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Contracting Parties  >   United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea > Ecuador 

AccessionSeptember 24, 2012
Entry into forceOctober 24, 2012

Declarations, Reservations etc.

Declaration made upon accession:
I. The Ecuadorian State, pursuant to article 4 of the Constitution of the Republic, which provides that "the territory of Ecuador constitutes a single geographical and historical unit with natural, social and cultural dimensions, the legacy of our forebears and ancestral peoples. This territory includes the continental and maritime space, the adjacent islands, the territorial sea, the Galapagos Archipelago, the soil, the continental shelf, the subsoil and the superjacent continental, island and maritime space. Its boundaries are those established in the treaties in force", confirms the full validity of the Declaration of Santiago on the Maritime Zone, signed in Santiago, Chile, on 18 August 1952, by means of which Chile, Ecuador and Peru declared "... as a norm of their international maritime policy, the exclusive sovereignty and jurisdiction that each of them possesses in respect of the sea adjacent to the coasts of their respective countries, up to a minimum distance of 200 nautical miles from those coasts..." in order ".... to ensure that their peoples have the necessary livelihood conditions and to provide them with the means for their economic development...";
II. The Ecuadorian State, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, exercises sovereignty and jurisdiction over the 200 nautical miles that comprise the following maritime spaces:
1. Internal waters, which are the waters on the landward side of the baselines;
2. The territorial sea, which extends from the baselines to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles;
3. The exclusive economic zone, which is an area that extends for 188 nautical miles from the outer limits of the territorial sea; and,
4. The continental shelf;
III. Ecuador shall exercise its sovereign jurisdiction and competence, without limitation or restriction of any type, in the internal waters and the 12 nautical miles of the territorial sea, measured from the baselines. It guarantees the right of coastal and non-coastal countries to continuous and expeditious innocent passage of their ships, with the obligation that they comply with the provisions of the Ecuadorian State, and provided that such passage is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the State;
IV. In the exclusive economic zone, the Republic of Ecuador shall have the following rights and obligations:
1. Exclusive sovereignty for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil;
2. Exclusive sovereignty for the purposes of the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, marine currents and winds;
3. Exercise of the exclusive right to authorize, regulate and undertake the construction, operation and use of all types of artificial islands, installations and structures within the 200 miles of its maritime territory, including the continental shelf;
4. The other rights and duties laid down in the Convention;
5. All other States, whether coastal or land-locked, enjoy the freedoms of navigation, overflight and the laying of submarine cables and pipelines, subject to the provisions of the Convention.
The other States shall observe and comply with the laws, rules and regulations issued by the Ecuadorian State in its capacity as a coastal State;
V. With regard to the continental shelf, the Ecuadorian State exercises exclusive sovereign rights for the purposes of exploring, conserving and exploiting its natural resources, and no one may exploit them without its express consent.
The Ecuadorian State declares that, within the timeframe and the conditions set forth in article 76 of the Convention, it will make use of its right to extend its continental shelf to a distance of 350 nautical miles measured from the baselines of the Galapagos Archipelago;

VI. Ecuador reiterates the full force and validity of Supreme Decree No. 959-A, published on 28 June 1971 in Official Register No. 265 of 13 July 1971, by means of which it established its straight baselines in accordance with international law. It reaffirms that the said lines in the Galapagos Archipelago are determined by the common geological origin of those islands, their historical unity and the fact that they belong to Ecuador, as well as the need to protect and preserve their unique ecosystems. The baselines, from which the maritime spaces described in paragraph II of the present Declaration are measured, are as follows:
1. Continental baselines:
(a) The line will start from the point of intersection of the maritime boundary with Colombia with the straight line Punta Manglares (Colombia) - Punta Galera (Ecuador);
(b) From this point, a straight line passing through Punta Galera and meeting the most northerly point of Isla de la Plata;
(c) From this point a straight line to Puntilla de Santa Elena;
(d) A straight line from Puntilla de Santa Elena in the direction of Cabo Blanco (Peru) to the intersection with the geographical parallel that constitutes the maritime boundary with Peru.
2. Insular baselines:
(a) From Islote Darwin, a straight line to the north-eastern tip of Isla Pinta;
(b) A straight line to the most northerly point of Isla Genovesa;
(c) A straight line passing through Punta Valdizan, Isla San Cristobal, and intersecting the northern extension of the straight line joining the south-eastern tip of Isla Española with Punta Pitt, Isla San Cristobal;
(d) A straight line from this intersection to the south-eastern tip of Isla Española;
(e) A straight line to Punta Sur, Isla Santa Maria;
(f) A straight line passing through the south-eastern tip of Isla Santa Isabela, near Punta Esex, and intersecting the southern extension of the line joining the outermost projecting point of the western coast of Isla Fernandina, approximately in its centre, with the western tip of the southern part of Isla Isabela, in the vicinity of Punta Cristobal;
(g) From this point of intersection a line passing through the western tip of the southern part of Isla Isabela, in the vicinity of Punta Cristobal, to the outermost projecting point of the western coast of Isla Fernandina, approximately in its centre;
(h) A straight line to Isla Darwin;
VII. With regard to the delimitation of the maritime spaces adjacent to the continental territory of Ecuador, the State declares that this is determined by the delimitation treaties in force and constituted by the geographical parallels extending from the points where the land boundaries reach the sea;
VIII. It confirms the full validity of the international instruments applicable to the Galapagos Archipelago, by means of which it has been listed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Natural Heritage for Humanity site and a biosphere reserve of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme.
The Ecuadorian State therefore exercises full jurisdiction and sovereignty over the Galapagos Marine Reserve, established by the law on the special regime for the conservation and sustainable development of the province of Galapagos, published in Official Register No. 278 of 18 March 1998, as well as over the Particularly Sensitive Sea area and the "area to be avoided", both established by the International Maritime Organization;
IX. Ecuador declares that the Gulf of Guayaquil is a historic bay, owing to its traditional use and exploitation by the people of Ecuador, as well as the positive influence of the waters of the Guayas river in generating an ecosystem rich in natural resources;

