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Consular Relations Act 1968

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U.K.

Consular Relations Act 1968

1968 CHAPTER 18

An Act to give effect to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations; to enable effect to be given to other agreements concerning consular relations and to make further provision with respect to consular relations between the United Kingdom and other countries and matters arising in connection therewith; to restrict the jurisdiction of courts with respect to certain matters concerning or arising on board certain ships or aircraft; to enable diplomatic agents and consular officers to administer oaths and do notarial acts in certain cases; and for purposes connected with those matters.

[10th April 1968]

Commencement Information

I1Act partly in force at Royal Assent see s. 16(3); Act wholly in force at 1.1.1971.

1 Application of Vienna Convention.U.K.

(1)Subject to sections 2 and 3(2) of this Act, the provisions set out in Schedule 1 to this Act (being Articles or parts of Articles of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations signed in 1963) shall have the force of law in the United Kingdom and shall for that purpose be construed in accordance with subsections (2) to (11) of this section.

(2)In those provisions—

  • authorities of the receiving State” shall be construed as including any constable and any person exercising a power of entry to any premises under any enactment (including any enactment of the Parliament of Northern Ireland);

  • grave crime” shall be construed as meaning any offence punishable (on a first conviction) with imprisonment for a term that may extend to five years or with a more severe sentence;

  • Ministry for Foreign Affairs” shall be construed as meaning the Department of the Secretary of State concerned;

  • national of the receiving State” shall be construed [F1as meaning—

    (a)

    a British citizen, a British Dependent Territories citizen [F2, a British National (Overseas)] or a British Overseas citizen; or

    (b)

    a person who under the British Nationality Act 1981 is a British subject; or

    (c)

    a British protected person (within the meaning of that Act).]

(3)The reference in paragraph 2 of Article 17 to any privileges and immunities accorded by customary international law or by international agreements shall be construed as a reference to any privileges and immunities conferred under the M1International Organisations (Immunities and Privileges) Act 1950 [F3or the M2International Organisations Act 1968].

(4)The references in Article 44 to matters connected with the exercise of the functions of members of a consular post shall be construed as references to matters connected with the exercise of consular functions by consular officers or consular employees.

(5)For the purposes of Article 45 and that Article as applied by Article 58 a waiver shall be deemed to have been expressed by a State if it has been expressed by the head, or any person for the time being performing the functions of head, of the diplomatic mission of that State or, if there is no such mission, of the consular post concerned.

(6)The exemption granted by Article 48 with respect to any services shall be deemed to except those services from any class of employment [F4in respect of which contributions or premiums are payable under the enactments relating to . . . F5 social security, including enactments in force in Northern Ireland, but not so as to render any person liable to any contribution or premium] which he would not be required to pay if those services were not so excepted.

(7)Article 48 shall not affect any agreement made between the United Kingdom and any other State before the commencement of this Act and shall not be taken to prevent the making of any such agreement after the commencement of this Act.

(8)Articles 50, 51, 52, 54, 62 and 67 shall be construed as granting any privilege or immunity which they require to be granted.

[F6(8A)The references in Articles 50 and 62 to customs duties shall be construed as including references to excise duties chargeable on goods imported into the United Kingdom [F7and to value added tax charged in accordance with section [F810 or 15 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994] (acquisitions from other member States and importations from outside the [F9European Union])].]

(9)The reference in Article 57 to the privileges and immunities provided in Chapter II shall be construed as referring to those provided in Section II of that Chapter.

(10)The reference in Article 70 to the rules of international law concerning diplomatic relations shall be construed as a reference to the provisions of the M3Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964.

(11)The references in Article 71 to additional privileges and immunities that may be granted by the receiving State or to privileges and immunities so far as these are granted by the receiving State shall be construed as referring to such privileges and immunities as may be specified by Her Majesty by Order in Council.

Textual Amendments

F2Words inserted by S.I. 1986/948, art. 8, Sch.

F4Words substituted (prosp. as to words “or premiums” and “or premium”) by Social Security Act 1973 (c. 38), Sch. 27 para. 78, S.I. 1974/164, art. 2(1), Sch. 1 and 1974/823, art. 2(4)(a)(b)(iii), Sch.

F8Words in s. 1(8A) substituted (1.9.1994) by 1994 c. 23, ss. 100(1), 101(1), Sch. 14 para. 3

Marginal Citations

2 Restriction of privileges and immunities.U.K.

If it appears to Her Majesty that the privileges and immunities accorded to a consular post of the United Kingdom in a territory of any State, or to persons connected with such a consular post, are less than those conferred by this Act on a consular post of that State or on persons connected with such a consular post, Her Majesty may by Order in Council withdraw such of the privileges and immunities so conferred from all or any of the consular posts of that State or from such persons connected therewith as appears to Her Majesty to be proper.

3 Agreements providing for additional or reduced privileges and immunities.U.K.

(1)Where any agreement made, whether before or after the passing of this Act, between the United Kingdom and any other State provides for according to consular posts and persons connected with them privileges and immunities not accorded to them by the other provisions of this Act, Her Majesty may by Order in Council exercise, with respect to the consular posts of that State and persons connected with them, the powers specified in Schedule 2 to this Act so far as may be necessary to give effect to that agreement.

(2)Where any agreement made, whether before or after the passing of this Act, between the United Kingdom and any other State provides for according to consular posts and persons connected with them some but not all of the privileges and immunities accorded to them by the other provisions of this Act, Her Majesty may by Order in Council provide for excluding, with respect to consular posts of that State and persons connected with them, any of those privileges and immunities which are not provided for by the agreement.

