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4. These Regulations shall not in any way affect the freedom of scientific research, pursuant to article 87 of the Convention, or the right to conduct marine scientific research in the Area pursuant to articles 143 and 256 of the Convention. Nothing in these Regulations shall be construed in such a way as to restrict the exercise by States of the freedom of the high seas as reflected in article 87 of the Convention.  

5. These Regulations may be supplemented by further rules, regulations and procedures, in particular on the protection and preservation of the marine environment. These Regulations shall be subject to the provisions of the Convention and the Agreement and other rules of international law not incompatible with the Convention. 


 Part II  Prospecting 


 Regulation 2  Prospecting 


1. Prospecting shall be conducted in accordance with the Convention and these Regulations and may commence only after the prospector has been informed by the Secretary‐General that its notification has been recorded pursuant to regulation 4, paragraph 2.  

2. Prospectors and the Secretary‐General shall apply a precautionary approach, as reflected in principle 15 of the Rio Declaration. 1  Prospecting shall not be undertaken if substantial evidence indicates the risk of serious harm to the marine environment.  

3. Prospecting shall not be undertaken in an area covered by an approved plan of work for exploration for polymetallic sulphides or in a reserved area; nor may there be prospecting in an area which the Council has disapproved for exploitation because of the risk of serious harm to the marine environment.  

4. Prospecting shall not confer on the prospector any rights with respect to resources. A prospector may, however, recover a reasonable quantity of minerals, being the quantity necessary for testing and not for commercial use.  

5. There shall be no time limit on prospecting, except that prospecting in a particular area shall cease upon written notification to the prospector by the Secretary‐General that a plan of work for exploration has been approved with regard to that area.  

6. Prospecting may be conducted simultaneously by more than one prospector in the same area or areas. 


 Regulation 3 

 Notification of prospecting 


1. A proposed prospector shall notify the Authority of its intention to engage in prospecting.  

2. Each notification of prospecting shall be in the form prescribed in annex 1 to these Regulations, addressed to the Secretary‐General, and shall conform to the requirements of these Regulations.   


1.   Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3‐14 June 1991  (United Nations 

publication, Sales No. E.91.1.8 and corrigenda), vol. 1: Resolutions adopted by the Conference , resolution 1, annex 1.

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