X. The Ecuadorian State declares that it has the exclusive right to regulate uses or activities not expressly provided for in the Convention (residual rights and jurisdiction) that relate to its rights within the 200 nautical miles, as well as any future expansion of the said rights;
XI. It declares that States whose warships, naval auxiliaries, or other vessels or aircraft that, subject to prior notification of and authorization by the Ecuadorian State, may pass through the maritime spaces subject to its sovereignty and jurisdiction, are liable for any damage they cause by polluting the marine environment, pursuant to articles 235 and 236 of the Convention;
XII. In accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, when the same or associated fish stocks are found both within the Ecuadorian 200-mile zone and in a maritime area adjacent to the said zone, the States whose nationals fish for those species in the area adjacent to the Ecuadorian zone must agree with the Ecuadorian State the measures necessary to conserve and protect them, as well as to promote their optimum utilization. In the absence of such agreement, Ecuador reserves to itself the exercise of its rights under article 116 and other provisions of the Convention, as well as all other relevant rules of international law;
XIII. The Ecuadorian State, in cases where it is party to a commercial contract in the Area of the seabed, will not submit itself to binding commercial arbitration, as this is prohibited by article 422 of its Constitution. In such cases, it will provide prior express notice of the dispute resolution mechanism to which it will submit, provided that this does not involve the transfer of its sovereign jurisdiction.
XIV. In accordance with article 287 of the Convention, Ecuador chooses, for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention:
1. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea;
2. The International Court of Justice;
3. A special tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VIII, for one or more of the categories of disputes relating to fisheries, protection and preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific research and navigation, including pollution from vessels and by dumping;
XV. With regard to article 297, paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Convention, the Government of Ecuador will not accept the submission to the procedures provided for in Part XV, section 2, of disputes relating to the exercise of its rights in relation to scientific research, as well as with respect to the regulation of fisheries within the 200 nautical miles, including its discretionary powers for determining the catch, its harvesting capacity, the allocation of surpluses, if any, and the terms and conditions established in its conservation and management laws and regulations;
XVI. With regard to the provisions of article 297, paragraph 3, subparagraphs (b) (iii) and (c), Ecuador will not accept the validity of any report of the conciliation commission that substitutes its discretion for that of the Ecuadorian State in relation to the use of surplus living resources within its areas of sovereignty and jurisdiction, in application of articles 62, 69 and 70 of the Convention, or whose recommendations entail effects detrimental to Ecuadorian fishing activities;

XVII. In accordance with article 298 of the Convention, Ecuador declares that it does not accept any of the procedures provided for in Part XV, section 2, with respect to the categories of disputes described in paragraph 1, subparagraphs (a), (b) and (c), of the said article 298;
XVIII. The Ecuadorian State declares, in accordance with articles 5 and 416 of the Constitution of the Republic, that its maritime spaces constitute a zone of peace; consequently, no military exercises or manoeuvres of any type, nor any shipping activities that threaten or could threaten peace and security, may be conducted without its express consent.
Furthermore, it hereby declares that prior notification and authorization shall be required for the transit through its maritime spaces of ships powered by nuclear energy or transporting radioactive, toxic, hazardous or harmful substances.
Subsequently, the Government of Ecuador notified the Secretary-General that it wished to clarify that, in respect of paragraph XIII of the aforementioned Declaration, in cases where Ecuador is party to a contract relating to activities in the Area of the seabed, Ecuador recognizes the competence of the Seabed Disputes Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.