Volume(s) 1-3; pages 1732-1735



Agreement for Co-operation in Dealing with Pollution of the North Sea by Oil, Bonn, 1969


Done at Bonn 9 June 1969

Entered into force 9 August 1969*( This Agreement is not in force for the United States. This Agreement was superseded by the 1983 Agreement for Co\_operation in Dealing with Pollution of the North Sea by Oil and Other Harmful Substances (see Volume III, page 2345). )*

Depositary: Germany

Primary source citation: 704 UNTS 3



The Governments of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,

Recognizing that grave pollution of the sea by oil in the North Sea area involves a danger to the coastal states,

Noting that the Council of the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization at its third extraordinary session in May, 1967, decided to include among the matters requiring study as a matter of urgency, inter alia:

ĹProcedures whereby States, regionally or interregionally where applicable, can co-operate at short notice to provide manpower, supplies, equipment and scientific advice to deal with discharge of oil or other noxious or hazardous substances including consideration of the possibility of patrols to ascertain the extent of the discharge and the manner of treating it both on sea and landĺ,

Have agreed on the following:

Article 1

This Agreement shall apply whenever the presence or the prospective presence of oil polluting the sea within the North Sea area, as defined in Article 2 of this Agreement, presents a grave and imminent danger to coast or related interests of one or more Contracting Parties.

Article 2

For the purposes of this Agreement the North Sea area means the North Sea proper southwards of latitude 61░ N together with


the Skagerrak, the southern limit of which is determined by a line joining Skagen and Pater Noster Skren,


the English Channel and its approaches eastwards of a line drawn fifty nautical miles to the west of a line joining the Scilly Isles and Ushant.

Article 3

The Contracting Parties consider that protection against pollution of the kind referred to in Article 1 of this Agreement is a matter which calls for active co-operation between the Contracting Parties.

Article 4

Contracting Parties undertake to inform the other Contracting Parties about


their national organisation for dealing with oil pollution;


the competent authority responsible for receiving reports of oil pollution and for dealing with questions concerning measures of mutual assistance between Contracting Parties;


new ways in which oil pollution may be avoided and about new effective measures to deal with oil pollution.

Article 5

(1) Whenever a Contracting Party is aware of a casualty or the presence of oil slicks in the North Sea area likely to constitute a serious threat to the coast or related interests of any other Contracting Party, it shall inform that other Party without delay through its competent authority.

(2) The Contracting Parties undertake to request the masters of all ships flying their flags and pilots of aircraft registered in their countries to report without delay through the channels which may be most practicable and adequate in the circumstances:


all casualties causing or likely to cause oil pollution of the sea;


the presence, nature and extent of oil slicks on the sea likely to constitute a serious threat to the coast or related interests of one or more Contracting Parties.

Article 6

(1) For the sole purposes of this Agreement the North Sea area is divided into the zones described in the Annex to this Agreement.

(2) The Contracting Party within whose zone a situation of the kind described in Article 1 occurs, shall make the necessary assessments of the nature and extent of any casualty or, as the case may be, of the type and approximate quantity of oil floating on the sea, and the direction and speed of movement of the oil.

(3) The Contracting Party concerned shall immediately inform all the other Contracting Parties through their competent authorities of its assessments and of any action which it has taken to deal with the floating oil and shall keep the oil under observation as long as it is drifting in its zone.

(4) The obligations of the Contracting Parties under the provisions of this Article with respect to the zones of joint responsibility shall be the subject of special technical arrangements to be concluded between the Parties concerned. These arrangements shall be communicated to the other Contracting Parties.

(5) In no case shall the division into zones referred to in this Article be invoked as a precedent or argument in any matter concerning sovereignty or jurisdiction.

Article 7

A Contracting Party requiring assistance to dispose of oil floating on the sea or polluting its coast may call on the help of the other Contracting Parties, starting with those which also seem likely to be affected by the floating oil. Contracting Parties called upon for help in accordance with this Article shall use their best endeavours to bring such assistance as is within their power.

Article 8

Any Contracting Party which has taken action in accordance with Article 7 of this Agreement shall submit a report thereon to the other Contracting Parties and to the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization.

Article 9

(1) This Agreement shall be open for signature by the Governments mentioned in the preamble from 9 June 1969. (2) These Governments may become parties to this Agreement either by signature without reservation as to ratification or approval or by signature subject to ratification or approval followed by ratification or approval.

(3) Instruments of ratification or approval shall be deposited with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

(4) This Agreement shall enter into force two months after the date on which six Governments have signed the Agreement without reservation as to ratification or approval or have deposited an instrument of ratification or approval.

(5) For each Government which subsequently signs the Agreement without reservation as to ratification or approval, or ratifies or approves it, it shall enter into force two months after the date of its signature or of the deposit of its instrument of ratification or approval.

Article 10

(1) After this Agreement has been in force for five years it may be denounced by any Contracting Party.

(2) Denunciation shall be effected by a notification in writing addressed to the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany which shall notify all the other Contracting Parties of any denunciation received and of the date of its receipt.

(3) A denunciation shall take effect one year after its receipt by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective Governments have signed this Agreement.

DONE at Bonn on this ninth day of June, 1969, in the English and French languages, both texts being equally authoritative, in a single copy which shall be deposited in the archives of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany which shall transmit a duly certified copy to each of the other signatory Governments. This Agreement shall be registered with the United Nations in conformity with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.


The zones, with the exception of the zones of joint responsibility, are limited by lines joining the following points:

Denmark                                      Germany
55°03' N 8°22' E                             53°34' N 6°38' E
55°10' N 7°30' E                             54°00' N 5°30' E
55°10' N 2°15' E                             54°00' N 2°40' E
57°00' N 1°30' E                             55°10' N 2°15' E
57°00' N 6°40' E                             55°10' N 7°30' E
58°10' N 10°00' E                            55°03' N 8°22' E
57°48' N 10°57' E
57°44' N 10°38' E (Skagen)
Netherlands                                  Norway
51°32' N 3°18' E                             61°00' N 4°30' E
51°32  N 2°06' E                             61°00' N 2°00' E
52°30' N 3°10' E                             57°00' N 1°30' E
54°00' N 2°40' E                             57°00' N 6°40' E
54°00' N 5°30' E                             58°10' N 10°00' E
53°34' N 6°38' E                             58°54,5' N 10°43' E
                                      (To be continued along the
                                      Norwegian-Swedish border.)
Sweden                                       United Kingdom
57°54' N 11°28' E                            61°W N 0°50' W
(Pater Noster lighthouse)                    61°00' N 2°00' E
57°48' N 10°57' E                            57°00' N 1°30' E
58°10' N 10°00' E                            52°30' N 3°10' E
58°54,5' N 10°43' E                          51°32' N 2°06' E
(To be continued along the
Norwegian-Swedish border.)
The zones of joint responsibi


The zones of joint responsibility are as follows:

1. Belgium, France and United Kingdom Sea area between parallels 51░32░ N and 51░06░ N. 2. France and United Kingdom The English Channel south-west of parallel 51░06░ N to a line drawn between the points 49░52░ N 07░44░ W and 48░27░ N 06░25░ W.