CONSULAR CONVENTION WITH THE DEMOCRATIC AND POPULAR REPUBLIC OF ALGERIA
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TRANSMITING THE CONSULAR CONVENTION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE DEMOCRATIC AND POPULAR REPUBUC OF ALGERIA, SIGNED AT WASHINGTON ON JANUARY 12, 1989
FEBRUARY 27, 1990.-Convention was read the first time, and together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
THE WHITE HOUSE, February 27, 1990.
To the Senate of the United States:
I am transmitting, for the Senate's advice and consent to ratification, the Consular Convention between the United States of America and the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria signed at Washington on January 12, 1989. I am also transmitting, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to the convention.
The signing of this convention is a significant step in the process of enhancing and broadening the relationship between the United States and Algeria. There currently does not exist a bilateral agreement on consular relations between the two countries. The convention sets forth clear obligations with respect to matters such as notification of consular officers of the arrest and detention of nationals of their country and protection of the rights and interests of nationals of their country.
The people of the United States and Algeria have a tradition of friendship and cooperation. I welcome the opportunity through this consular convention to promote the good relations between the two countries. I recommend the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the convention and give its advice and consent to ratification.
LETTER OF SUBMITTAL
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 7, 1990.
The White House.
THE PRESIDENT: I have the honor to submit to you, with a view of its transmission to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification, the Consular Convention between the United States of America and the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria signed at Washington on January 12, 1989.
This Convention supplements the provisions of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations: The Convention will facilitate the ability of American and Algerian consuls to assist their fellow nationals in many ways and should increase travel and commerce between the two countries.
The specific consular functions and services which will be permitted on a reciprocal basis include the issuance of passports and visas, performance of notarial services and the representation of the interests of nationals in estate matters. More significantly, the convention states that consuls of the country whose nationals are arrested, detained or whose personal freedom is limited in any way will be notified without delay. Moreover, consuls shall be permitted to visit such nationals and to arrange for their legal representation.
The Convention's provisions follow the pattern of bilateral consular conventions in force with a number of countries. Articles 2-6 provide for the establishment of consular posts, appointment of officers and employees for such posts, termination of their assignments, and other conditions relating to the operation of a consular
Articles 7-29 provide various privileges and immunities for consular officers and consular employees including, in Article 9, the inviolability of consular premises. Article 16 states that consular officers shall not be liable to arrest or detention pending trial except in the case of a grave crime. Under Article 17, consular officers and consular employees are entitled to immunity, with certain specified exceptions from the judicial and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving state with respect to actions taken in the performance of consular functions. These articles reflect prevailing international practices.
Articles 30-41 relate to the performance of consular functions which include, in addition to the functions discussed above, representing the interests of nationals with respect to vessels and aircraft.
The Consular Convention will further develop and strengthen our relations with Algeria and benefit the interests of nationals both countries. I recommend that the Convention be transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.
CONSULAR CONVENTION BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE GOVERNMENT
OF THE DEMOCRATIC AND POPULAR REPUBLIC OF ALGERIA
The Government of the United States of America and The Government of the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria,
Inspired by the friendly relations that exist between the two countries,
Desiring to develop and strengthen the cooperation that exists between the United States of America and Algeria,
Desirous of clarifying and improving the conditions of the exercise of consular protection with respect to nationals of each of the two countries,
Affirming that the provisions of- the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of April 24, 1963, shall continue to govern matters that are not specifically covered by the provisions of this Convention,
Have agreed as follows:
For the purposes of this Convention:
- "sending State" means the Contracting Party which appoints the consular officers as defined below;
- "receiving State" means the Contracting Party in whose territory the consular officers perform their functions;
- "national" means nationals of either of the two States and, in the proper context; legal entities duly established under the laws of that State with their headquarters in the territory of either of the two States;
- "consular post" means any consulate-general, consulate, or vice-consulate;
- "consular district" means the territory assigned to a consular post for the performance of consular functions;
- 'head of consular post" means the person charged with the duty of acting in that capacity;
- "consular officer" means any person, including the head of a consular post, charged with the performance of consular functions in the capacity of Consul General, Consul, Deputy Consul or Vice Consul. The consular officer must have the nationality of the sending State and may not possess that of the receiving State. He must not be a permanent resident of the receiving State and may not conduct any professional activity other than his consular functions;
- "consular employee" means any person employed in the administrative or technical service of a consular post;
- "member of the service staff' means any person employed in the domestic service of a consular post;
- "member of the consular post" means consular officers, consular employees, and members of the service staff;
- "member of the private staff' means any person employed exclusively in the private service of a member of a consular post;
- "consular premises" means the buildings or parts of buildings and the land ancillary thereto, irrespective of ownership, used exclusively for the purposes of the consular post;
- "consular archives" includes all the papers, documents, correspondence, books, films, tapes, and registers of the consular post, together with the ciphers and codes, the card-indexes, and the articles of furniture intended for their protection and safekeeping;
- "official correspondence of the consular post" means any correspondence related to the consular post and its functions;
- "vessel of the sending State" means any river- or oceangoing vessel registered under the laws of the sending State, including State-owned vessels, but excluding warships;
- "aircraft of the sending State" means any aircraft registered in that State and bearing its distinguishing signs, including State-owned aircraft, but excluding military aircraft.
