Standards and Guidelines


The draft regulations on exploitation of mineral resources in the Area (ISBA/25/C/WP.1) require that certain standards and guidelines be developed by the organs of ISA to support the implementation of the regulations. The standards will be legally binding on contractors and ISA, whereas the guidelines will be recommendatory in nature.

During the 25th session, the Council requested that the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) undertake work on standards and guidelines as a matter of priority, noting the proposed process and schedule for the development of standards and guidelines contained in ISBA/25/C/19/Add.1, Annex and Enclosures I and II. The LTC recommended a three-phase approach, as follows:

Phase 1: Standards and guidelines deemed necessary to be in place by the time of adoption of the draft regulations on exploitation.

Phase 2: Standards and guidelines deemed necessary to be in place prior to the receipt of an application of a plan of work for exploitation.

Phase 3: Standards and guidelines deemed necessary to be in place before commercial mining activities commence in the Area.

The process recommended by the LTC for the development of these standards and guidelines includes the circulation of the drafts for stakeholder consultations. As of July 2021, two stakeholder consultations have taken place (20 August to 20 October 2020 and 8 April to 3 July 2021).


Draft standards and guidelines under phase 1

Please note that these documents are unedited drafts and provided for the limited purpose of stakeholder consultation and not for citation or other uses. 


Overview of the status of preparation of standards and guidelines


For enquiries, please contact: Mr. Nathan Eastwood, Legal Officer, Office of Legal Affairs, ISA at