4 Civil jurisdiction concerning service on board ship or aircraft.U.K.

Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision for excluding or limiting the jurisdiction of any court in the United Kingdom to entertain proceedings relating to the remuneration or any contract of service of the master or commander or a member of the crew of any ship or aircraft belonging to a State specified in the Order, except where a consular officer of that State has been notified of the intention to invoke the jurisdiction of that court and has not objected within such time as may be specified by or under the Order.

5 Jurisdiction over offences committed on board ship.U.K.

(1)Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision for securing that, where an offence is alleged to have been committed on board any ship by the master or a member of the crew and the ship belongs to a State specified in the Order, proceedings for the offence instituted otherwise than at the request or with the consent of a consular officer of that State are not entertained by any court in the United Kingdom, unless—

(a)the offence is alleged to have been committed by or against a person who is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or is otherwise comprised in the definition of “national of the receiving State” in section 1(2) of this Act, or against a person other than the master or a member of the crew; or

(b)the offence is one involving the tranquillity or safety of a port, or the law relating to safety of life at sea, public health, oil pollution, wireless telegraphy, immigration or customs or is of any other description specified in the Order; or

(c)the offence is one comprised in the definition of “grave crime” in section 1(2) of this Act.

[F10(1A)In subsection (1)(b) of this section the expression “the law relating to customs”, to the extent that it refers to the law relating to duties on goods, refers to the law relating to duties (whether of customs or excise) for the time being chargeable on goods imported into the United Kingdom.]

(2)For the purposes of this section, an offence which affects the property of any person shall be deemed to have been committed against him.

(3)For the purposes of this section, any document purporting to be signed by or on behalf of a consular officer and stating that he has requested or consented to the institution of any proceedings shall be sufficient proof of that fact unless the contrary is shown.

6 Detention on board ship for disciplinary offences.U.K.

Her Majesty may by Order in Council designate any State for the purposes of this section; and where a State is so designated, a member of the crew of a ship belonging to that State who is detained in custody on board for a disciplinary offence shall not be deemed to be unlawfully detained unless—

(a)his detention is unlawful under the laws of that State or the conditions of detention are inhumane or unjustifiably severe; or

(b)there is reasonable cause for believing that his life or liberty will be endangered for reasons of race, nationality, political opinion or religion, in any country to which the ship is likely to go.

7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F11U.K.

8 Refund of customs duty on hydrocarbon oils.U.K.

(1)The Treasury may authorise the Secretary of State or the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to make, if he or they think fit, arrangements for securing the refund of [F12duty (whether of customs or excise) paid on imported hydrocarbon oil (within the meaning of the M4Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979) or value added tax paid on the importation [F13or acquisition from another member State]of such oil which is]

(a)bought in the United Kingdom; and

(b)used for such purpose that, had [F14it] been imported for that use, exemption from [F14duty] thereon would have been required to be granted by virtue of Article 50 in Schedule 1 to this Act or by virtue of an Order under section 3(1) of this Act . . . F15

(2)Any arrangements made under this section may impose conditions subject to which any refund is to be made.

(3)Any amount refunded under arrangements made under this section shall be defrayed—

(a)if the arrangements are made by the Secretary of State, out of moneys provided by Parliament; and

(b)if the arrangements are made by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, out of the moneys standing to the credit of the General Account of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise.

Textual Amendments

F13Words in s. 8(1) inserted (1.1.1993) by Finance (No. 2) Act 1992 (C.48), s. 14(2), Sch. 3 Pt. III para. 89(2); S.I. 1992/3261, art.3.

F15Words repealed by Diplomatic and other Privileges Act 1971 (c. 64), s. 4(2)(b)

Marginal Citations

9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F16U.K.

Textual Amendments

10 Right of diplomatic agents and consular officers to administer oaths and do notarial acts in certain cases.U.K.

(1)A diplomatic agent or consular officer of any State may, if authorised to do so under the laws of that State, administer oaths, take affidavits and do notarial acts—

(a)required by a person for use in that State or under the laws thereof; or

(b)otherwise required by a national of that State but not for use in the United Kingdom except under the laws of some other country [F17or

(c)in connection with an international will.]

(2)Her Majesty may by Order in Council exclude or restrict the provisions of the preceding subsection in relation to the diplomatic agents or consular officers of any State if it appears to Her that in any territory of that State diplomatic agents or consular officers of the United Kingdom are not permitted to perform functions corresponding in nature and extent to those authorised by that subsection.

(3)Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision for applying section 6 of the M5Commissioners for Oaths Act 1889 (powers as to oaths and notarial acts abroad) to countries within the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland by requiring the section to be construed as if—

(a)the references therein to a foreign country or place included such country or place as may be specified in the Order; and

(b)the diplomatic ranks specified in that section included such ranks of any United Kingdom mission in a country specified in the Order as may be so specified in relation to that country.

(4)In this section “diplomatic agent” has the same meaning as in the M6Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 [F18and “international will” has the meaning assigned to it by section 27 of the Administration of Justice Act 1982].

Textual Amendments

F17S. 10(1)(c) and “or” preceding it added (prosp.) by Administration of Justice Act 1982 (c. 53, SIF 116:5), ss. 28(7)(a), 76(5)(6)

Marginal Citations

11 Evidence.U.K.

If in any proceedings any question arises whether or not any person is entitled to any privilege or immunity under this Act, a certificate issued by or under the authority of the Secretary of State stating any fact relating to that question shall be conclusive evidence of that fact.

