Subject: Additional Requirements for Research Vessels Operating in Colombian Waters.
Released by the Department of State, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental
and Scientific Affairs, January 1998.
OES/OA has been advised by our Embassy in Bogota that the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not satisfied with U.S. compliance with their stated requirements (outlined in NTRVO No. 94). The Diplomatic Note following this summary lists the specific requirements which will be insisted upon by the Colombian government for future research vessel clearance requests. First, they reiterate the six-month advance notice for requests. Also, they insist on boarding an "inspector" for each cruise, for which the sponsors must pay travel expenses and per diem. Additionally, they require local insurance policies to be arranged to cover any environmental damage that might occur. Last, they outline several additional types of information that must be supplied with the request, which must be submitted in Spanish. Because the stated lead time requirement is six months, it is necessary that requests for Colombian clearance be submitted to the Department of State at least seven months prior to the proposed start of research, and in compliance with the "UNOLS Handbook for International Operations of U.S. Research Vessels," Appendix D (Foreign Clearance Request Forms). (Decree No. 1875 of 1979 is available at DOS/OES/OA) -------------------------------------------------------- Colombian Diplomatic Note No. ST 048471 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Direccion General de Soberania Territorial [Bureau of Territorial Sovereignty], presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United States of America and, pursuant to the Embassy's note verbale No. 620 of August 8, 1997, wishes to inform it that the Direccion Maritima y Portuaria [Bureau of Maritime Affairs and Ports] has advised this Foreign Ministry, via note No. 3767 DIIMAR-Dilem-180, that for the purpose of granting authorizations to conduct scientific research in Colombian waters, the following legal provisions are in effect: 1. Article 3 of Decree No. 644 of 1990 (Decree No. 644/90) provides that applications must be submitted at least six months in advance of the scheduled starting date of the research; 2. Article 16(b) of Decree No. 644/90 requires that an inspector, appointed by the Colombian maritime authority, stay on board the vessel in order to monitor and supervise authorized operations and [compliance with] pertinent Colombian legislation, as well as with the terms of the decision approving project implementation; 3. Article 16(c) of said Decree requires that the entity sponsoring the research pay the expenses of travel and subsistence of the inspector, as well as the cost of stays in foreign ports and airline travel when necessary. The appointed inspector shall be paid a daily fee of $100,000.00[sic], and this expense shall also be borne by the entity sponsoring the research; 4. Article 7 of Decree No. 1875/79(2) stipulates that an insurance policy in the amount of US$50,000.00 or its equivalent in Colombian currency be established to compensate Colombia for any pollution that may occur during the implementation of the authorized activity; 5. With a view to ensuring compliance with the rules of the Colombian national merchant marine during the vessel's stay in territorial maritime waters, the national maritime authority further orders that an insurance policy, naming Colombia as beneficiary, be established in the amount of US $10,000.00 or its equivalent in Colombian currency. This policy shall remain in effect for three months after the motor vessel has left territorial waters; 6. For the purpose of processing the application, it is necessary, in order for a technical opinion concerning viability to be issued, that the applicant furnish the following information and/or documents required under Decree No. 644/90; a. A document attesting to the existence and legal representation of the applicant, depending on whether juristic or natural persons are involved (Article 4(a)); b. The full names, domiciles, occupations fields of specialization, and the nationalities of the scientists who will be conducting the research, as well as documents attesting to their competence (Article 4(b)); c. The names of the vessel's crew members, as well as an authenticated copy of the registration certificate and ship's passport; d. The class and description of the scientific equipment to be used (Article 4(d)); e. The geographic position of the work stations, with the profiles to be covered properly indicated on a nautical chart (Article 4(i)); f. A description of the potential environmental impact (Article 4(f)); and g. Whether space will be available on the vessel for Colombian scientists to participate in the planning, implemention, and results-analysis phases of the research (Article 4(k)). [Complimentary close] Santafe de Bogota, September 18, 1997 [Initialed] [end of document]
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