PART II-ESTABLISHMENT AND CONDUCT OF CONSULAR RELATIONS
- A consular post may be established in the territory of the receiving State only with the consent of that State.
- The seat of the consular post, its classification, and the consular district shall be established by the sending State, and shall be subject to the approval of the receiving State.
- Subsequent changes in the seat of the consular post may be made by the sending State only with the consent of the receiving State.
- The express and prior consent of the receiving State shall also be required for opening an office that is part of an existing consulate and separate from the seat of the consular post.
- (a)(i) Heads of consular post shall be admitted and recognized by the government of the receiving State, according to the rules and formalities established in that State.
(ii) The exequatur or other authorization of the receiving State indicating their consular district shall be delivered to them without delay and free of charge.
(iii) Pending delivery of the exequatur or other authorization of the receiving State the head of consular post may be admitted on a provisional basis to the performance of his functions and to the benefit of the provisions of this Convention.
(iv) As soon as the head of the consular post is admitted even provisionally to the performance of his functions, the receiving State shall immediately notify the competent authorities of the consular district. It shall also ensure that the necessary measures are taken to enable the head of consular post to carry out the duties of his office and to have the benefit of the provisions of the present Convention.
(b) Consular officers who are not heads of post may be admitted by the receiving State to the performance of their functions on the basis of their appointment, subject to notification.
- The exequatur or other authorization of the receiving State may only be denied or withdrawn for serious reasons. The same applies to refusals of admission or requests for the recall of consular officers who are not heads of post.
- In the receiving State, the competent authority shall be notified promptly of:
(a) The appointment of members of a consular post, their arrival after their appointment to the consular post, their final departure or the termination of their functions, together with any other changes affecting their status that may occur during their service at the consular post.
(b) The arrival and final departure of a person belonging to the family of a member of a consular post living in his home and, if appropriate, the fact that a person becomes or ceases to be a family member;
(c) The arrival and final departure of members of the private staff and, where appropriate, the termination of their service in this capacity;
(d) The engagement and discharge of persons resident in the receiving State as consular employees and members of the service staff or as members of the private staff.
- Where possible, prior notification of arrivals and final departures shall also be given.
The sending State shall determine the number of members of the consular post, taking into account the importance of this post and its needs in the normal conduct of its activities. Nevertheless, the receiving State may require that the size of the consular post be kept within limits considered by it to be reasonable, having regard to the prevailing conditions in the consular district and to the needs of the consular post.
- Members of the diplomatic staff of the diplomatic mission of the sending State in the receiving State, consular officers, and consular employees may temporarily perform in an acting capacity the functions of a head of consular post who is deceased or incapacitated by illness or any other reason.
Nevertheless, the receiving State may require that the appointment of a consular employee as acting head be submitted to it for approval.
- Subject to notification of the competent authorities of the receiving State, acting heads of a consular post may perform their functions and benefit from the provisions of this Convention while waiting for the established official to resume his functions or for a new head of consular post to be appointed.
- When a member of the diplomatic staff is appointed to an acting capacity by the sending State in the conditions set forth in paragraph 1 of this Article, he shall continue to enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities.
PART III-IMMUNITIES AND PRIVILEGES
- The sending State shall have the right on the basis of reciprocity to acquire and own, in the territory of the receiving State, in conformity with the laws and regulations thereof, any building necessary for the establishment of a consular post or the official residence of a consular officer.
- The sending State shall have the right on the basis of reciprocity to construct buildings and appurtenances necessary for the aforementioned purposes on the land belonging to it, subject to compliance with building and city-planning laws and regulations applicable to the area in which such land is situated.
- Consular premises and the residence of a consular officer of which the sending State or any person acting on its behalf is the owner or lessee shall be exempt from all national, regional, or municipal dues and taxes whatsoever, other than such as represent payment for specific services rendered.
- The exemption from taxation referred to in the preceding paragraph shall not apply to such dues and taxes if, under the law of the receiving State, they are payable by the person who contracted with the sending State or with the person acting on its behalf.
- The consular premises, their furnishings, the property of the consular post, and its means of transport shall be immune from any form of requisitioning.
- These premises shall not be immune from expropriation for purposes of national defense of public utility, in conformity with the laws of the receiving State. If expropriation is necessary for such purposes, and the sending State is the owner of these premises, prompt, adequate, and effective compensation shall be paid. Steps shall be taken by the receiving State to facilitate the reinstallment of the sending State that owns or rents the premises in its post and in any case to avoid interference with the performance of consular functions.