Privileges and immunities in connection with Commonwealth and Irish establishmentsU.K.

[F1912

(1)Her Majesty may, in relation to any such Commonwealth representatives as are described in subsection (2) below, provide by Order in Council for conferring all or any of the privileges and immunities which are conferred by or may be conferred under this Act on consular posts or persons connected with consular posts; and the reference in section 8(1)(b) of this Act (refund of hydrocarbon oil duty) to an order under section 3(1) of this Act shall extend also to an order under this section.

(2)The Commonwealth representatives in relation to whom this section applies are—

(a)persons in the service of the Government of any country within the Commonwealth (other than the United Kingdom) who hold offices appearing to Her Majesty to involve the performance of duties substantially corresponding to duties which, in the case of a foreign sovereign power, would be performed by a consular officer; and

(b)any person for the time being recognised by Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom as the chief representative in the United Kingdom of a state or province of a country within the Commonwealth.

(3)The privileges and immunities which may be conferred under this section shall include those which in other cases may, if an agreement so requires, be conferred by virtue of Schedule 2 to this Act.

(4)The provisions of this section shall have effect in relation to persons in the service of the Government of the Republic of Ireland as they have effect in relation to persons in the service of the Government of a country within the Commonwealth.]

Textual Amendments

F19S. 12 substituted by Diplomatic and other Privileges Act 1971 (c. 64), s. 4(1), Sch.

13 Commonwealth and Irish consular officers.U.K.

(1)If consular officers are appointed—

(a)by Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom to serve in any other country within the Commonwealth or in the Republic of Ireland; or

(b)by the Government of any other country within the Commonwealth or of the Republic of Ireland to serve in the United Kingdom;

any enactment passed before the passing of this Act which confers any function on consular officers shall be construed in accordance with the following provisions of this section.

(2)References (however expressed) in any such enactment to a consular officer shall be construed, subject to any provision made under subsection (3)(a) of this section, as not including a consular officer appointed as mentioned in subsection (1)(a) of this section.

(3)Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision—

(a)for requiring references to a consular officer in any enactment passed before the passing of this Act to be construed as including a consular officer appointed as mentioned in subsection (1)(a) of this section (or as including a consular officer so appointed in any country or place specified in the Order) or for the exercise by a consular officer so appointed (or so appointed in any such country or place) of any functions conferred by the enactment on some other officer;

(b)for making in the [F20Merchant Shipping Act 1995] or the M7Consular Conventions Act 1949 such adaptations of any provision referring to a consular officer of a foreign State as appear to Her to be necessary or expedient to make the provision applicable to consular officers appointed as mentioned in subsection (1)(b) of this section and to dispense with any requirement as to the conclusion of a consular convention.

(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F21

Textual Amendments

F20Words in s. 13(3)(b) substituted (1.1.1996) by 1995 c. 21, ss. 314(2), 316(2), Sch. 13 para. 40(a) (with s. 312(1))

Marginal Citations

14 Orders in Council.U.K.

(1)No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty in Council to make an Order containing such provision as is mentioned in section 1(11) or section 3(1) of this Act unless a draft thereof has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

(2)Any other statutory instrument made under the foregoing provisions of this Act shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(3)Any power to make an Order conferred by this Act includes power to vary or revoke such an Order by a subsequent Order.

15 Validation of certain provisions in colonial laws.U.K.

Notwithstanding anything in the M8Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865, no colonial law within the meaning of that Act shall be void or inoperative as being repugnant to the M9Admiralty Offences (Colonial) Act 1849, the M10Territorial Waters Jurisdiction Act 1878 or section [F22280 or section 281 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995] by reason only of making provision corresponding to section 5 of this Act.

Textual Amendments

F22Words in s. 15 substituted (1.1.1996) by 1995 c. 21, ss. 314(2), 316(2), Sch. 13 para. 40(b) (with s. 312(1))

Marginal Citations

16 Short title, interpretation, commencement and repeal.U.K.

(1)This Act may be cited as the Consular Relations Act 1968.

(2)For the purposes of section 4, 5 or 6 of this Act a ship, and for the purposes of section 4 an aircraft, shall be treated as belonging to a State in such circumstances as may be specified by an Order in Council under that section; and different circumstances may be so specified with respect to different States and different classes of ship or aircraft.

(3)This Act, except sections 7 to 11, shall not come into force until such day as Her Majesty may by Order in Council appoint.

(4)In the M11Consular Conventions Act 1949, section 4, in section 6(1) the words “or section 4” and, in section 7(2), paragraph (c) are hereby repealed.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C11.1.1971 appointed under s. 16(3) by S.I. 1970/1684

C2The text of s. 16(4) is in the form in which it was originally enacted: it was not reproduced in Statutes in Force and does not reflect any amendments or repeals which may have been made prior to 1.2.1991

Marginal Citations

SCHEDULES

Section 1.

SCHEDULE 1U.K. PROVISIONS OF VIENNA CONVENTION HAVING THE FORCE OF LAW IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Article 1U.K.

