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U.S. Department of State

Department Seal

Notice to Research Vessel Operators No. 124

Subject: Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Management
of Foreign-Related Marine Scientific Research.

Released by the Department of State, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental
and Scientific Affairs, March 1999.

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OES/OA has been advised by our Embassy in Beijing that they have 
received the new requirements for research vessels operating in PRC 
waters.  Following this summary is a translation of the PRC Decree for 
Marine Scientific Research.

Also, PRC requires that all requests be submitted at least six months 
in advance.  Consequently, all requests must 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."

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REGULATIONS OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
ON THE MANAGEMENT OF FOREIGN-RELATED MARINE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

(Promulgated by Decree No. 199 of the State Council of the People's 
Republic of China on June 18, 1996 and effective as of October 1, 1996)

Article 1

These regulations are formulated for the purpose of improving the 
management of foreign-related marine scientific research activities in 
the sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China, 
promoting international exchange and cooperation in marine scientific 
research, and safeguarding the State's security and its maritime rights 
and interests.

Article 2

These regulations shall apply to the conduct by international 
organizations, organization and individuals of any foreign country 
(hereinafter referred to as the foreign side) of survey activities and 
research on marine environment and marine resources in the internal 
sea, territorial sea and other sea areas under the jurisdiction of the 
People's Republic of China solely for peaceful purposes by themselves 
or in cooperation with Chinese organizations (hereinafter referred to 
as the Chinese side) by the use of ships, other vehicles or facilities.  
However, the exploration of marine mineral resources (including marine 
petroleum resource), survey of marine fisheries resources, and 
investigation of the marine wildlife under priority protection of the 
state shall be subject to the relevant provision of other laws and 
administrative statues of the People's Republic of China.

Article 3

The competent state administrative authority of the People's Republic 
of China for marine affairs (hereinafter referred to as the competent 
authority in marine affairs) and its agencies with its mandate shall be 
responsible for the management of foreign-related marine scientific 
research activities in the sea areas under the jurisdiction of the 
People's Republic of China in accordance with the present Regulations.

Other departments concerned under the State Council shall, as required 
by their responsibilities defined by the State Council, participate in 
the management of foreign-related marine scientific research activities 
in the sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of 
China in cooperation with the competent authority for marine affairs.

Article 4

The marine scientific research activities by the foreign side in the 
territorial sea of the People's Republic of China shall be carried out 
in cooperation with the Chinese side.  In other sea areas under the 
jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China, the foreign side may 
conduct such activities by itself or in cooperation with the Chinese 
side.

Any marine scientific research activities conducted by the foreign side 
alone or in cooperation with the Chinese side shall be subject to 
approval from the competent authority for marine affairs or from the 
State Council through the competent authority for marine affairs and 
shall comply with the relevant laws and statutes of the People's 
Republic of China.

Article 5

For marine scientific research activities to be conducted jointly by 
the foreign and the Chinese sides, the Chinese side shall, according to 
the relevant regulations, be responsible for applying to the competent 
authority for marine affairs in writing for approval six months prior 
to the scheduled commencement of such activities and shall attach to 
their application a research plan and other relevant illustrative 
materials.

For marine scientific research activities to be conducted by the 
foreign side alone, the foreign side shall, through diplomatic 
channels, apply to the competent authority for marine affairs in 
writing for approval and shall attach therewith a research plan and 
other relevant illustrative materials according to the regulations, six 
months prior to the scheduled commencement of its research activities.

On receiving an application for marine scientific research activities, 
the competent state authority for marine affairs shall examine the 
application together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the 
competent military authorities and other relevant departments under the 
State Council and shall, within four months after the date of receiving 
the application, decide whether to approve or disapprove, or to submit 
the case with its comments to the State Council for a final decision.

Article 6

Once the plan for marine scientific research activities is approved, 
the applicant shall submit for approval to the competent authority for 
marine affairs his detailed ship operational plan at sea two months 
prior to the commencement of each cruise.  The competent authority for 
marine affairs shall decide whether to approve or disapprove within one 
month from the date of receiving the plan and notify the applicant of 
its decision in writing and inform the relative departments under the 
State Council of the matter

Article 7

Both the foreign and Chinese sides or otherwise the foreign side shall 
conduct their research activities according to the approved marine 
scientific research plan and the ship operational plan at sea.  Prior 
authorization from the competent authority for marine affairs is 
required for any major change to the approved marine scientific 
research plan and the ship operational plan at sea in case there is 
such a need.