- The consular premises and the residence of the head of consular post shall be inviolable.
- The authorities of the receiving State shall not enter the premises except with the consent of the head of consular post, a person designated by him, or the chief of the diplomatic mission of the sending State. In any case, consent shall be presumed in case of fire or other disaster requiring immediate protective measures.
- Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article, the receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the consular premises and, when circumstances so require, the residence of consular officers against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the consular post or impairment of its dignity.
- Consular officers who are heads of post may display on the outer enclosure of the consular building and on their residences the coat-of-arms of the sending State and an appropriate inscription in the national language designating the consular post.
- They may also fly the flag of the sending State on the consular building and on the residence of the head of consular post.
- Heads of consular post may also fly the flag of the sending State on means of transport for their exclusive use in the performance of their functions.
- Each of the Contracting Parties shall ensure that the consular flags and coats-of-arms are respected and protected.
In conformity with recognized principles of international law, archives and all other documents and registers shall be inviolable at all times and wherever they may be, and the authorities of the receiving State may not examine them under any pretext.
Subject to the laws and regulations of the receiving State concerning areas to which access is forbidden or regulated for reasons of national security and upon simple notification to the competent authority, members of the consular post are authorized to travel freely within the limits of the consular district in the performance of their functions.
- (a) The receiving State shall grant and protect freedom of communication on the part of the consular post for all official purposes. In communicating with the Government, the diplomatic missions and other consular posts, wherever situated, of the sending State may employ all appropriate means, including diplomatic or consular couriers, diplomatic or consular bags, and messages in code or cipher.
(b) However, the consular post may install and use a wireless transmitter only with the consent of the receiving State.
- The official correspondence of the consular post shall be in violable. Official correspondence means all correspondence relating to the consular post and its functions.
- The consular bag shall not be opened or detained. Nevertheless, if the competent authorities of the receiving State have serious reason to believe that the bag contains something other than the correspondence, documents, and articles referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article, they may request that the bag be opened in their presence by an authorized representative of the sending State. If the authorities of the sending State refuse this request, the bag shall be returned to its place of origin.
- The packages constituting the consular bag shall bear visible external marks of their character and may contain only official correspondence and documents or articles intended exclusively for official use.
- The consular courier shall be provided with an official document attesting to his status and indicating the number of packages constituting the consular bag. Unless the receiving State consents, he shall not be a national of the receiving State or, unless he is a national of the sending State, a permanent resident of the receiving State. This courier shall be protected by the receiving State in the performance of his functions. He shall enjoy personal inviolability and shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention.
- The sending State, its diplomatic missions, and its consular posts may designate consular couriers ad hoc. In such cases, the provisions of paragraph 5 of this Article shall also apply, except that the immunities therein mentioned shall cease to apply when such a courier has delivered to the consignee the consular bag in his charge.
- The consular bag may be entrusted to the captain of a ship or commercial aircraft scheduled to land at an authorized port of entry. He shall be provided with an official document indicating the number of packages constituting the bag, but he shall not considered to be a consular courier. By arrangement with the appropriate local authorities, the consular post may send one of its members to take possession of the bag directly and freely from the captain of the ship or of the aircraft.
- The consular post may levy in the territory of the receiving State the fees and taxes provided for consular activities under the laws and regulations of the sending State.
- Funds acquired as the fees and taxes referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article and the income derived therefrom shall be exempt from any dues and taxes in the receiving State.
The receiving State shall treat consular officers with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on their person, freedom, or dignity.
- Consular officers shall not be liable to arrest or detention pending trial, except in the case of a grave crime and pursuant to a decision by the competent judicial authority.
- With the exception of the case referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, consular officers may not be incarcerated or subjected to any form of limitation of their personal freedom except in execution of a final judicial decision.
- When criminal proceedings are instituted against a consular officer, he shall be required to appear before the competent authorities. However, the proceedings shall be conducted with the regard due to the consular officer by virtue of his official position and, with the exception of the case referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, so as to interfere as little as possible with the performance of consular functions. When, in the circumstances referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, it becomes necessary to place a consular officer under detention pending trial, the proceedings against him shall be initiated as soon as possible.
- In the case of the arrest or detention pending trial of a consular officer, the receiving State shall immediately inform his diplomatic mission or consular post.
- Consular officers and consular employees shall not be amenable to the jurisdiction of the judicial or administrative authorities of the receiving State in respect of acts performed in the exercise of consular functions.
- The provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article shall not, however, apply in respect of a civil action either:
(a) arising out of a contract concluded by a consular officer or a consular employee in which he did not contract expressly or implicitly as an agent of the sending States; or
(b) brought by a third party for damage arising from an accident in the receiving State caused by an automobile, vessel, or aircraft.