Definitions

1U.K.For the purposes of the present Convention, the following expressions shall have the meanings hereunder assigned to them:

(a)consular post” means any consulate-general, consulate, vice-consulate or consular agency;

(b)consular district” means the area assigned to a consular post for the exercise of consular functions;

(c)head of consular post” means the person charged with the duty of acting in that capacity;

(d)consular officer” means any person, including the head of a consular post, entrusted in that capacity with the exercise of consular functions;

(e)consular employee” means any person employed in the administrative or technical service of a consular post;

(f)member of the service staff” means any person employed in the domestic service of a consular post;

(g)members of the consular post” means consular officers, consular employees and members of the service staff;

(h)members of the consular staff” means consular officers, other than the head of a consular post, consular employees and members of the service staff;

(i)member of the private staff” means a person who is employed exclusively in the private service of a member of the consular post;

(j)consular premises” means the buildings or parts of buildings and the land ancillary thereto, irrespective of ownership, used exclusively for the purposes of the consular post;

(k)consular archives” includes all the papers, documents, correspondence, books, films, tapes and registers of the consular post, together with the ciphers and codes, the card-indexes and any article of furniture intended for their protection or safekeeping.

2U.K.Consular officers are of two categories, namely career consular officers and honorary consular officers. The provisions of Chapter II of the present Convention apply to consular posts headed by career consular officers; the provisions of Chapter III govern consular posts headed by honorary consular officers.

3U.K.The particular status of members of the consular posts who are nationals or permanent residents of the receiving State is governed by Article 71 of the present Convention.

CHAPTER I.—CONSULAR RELATIONS IN GENERALU.K.

[F23SECTION I.—ESTABLISHMENT AND CONDUCT OF CONSULAR RELATIONS]U.K.

Article 5U.K.

Consular functions

Consular functions consist in:

(a)protecting in the receiving State the interests of the sending State and of its nationals, both individuals and bodies corporate, within the limits permitted by international law;

(b)furthering the development of commercial, economic, cultural and scientific relations between the sending State and the receiving State and otherwise promoting friendly relations between them in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention;

(c)ascertaining by all lawful means conditions and developments in the commercial, economic, cultural and scientific life of the receiving State, reporting thereon to the Government of the sending State and giving information to persons interested;

(d)issuing passports and travel documents to nationals of the sending State, and visas or appropriate documents to persons wishing to travel to the sending State;

(e)helping and assisting nationals, both individuals and bodies corporate, of the sending State;

(f)acting as notary and civil registrar and in capacities of a similar kind, and performing certain functions of an administrative nature, provided that there is nothing contrary thereto in the laws and regulations of the receiving State;

(g)safeguarding the interests of nationals, both individuals and bodies corporate, of the sending State in cases of successionmortis causain the territory of the receiving State, in accordance with the laws and regulations of the receiving State;

(h)safeguarding, within the limits imposed by the laws and regulations of the receiving State, the interests of minors and other persons lacking full capacity who are nationals of the sending State, particularly where any guardianship or trusteeship is required with respect to such persons;

(i)subject to the practices and procedures obtaining in the receiving State, representing or arranging appropriate representation for nationals of the sending State before the tribunals and other authorities of the receiving State, for the purpose of obtaining, in accordance with the laws and regulations of the receiving State, provisional measures for the preservation of the rights and interests of these nationals, where, because of absence or any other reason, such nationals are unable at the proper time to assume the defence of their rights and interests;

(j)transmitting judicial and extra-judicial documents or executing letters rogatory or commissions to take evidence for the courts of the sending State in accordance with international agreements in force or, in the absence of such international agreements, in any other manner compatible with the laws and regulations of the receiving State;

(k)exercising rights of supervision and inspection provided for in the laws and regulations of the sending State in respect of vessels having the nationality of the sending State, and of aircraft registered in that State, and in respect of their crews;

(l)Extending assistance to vessels and aircraft mentioned in sub-paragraph (k) of this Article and to their crews, taking statements regarding the voyage of a vessel, examining and stamping the ship’s papers, and, without prejudice to the powers of the authorities of the receiving State, conducting investigations into any incidents which occurred during the voyage, and settling disputes of any kind between the master, the officers and the seamen in so far as this may be authorized by the laws and regulations of the sending State;

(m)performing any other functions entrusted to a consular post by the sending State which are not prohibited by the laws and regulations of the receiving State or to which no objection is taken by the receiving State or which are referred to in the international agreements in force between the sending State and the receiving State.

Article 15U.K.

Temporary exercise of the functions of the head of a consular post

1U.K.If the head of a consular post is unable to carry out his functions or the position of head of consular post is vacant, an acting head of post may act provisionally as head of the consular post.

2U.K.The full name of the acting head of post shall be notified either by the diplomatic mission of the sending State or, if that State has no such mission in the receiving State, by the head of the consular post, or, if he is unable to do so, by any competent authority of the sending State, to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the receiving State or to the authority designated by that Ministry. As a general rule, this notification shall be given in advance. The receiving State may make the admission as acting head of post of a person who is neither a diplomatic agent nor a consular officer of the sending State in the receiving State conditional on its consent.

3U.K.The competent authorities of the receiving State shall afford assistance and protection to the acting head of post. While he is in charge of the post, the provisions of the present Convention shall apply to him on the same basis as to the head of the consular post concerned. The receiving State shall not, however, be obliged to grant to an acting head of post any facility, privilege or immunity which the head of the consular post enjoys only subject to conditions not fulfilled by the acting head of post.

4U.K.When, in the circumstances referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, a member of the diplomatic staff of the diplomatic mission of the sending State in the receiving State is designated by the sending State as an acting head of post, he shall, if the receiving State does not object thereto, continue to enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities.

Article 17U.K.

