National Legislation Database

Database on National Legislation with Respect to Activities in the Area
Article 153, paragraph 4, of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea states that the obligation of the sponsoring States in accordance with article 139 of the Convention entails “taking all measures necessary to ensure” compliance by the sponsored contractor.

Annex III, article 4, paragraph 4, of the Convention makes it clear that such sponsoring States’ “responsibility to ensure” applies “within their legal systems”, and therefore requires the sponsoring States to adopt “laws and regulations” and to take “administrative measures which are, within the framework of its legal system, reasonably appropriate for securing compliance by persons under its jurisdiction”.

During the seventeenth session of the Authority in 2011, Council further invited sponsoring States and other members of the Authority, as appropriate, to provide information on, or texts of, relevant national laws, regulations and administrative measures to the secretariat of the Authority (ISBA/17/C/20, para. 3).

The present collection of laws, regulations and administrative measures with regard to activities in the Area is based on submissions made by member States. The texts are reproduced in the form and in the language(s) in which they were received from member States and were not formally edited and/or translated by the International Seabed Authority.

Disclaimer: Reference to the external websites below does not imply endorsement by the Secretariat of the Authority of their contents. Any views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the Secretariat of the Authority. The hyperlinks are provided solely for informational purposes.

I. GENERAL

  • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea lays down a comprehensive regime of law and order in the world's oceans and seas establishing rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources.  It enshrines the notion that all problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be addressed as a whole. This marked the culmination of more than 14 years of work involving participation by more than 150 countries representing all regions of the world.
  • Agreement relating to the implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982. In force 28 July 1994.
  • General Assembly resolution 48/263; 33 International Legal Materials 1309 (1994); United Nations Treaty Series, vol. 1836, No. 1-31364, p. 42.
  • Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Nodules in the Area. Adopted 13 July 2000 (ISBA/6/A/18 dated 4 October 2000). Also reproduced in Selected Decisions 6 , pp. 31-68.
  • Regulations on prospecting and exploration for polymetallic sulphides in the Area. Adopted 7 May 2010 (ISBA/16/A/12/Rev.1  dated 15 November 2010). Also reproduced in Selected Decisions 16 , pp. 35-75.
  • Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Cobalt-rich Ferromanganese Crusts in the Area. Adopted 27 July 2012 (ISBA/18/A/11 dated 22 October 2012).