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

 
Date
AccessionOctober 14, 1994
Entry into forceNovember 16, 1994

Declarations, Reservations etc.

Objections made on April 10, 2015:
With regard to the interpretative declaration made by the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
"The Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations in New York presents its compliments to the Secretary-General of the United Nations acting in his capacity as treaty depository and, with reference to depository notification C.N.221.2014.TREATIES-XXI.6 of 15 April 2014, regarding the interpretative declaration and declarations under Articles 287 and 298 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea of 10 December 1982 made by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has the honour to communicate the following:
The Federal Republic of Germany would like to point out that under Articles 309 and 310 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the formulation of reservations or exceptions to the Convention is prohibited, and that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not permitted to exclude or modify the legal effect of the provisions of the Convention in their application to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Federal Republic of Germany is of the view that the interpretative declaration made by the Democratic Republic of the Congo is unclear in important respects, leaves open to what extent the Democratic Republic of the Congo feels bound by the provisions of the Convention, and in substance may constitute a reservation that excludes or modifies the legal effects of the provisions of the Convention in their application to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Federal Republic of Germany would also like to point out that declarations or statements under Article 310 of the Convention may only be made when signing, ratifying or acceding to the Convention.
The Democratic Republicof the Congo had deposited its instrument of ratification on 17 February 1989, whereas the interpretative declaration was effected only on 15 April 2014. Apart from the inadmissible timing of the interpretative declaration, Article 310 only permits declarations or statements made with a view, inter alia, to harmonizing States' domestic laws and regulations with the provisions of the Convention, and provided that such declarations or statements do not purport to exclude or modify the legal effects of the provisions of the Convention in their application to these States.
The Federal Republic of Germany therefore objects to the interpretative declaration made by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the extent that any part of it constitutes a reservation not otherwise permitted by the Convention or purports to exclude or modify the legal effects of any of the provisions of the Convention in their application to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
This objection shall not preclude the continued application of the Convention between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Democratic Republic of the Congo."

Objections made on October 21, 2013:
With regard to the declaration made by Ecuador upon accession:
The Federal Republic of Germany would like to point out that under Articles 309 and 310 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the formulation of reservations or exceptions to the Convention is prohibited, and that the Republic of Ecuador is not permitted to exclude or modify the legal effect of the provisions of the Convention in their application to the Republic of Ecuador.
The Federal Republic of Germany is of the view that the declaration made by the Republic of Ecuador is unclear in important respects and in substance may constitute a reservation that excludes or modifies the legal effects of the provisions of the Convention in their application to the Republic of Ecuador, in particular with regard to freedom of navigation, the establishment of maritime zones and the exercise of jurisdiction and sovereign rights within them.
The Federal Republic of Germany therefore objects to the declaration to the extent that any part of it constitutes a reservation not otherwise permitted by the Convention or purports to exclude or modify the legal effects of the provisions of the Convention in their application to the Republic of Ecuador.
This objection shall not preclude the entry into force of the Convention between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Ecuador."

The modification to the statement (the statement previously read: "A special arbitral....article VIII ") was made on the basis of a communication received from the Government of Germany on 29 May 1996.
Subsequently, upon depositing its instrument of ratification, the Government of the Czech Republic made the following declaration:
"The Government of the Czech Republic having considered the declaration of the Federal Republic of Germany of 14 October 1994 pertaining to the interpretation of the provisions of Part X of the [said Convention], which deals with the right of access of land-locked States to and from the sea and freedom of transit, states that the [said] declaration of the Federal Republic of Germany cannot be interpreted with regard to the Czech Republic in contradiction with the provisions of Part X of the Convention."

Declaration made upon accession:
"The Federal Republic of Germany recalls that, as a Member of the European Community, it has transferred competence to the Community in respect of certain matters governed by the Convention. A detailed declaration on the nature and extent of the competence transferred to the European Community will be made in due course in accordance with the provisions of Annex IX of the Convention.
For the Federal Republic of Germany the link between Part IX of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 and the Agreement of 28 July 1994 relating to the implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as foreseen in article 2 (1) of that Agreement is fundamental.
In the absence of any other peaceful means, which would be given preference by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, that Government considers it useful to choose one of the following means for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the two Conventions, as it is free to do under article 287 of the Convention on the Law of the Sea, in the following order:
1. the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea established in accordance with Annex VI;
2. An arbitrary tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII;
3. the International Court of Justice.
Also in the absence of any other peaceful means, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany hereby recognizes as of today the validity of special arbitration for any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention on the Law of the Sea relating to fisheries, protection and preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific research and navigation, including pollution from vessels and by dumping.

