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SECTION VI -- PORT STATES

Brazil suggested amending the text so that it refers to the fact that another member State can require an inspection. Argentina suggested that inspections be carried out to ensure compliance with international conservation and management standards as set up by the regional organization. The Chair agreed that it would make no sense for a flag State to ask a port State to enforce its own laws.

Russia said that some of the provisions in this section already exist since the port State has the right to take enforcement measures within its own territorial waters. He suggested an amendment under which violation of the conservation and management measures in the preceding three years is a violation under the port State's legislation.

Argentina suggested, and Canada concurred, that the interdiction measures become mandatory, but several delegates felt that it would be contrary to the sovereign rights of the port State and suggested a chapeau specifying that these measures should not prejudice these sovereign rights. Indonesia said, and Chile agreed, that the drafting was not very clear and he questioned how a vessel could be denied access if it was already in the port. If the ship is in an illegal situation it should be arrested.

The EU agreed that the ship should be let in rather than sent back on the high seas where no inspection can take place. With regard to cases of force majeure, several States requested that it be qualified as "genuine" or "well-defined."

Japan, supported by Poland, called for caution in awarding port State authority, since the RNT assumes that both the port State and the vessel entering the port are parties to a regional arrangement and the authority of the port State stems from the regional arrangement itself. The authorization of the flag State is a necessary requirement since careless and unreasonable inspection could lead to the deterioration of the vessel's catch. Likewise, detention of a vessel should not be carried out without the authorization of the flag State. Korea said that it had changed its position and could now agree to inspection at the request of the flag State as well as denial of access, but that it had problems with the detention provisions of paragraph 38. The EU added that these measures should be in accordance with international law and with GATT in particular. Poland suggested that a general clause of non-discrimination be added.

Brazil answered that the RNT was more balanced and the port State does not need a special reason to perform inspection since the State has sovereign rights in the territorial sea. New Zealand said that the RNT is a minimum and expressed concern at attempts to limit further the authority of the port State. Papua New Guinea said that in terms of safety at sea and marine pollution, port State jurisdiction has become the norm. Morocco added that for developing States, this competence also involves a weighty responsibility.

With regard to potential damage to valuable catch, New Zealand said a clause could be added, urging the port State to take all reasonable measures to preserve the catch quality. Ecuador suggested an amendment that would require the port State to communicate any evidence to the flag State. India asked that "port State" be defined clearly or replaced with "coastal State." Uruguay said the term was clearly defined in Article 218 of UNCLOS.

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