Travel.State.Gov > Legal Resources > Legal Resources > International Treaties & Agreements > Bilateral Consular Conventions > Mexican Treaty
The President of the United Mexican States and the President of the United States of America, being desirous of defining the duties, rights, privileges, exemptions and immunities of consular officers of each country in the territory of the other country, have decided to conclude a convention for that purpose and have appointed as their plenipotentiaries:
The President of the United Mexican States:
Ezequiel Padilla, Secretary of Foreign Relations, and
The President of the United States of America:
George S. Messersmith, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America in Mexico;
Who, having communicated to each other their respective full powers, which were found to be in good and due form, have agreed upon the following Articles:
Each High Contracting Party agrees to receive from the other High contracting party, consular officers in those of its parts, places, and cities, where it may be convention and which are open to consular representatives of any foreign State.
Consular officers of each High Contracting Party shall, after entering upon their duties, enjoy reciprocally in the territories of the other High Contracting Party all the rights, privileges, exemptions and immunities which are enjoyed by consular officers of the same grade of the same grade of the most favored nation, there being understood by consular officers Consuls General as well as Consuls and Vice Consuls who are not honorary. As official agent, such officers shall be entitled to the high consideration of all officials, national or local, with whom they have official intercourse in the State which receives them.
The Government of each High Contracting Party shall furnish free of charge the necessary exequatur of such consular officers of the other High Contracting Party as present a regular commission signed by the chief executive of the appointing State and under its great seal; and shall issue to a subordinate or substitute consular officer duly appointed by an accepted superior consular officer with approbation of his Government, or by any other competent officer of his Government, such documents as according to the laws of the respective States shall be requisite for the exercise by the appointee of the consular function; provided in either case that the person applying for an exequatur or other document is found acceptable. On the exhibition of an exequatur, or other document lieu thereof issued to a subordinate or substitute consular officer, such consular officer or such subordinate or substitute consular officer, as the cage maybe, shall permitted to perform his duties and to enjoy the rights, privileges, exemptions and immunities granted by this Convention.
Upon the death, incapacity, or absence of a consular officer having no subordinate consular officer at his post, secretaries, or chancellors, whose official character may previously have been made known to the Government of the State in the territory of which the consular function was exercised temporarily exercise the consular functions of the deceased or incapacitated or absent consular officer; and while so acting shall enjoy all the rights, privileges, exemptions and immunities that were granted to the consular officer.
A consular officer or a diplomatic officer of either High Contracting Party, a national of the State by which he is appointed and duly commissioned or accredited by such State, may, in the capital of the other State, have the rank also of a diplomatic officer or of a consular officer, as the case may be, provided that and for so long as permission for him to exercise such dual functions has been duly granted by the Government of the State in the territory of which he exercises his functions as a consular officer and to which he is accredited as a diplomatic officer, and provided further that in any such case the rank as a diplomatic officer shall be understood as being superior to and independent of the rank as a consular officer.
Consular officers, national of the State by which they are appointed, and not engaged in any private occupation for gain within the territory of the State in which they exercises their functions, shall be exempt from arrest in such territory except when charged with the commission of an act designated by local legislation as crime other than misdemeanor and subjecting the individual guilty thereof punishment by imprisonment. Such officers shall be exempt from military billeting, and from service of any military or naval, administrative or police character whatsoever.
In criminal cases the attendance at court by a consular officer as a witness may be demanded by the plaintiff, the defendant, or the judge. The demand shall be made with all possible regard for the consular dignity and the duties of the office; and there shall be compliance on the part of the consular officer.
In civil, contentious-administrative and labor cases, consular officers shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the State which receives them. When the testimony of a consular officer who is a national of the State which appoints him and who is not engaged in any private occupation for gain is taken in civil cases, it shall be taken orally or in writing at his residence or office and with due regard for his convenience. The officer should, however, voluntarily give his testimony at the opportune moment of the trial whenever it is possible to do so without serious interference with his official duties.
A consular officer shall not he required to testify in criminal, contentious-administrative, labor or civil cases, regarding act performed by him in his official capacity.
