Maritime Security of Ukraine. A Reference Work. (2) The Contiguous Zone
M.J., Attorney at Law
Department of Civil Law and Procedure
National Academy of Internal Affairs
From the editors of BlackSeaNews
On 7 December 2021, the interdepartmental working group chaired by Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov completed work on the draft Maritime Security Strategy of Ukraine, a document initiated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.
The strategy was developed taking into account the current experience of the world's leading maritime powers, the positions of maritime law scholars, the proposals of 16 government agencies, independent experts, and business associations. The working group members approved the draft, and the final text of the document, after coordination of some positions, was sent to the President of Ukraine and members of the NSDC of Ukraine.
The strategy took into account a lot of proposals aimed at solving problems that had been repeatedly addressed in the publications by BlackSeaNews authors. Therefore, the editorial board has decided to create a concise and clear reference work based on the contributions from our authors, which looks at the terminology and problems related to maritime security and provides expert explanations.
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In regard to the marine space adjacent to the territorial sea and termed contiguous zone, Article 33 of the Convention states that there the coastal state may exercise control necessary to:
prevent violations of the customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and regulations within its territorial sea area;
- prosecute for breach of the above laws and regulations committed within its territorial sea area.
The contiguous zone may not extend beyond twenty-four nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured (Article 33, paragraph 2, of the Convention).
Also, Ukraine has a separate law that establishes the status and the legal regime of the contiguous zone of Ukraine. Thus, according to Article 1 of the Law of Ukraine On the Contiguous Zone of Ukraine, the contiguous zone of Ukraine (hereinafter — the contiguous zone) is a sea belt whose outer border is at a distance of no more than 24 nautical miles measured from the same baselines, as the width of the territorial sea of Ukraine.
Delimitation of the contiguous zone between Ukraine and the states whose coasts are opposite or adjacent to the coast of Ukraine is carried out in accordance with the international treaties of Ukraine (Article 2 of the Law of Ukraine On the Contiguous Zone of Ukraine).
In accordance with Article 3 of the Law of Ukraine On the Contiguous Zone of Ukraine, in its contiguous zone, Ukraine shall exercise the control necessary to:
1) prevent violations of the customs, fiscal (tax), immigration (migration), and sanitary legislation of Ukraine within the territory of Ukraine, including its internal waters or territorial sea;
2) prosecute for violations of the Ukrainian legislation referred to in paragraph 1, committed within the territory of Ukraine, including its internal waters or territorial sea.
In order to prevent the aforementioned violations of the Ukrainian legislation or hold liable for the violations, the authorized body ensuring the inviolability of the state border and protecting Ukraine’s sovereign rights in its contiguous and exclusive (marine) economic zones (hereinafter — the authorized body) may:
1) stop the ships;
2) inspect the ships and
3) detain or arrest the ships and/or their crew, with the exception of warships and other government vessels used for non-commercial purposes.
If a vessel violates the laws of Ukraine and attempts escape, the competent authority has the right to hot pursuit in order to detain and prosecute the infringer under the Convention.
The right to pursuit ceases at the moment when the vessel enters the territorial sea of its flag state or any third state.
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1. Pro zatverdzhennya Morskoi doktryny Ukrainy na period do 2035 roku: Postanova Cabinetu Ministriv Ukrainy vid 07.10.2009, № 1307. (On Approving the Maritime Doctrine of Ukraine for the Period up to 2035: Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine from October 7, 2009, #1307). URL: https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/1307-2009-%D0%BF.
2. Yoshifumi Tanaka, The International Law of the Sea, third edition (Cambridge University Press, 2019). – p. 554.
3. Konventsiia Organizatsii Ob`yednannykh Natsii z morskogo prava vid 10.12.1982, ratyfikovana Zakonom Ukrainy «Pro ratyfikatsiyu Konventsiia Organizatsii Ob`yednannykh Natsii z morskogo prava 1982 roku ta Ugody pro implementatsiyu Chastyny XI Konventsii Organizatsii Ob`yednannykh Natsii z morskogo prava 1982 roku» № 728-XIV vid 03.06.1999 // Vidomosti Verkhovnoii Rady Ukrainy. – 1999, № 31, stattya 254 (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of December 10, 1982, ratified by the Law of Ukraine "On Ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 and the Implementation Agreement for Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982" # 728-XIV from June 3, 1999, Bulletin of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, 1999, #31, article 254).
4. Кratkoye izlozheniye resheniy, konsultativnykh zaklyuchenii i postanovleniy Mezhdunarodnogo Suda 2008-2012 (Summary of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders of the International Court of Justice 2008-2012), UN, New York, 2014. URL: https://www.icj-cij.org/files/summaries/summaries-2008-2012-ru.pdf - p. 85.
