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Agreement Concerning Interim Arrangements Relating to
Polymetallic Nodules of the Deep Sea Bed

Done at Washington: 2 September 1982

Entered into force: 2 September 1982


HAVING regard to investments made in exploration, research and
other pioneer activities relating to the polymetallic nodules of
the deep sea bed;

NOTING the adoption by the Third United Nations Conference on
the Law of the Sea of a Convention on the Law of the Sea and of
a Resolution Governing Preparatory Investment in Pioneer
Activities Relating to Polymetallic Nodules prior to the entry
into force of the Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the
provision of that Resolution concerning resolution of conflicts
among pioneer operators

RECALLINC the interim character of legislation with respect to
deep sea bed operations enacted by certain Parties;

DESIRING to make appropriate provisions for avoiding overlaps in
the areas claimed for future pioneer activities in the deep sea
bed and to ensure that, during the interim period, such
activities are carried out in an orderly and peaceful manner;

EMPHASIZING that this Agreement is without prejudice to the
decisions of the Parties with respect to the Convention on Law
of the Sea adopted by the Third United Nations Conference on the
Law of the Sea;

DESIRING also to avoid any discrimination among Parties in the
implementation of this Agreement;

DESIRING further to insure that adequate areas containing
polymetallic nodules remain available for operations by other
states and entities in conformity with international law;


1. The object of the present Agreement is to facilitate the
identification and resolution of conflicts which may arise from
the filing and processing of applications for authorizations
made by Pre-Enactment Explorers (PEEs) on or before March
12,1982 under legislation in respect of deep sea bed operations
enacted by any of the Parties.

2. In the case of a conflict between the areas claimed in such
applications, the Parties shall afford the applicants adequate
opportunity, and shall encourage them, to resolve such conflict
in a timely manner by voluntary procedures.

3.The Parties with whom applications for authorizations have
been made by PEEs on or before March 12,1982 shall follow the
procedures set out in Part I of the Schedule hereto in respect
of such applications.

The Parties shall consult together:

(a)with a view to coordinating and reviewing implementation of
this Agreement;

(b)before issuing any authorization under their respective laws
relating to deep sea bed operations;

(c) in regard to consideration of any arrangement to facilitate
mutual recognitions of such authorizations, it being understood
that any such arrangement shall not enter into force before
January 1,1983;

(d) before entering into any other bilateral or any multilateral
arrangement between themselves or any arrangement with other
States, with respect to deep sea bed operations.

5. In the event that any of the Parties with whom applications
for authorizations have been made by PEEs on or before March 12,
1982 enter into an agreement for the mutual recognition of
authorizations granted under their respective laws in respect of
deep sea bed operations, the parties concerned shall apply the
procedures and impose the requirements set out in Part II of the
Schedule hereto.

6. To the extent permissible under national law, a Party shall
maintain the confidentiality of the coordinates of application
areas and other proprietary or confidential commercial
information received in confidence from any other Party in
pursuance of cooperation under this Agreement in accordance with
the principles set out in Part III of the Schedule hereto.

7. The Parties shall settle any dispute arising from the
interpretation or application of this Agreement by appropriate
means. The Parties to the dispute shall consider the possibility
of recourse to binding arbitration and, if they agree, shall
have recourse to it.

8. The Schedule hereto is an integral part of this Agreement and
Part IV thereof shall apply for the interpretationof this

9. The Parties shall not enter into any supplementary
international agreement inconsistent with this Agreement.

10. This Agreement may be amended by written agreement of all
the Parties.

11. This Agreement shall enter into force upon signature.

12. After entry into force of this Agreement, additional States
may be invited to accede to this Agreement at any time with the
consent of all Parties.

13. Any Party may denounce this Agreement on 30 days' notice to
the Government of the United States of America, and in no case
shall the denunciation have effect before January 3,1983.

DONE at Washington this second day of September, 1982, in the
English, German and French languages, all texts being equally
authentic, in a single copy which shall be deposited in the
archives of the Government of the United States of America,
which will transmit a duly certified copy to each of the other
signatory Governments.




1. Each Party as provided in paragraph 3 of the Agreement shall
forthwith inform the other Parties of entities which have filed
applications with it.

2. Any application filed on or before March 12,1982 shall be
deemed to be filed on that date.

3. Each Party shall with all dispatch determine whether:

(a) each application filed with it fulfills its domestic

(b) the applicant is a PEE with respect to the area applied for
(an applicant filing on behalf of a PEE shall itself be deemed a
PEE for that application);

(c) the area is bounded by a continuous boundary; the area is
reasonably compact.

4. Each Party shall:

(a) notify the other Parties of the results of the initial
processing under paragraph 3 above;

(b) with the other Parties establish the final list of
applications to which this Agreement applies;

(c) inform the other Parties whether the applicant has applied
for the same area, or substantially the same area, to one or
more other Parties;

(d) if the applicant agrees, inform the other Parties of the
coord filed with it;

(e) endeavor to determine the exact locations of any conflicts.

5. No Party shall issue any authorization before January 3,1983.

6. Where it is informed of the relevant coordinates, each Party
shall notify each of its applicants who is involved in a
conflict that a conflict exists. Such notification shall include
coordinates identifying the areas in conflict and the identity
of each applicant with whom conflict has arisen.

7. Each Party shall ensure that domestic conflicts are resolved
pursuant to its respective domestic requirements. Upon agreement
of the applicants, domestic conflicts may be resolved in
accordance with the international conflict resolution procedures
specified in the Schedule. The Parties shall enter into
consultations if it appears that the resolution of a domestic
conflict might affect the international conflict resolution
procedures,or vice versa.

8. (1) Each Party shall accept amendments to applications to
which this Agreement applies only if they:

(a) pertain to areas with respect to which the applicant is a
PEE (the area applied for in amendment need not be adjacent to
the area applied for in the original application); and

(b)are made in order to resolve an existing conflict with
respect to that application.

(2) Each Party shall process any amendment filed pursuant to
this paragraph in accordance with the procedures described in
the foregoing provisions of this Part except that paragraphs 2,
3(c), 3(d), and 4(c) shall not apply to amendments.

(3) Amendments filed under paragraph 8 of the Schedule shall be
eligible for mutual recognition in accordance with the terms of
an agreement entered into by any of the Parties pursuant to
paragraph 5 of the Agreement.



9. (1) Where there is an international conflict, the Parties
shall use their good offices to assist the applicants to resolve
the conflict by voluntary procedures.

(2) If, within six months from the entry into force of an
agreement between the Parties referred to in paragraph 5 of the
Agreement, notwithstanding the good offices of the Parties, all
applicants involved in an international conflict have not
resolved that conflict, or are not parties to a written
agreement submitting the conflict to a specified binding
conflict resolution procedure, the conflict shall be resolved by
binding arbitration in accordance with Appendices 1 and 2 if a
Party so elects.

(3) The procedures provided in the Appendices shall commence ten
days after a Party notifies the other Party or Parties of the
decision to elect arbitration.



10. In implementing the provisions of paragraph 6 of the
Agreement, parties shall apply the following principles;

(a) The confidentiality of the coordinates of application areas
shall be maintained until any conflict involving such area is
resolved and the relevant authorization is issued, except on the
basis of a demonstrated need to know and adequate assurances
that the confidentiality of the information shall be maintained
by the recipient;

(b) The confidentiality of other proprietary or confidential
commercial information shall be maintained in accordance with
domestic law as long as such information retains its character
as such.



(a)"activities" means the undertakings, commitments of
resources, investigations, findings, research, engineering
development, and other activities relevant to the
identification, discovery, and systematic analysis and
evaluation of polymetallic nodules and to the determination of
the technical and economic feasibility of exploitation;

(b)"authorization" means any license, permit, or other
authorization issued under the national law of a Party which
authorizes the holder to engage in deep sea bed operations in a
specified area or areas;

(c)"conflict" means the existence of more than one application
or amendment covered by this Agreement submitted by different

(1) whether filed with the same Party or with more than one
Party; and

(2) in which the deep sea bed areas applied for overlap in whole
or part, to the extent of the overlap;

"international conflict" means a conflict arising from
applications or amendments filed with more than one Party;

"domestic conflict" means any other conflict;

(d) "pre-enactment explorer" ("PEE") is an entity which was
engaged, prior to the earliest date of enactment of domestic
legislation by any Party, in deep sea bed polymetallic nodule
exploration by substantial surveying activity with respect to
the area applied for; and

(e) "polymetallic nodules" means any deposit or accretion on or
just below the surface of the deep sea bed consisting of nodules
which contain manganese, nickel, cobalt, or copper.


Arbitration Procedure

In this Appendix, "Party" means a Party to this Agreement which
is also concerned in the arbitration, "Party" includes any such
Party or Parties.

2. The parties presenting the case shall seek to agree in
writing within sixty days after the expiry of the ten-day period
provided by paragraph 9(3) of the Schedule on three arbitrators,
or, if they agree to have only one arbitrator, on that one

3. Any Party may object to the choice of any arbitrator or
arbitrators under paragraph 2, by written notice received by the
other Party within thirty days after the expiry of the period
provided by paragraph 2 above. Upon objection to any arbitrator
by a Party, the other Party may, when three arbitrators have
been chosen under paragraph 2, object to either or both of the
other arbitrators by written notice received by the other Party
within fifteen days after the expiry of the period provided by
the immediately preceding sentence.

4. If a Party objects to the choice of any arbitrator in
accordance with paragraph 3 or if an arbitrator becomes unable
to act, the parties presenting the case shall seek to agree on a
replacement in writing within sixty days after receipt of the
notice of objection or after the date when the arbitrator
becomes unable to act.

If agreement is reached, a Party may object to the choice of a
replacement by written notice received by the other Party within
thirty days. If the parties presenting the case have not reached
agreement, or if a Party objects to the choice of a replacement
in accordance with this paragraph, the Secretary-General of the
Permanent Court of Arbitration shall appoint a replacement
without delay.

5. If the parties presenting the case fail to agree on three
arbitrators (or an arbitrator) within the period provided by
paragraph 2, three arbitrators shall, on request of a Party, be
appointed without delay by the SecretaryGeneral of the Permanent
Court of Arbitration.

6. Any arbitrator appointed by the Secretary-General of the
Permanent Court of Arbitration shall not be a citizen of a
Party, shall have international standing and expertise, and
shall have personal characteristics which place him in a neutral
position with respect to the subject of the dispute. The
Secretary-General shall not be confined to any particular list
of arbitrators in making this selection. Appointments by the
Secretary-General shall not be open to challenge.

7. Insofar as any matter is not dealt with by Appendix 2 and
other relevant provisions of this Agreement, the arbitrator or
arbitrators shall, consistent with Appendix 2, be guided by the
general principles of law as recognized by the Parties, which,
where the case is presented by a Party or Parties means the
general principles of public international law (lex lata) as
recognized by the Parties.

8. The arbitrator or arbitrators shall decide where he or they
shall sit and shall, in consultation with the parties presenting
the case, adopt rules of procedure consistent with this

9. The case will be presented by a Party or by its applicants
involved in the conflict, at the option of the Party and each
side of the case shall be represented as it sees fit.

10. A Party may intervene as of right.

11. An arbitrator may not abstain from voting on the award. If
there are three arbitrators, their award shall be made by a
majority vote.

12. The award of the arbitrator or arbitrators shall be rendered
within one year from the date of the final appointment of the
arbitrator or arbitrators unless all Parties or parties
presenting the case otherwise agree or unless the arbitrator or
arbitrators for good cause extend the deadline for the making of
the award for one or more 30 day periods, in any case not to
exceed 120 days.

The award shall be final and binding on the applicants involved
in the conflict and on the Parties and shall be enforced by the
Parties. The applicants involved in the conflict shall without
delay file amendments to their applications consistent with the
arbitral award. Within two months of the date of the award, a
Party or any applicant represented in the arbitration may
request an interpretation of the award. Such interpretation
shall be provided within four months of the request.

13. The expense of the arbitration, including the remuneration
of the arbitrators, shall be borne by the parties presenting the
case. Unless the arbitrator or arbitrators determine otherwise
because of the particular circumstances of the case, the parties
presenting the case shall bear the expenses in equal shares.

14. If an applicant of a Party is involved in conflicts with two
or more applicants of two or more States Parties to this
Agreement, every effort shall be made to consolidate the
arbitration proceedings.


Principles for Resolution of Conflicts

1. In determining the issue as to which applicant involved in a
conflict shall be awarded all or part of each area in conflict,
the arbitral tribunal shall find a solution which is fair and
equitable, having regard, with respect to each applicant
involved in the conflict, to the following factors:

(a) the continuity and extent of activities relevant to each
area in conflict and the application area of which it is a part;

(b) the data on which each applicant involved in the conflict or
predecessor in interest or component organization thereof
commenced activities at sea in the application area;

(c) the financial cost of activities relevant to each area in
conflict and to the app a part, measured in constant terms;

(d) the time when activities were carried out, and the quality
of activities; and

(e) such additional factors as the arbitral tribunal determines
to be relevant, but of the future plans of work of the
applicants involved in the conflict.

When considering the factors specified in paragraph 1, the
arbitral tribunal shall hear, and shall, except for purposes of
apportionment pursuant to paragraph 3, limit its consideration
to all evidence based on the activities specified in paragraph
1, which were conducted on or before January 1,1982, provided,
however, that an applicant must prove at-sea prospecting in the
conflict area prior to June 28,1980 as a pre-condition to
presentation of further evidence to the arbitral tribunal
regarding activities in the conflict area.

3. In making its determination, the arbitral tribunal may award
the entire area in conflict to one applicant involved in the
conflict, or the arbitral tribunal may apportion the area among
any or all of the applicants involved in the conflict. If, after 
applying the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Appendix, the 
arbitral tribunal determines the area in conflict should be 
apportioned, then the arbitral tribunal shall, to the maximum 
extent practicable consistent with its application of those 
provisions, apportion the area in a manner designed to satisfy 
the plan of work set forth in the application of each applicant 
which is awarded part of the area.