Consular officers and employees in a consulate, nationals of the State by which they are appointed, and not engaged in any private occupation for gain within the territory of the State in which they exercise their functions, shall be exempt from all taxes, National, State, Provincial and Municipal, including taxes on fees, wages or salaries received specifically in compensation for consular services, and they shall be exempt from all kinds of charges incident to the licensing, registration, use or circulation of vehicles. However, they shall not be exempt from taxes levied on account of the possession or ownership of immovable property situated within the territory of the State in which they exercise their functions or taxes levied against income derived from property of any kind situated within such territory or belonging thereto.
The exemptions provided in paragraph 1 of this Article shall apply equally to other officials who are duly appointed by one of the High Contracting Parties to exercise official functions in the territory of the other High Contracting Party, provided that such officials shall be nationals of the State appointing them and shall not be engaged in any private occupation for gain within the territory of the State in which they exercise their functions; and provided further that permission for them to exercise such official functions has been duly granted by the Government of the receiving State. The Government of the State appointing such officials shall communicate to the Government of the receiving State satisfactory evidence of the appointment and shall indicate the character of the services which will be performed by the officials to whom the exemptions are intended to apply.
Each High Contracting Party agrees to permit the entry free of all duty of all furniture, equipment and supplies intended for official use in the consular offices of the other High Contracting Party, and to extend to such consular officers of the other High Contracting Party as are its national and to such members of their families suites as are its nationals, the privilege of entry free of duty of their baggage and all other personal property whether accompanying the officer or his family or suite to his post or imported at any time during his incumbency thereof; provided, nevertheless, that there shall not be brought into the territories of either High Contracting Party any article, the importation of which is prohibited by the law of such High Contracting Party, until requirements in accordance with the appropriate law have been duly met.
The exemptions provided in paragraph 1 of this Article shall apply equally to the other officials who are duly appointed by one of the High Contracting Parties to exercise official functions in the territory of the other High Contracting Party, provided that such officials shall be nationals of the State appointing them. The Government of the State appointing such officials shall communicate to the Government of the receiving State satisfactory evidence of the appointment and shall indicate the character of the services which are to be performed by the officials to whom the exemptions are intended to apply
It is understood, however, that the exemptions provided in this Article shall not be extended to consular officers or other officials who are engaged in any private occupation for gain within the territory of the State to which they have been appointed or in which they exercise their functions, save with respect to Governmental supplies.
Consular officers may place over the outer door of their respective offices the arms of their State with an appropriate inscription designating the nature of the office, and they may place the coat of arms and fly the flag of their State on automobiles employee by them in the exercise of their consular functions. Such officers may also fly the flag their State on their offices, including those situated in the capitals of the respective countries. They may likewise fly such flag over any boat or vessel employed in the exercise of the consular functions.
The quarters where consular business is conducted, correspondence to which the official seal of the consulates is affixed, and the archives of the consulates shall at all times be inviolable, and under no pretext shall any authorities of any character of the State in which such quarters or archives are located make any examination or seizure of papers or other property in such quarter or archives or to which the official seal is affixed. When consular officers are engaged in business within the territory of the State in which the exercise their functions, the files and documents of the consulate shall be kept in a place entirely separate from the place where private or business papers are kept. Consular offices shall not be used as places of asylum. No consular officers shall be required to produce official archives in court or to testify as to their contents.
1. Consular officers of either High Contracting Party may, within their respective consular districts, address the authorities, National, State, Provincial or Municipal, for the purpose of protecting the nationals of the State by which they were appointed in the enjoyment of rights accruing by treaty or otherwise. Complaint may be made for the infractions of those rights. Failure upon the part of the proper authorities to grant redress or to accord protection may justify interposition through the diplomatic channel, and in the absence of a diplomatic representative, a consul general or the consular officer stationed at the capital may apply directly to the Government of the country.
2. Consular officers shall, within their respective consular districts, have the right:
(a) to interview and communicate with the nationals of the State which appointed them;
(b) to inquire into any incidents which have occurred affecting the interest of the nationals of the State which appointed them;
(c) upon notification to the appropriate authority, to visit any of the nationals of the State which appointed them who are imprisoned or detained by authorities of the State; and
(d) to assist the nationals of the State which appointed them in proceedings before or relations with authorities of the State.
3. Nationals of either High Contracting Party shall have the right at all times to communicate with the consular officers of their country.
