United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea part 13

admin's picture
Printer-friendly versionSend by emailSend by emailPDF versionPDF version

PART XIII MARINE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

SECTION 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

 Article 238 
 Right to conduct marine scientific research

 All States, irrespective of their geographical location, and competent international organizations have the right to conduct marine scientific research subject to the rights and duties of other States as provided for in this Convention.

 Article 239 
 Promotion of marine scientific research

 States and competent international organizations shall promote and facilitate the development and conduct of marine scientific research in accordance with this Convention.

 Article 240 
 General principles for the conduct of marine scientific research

 In the conduct of marine scientific research the following principles shall apply:

 (a) marine scientific research shall be conducted exclusively for peaceful purposes;

 (b) marine scientific research shall be conducted with appropriate scientific methods and means compatible with this Convention;

 (c) marine scientific research shall not unjustifiably interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea compatible with this Convention and shall be duly respected in the course of such uses;

 (d) marine scientific research shall be conducted in compliance with all relevant regulations adopted in conformity with this Convention including those for the protection and preservation of the marine environment.

 Article 241 
 Non-recognition of marine scientific research activities as the legal basis for claims

 Marine scientific research activities shall not constitute the legal basis for any claim to any part of the marine environment or its resources. 
 

 SECTION 2. INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION

 Article 242 
 Promotion of international co-operation

 1. States and competent international organizations shall, in accordance with the principle of respect for sovereignty and jurisdiction and on the basis of mutual benefit, promote international co-operation in marine scientific research for peaceful purposes.

 2. In this context, without prejudice to the rights and duties of States under this Convention, a State, in the application of this Part, shall provide, as appropriate, other States with a reasonable opportunity to obtain from it, or with its co-operation, information necessary to prevent and control damage to the health and safety of persons and to the marine environment.

 Article 243 
 Creation of favourable conditions

 States and competent international organizations shall co-operate, through the conclusion of bilateral and multilateral agreements, to create favourable conditions for the conduct of marine scientific research in the marine environment and to integrate the efforts of scientists in studying the essence of phenomena and processes occurring in the marine environment and the interrelations between them.

 Article 244 
 Publication and dissemination of information and knowledge

 1. States and competent international organizations shall, in accordance with this Convention, make available by publication and dissemination through appropriate channels information on proposed major programmes and their objectives as well as knowledge resulting from marine scientific research.

 2. For this purpose, States, both individually and in co-operation with other States and with competent international organizations, shall actively promote the flow of scientific data and information and the transfer of knowledge resulting from marine scientific research, especially to developing States, as well as the strengthening of the autonomous marine scientific research capabilities of developing States through, inter alia, programmes to provide adequate education and training of their technical and scientific personnel. 
 

 SECTION 3. CONDUCT AND PROMOTION OF MARINE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

 Article 245 
 Marine scientific research in the territorial sea

 Coastal States, in the exercise of their sovereignty, have the exclusive right to regulate, authorize and conduct marine scientific research in their territorial sea. Marine scientific research therein shall be conducted only with the express consent of and under the conditions set forth by the coastal State.

 Article 246 
 Marine scientific research in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf

 1. Coastal States, in the exercise of their jurisdiction, have the right to regulate, authorize and conduct marine scientific research in their exclusive economic zone and on their continental shelf in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Convention.

 2. Marine scientific research in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf shall be conducted with the consent of the coastal State.

 3. Coastal States shall, in normal circumstances, grant their consent for marine scientific research projects by other States or competent international organizations in their exclusive economic zone or on their continental shelf to be carried out in accordance with this Convention exclusively for peaceful purposes and in order to increase scientific knowledge of the marine environment for the benefit of all mankind. To this end, coastal States shall establish rules and procedures ensuring that such consent will not be delayed or denied unreasonably.

 4. For the purposes of applying paragraph 3, normal circumstances may exist in spite of the absence of diplomatic relations between the coastal State and the researching State.

 5. Coastal States may however in their discretion withhold their consent to the conduct of a marine scientific research project of another State or competent international organization in the exclusive economic zone or on the continental shelf of the coastal State if that project:

 (a) is of direct significance for the exploration and exploitation of natural resources, whether living or non-living;

 (b) involves drilling into the continental shelf, the use of explosives or the introduction of harmful substances into the marine environment;

 (c) involves the construction, operation or use of artificial islands, installations and structures referred to in articles 60 and 80;

 (d) contains information communicated pursuant to article 248 regarding the nature and objectives of the project which is inaccurate or if the researching State or competent international organization has outstanding obligations to the coastal State from a prior research 
 project.

 6. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 5, coastal States may not exercise their discretion to withhold consent under subparagraph (a) of that paragraph in respect of marine scientific research projects to be undertaken in accordance with the provisions of this Part on the continental shelf, beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured, outside those specific areas which coastal States may at any time publicly designate as areas in which exploitation or detailed exploratory operations focused on those areas are occurring or will occur within a reasonable period of time. Coastal States shall give reasonable notice of the designation of such areas, as well as any modifications thereto, but shall not be obliged to give details of the operations therein.