- Members of a consular post may be called upon to give evidence in judicial or administrative proceedings. A consular employee or a member of the service staff shall not, except in the cases mentioned in paragraph 3 of this Article, decline to give evidence. If a consular officer should decline to do so, no coercive measure or penalty may be applied to him.
- The authority requiring the evidence of a consular officer shall avoid interference with the performance of his functions. It may, when possible, take such evidence at his residence or at the consular post or accept a statement from him in writing.
- Members of a consular post are under no obligation to give evidence concerning matters connected with the performance of their functions or to produce official correspondence and documents relating thereto. They are also entitled to decline to give evidence as expert witnesses with regard to the law of the sending State.
- The sending State may waive the privileges and immunities provided for in this Convention on behalf of a member of the consular post.
- The waiver shall in all cases be express and shall be communicated to the receiving State in writing.
- The initiation of proceedings by a consular officer or consular employee enjoying immunity from jurisdiction under Article 17 shall preclude him from invoking immunity from jurisdiction in respect of any counter-claim directly connected with the principal claim.
- Waiver of immunity from jurisdiction in respect of civil or administrative proceedings shall not be held to imply waiver of immunity in respect of the execution of the judgment, for which a separate waiver shall be necessary.
- Consular officials and consular employees and members of their families forming part of their households shall be exempt from all obligations under the laws and regulations of the receiving State in regard to the registration of aliens and residence permits.
- The provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article shall not, however, apply to any consular employee who is not a permanent employee of the sending State or who carries on any private gainful occupation in the receiving State or to any member of the family of any such employee.
- Members of the consular post shall with respect to services rendered for the sending State be exempt from the obligations imposed by the labor laws and regulations of the receiving State with respect to work permits.
- Members of the private staff of consular officers and consular employees, if they are not carrying on any gainful employment the receiving State, shall be exempt from the obligations referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article.
- Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3 of this Article, members of a consular post shall with respect to services rendered for the sending State and members of their families forming part of their households be exempt from social security provisions which may be in force in the receiving State.
- The exemption provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article shall also apply to members of the private staff who are in the sole employ of members of consular posts, on condition:
(a) that they are not nationals of or permanently resident in the receiving State; and
(b) that they are covered by the social security provisions which may be in force in the sending State or a third State.
- Members of a consular post who employ persons to which the exemption provided for in paragraph 2 of this Article does not apply shall observe the obligations which the social security provisions of the receiving State impose upon employers.
- The exemption provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article shall not preclude voluntary participation in the social security system of the receiving State provided that such participation is permitted by the State.
- Consular officers and consular employees, together with members of their families forming part of their households, shall be exempt from all dues and taxes, personal or real, national, regional, or municipal, except:
(a) indirect taxes of a kind which are normally incorporated in the price of goods or services;
(b) dues and taxes on private immovable property situated in the territory of the receiving State;
(c) estate, succession, or inheritance duties, and duties on transfers, levied by the receiving State, subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 25;
(d) charges levied for specific services rendered;
(e) dues and taxes on private income, including capital gains, having its source in the receiving State, and capital taxes on investments made in commercial and financial undertakings in the receiving State;
(f) registration, court or record fees, mortgage dues, and stamp duties.
- Members of the service staff shall be exempt from dues and taxes on the wages which they receive from the sending State for their services.
- Members of the consular post who employ persons whose salaries or wages are not exempt from income tax in the receiving state shall observe the obligations which the laws and regulations of that State impose upon employers concerning the levying of income tax.
- The receiving State may, in accordance with such laws and regulations as it may adopt, permit entry of and grant exemption from all customs duties, taxes, and related charges other than charges for storage, cartage, and similar services, on:
(a) articles for the official use of the consular post;
(b) articles for the personal use of the consular officer and members of his family forming part of his household, including articles intended for his establishment. The articles necessary for consumption shall not exceed the quantities necessary for direct utilization by the persons concerned.
- Consular employees shall enjoy the privileges and exemptions specified in paragraph 1(b) of this Article in respect of articles imported at the time of first installation.
- Personal baggage accompanying consular officers and members of their families forming part of their households shall be exempt from inspection. It may be inspected only if there is serious reason to believe that it contains articles other than those referred in paragraph 1(b) of this Article, or articles the import or export of which is prohibited by the quarantine laws and regulations. Such inspection may be carried out in the presence of the consular officer or member of his family concerned.
In the event of the death of a member of the consular post or of a member of his family forming part of his household, the receiving State shall:
- Permit the export of the movable property of the deceased, with the exception of movable property acquired in the receiving State the export of which is prohibited at the time of his death;
- Exempt such property from national, regional, or communal estate, succession, or inheritance duties and duties on transfers, if the presence of the movable property was due solely to the presence there of the deceased as a memb