages it will bring to them, the United Kingdom lodged its instrument of ratification to the Agreement, with declarations, in respect of those overseas territories on 3 December 1999.

3. The United Kingdom is concerned that upon entry into force of the Agreement, the overseas territories covered by this ratification should enjoy the rights and obligations accruing under the Agreement. I would therefore be grateful if you would arrange for the above formal declaration to be circulated in order to make it clear to all concerned the nature of the United Kingdom’s approach to ratification of this convention.…”

Accordingly, the above action was accepted in deposit on 10 December 2001, the date on which the second declaration was lodged with the Secretary-General.

It will be recalled that: on 20 August 1996, the Secretary-General received the following communication from the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with regard to the declaration made by Argentina on 4 December 1995 above:

The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have noted the declaration of the Government of Argentina. The British Government have no doubt about the sovereignty of the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands, as well as South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and have no doubt, therefore, about their right to extend the said Agreement to these territories. The British Government can only reject as unfounded the claim by the Government of Argentina that they are a part of Argentine territory.

On 30 July 1997, the Secretary-General received the following communication from the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with regard to Mauritius’ declaration above.:

…[the Government of the United Kingdom declares that it] has no doubt as to the United Kingdom sovereignty over the British Indian Ocean Territory.

United States of America

Declaration

In accordance with article 30(4) of the Agreement, the Government of the United States of America declares that it chooses a special arbitral tribunal to be constituted in accordance with Annex VIII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 for the settlement of disputes pursuant to Part VIII of the Agreement.

Uruguay

Declarations upon signature

1. The objective of the Agreement, as set out in article 2, is to establish an appropriate legal framework and a comprehensive and effective set of measures for the conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks.

2. The effectiveness of the regime established will depend, inter alia, on whether the conservation and management measures that are applied in areas beyond national jurisidiction take duly into account and are compatible with, those adopted by the relevant coastal States with respect to the same stocks in areas under their national jurisdiction, as provided for in article 7.

3. Among the biological characteristics of a fish stock as a factor of which special account must be taken in determining compatible conservation and management measures, in accordance with article 7, paragraph 2(d), Uruguay attaches particular importance to the reproduction period of the fish stock in question, in order to ensure a sound and balanced approach to protection.

4. Moreover, in order for the above-mentioned regime to be fully effective, in accordance with the objective and purpose of the Agreement, it is necessary to adopt emergency conservation and management measures, as stated in article 6, paragraph 7, where a serious threat exists to the survival of one or more straddling fish stocks or highly migratory fish stocks as a result of a natural phenomenon or human activity.

5. Uruguay is of the view that, if an inspection carried out by a port State on a fishing vessel which is voluntarily present in one of its ports reveals that there are evident grounds for believing that the said fishing vessel has been involved in an activity that is contrary to the sub-regional or regional conservation and management measures on the high seas, then, in exercise of its right and duty to cooperate in conformity with article 23 of the Agreement, the port State should so inform the flag State and request that it take over responsibility for the vessel for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the said measures.

Viet Nam

18 December 2018

“As a State Party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 and the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UNFSA), Viet Nam reaffirms that she always respects for the provisions of these treaties and implements her international commitments therein contained. Viet Nam has recognized that her accession to the said Agreement at this point of time is suitable with the current practice in Viet Nam for long-term conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources through effective implementation of the provisions of the Convention, at the same time ensures development of fishery sector of Viet Nam and promotes cooperation in fishery sector with countries in the region and in the world.

In that spirit, Viet Nam has enacted the Law on Fisheries in 2017 (effective since 1 January 2019) and is continuing to harmonize domestic legal regulations in conformity with the provisions of relevant treaties to which Viet Nam is a party, including UNSFA.

Viet Nam calls for technical assistance from State Parties to this Agreement and relevant international organizations with an aim to enhancing capacity and sharing experiences in the assessment of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks.”

The Agreement will enter into force for Viet Nam on 17 January 2019 in accordance with its article 40(2) which reads as follows:

“For each State or entity which ratifies the Agreement or accedes thereto after the deposit of the thirtieth instrument of ratification or accession, this Agreement shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the deposit of its instrument of ratification or accession”.

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