SUBSECTION B. RULES APPLICABLE TO
MERCHANT SHIPS AND GOVERNMENT SHIPS
OPERATED FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES
1. The criminal jurisdiction of the coastal State should not be exercised
on board a foreign ship passing through the territorial sea to arrest any
person or to conduct any investigation in connection with any crime
committed on board the ship during its passage, save only in the following
Criminal jurisdiction on board a foreign ship
- if the consequences of the crime extend to the coastal State;
- if the crime is of a kind to disturb the peace of the country or the
good order of the territorial sea;
- if the assistance of the local authorities has been requested by the
master of the ship or by a diplomatic agent or consular officer of
the flag State; or
- if such measures are necessary for the suppression of illicit traffic
in narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.
2. The above provisions do not affect the right of the coastal State to
take any steps authorized by its laws for the purpose of an arrest or
investigation on board a foreign ship passing through the territorial sea
after leaving internal waters.
3. In the cases provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2, the coastal State
shall, if the master so requests, notify a diplomatic agent or consular
officer of the flag State before taking any steps, and shall facilitate
contact between such agent or officer and the ship's crew. In cases of
emergency this notification may be communicated while the measures are
4. In considering whether or in what manner an arrest should be made, the
local authorities shall have due regard to the interests of navigation.
5. Except as provided in Part XII or with respect to violations of laws and
regulations adopted in accordance with Part V, the coastal State may not
take any steps on board a foreign ship passing through the territorial sea
to arrest any person or to conduct any investigation in connection with any
crime committed before the ship entered the territorial sea, if the ship,
proceeding from a foreign port, is only passing through the territorial sea
without entering internal waters.
1. The coastal State should not stop or divert a foreign ship passing
through the territorial sea for the purpose of exercising civil
jurisdiction in relation to a person on board the ship.
Civil jurisdiction in relation to foreign ships
2. The coastal State may not levy execution against or arrest the ship for
the purpose of any civil proceedings, save only in respect of obligations
or liabilities assumed or incurred by the ship itself in the course or for
the purpose of its voyage through the waters of the coastal State.
3. Paragraph 2 is without prejudice to the right of the coastal State, in
accordance with its laws, to levy execution against or to arrest, for the
purpose of any civil proceedings, a foreign ship lying in the territorial
sea, or passing through the territorial sea after leaving internal waters.
SUBSECTION C. RULES APPLICABLE TO
WARSHIPS AND OTHER GOVERNMENT SHIPS
OPERATED FOR NON-COMMERCIAL PURPOSES
For the purposes of this Convention, "warship" means a ship belonging to
the armed forces of a State bearing the external marks distinguishing such
ships of its nationality, under the command of an officer duly commissioned
by the government of the State and whose name appears in the appropriate
service list or its equivalent, and manned by a crew which is under regular
armed forces discipline.
Definition of warships
If any warship does not comply with the laws and regulations of the coastal
State concerning passage through the territorial sea and disregards any
request for compliance therewith which is made to it, the coastal State may
require it to leave the territorial sea immediately.
Non-compliance by warships with the laws and
regulations of the coastal State
The flag State shall bear international responsibility for any loss or
damage to the coastal State resulting from the non-compliance by a warship
or other government ship operated for non-commercial purposes with the laws
and regulations of the coastal State concerning passage through the
territorial sea or with the provisions of this Convention or other rules of
Responsibility of the flag State for damage caused by a
warship or other government ship operated for
With such exceptions as are contained in subsection A and in articles 30
and 31, nothing in this Convention affects the immunities of warships and
other government ships operated for non-commercial purposes.
Immunities of warships and other government ships operated
for non-commercial purposes
SECTION 4. CONTIGUOUS ZONE
1. In a zone contiguous to its territorial sea, described as the contiguous
zone, the coastal State may exercise the control necessary to:
- prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary
laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea;
- punish infringement of the above laws and regulations committed
within its territory or territorial sea.
2. The contiguous zone may riot extend beyond 24 nautical miles from the
baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
Convention on the Law of the Sea: Index