Performance of diplomatic acts by consular officers

1U.K.In a State where the sending State has no diplomatic mission and is not represented by a diplomatic mission of a third State, a consular officer may, with the consent of the receiving State, and without affecting his consular status, be authorized to perform diplomatic acts. The performance of such acts by a consular officer shall not confer upon him any right to claim diplomatic privileges and immunities.

2U.K.A consular officer may, after notification addressed to the receiving State, act as representative of the sending State to any inter-governmental organization. When so acting, he shall be entitled to enjoy any privileges and immunites accorded to such a representative by customary international law or by international agreements; however, in respect of the performance by him of any consular function, he shall not be entitled to any greater immunity from jurisdiction than that to which a consular officer is entitled under the present Convention.

[F24SECTION II.—END OF CONSULAR FUNCTIOnsU.K.

ARTICLE 27U.K.

Protection of consular premises and archives and of the interests of the sending State in exceptional circumstances

1U.K.In the event of the severance of consular relations between two States:

(a)the receiving State shall, even in case of armed conflict, respect and protect the consular premises, together with the property of the consular post and the consular archives;

(b)the sending State may entrust the custody of the consular premises, together with the property contained therein and the consular archives, to a third State acceptable to the receiving State;

(c)the sending State may entrust the protection of its interests and those of its nationals to a third State acceptable to the receiving State.

2U.K.In the event of the temporary or permanent closure of a consular post, the provisions of sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph 1 of this Article shall apply. In addition,

(a)if the sending State, although not represented in the receiving State by a diplomatic mission, has another consular post in the territory of that State, that consular post may be entrusted with the custody of the premises of the consular post which has been closed, together with the property contained therein and the consular archives, and, with the consent of the receiving State, with the exercise of consular functions in the district of that consular post; or

(b)if the sending State has no diplomatic mission and no other consular post in the receiving State, the provisions of sub-paragraphs (b) and (c) of paragraph 1 of this Article shall apply.]

CHAPTER II.—FACILITIES, PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES RELATING TO CONSULAR POSTS, CAREER CONSULAR OFFICERS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF A CONSULAR POSTU.K.

Section I.—Facilities, Privileges and Immunities relating to a Consular PostU.K.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C3Chapt. II Sect. I extended by S.I. 1985/1983, arts. 7, 10, 12

Article 31U.K.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Inviolability of the consular premises

1U.K.Consular premises shall be inviolable to the extent provided in this Article.

2U.K.The authorities of the receiving State shall not enter that part of the consular premises which is used exclusively for the purpose of the work of the consular post except with the consent of the head of the consular post or of his designee or of the head of the diplomatic mission of the sending State. The consent of the head of the consular post may, however, be assumed in case of fire or other disaster requiring prompt protective action.

[F253U.K.Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article, the receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the consular premises against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the consular post or impairment of its dignity.]

4U.K.The consular premises, their furnishings, the property of the consular post and its means of transport shall be immune from any form of requisition for purposes of national defence or public utility. If expropriation is necessary for such purposes, all possible steps shall be taken to avoid impeding the performance of consular functions, and prompt, adequate and effective compensation shall be paid to the sending State.

Article 32U.K.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C5Art. 32 extended by S.I. 1985/1983, arts. 8, 9, 12

Exemption from taxation of consular premises

1U.K.Consular premises and the residence of the career head of consular post of which the sending State or any person acting on its behalf is the owner or lessee shall be exempt from all national, regional or municipal dues and taxes whatsoever, other than such as represent payment for specific services rendered.

2U.K.The exemption from taxation referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall not apply to such dues and taxes if, under the law of the receiving State, they are payable by the person who contracted with the sending State or with the person acting on its behalf.

Article 33U.K.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C7Sch. 1 art. 33 applied (18.12.1996) by 1996 c. 63, s. 1(3), Sch. paras. 1, 7, 8(2)(3)

Inviolability of the consular archives and documents

The consular archives and documents shall be inviolable at all times and wherever they may be.

Article 35U.K.

Freedom of communication

1U.K.The receiving State shall permit and protect freedom of communication on the part of the consular post for all official purposes. In communicating with the Government, the diplomatic missions and other consular posts, wherever situated, of the sending State, the consular post may employ all appropriate means, including diplomatic or consular couriers, diplomatic or consular bags and messages in code or cipher. However, the consular post may install and use a wireless transmitter only with the consent of the receiving State.

2U.K.The official correspondence of the consular post shall be inviolable. Official correspondence means all correspondence relating to the consular post and its functions.

3U.K.The consular bag shall be neither opened nor detained. Nevertheless, if the competent authorities of the receiving State have serious reason to believe that the bag contains something other than the correspondence, documents or articles referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article, they may request that the bag be opened in their presence by an authorized representative of the sending State. If this request is refused by the authorities of the sending State, the bag shall be returned to its place of origin.

4U.K.The packages constituting the consular bag shall bear visible external marks of their character and may contain only official correspondence and documents or articles intended exclusively for official use.

5U.K.The consular courier shall be provided with an official document indicating his status and the number of packages constituting the consular bag. Except with the consent of the receiving State he shall be neither a national of the receiving State, nor, unless he is a national of the sending State, a permanent resident of the receiving State. In the performance of his functions he shall be protected by the receiving State. He shall enjoy personal inviolability and shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention.

6U.K.The sending State, its diplomatic missions and its consular posts may designate consular couriersad hoc. In such cases the provisions of paragraph 5 of this Article shall also apply except that the immunities therein mentioned shall cease to apply when such a courier has delivered to the consignee the consular bag in his charge.