5. Constitutsiya Ukrainy vid 28.06.1996 // Vidomosti Verkhovnoii Rady Ukrainy.- 1996, № 30, stattya 141. (The Constitution of Ukraine of June 28, 1996, Bulletin of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, 1996, #30, article 141).
6. Pro derzhavnyi kordon Ukrainy: Zakon Ukrainy vid 04.11.1991 // Vidomosti Verkhovnoii Rady Ukrainy. - 1992, № 2, stattya 5 (On the State Border of Ukraine: Law of Ukraine of November 4, 1991, Bulletin of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, 1992, #2, Article 5).
7. Pro pryleglu zonu Ukrainy: Zakon Ukrainy vid 06.12.2018 р. / Ofitsiinyi visnyk Ukrainy.- 2019, № 4, stor. 11, stattya 105 (On the Contiguous Zone of Ukraine: Law of Ukraine from December 6, 2018, Official Bulletin of Ukraine, 2019, # 4, p. 11, Article 105).
8. Pro vyklyuchnu morsku (economichnu) zonu: Zakon Ukrainy vid 16.05.1995 р. // Vidomosti Verkhovnoii Rady Ukrainy. - 1995, № 21, stattya 152 (On the Exclusive (Marine) Economic Zone: Law of Ukraine of May 16, 1995, Bulletin of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, 1995, #21, Article 152).
9. Gospodarkyi kodeks Ukrainy від 16.01.2003 // Ofitsiinyi visnyk Ukrainy.- 2003, № 11, stor. 303, stattya 462 (The Economic Code of Ukraine of January 16, 2003 , Official Bulletin of Ukraine, 2003, #11, p. 303, Article 462).
10. Ugoda mizh Uryadom Ukrainy і Uryadom Respubliky Turechchina pro kordon economichnykh (morskykh) zon Ukrainy і Respubliky Turechchina vid 30.05.1994 (Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the Republic of Turkey on the Border of Economic (Marine) Zones of Ukraine and the Republic of Turkey of 30 May 1994). URL: https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/792_008.
11. Dogovir pro vidnosyny dobrosusidstva і spivrobitnytstva mizh Ukrainoyu ta Rumuniyeyu vid 02.06.1997, ratyfikovanyi 17.07.1997 (Agreement on Good Neighborly Relations and Cooperation betwen Ukraine and Romania of June 2, 1997, ratified on July 17, 1997). URL: https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/642_003 .
12. Кratkoye izlozheniye resheniy, konsultativnykh zaklyuchenii i postanovleniy Mezhdunarodnogo Suda 2008-2012 (Summary of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders of the International Court of Justice 2008-2012), UN, New York, 2014. URL: https://www.icj- cij.org/files/summaries/summaries-2008-2012-ru.pdf. – p. 69.
13. Dogovir mizh Ukrainoyu ta Rosiiskoyu Federatsiyeyu pro spivrobitnytstvo u vykorystanni Azovskogo morya і Kerchenskoi protoky vid 24.12.2003 (Agreement Between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the Use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait of December 24, 2003). URL: https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/643_205.
14. Rozporyadzhennya Prezidenta Ukrainy «Pro vnesennya zmin do Rozporyadzhennya Prezidenta Ukrainy vid 6 zhovntya 1998 roku № 515 «Pro okhoronu derzhavnogo kordonu Ukrainy v Azovskomu ta Chormonu moryakh і Kerchenskyi prototsi ta zabespechennya prav Ukrainy u vyklyuchniy (morskiy) economichniy zoni ta contynentalnomu shelfi u pivnichno-skhidniy chastyni Chornogo morya» vid 6 serpnya 1999 roku № 187/99-rp (Decree of the President of Ukraine On Amendments to the President of Ukraine’s Decree #515 of October 6, 1998 «On Protection of the State Border of Ukraine in the Azov and Black Seas and the Kerch Strait and the Protection of Rights of Ukraine in the Exclusive (Marine) Economic Zone and Continental Shelf in the North-East part of the Black Sea» from August 6, 1999, #187/99-rp). URL: https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/187/99-%D1%80%D0%BF.
The article addresses the types of modern Ukraine’s maritime areas in light of the norms of international maritime law and national legislation provisions, and analyzes international documents that establish maritime borders between Ukraine and other coastal states.
The authors propose that Ukraine: 1) promptly commences the compulsory conciliation on Ukraine-Russia maritime border delimitation per Article 298(1)(a)(i) and Annex V, section 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and 2) adopts the laws on the internal waters and the territorial sea of Ukraine.
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This publication has been produced with the support of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). Its contents do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of EED. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in this publication lies entirely with the authors.
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