The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is inviting comments from stakeholders on the first set of draft standards and guidelines to support the implementation of the draft regulations for exploitation of mineral resources in the international seabed area (the Area).
The draft regulations on exploitation of mineral resources in the Area (ISBA/25/C/WP.1) require that certain issues are addressed in accordance with, or taking into account, standards and guidelines to be developed by the organs of the ISA. The standards will be legally binding on contractors and the ISA, whereas the guidelines will be recommendatory in nature.
During the 25th session of the ISA, 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. Information on the lists of documents currently available for consultation and the instructions for submission can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3j3glky.
At ISA’s 26th session, having advanced its consideration of a number of standards and guidelines under Phase 1, the LTC developed and decided to put forward the first set of draft standards and guidelines for stakeholder consultations.
Members and observers of the Authority as well as contractors are hereby invited to submit their comments on the drafts to the secretariat at email@example.com using the dedicated review template by 20 October 2020.
Ms. Charlotte Salpin, Senior Legal Officer, Office of Legal Affairs, ISA (firstname.lastname@example.org)