7U.K.A consular bag may be entrusted to the captain of a ship or of a commercial aircraft scheduled to land at an authorized port of entry. He shall be provided with an official document indicating the number of packages constituting the bag, but he shall not be considered to be a consular courier. By arrangement with the appropriate local authorities, the consular post may send one of its members to take possession of the bag directly and freely from the captain of the ship or of the aircraft.

Article 39U.K.

Consular fees and charges

1U.K.The consular post may levy in the territory of the receiving State the fees and charges provided by the laws and regulations of the sending State for consular acts.

2U.K.The sums collected in the form of the fees and charges referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, and the receipts for such fees and charges, shall be exempt from all dues and taxes in the receiving State.

Section II.—Facilities, Privileges and Immunities relating to Career Consular Officers and other Members of a Consular PostU.K.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C8Chapt. II Sect. II extended by S.I. 1985/1983, arts. 3–5, 12

Article 41U.K.

Personal inviolability of consular officers

1U.K.Consular officers shall not be liable to arrest or detention pending trial, except in the case of a grave crime and pursuant to a decision by the competent judicial authority.

2U.K.Except in the case specified in paragraph 1 of this Article, consular officers shall not be committed to prison or liable to any other form of restriction on their personal freedom save in execution of a judicial decision of final effect.

Article 43U.K.

Immunity from jurisdiction

1U.K.Consular officers and consular employees shall not be amenable to the jurisdiction of the judicial or administrative authorities of the receiving State in respect of acts performed in the exercise of consular functions.

2U.K.The provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article shall not, however, apply in respect of a civil action either:

(a)arising out of a contract concluded by a consular officer or a consular employee in which he did not contract expressly or impliedly as an agent of the sending State; or

(b)by a third party for damage arising from an accident in the receiving State caused by a vehicle, vessel or aircraft.

Article 44U.K.

Liability to give evidence

1U.K.Members of a consular post may be called upon to attend as witnesses in the course of judicial or administrative proceedings. A consular employee or a member of the service staff shall not, except in the cases mentioned in paragraph 3 of this Article, decline to give evidence. If a consular officer should decline to do so, no coercive measure or penalty may be applied to him.

2U.K.The authority requiring the evidence of a consular officer shall avoid interference with the performance of his functions. It may, when possible, take such evidence at his residence or at the consular post or accept a statement from him in writing.

3U.K.Members of a consular post are under no obligation to give evidence concerning matters connected with the exercise of their functions or to produce official correspondence and documents relating thereto. They are also entitled to decline to give evidence as expert witnesses with regard to the law of the sending State.

Article 45U.K.

Waiver of privileges and immunities

1U.K.The sending State may waive, with regard to a member of the consular post, any of the privileges and immunities provided for in Articles 41, 43 and 44.

2U.K.The waiver shall in all cases be express, except as provided in paragraph 3 of this Article, and shall be communicated to the receiving State in writing.

3U.K.The initiation of proceedings by a consular officer or a consular employee in a matter where he might enjoy immunity from jurisdiction under Article 43 shall preclude him from invoking immunity from jurisdiction in respect of any counter-claim directly connected with the principal claim.

4U.K.The waiver of immunity from jurisdiction for the purposes of civil or administrative proceedings shall not be deemed to imply the waiver of immunity from the measures of execution resulting from the judicial decision; in respect of such measures, a separate waiver shall be necessary.

Article 48U.K.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C9Sch. 1 art. 48: power to apply conferred (18.12.1996) by 1996 c. 63, s. 1(3), Sch. paras. 5(b), 7, 8(2)(3)

Social security exemption

1U.K.Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3 of this Article, members of the consular post with respect to services rendered by them for the sending State, and members of their families forming part of their households, shall be exempt from social security provisions which may be in force in the receiving State.

2U.K.The exemption provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article shall apply also to members of the private staff who are in the sole employ of members of the consular post, on condition:

(a)that they are not nationals of or permanently resident in the receiving State; and

(b)that they are covered by the social security provisions which are in force in the sending State or a third State.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

3U.K.Members of the consular post who employ persons to whom the exemption provided for in paragraph 2 of this Article does not apply shall observe the obligations which the social security provisions of the receiving State impose upon employers.

4U.K.The exemption provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article shall not preclude voluntary participation in the social security system of the receiving State, provided that such participation is permitted by that State.

Article 49U.K.

Exemption from taxation

1U.K.Consular officers and consular employees and members of their families forming part of their households shall be exempt from all dues and taxes, personal or real, national, regional or municipal, except:

(a)indirect taxes of a kind which are normally incorporated in the price of goods or services;

(b)dues or taxes on private immovable property situated in the territory of the receiving State, subject to the provisions of Article 32;

(c)estate, succession or inheritance duties, and duties on transfers, levied by the receiving State, subject to the provisions of paragraph (b) of Article 51;

(d)dues and taxes on private income, including capital gains, having its source in the receiving State and capital taxes relating to investments made in commercial or financial undertakings in the receiving State;

(e)charges levied for specific services rendered;

(f)registration, court or record fees, mortgage dues and stamp duties, subject to the provisions of Article 32.

2U.K.Members of the service staff shall be exempt from dues and taxes on the wages which they receive for their services.

3U.K.Members of the consular post who employ persons whose wages or salaries are not exempt from income tax in the receiving State shall observe the obligations which the laws and regulations of that State impose upon employers concerning the levying of income tax.