 7. The provisions of paragraph 6 are without prejudice to the rights of coastal States over the continental shelf as established in article 77.

 8. Marine scientific research activities referred to in this article shall not unjustifiably interfere with activities undertaken by coastal States in the exercise of their sovereign rights and jurisdiction provided for in this Convention.

 Article 247 
 Marine scientific research projects undertaken by or under the auspices of international organizations

 A coastal State which is a member of or has a bilateral agreement with an international organization, and in whose exclusive economic zone or on whose continental shelf that organization wants to carry out a marine scientific research project, directly or under its auspices, shall be deemed to have authorized the project to be carried out in conformity with the agreed specifications if that State approved the detailed project when the decision was made by the organization for the undertaking of the project, or is willing to participate in it, and has not expressed any objection within four months of notification of the project by the organization to the coastal State.

 Article 248 
 Duty to provide information to the coastal State

 States and competent international organizations which intend to undertake marine scientific research in the exclusive economic zone or on the continental shelf of a coastal State shall, not less than six months in advance of the expected starting date of the marine scientific research project, provide that State with a full description of:

 (a) the nature and objectives of the project;

 (b) the method and means to be used, including name, tonnage, type and class of vessels and a description of scientific equipment;

 (c) the precise geographical areas in which the project is to be conducted;

 (d) the expected date of first appearance and final departure of the research vessels, or deployment of the equipment and its removal, as appropriate;

 (e) the name of the sponsoring institution, its director, and the person in charge of the project; and

 (f) the extent to which it is considered that the coastal State should be able to participate or to be represented in the project.

 Article 249 
 Duty to comply with certain conditions

 1. States and competent international organizations when undertaking marine scientific research in the exclusive economic zone or on the continental shelf of a coastal State shall comply with the following conditions:

 (a) ensure the right of the coastal State, if it so desires, to participate or be represented in the marine scientific research project, especially on board research vessels and other craft or scientific research installations, when coastal State and without obligation to contribute towards the costs of the project

 (b) provide the coastal State, at its request, with preliminary reports, as soon as practicable, and with the final results and conclusions after the completion of the research

 (c) undertake to provide access for the coastal State, at its request, to all data and samples derived from the marine scientific research project and likewise to furnish it with data which may be copied and samples which may be divided without detriment to their scientific value,

 (d) if requested, provide the coastal State with an assessment of such data, samples and research results or provide assistance in their assessment or interpretation

 (e) ensure, subject to paragraph 2, that the research results are made internationally  available through  appropriate  national  or international channels, as soon as practicable;

 (f) inform the coastal State immediately of any major change in the research programme;

 (g) unless otherwise agreed, remove the scientific research installations or equipment once the research is completed.

 2. This article is without prejudice to the conditions established by the laws and regulations of the coastal State for the exercise of its discretion to grant or withhold consent pursuant to article 246, paragraph 5, including requiring prior agreement for making internationally available the research results of a project of direct significance for the exploration and exploitation of natural resources.

 Article 250 
 Communications concerning marine scientific research projects

 Communications concerning the marine scientific research projects shall be made through appropriate official channels, unless otherwise agreed.

 Article 251 
 General criteria and guidelines

 States shall seek to promote through competent international organizations the establishment of general criteria and guidelines to assist States in ascertaining the nature and implications of marine scientific research.

 Article 252 
 Implied consent

 States or competent international organizations may proceed with a marine scientific research project six months after the date upon which the information required pursuant to article 248 was provided to the coastal State unless within four months of the receipt of the communication containing such information the coastal State has informed the State or organization conducting the research that:

 (a) it has withheld its consent under the provisions of article 246; 
 or

 (b) the information given by that State or competent international organization regarding the nature or objectives of the project does not conform to the manifestly evident facts, or

 (c) it requires supplementary information relevant to conditions and the information provided for under articles 248 and 249; or

 (d) outstanding obligations exist with respect to a previous marine scientific research project carried out by that State or organization, with regard to conditions established in article 249.

 Article 253 
 Suspension or cessation of marine scientific research activities

 1. A coastal State shall have the right to require the suspension of any marine scientific research activities in progress within its exclusive economic zone or on its continental shelf if:

 (a) the research activities are not being conducted in accordance with the information communicated as provided under article 248 upon which the consent of the coastal State was based; or

 (b) the State or competent international organization conducting the research activities fails to comply with the provisions of article 249 concerning the rights of the coastal State with respect to the marine scientific research project.

 2. A coastal State shall have the right to require the cessation of any marine scientific research activities in case of any non-compliance with the provisions of article 248 which amounts to a major change in the research project or the research activities.

 3. A coastal State may also require cessation of marine scientific research activities if any of the situations contemplated in paragraph 1 are not rectified within a reasonable period of time.