With reference to similar declarations made by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany during the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, in the light of declarations already made or yet to be made by States upon signature, ratification of or accession to the Convention on the Law of the Sea declares as follows:
Territorial Sea, Archipelagic Waters, Straits
The provisions on the territorial sea represent in general a set of rules reconciling the legitimate desire of coastal States to protect their sovereignty and that of the international community to exercise the right of passage. The right to extend the breadth of the territorial sea up to 12 nautical miles will significantly increase the importance of the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea for all ships including warships, merchant ships and fishing vessels; this is a fundamental right of the community of nations.
None of the provisions of the Convention, which in so far reflect existing international law, can be regarded as entitling the coastal State to make the innocent passage of any specific category of foreign ships dependent on prior consent or notification.
A prerequisite for the recognition of the coastal State's right to extend the territorial sea is the regime of transit passage through straits used for international navigation. Article 38 limits the right of transit passage only in cases where a route of similar convenience exists in respect of navigational and hydro graphical characteristics, which include the economic aspect of shipping.
According to the provisions of the Convention, archipelagic sea-lane passage is not dependent on the designation by the archipelagic States of specific sea-lanes or air routes in so far as there are existing routes through the archipelago normally used for international navigation.
Exclusive Economic Zone
In the exclusive economic zone, which is a new concept of international law, coastal States will be granted precise resource-related rights and jurisdiction. All other States will continue to enjoy the high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight and of all other international lawful uses of the sea. These uses will be exercised in a peaceful manner, and that is, in accordance with the principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.
The exercise of these rights can therefore not be construed as affecting the security of the coastal State or affecting its rights and obligations under international law. Accordingly, the notion of a 200-mile zone of general rights of sovereignty and jurisdiction of the coastal State cannot be sustained either in general international law or under the relevant provisions of the Convention.
In articles 56 and 58 a careful and delicate balance has been struck between the interests of the coastal State and the freedoms and rights of all other States. This balance includes the reference contained in article 58, paragraph 2, to articles 88 to 115 which apply to the exclusive economic zone in so far as they are not incompatible with Part V. Nothing in Part V is incompatible with article 89 which invalidates claims of sovereignty.

According to the Convention, the coastal State does not enjoy residual rights in the exclusive economic zone. In particular, the rights and jurisdiction of the coastal State in such zone do not include the rights to obtain notification of military exercises or manoeuvrings or to authorize them.
Apart from artificial islands, the coastal State enjoys the right in the exclusive economic zone to authorize, construct, operate and use only those installations and structures which have economic purposes.
The High Seas: As geographically disadvantaged State with important interests in the traditional uses of the seas, the Federal Republic of Germany remains committed to the established principle of the freedom of the high seas. This principle, which has governed all uses of the sea for centuries, has been affirmed and in various fields, adapted to new requirements in the provisions of the Convention, which will therefore have to be interpreted to the furthest extent possible in accordance with that traditional principle.
Land-Locked States: As to the regulation of the freedom of transit enjoyed by land-locked States, transit through the territory of transit States must not interfere with the sovereignty of these States. In accordance with article 125, paragraph 3, the rights and facilities provided for in Part X in no way infringe upon the sovereignty and legitimate interests of transit States. The precise content of the freedom of transit has in each single case to be agreed upon by the transit State and the land-locked State concerned. in the absence of such agreement concerning the terms and modalities for exercising the right of access of persons and goods to transit through the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany is only regulated by national law, in particular with regard to means and ways of transport and the use of traffic infrastructure.
Marine Scientific Research: Although the traditional freedom of research suffered a considerable erosion by the Convention, this freedom will remain in force for States, international organizations and private entities in some maritime areas, e.g., the sea-bed beyond the continental shelf and the high seas. However, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf, which are of particular interest to marine scientific research, will be subject to a consent regime, a basic element of which is the obligation of the coastal State under article 246, paragraph 3, to grant its consent in normal circumstances. In this regard, promotion and creation of favorable conditions for scientific research, as postulated in the Convention, are general principles governing the application and interpretation of all relevant provisions of the Convention.
The marine scientific research regime on the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles denies the coastal State the discretion to withhold consent under article 246, paragraph 5 (a), outside areas it has publicly designated in accordance with the prerequisite stipulated in paragraph 6. Relating to the obligation, to disclose information about exploitation or exploratory operations in the process of designation is taken into account in article 246, paragraph 6, which explicitly excluded details from the information to be provided."

"The German Democratic Republic declares that it accepts an arbitral tribunal as provided for in article 287, paragraph 1 (c), which is to be constituted in accordance with Annex VII, as competent for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention, which cannot be settled by the States involved by recourse to other peaceful means of dispute settlement agreed between them.
The German Democratic Republic further declares that it accepts a special arbitral tribunal as provided for in article 287, paragraph 1 (d), which is to be constituted in accordance with Annex VIII, as competent for the settlement of disputes concerning the in terpretation or application of articles of this Convention relating to fisheries, the protection and preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific research and navigation, including pollution from ships and through dumping.
The German Democratic Republic recognizes the competence, provided for in article 292 of the Convention, of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in matters relating to the prompt release of vessels and crews.
The German Democratic Republic declares, in accordance with article 298 of the Convention, that it does not accept any compulsory procedures entailing binding decisions:
- -in disputes relating to sea boundary delimitations,
- -in disputes relating to military activities and
- -in disputes concerning which the United Nations Security Council exercises the functions assigned to it by the Charter of the United Nations."

"The German Democratic Republic reserves the right, in connection with the ratification of the Convention on the Law of the Sea, to make declarations and statements pursuant to article 310 of the Convention and to present its views on declarations and statements made by other States when signing, ratifying or acceding to the Convention."