In case the approved marine scientific research plans or the ship 
operational plan at sea cannot be carried out due to force majeure, 
both the Chinese and foreign sides or the foreign side shall report to 
the competent authority for marine affairs; and may resume its 
implementation, change or suspend the plan when the force majeure 
disappears.

Article 8

During the marine scientific research activities, no harmful substances 
shall be introduced into the marine environment, and without 
authorization, no drilling operations or operations with explosives 
shall be conducted.

Article 9

In jointly conducting marine scientific research activities in the 
internal sea or territorial sea of the People's Republic of China by 
using a foreign research vessel, the positions and activities of the 
ship shall be reported to the competent authority for marine affairs at 
0000 and 0800 GMT every day.  If marine scientific research activities 
are conducted by the foreign side alone or in cooperation with the 
Chinese side in other sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People's 
Republic of China by using a foreign research vessel, the position and 
activities of the vessel involved shall be reported to the competent 
authority for marine affairs at 0200 GMT every day.

The competent authority for marine affairs, its agencies or the 
associated agencies with its mandate may monitor or board the said 
research vessel at sea for inspection.

Article 10

The raw data and original samples obtained from the marine scientific 
research activities jointly conducted by the Chinese side and foreign 
side in the internal sea and territorial sea of the People's Republic 
of China belong to the People's Republic of China.  The foreign side 
may use them free of charge according to the agreement reached in the 
contract.

The raw data and original samples obtained from the marine scientific 
research activities conducted jointly by the Chinese and foreign sides 
in other sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of 
China shall be shared and used free of charge by both sides according 
to the agreement provided that the relevant laws, statutes and 
regulations of the People's Republic of China are not violated.

The raw data and original samples obtained in the marine scientific 
research activities conducted by the foreign side alone may be used 
free of charge by the relevant organizations of the People's Republic 
of China.  And their duplicates and separate samples shall be supplied 
to the competent authority for marine affairs free of charge.

No raw data and original samples obtained from the marine scientific 
research activities conducted in the sea areas under the jurisdiction 
of the People's Republic of China shall be published or transferred by 
the two sides involved or by the foreign side alone without the consent 
of the competent authority for marine affairs and other relevant 
departments under the State Council.

Article 11

After the completion of the marine scientific research activities 
conducted jointly by the Chinese side and foreign side or by the 
foreign side alone, the foreign research vessel used shall be subject 
to inspection by the competent authority for marine affairs or its 
agencies or the associated agencies with its mandate.

Article 12

After the completion of the marine scientific research activities 
conducted jointly by the Chinese side and the foreign side, the Chinese 
shall send a copy of the research results and a list of data to the 
competent authority for marine affairs and the relevant departments 
under the State Council.

The foreign side, after its completion of the marine scientific 
research activities alone, shall provide the competent authority for 
marine affairs with data or duplicate of data and samples or separable 
samples obtained form these activities, and it shall also provide, in a 
timely fashion, the phased research results and the final results and 
conclusion of the research.

Article 13

In case of any violation of the present Regulations in conducting 
foreign-related marine scientific research activities, the competent 
authority for marine affairs or its agencies or the associated agencies 
with its mandate shall order an end to these activities, and may 
confiscate all the research instruments and equipment involved, the 
data and samples obtained or impose a fine up to RMB 50,000, or both.

Those who have constituted a crime as a result of violating the present 
Regulations and consequently caused significant losses and serious 
consequences shall be investigated for criminal liabilities according 
to relevant laws.

Article 14

In case of any discrepancy between the present Regulations and the 
provisions of the international treaties signed or accepted by the 
People's Republic of China, the provisions of the international 
treaties shall prevail, with the exception of those provisions about 
which the People's Republic of China has declared reservations.

Article 15

The present regulations shall come into force as of October 1, 1996.

[end of document]

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