Article 50U.K.

Exemption from customs duties and inspection

1U.K.The receiving State shall, in accordance with such laws and regulations as it may adopt, permit entry of and grant exemption from all customs duties, taxes, and related charges other than charges for storage, cartage and similar services, on:

(a)articles for the official use of the consular post;

(b)articles for the personal use of a consular officer or members of his family forming part of his household, including articles intended for his establishment. The articles intended for consumption shall not exceed the quantities necessary for direct utilization by the persons concerned.

2U.K.Consular employees shall enjoy the privileges and exemptions specified in paragraph 1 of this Article in respect of articles imported at the time of first installation.

3U.K.Personal baggage accompanying consular officers and members of their families forming part of their households shall be exempt from inspection. It may be inspected only if there is serious reason to believe that it contains articles other than those referred to in sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 1 of this Article, or articles the import or export of which is prohibited by the laws and regulations of the receiving State or which are subject to its quarantine laws and regulations. Such inspection shall be carried out in the presence of the consular officer or member of his family concerned.

Article 51U.K.

Estate of a member of the consular post or of a member of his family

In the event of the death of a member of the consular post or of a member of his family forming part of his household, the receiving State:

(a)shall permit the export of the movable property of the deceased, with the exception of any such property acquired in the receiving State the export of which was prohibited at the time of his death;

(b)shall not levy national, regional or municipal estate, succession or inheritance duties, and duties on transfers, on movable property the presence of which in the receiving State was due solely to the presence in that State of the deceased as a member of the consular post or as a member of the family of a member of the consular post.

Article 52U.K.

Exemption from personal services and contributions

The receiving State shall exempt members of the consular post and members of their families forming part of their households from all personal services, from all public service of any kind whatsoever, and from military obligations such as those connected with requisitioning, military contributions and billeting.

Article 53U.K.

Beginning and end of consular privileges and immunities

1U.K.Every member of the consular post shall enjoy the privileges and immunities provided in the present Convention from the moment he enters the territory of the receiving State on proceeding to take up his post or, if already in its territory, from the moment when he enters on his duties with the consular post.

2U.K.Members of the family of a member of the consular post forming part of his household and members of his private staff shall receive the privileges and immunities provided in the present Convention from the date from which he enjoys privileges and immunities in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article or from the date of their entry into the territory of the receiving State or from the date of their becoming a member of such family or private staff, whichever is the latest.

3U.K.When the functions of a member of the consular post have come to an end, his privileges and immunities and those of a member of his family forming part of his household or a member of his private staff shall normally cease at the moment when the person concerned leaves the receiving State or on the expiry of a reasonable period in which to do so, whichever is the sooner, but shall subsist until that time, even in the case of armed conflict. In the case of the persons referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article, their privileges and immunities shall come to an end when they cease to belong to the household or to be in the service of a member of the consular post provided, however, that if such persons intend leaving the receiving State within a reasonable period thereafter, their privileges and immunities shall subsist until the time of their departure.

4U.K.However, with respect to acts performed by a consular officer or a consular employee in the exercise of his functions, immunity from jurisdiction shall continue to subsist without limitation of time.

5U.K.In the event of the death of a member of the consular post, the members of his family forming part of his household shall continue to enjoy the privileges and immunities accorded to them until they leave the receiving State or until the expiry of a reasonable period enabling them to do so, whichever is the sooner.

Article 54U.K.

Obligations of third States

1U.K.If a consular officer passes through or is in the territory of a third State, which has granted him a visa if a visa was necessary, while proceeding to take up or return to his post or when returning to the sending State, the third State shall accord to him all immunities provided for by the other Articles of the present Convention as may be required to ensure his transit or return. The same shall apply in the case of any member of his family forming part of his household enjoying such privileges and immunities who are accompanying the consular officer or travelling separately to join him or to return to the sending State.

2U.K.In circumstances similar to those specified in paragraph 1 of this Article, third States shall not hinder the transit through their territory of other members of the consular post or of members of their families forming part of their households.

3U.K.Third States shall accord to official correspondence and to other official communications in transit, including messages in code or cipher, the same freedom and protection as the receiving State is bound to accord under the present Convention. They shall accord to consular couriers who have been granted a visa, if a visa was necessary, and to consular bags in transit, the same inviolability and protection as the receiving State is bound to accord under the present Convention.

4U.K.The obligations of third States under paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this Article shall also apply to the persons mentioned respectively in those paragraphs, and to official communications and to consular bags, whose presence in the territory of the third State is due toforce majeure.

Article 55U.K.

Respect for the laws and regulations of the receiving State

2U.K.The consular premises shall not be used in any manner incompatible with the exercise of consular functions.

3U.K.The provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article shall not exclude the possibility of offices of other institutions or agencies being installed in part of the building in which the consular premises are situated, provided that the premises assigned to them are separate from those used by the consular post. In that event, the said offices shall not, for the purposes of the present convention, be considered to form part of the consular premises.

Article 57U.K.

Special provisions concerning private gainful occupation

2U.K.Privileges and immunities provided in this Chapter shall not be accorded:

(a)to consular employees or to members of the service staff who carry on any private gainful occupation in the receiving State;

(b)to members of the family of a person referred to in sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph or to members of his private staff;

(c)to members of the family of a member of a consular post who themselves carry on any private gainful occupation in the receiving State.

CHAPTER III.—REGIME RELATING TO HONORARY CONSULAR OFFICERS AND CONSULAR POSTS HEADED BY SUCH OFFICERSU.K.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C11Chapt. III extended by S.I. 1985/1983, arts. 10–12

Article 58U.K.

General provisions relating to facilities, privileges and immunities

1U.K.Articles .....................35, ......................and 39, paragraph 3 of Article 54 and paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 55 shall apply to consular posts headed by an honorary consular officer. In addition, the facilities, privileges and immunities of such consular posts shall be governed by Articles ......................60, 61 and 62.

2U.K.Articles ..........43, paragraph 3 of Article 44, Articles 45 and 53 .......................shall apply to honorary consular officers. In addition, the facilities, privileges and immunities of such consular officers shall be governed by Articles .........................66 and 67.

3U.K.Privileges and immunities provided in the present Convention shall not be accorded to members of the family of an honorary consular officer or of a consular employee employed at a consular post headed by an honorary consular officer.

[F26 Article 59]U.K.

[F27Protection of the consular premises]

[F28The receiving State shall take such steps as may be necessary to protect the consular premises of a consular post headed by an honorary consular officer against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the consular post or impairment of its dignity.]

Article 60U.K.

Exemption from taxation of consular premises

1U.K.Consular premises of a consular post headed by an honorary consular officer of which the sending State is the owner or lessee shall be exempt from all national, regional or municipal dues and taxes whatsoever, other than such as represent payment for specific services rendered.

2U.K.The exemption from taxation referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall not apply to such dues and taxes if, under the laws and regulations of the receiving State, they are payable by the person who contracted with the sending State.

Article 61U.K.

Inviolability of consular archives and documents

The consular archives and documents of a consular post headed by an honorary consular officer shall be inviolable at all times and wherever they may be, provided that they are kept separate from other papers and documents and, in particular, from the private correspondence of the head of a consular post and of any person working with him, and from the materials, books or documents relating to their profession or trade.

Article 62U.K.

Exemption from customs duties

The receiving State shall, in accordance with such laws and regulations as it may adopt, permit entry of, and grant exemption from all customs duties, taxes, and related charges other than charges for storage, cartage and similar services on the following articles, provided that they are for the official use of a consular post headed by an honorary consular officer: coats-of-arms, flags, signboards, seals and stamps, books, official printed matter, office furniture, office equipment and similar articles supplied by or at the instance of the sending State to the consular post.

Article 66U.K.

Exemption from taxation

An honorary consular officer shall be exempt from all dues and taxes on the remuneration and emoluments which he receives from the sending State in respect of the exercise of consular functions.

Article 67U.K.

Exemption from personal services and contributions

The receiving State shall exempt honorary consular officers from all personal services and from all public services of any kind whatsoever and from military obligations such as those connected with requisitioning, military contributions and billeting.

CHAPTER IV.—GENERAL PROVISIONSU.K.

Article 70U.K.

Exercise of consular functions by diplomatic missions

1U.K.The provisions of the present Convention apply also, so far as the context permits, to the exercise of consular functions by a diplomatic mission.

2U.K.The names of members of a diplomatic mission assigned to the consular section or otherwise charged with the exercise of the consular functions of the mission shall be notified to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the receiving State or to the authority designated by that Ministry.

. . . . . . . .

4U.K.The privileges and immunities of the members of a diplomatic mission referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article shall continue to be governed by the rules of international law concerning diplomatic relations.

Article 71U.K.

Nationals or permanent residents of the receiving State

1U.K.Except in so far as additional facilities, privileges and immunities may be granted by the receiving State, consular officers who are nationals of or permanently resident in the receiving State shall enjoy only immunity from jurisdiction and personal inviolability in respect of official acts performed in the exercise of their functions, and the privilege provided in paragraph 3 of Article 44.

2U.K.Other members of the consular post who are nationals of or permanently resident in the receiving State and members of their families, as well as members of the families of consular officers referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, shall enjoy facilities, privileges and immunities only in so far as these are granted to them by the receiving State. Those members of the families of members of the consular post and those members of the private staff who are themselves nationals of or permanently resident in the receiving State shall likewise enjoy facilities, privileges and immunities only in so far as these are granted to them by the receiving State.

SCHEDULE 2U.K. PROVISIONS FOR GIVING EFFECT TO OTHER AGREEMENTS

1U.K.The like exemption from dues and taxes may be extended to the residence of any member of a consular post as is accorded under Article 32 in Schedule 1 to this Act to the residence of the career head of a consular post.

2U.K.Paragraph 1 of Article 49 in that Schedule may be extended to members of the service staff.

3U.K.Paragraph 2 of Article 50 in that Schedule may be applied as if it were among the Articles mentioned in paragraph 2 of Article 58 in that Schedule, as if the reference to consular employees included members of the service staff and also such members of the families of consular employees or of members of the service staff as form part of their households, and as if the words “in respect of articles imported at the time of first installation” were omitted.

4U.K.Articles 29 and 31 in Schedule 1 to the M12Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 (inviolability and immunity from jurisdiction and arrest of diplomatic agents and exemption from duty to give evidence) may be extended to members of a consular post and members of their families forming part of their households.

Marginal Citations

5U.K.Article 22 in Schedule 1 to the M13Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 (inviolability and protection of mission) may be extended to consular premises and paragraph 1 of Article 30 in that Schedule (inviolability of private residence) may be extended to the residences of consular officers.

Marginal Citations

6U.K.Article 27 in Schedule 1 to the M14Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 (freedom of communications) may be extended to the communications of a consular post.

Marginal Citations

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