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Antarctic Act 2013

Section 14 – Application of offences to non-nationals

52.Under section 12 of the 1994 Act the Secretary of State may grant a permit in respect of a United Kingdom national to do anything which is otherwise prohibited under section 7(1), 8(1) or 9(1) of the 1994 Act. These provisions prohibit United Kingdom nationals from harming Antarctic fauna and flora, introducing non-native species into Antarctica and entering restricted areas, respectively, without a permit. Non-United Kingdom nationals wishing to conduct such activities are not currently eligible for a United Kingdom permit, even if their activity is to take place on an expedition organised by a British scientific institution. The Protocol requires all persons wishing to engage in such activities to obtain a prior permit. Therefore, if a non-United Kingdom national on a British expedition wishes to carry out such an activity, authorisation must be obtained from another State Party in respect of that individual. This requirement has, on occasions, caused inconvenience to British scientific institutions which employ non-United Kingdom nationals to conduct scientific research in Antarctica. Moreover, in cases where the individual scientist is a national of a State which is not a Party to the Protocol, it may not currently be possible for that individual to be covered by a permit at all.

53.Subsection (2) amends sections 7(1), 8(1) and 9(1) of the 1994 Act by extending the scope of those offences to cover non-United Kingdom nationals on a British expedition. (“British expedition” is defined by section 3 of that Act.) Subsection (4) amends section 12 of that Act to enable the Secretary of State to grant a permit for an activity otherwise prohibited by section 7, 8 or 9 to a non-United Kingdom national on a British expedition, for the purposes of education or scientific research.

54.Subsection (2) also extends sections 10 and 11 of the 1994 Act to cover non-United Kingdom nationals on a British expedition. Section 10 protects historic sites and monuments in Antarctica, and section 11 prohibits entry into protected places.

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