 4. Following notification by the coastal State of its decision to order suspension or cessation, States or competent international organizations authorized to conduct marine scientific research activities shall terminate the research activities that are the subject of such a notification.

 5. An order of suspension under paragraph 1 shall be lifted by the coastal State and the marine scientific research activities allowed to continue once the researching State or competent international organization has complied with the conditions required under articles 248 and 249.

 Article 254 
 Rights of neighbouring land-locked and geographically 
 disadvantaged States

 1. States and competent international organizations which have submitted to a coastal State a project to undertake marine scientific research referred to in article 246, paragraph 3, shall give notice to the neighbouring land-locked and geographically disadvantaged States of the proposed research project, and shall notify the coastal State thereof.

 2. After the consent has been given for the proposed marine scientific research project by the coastal State concerned, in accordance with article 246 and other relevant provisions of this Convention, States and competent international organizations undertaking such a project shall provide to the neighbouring land-locked and geographically disadvantaged States, at their request and when appropriate, relevant information as specified in article 248 and article 249, paragraph 1 (f).

 3. The neighbouring land-locked and geographically disadvantaged States referred to above shall, at their request, be given the opportunity to participate, whenever feasible, in the proposed marine scientific research project through qualified experts appointed by them and not objected to by the coastal State, in accordance with the conditions agreed for the project, in conformity with the provisions of this Convention, between the coastal State concerned and the State or competent international organizations conducting the marine scientific research.

 4. States and competent international organizations referred to in paragraph 1 shall provide to the above-mentioned land-locked and geographically disadvantaged States, at their request, the information and assistance specified in article 249, paragraph 1 (d), subject to the provisions of article 249, paragraph 2.

 Article 255 
 Measures to facilitate marine scientific research and assist research vessels

 States shall endeavour to adopt reasonable rules, regulations and procedures to promote and facilitate marine scientific research conducted in accordance with this Convention beyond their territorial sea and, as appropriate, to facilitate, subject to the provisions of their laws and regulations, access to their harbours and promote assistance for marine scientific research vessels which comply with the relevant provisions of this Part.

 Article 256 
 Marine scientific research in the Area

 All States, irrespective of their geographical location, and competent international organizations have the right, in conformity with the provisions of Part Xl, to conduct marine scientific research in the Area.

 Article 257 Marine scientific research in the water column beyond the exclusive economic zone

 All States irrespective of their geographical location, and competent international organizations have the right, in conformity with this Convention, to conduct marine scientific research in the water column beyond the limits of the exclusive economic zone. 
 

 SECTION 4. SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH INSTALLATIONS 
 OR EQUIPMENT IN THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT

 Article 258 
 Deployment and use

 The deployment and use of any type of scientific research installations or equipment in any area of the marine environment shall be subject to the same conditions as are prescribed in this Convention for the conduct of marine scientific research in any such area.

 Article 259 
 Legal status

 The installations or equipment referred to in this section do not possess the status of islands. They have no territorial sea of their own, and their presence does not affect the delimitation of the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone or the continental shelf.

 Article 260 
 Safety zones

 Safety zones of a reasonable breadth not exceeding a distance of 500 metres may be created around scientific research installations in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Convention. All States shall ensure that such safety zones are respected by their vessels.

 Article 261 
 Non-interference with shipping routes

 The deployment and use of any type of scientific research installations or equipment shall not constitute an obstacle to established international shipping routes.

 Article 262 
 Identification markings and warning signals

 Installations or equipment referred to in this section shall bear identification markings indicating the State of registry or the international organization to which they belong and shall have adequate internationally agreed warning signals to ensure safety at sea and the safety of air navigation, taking into account rules and standards established by competent international organizations. 
 

 SECTION 5. RESPONSIBILITY AND LIABILITY

 Article 263 
 Responsibility and liability

 1. States and competent international organizations shall be responsible for ensuring that marine scientific research, whether undertaken by them or on their behalf, is conducted in accordance with this Convention.

 2. States and competent international organizations shall be responsible and liable for the measures they take in contravention of this Convention in respect of marine scientific research conducted by other States, their natural or juridical persons or by competent international organizations, and shall provide compensation for damage resulting from such measures.

 3. States and competent international organizations shall be responsible and liable pursuant to article 235 for damage caused by pollution of the marine environment arising out of marine scientific research undertaken by them or on their behalf. 
 

 SECTION 6. SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES AND INTERIM MEASURES

 Article 264 
 Settlement of disputes

 Disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the provisions of this Convention with regard to marine scientific research shall be settled in accordance with Part XV, sections 2 and 3.

 Article 265 
 Interim measures

 Pending settlement of a dispute in accordance with Part XV, sections 2 and 3, the State or competent international organization authorized to conduct a marine scientific research project shall not allow research activities to commence or continue without the express consent of the coastal State concerned.

Forums: 
Section: