Bernaerts' Guide _UNCLOS 1982
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Book page 86-87


Section: Annex IV - LINK: Full Text

  The Enterprise _UNCLOS 1982The Enterprise is a unique undertaking. On the one hand, it is an organ of the Sea-Bed Authority[1] and is to act in accordance with the general policy of the Assembly and the directives of the Council[2]. On the other hand, it is to enjoy autonomy in the conduct of its operations[3], operate in accordance with sound commercial principles[4], and make its decisions on the basis of commercial considerations only[5]. As an organ of the Authority, it has legal personality and such legal capacity as is necessary to achieve the aims expected from it[6], such as providing funds for the Authority[7], providing technology and training for personnel from developing countries[8], and, last but not least, supporting the mineral policy of the Authority[9]. For this purpose, the Enterprise is entitled to act as any other operator in carrying out activities in the Area, including transporting, processing, and marketing of minerals[10], after obtaining approval of a plan of work[11] and a production authorization[12]. But the Convention also permits joint ventures of the Enterprise, either with developing or developed countries[13]. The Enterprise is to have title to all minerals and processed substances produced by it[14].  

[1] Art. 158, Para.2;Art. 170,   
[2] AIV, Art. 2, Para . 1; (162(2i)),  
[3] AIV, Art. 2, Para . 2,   
[4] AIV, Art. 1, Para . 3,   
AIV, Art. 12, Para . 7,  
[6] Art. 170, Para . 2; AIV, Art. 13,   
[7] Art. 171, Subpara. (c);  AIV, Art. 10,   
[8] Art. 144; AIII, Art. 5,
[9] Art. 150-152,  
[10] AIV, Art. 1, Para. 1,   
[11] AIII, Art. 12; (170(2); 162(2)(k)),  
[12] Argument: AIII, Art. 12; Art. 151, (5); AIII, Art. 7, (6),  
[13] AIII, Art. 9; Art. 11,   
[14] AIV, Art. 12, Para . 4,   
[15] AIV, Art. 10, Para . 3,   
[16] AIII, Art. 11, Para . 1,   
[17] AIV, Art. 11, Subara.3 (b),  
[18] AIV, Art. 11, Subpara. 3 (c),    
[19] RI, Para. 8,    
AIV, Art. 11, Subpara. 3 (a),   
[21] AIV, Art. 8; Art. Para . 13, Para . 2,   
[22] AIII, Art. 3 (2); Art. 9,   
[23] AIII, Art. 9, Para . 4,   
[24] AIII, Art. 7, Para . 6,  
[25] Art. 144; AIII, Art. 5(3-6)

The Enterprise is expected to become self-supporting. As it can be assumed that this will take considerable time, the Enterprise is exempt from payment of contributions to the Authority for ten years[15]. In addition, funds are to be raised by various means so that it can commence operations as soon as possible[16]. As it is unlikely that the necessary funds will be raised by voluntary contributions from states parties or from the financial resources of the Authority, states parties are obliged to lend money to the Enterprise on a long-term interest-free basis for half of the funds and to guarantee debts incurred by the Enterprise in raising the other half; each state party's share is to be calculated in accordance with the scale of assessments for the United Nations regular budget[17]. Further measures can be taken if the necessary funds are not raised in this way[18]. In order to assure an early and effective entry into operation of the Enterprise, the Preparatory Commission is to establish a subcommission to deal with any questions which may arise[19]. The amount of the funds for initial operation mentioned above and the criteria and factors for the adjustment of the same are to be included by the Preparatory Commission in the draft rules, regulations, and procedure of the Authority[20]. The Enterprise is to have its principal office at the seat of the Authority. The Enterprise may establish offices and facilities in other states[21].

One of the main tasks of the Enterprise is to act as a "medium" to ensure the effective participation of developing states. For this purpose, it may apply for approval of a plan of work in any part of the Area or in reserved areas[22], and if it does not intend to carry out activities in a reserved area (either alone or together with states), developing states may apply to conduct activities in that reserved area[23]. Applications for production authorizations in a reserved area can be of advantage to the Enterprise (developing state) in comparison with applications for other parts of the Area, as the former enjoy priority if fewer reserved areas than non-reserved areas (being worked by operators with exclusive rights) are under exploitation[24]. Furthermore, the Enterprise is the arm of the Authority for the acquisition and transfer of technology as well as the training of personnel of developing countries[25].

[1] Art. 158, Para.2;Art. 170,   [2] AIV, Art. 2, Para . 1; (162(2i)),   [3] AIV, Art. 2, Para . 2,   [4] AIV, Art. 1, Para . 3,   [5] AIV, Art. 12, Para . 7,   [6] Art. 170, Para . 2; AIV, Art. 13,   [7] Art. 171, Subpara. (c);  AIV, Art. 10,   [8] Art. 144; AIII, Art. 5,   [9] Art. 150-152,   [10] AIV, Art. 1, Para. 1,   [11] AIII, Art. 12; (170(2); 162(2)(k)),   [12] Argument: AIII, Art. 12; Art. 151, (5); AIII, Art. 7, (6),   [13] AIII, Art. 9; Art. 11,   [14] AIV, Art. 12, Para . 4,    [15] AIV, Art. 10, Para . 3,   [16] AIII, Art. 11, Para . 1,   [17] AIV, Art. 11, Subara.3 (b),   [18] AIV, Art. 11, Subpara. 3 (c),    [19] RI, Para. 8,    [20] AIV, Art. 11, Subpara. 3 (a),    [21] AIV, Art. 8; Art. Para . 13, Para . 2,    [22] AIII, Art. 3 (2); Art. 9,    [23] AIII, Art. 9, Para . 4,   [24] AIII, Art. 7, Para . 6,   [25] Art. 144; AIII, Art. 5(3-6)

Statute of the Enterprise _UNCLOS 1982


Next page 88

Book published:
1988 Fairplay/UK,
2005 (reprint) by

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Bloomington, IN 47403, Canada.

329 pages, ISBN 1-4120-7665-x;

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Bernaerts' Guide to the 
1982 United Nations
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Bernaerts Guide -UNCLOS 1982

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Preface of the reprint in 2005

More than 15 years ago FAIRPLAY PUBLICATIONS Ltd, Coulsdon, Surrey, England, published the book "Bernaerts' Guide to the Law of the Sea - The 1982 United Nations Convention". The guiding potential of the book to find access to the Law of the Sea Convention is still given. Internet technology and publishing on demand invite to provide the interested reader and researcher with this tool again. Only the Status of the Convention (ratification etc) has been updated and instead of the Final Act, the book edition includes the "Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea" of 1994. The corresponding web site neither includes the text of the 1982 Convention, nor the Agreement of 1994. The thorough Index of the 1988 edition is reproduced without changes.
Arnd Bernaerts, October 2005,
Comments 1988-1990
___"an invaluable guide to the understanding and implementation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea"
Satya N. Nandan, U.N. Undersecretay, in: Book Foreword, 1988
__"clearly presented" R.R. Churchill, in: Maritime Policy & Management 1989, p. 340
__"the (book's) concept, which is so wonderful simple, is exactly the factor which makes the book so useful for both the novice as well as the person with extensive experience"
M. Bonefeld, in: Verfassung und Recht, 1989, pp. 83-85
__"the work contains much useful background information…." R.W. Bentham, in: Journal of Energy & Natural Resource Law, 1989, p. 336
__"Bernaerts has saved us a struggle" JG, in: Fairplay Shipping Weekly Magazin, 13th October 1988, p. 33
__"this is probably the best edition on the Convention to put into the hands of students"
A.V. Lowe, in: Int'l and Comparative Law Quarterly 1990, p. 16
__"it will be an invaluable reference tool and should sit on the book shelves of policy makers and all others who are involved in maritime matters"
Vivian I. Forbes, in: The Indian Ocean Review, May 1990, p.10

Bernaerts’s Guide to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

FOREWORD of the 1988 edition
by Satya N. Nandan
Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Law of the Sea Office for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea

Revolutionary changes have taken place in the International Law of the Sea since 1945. The process of change was accelerated in the last two decades by the convening in 1973 of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. The protracted negotiations, spanning over a decade, culminated in the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982. By 9 December 1984, the closing date for signature, 159 signatures were appended to the Convention, the largest number for any such multilateral instrument in the history of international relations.

The Convention, which was adopted as a comprehensive package, introduced a new equity in the relationship among states with respect to the uses of the ocean and the allocation of its resources. It deals, inter alia, with sovereignty and jurisdiction of states, navigation and marine transport, over flight of aircraft, marine pollution, marine scientific research, marine technology, conservation and exploitation of marine living resources, the development and-exploitation of marine non-living resources in national and international areas, and unique provisions dealing with the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation and application of the new regime.

There is no doubt that as we approach the 21st century, more and more attention will be paid to the uses of the oceans and the development of their resources. It is important, therefore, that these developments should take place within a widely accepted legal framework so that there is certainty as to the rights and obligations of all states. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea provides that framework. It establishes a standard for the conduct of states in maritime matters. It is thus a major instrument for preventing conflicts among states.

The convention and its annexes contain over 400 articles. For many it may be a formidable undertaking to grasp the substance and structure of it without making a considerable investment in time and energy. Mr Bernaerts' guide, therefore, is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature on the convention. It provides a most useful reference tool which will benefit administrators and policy makers, as well as scholars. It makes the convention accessible to the uninitiated and refreshes, at a glance, the memories of the initiated. With meticulous references and graphic presentations of the provisions of the convention, Mr Bernaerts has given to the international community an invaluable guide to the understanding and implementation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
April 1988

PREFACE (extract) of the 1988 edition

The reader will be aware that the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is the first constitution of the oceans, a ground-breaking document in many respects. He or she might also have made the discovery that the full text of the Convention is immediately accessible only to experts. If the Convention were only a treaty consisting of straightforward technical regulatory provisions, it could be left to them with a clear conscience. But the Convention is to a large extent a political document and, as such, is expected to influence significantly the development of relations among the states in the world community; for this reason, a wide-spread knowledge of the scope, goals, and regulatory framework of the Convention can only serve to further the aims of the document and would surely follow the intentions of the many men and women who made this Convention their life-work, such as Arvid Pardo (Malta), Hamilton Shirtey Amerasinghe (Sri Lanka), Tommy T. B. Koh (Singapore), and Satya N. Nandan (Fiji), to name only a few of the hundreds who worked on the preparation of this Convention.
As the reader uses the Guide (Part II), he will find that many provisions of the Convention are much easier to understand if one knows the basic framework within which a particular regulation is placed. The Guide aims to provide this framework, with reference to the text of the Convention and, in addition, t& the supporting Commentary of Part III, which describes the overall context of the major terms arid concepts. The Introduction of Part I sketches the historical background of the Convention and some of the general effects. A detailed index at the end of the book will be of assistance in finding specific subjects.


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