1. Consular officers, in pursuance of the laws of their respective countries, may within their respective districts:
(a) Take and attest the depositions of any person whose identity they have duly established;
(b) Authenticate signatures;
(c) Draw up, attest, certify and authenticate unilateral acts, translations, testamentary dispositions, and transcripts of civil registry of the nationals of the State which has appointed the consular officer; and
(d) draw up, attest, certify and authenticate deeds, contracts, documents and written instruments of any kind, provided that such deeds, contracts, documents and written instruments shall have application, execution, and legal effect primarily in the territory of the State which shall have appointed the consular officer.
2. Instruments and documents thus executed and copies and translations thereof, when duly authenticated by the consular officer, under his official seal, shall be received as evidence in the territories of either State, as original documents or authenticated copies, as the case may be, and shall have the same force and effect is if drawn up or executed before a notary or other public officer duly authorized in the State by which the consular officer was appointed; provided, always, that such documents shall have been drawn and executed in conformity to the laws and regulations of the State where they are designed to take effect.
1. In case of the death of national of either High Contracting Party in the territory of the other High Contracting Party, without having in the locality of his decease any known heirs or testamentary executors by him appointed, the competent local authorities shall at once inform nearest consular officer of the State of which the deceased was a national of the fact of his death, in order that necessary information may be forwarded to the persons interested.
2. In case of the death of a national of either High Contracting Party in the territory of the other High Contracting Party, without will or testament whereby he has appointed testaments executors, the consular officer of the State of which the deceased was a national and within whose district the deceased made his home at the time of the death, shall and pending the appointment of an administration and until letters of administration have been granted, be deemed qualified to take charge of the property left by the decedent for the preservation and protection of such property. Such consular officer shall have the right to be appointed as administrator within the discretion of a court or other agency controlling the administration of estates, provided the laws of the place where the estate is administered so permit.
3. Whenever a consular officer accept the office of administrator of the estate of a deceased countryman, he subjects himself in that capacity to the jurisdiction .of the court or other agency making the appointment for all necessary purpose to the same extent as if he were a national of the State by which he has been received.
1. A consular officer of either High Contracting Party shall within his district have the right to appear personally or by authorized representative in all matters concerning the administration and distribution of the estate of a deceased person under the jurisdiction of the local authorities, for all such heirs or legatees in the estate, either minors or adults, as may be nonresidents of the country and nationals of the State by which the consular officer was appointed, unless such heirs or legatees have appeared, either in person or by authorized representatives.
2. A consular officer or either High Contracting party may on behalf of his nonresident countrymen collect and receipt for their distributive shares derived from estates in process of probate or accruing under the provisions of so-called Workmen s Compensation laws or other like statutes, for transmission through channels prescribed by his Government to the proper distributes, provided that the court or other agency making distribution through him may require him to furnish reasonable evidence of the remission of the funds to the distributees
1. A consular officer shall have exclusive jurisdiction over controversies arising out of the internal order of private vessels of his country, and shall alone exercise jurisdiction in situations, wherever arising, between officers and crews, pertaining to the enforcement of discipline on board provided the vessel and the persons charged with wrongdoing shall have entered territorial waters or a port within his consular district. Consular officers hall also have jurisdiction over issues concerning the adjustment of wages and the execution of labor contracts of the crews; provided that their intervention will have a conciliatory character, without authority to settle disputes which may arise. This jurisdiction shall not exclude the jurisdiction conferred in the respective local authorities under existing or future laws of the place.
2. When an act committed on board a private vessel under the flag of the State by which the consular officer has been appointed and within the territory or the territorial waters of the State by which he has been received constitutes a crime according to the laws of the receiving State, subjecting the person guilty thereof to punishment as a criminal, the consular officer shall not exercise jurisdiction except in so far as he is permitted to do so by the local law.
3. A consular officer may freely invoke the assistance of the local police authorities in any matter pertaining to the maintenance of internal order on board a vessel under the flag of his country within the territory or the territorial waters of the State by which he has been received, and upon such request the requisite assistance shall be given.
4. A consular officer may appear with the officers and crews of vessels under the flag of his country before the judicial authorities of the State by which he has been received for the purpose of observing proceedings or of rendering assistance as an interpreter or agent.
1. A consular officer of either High contracting Party shall have the right to inspect within the ports of the other High Contracting Party within his consular district, the private vessels of any flag destined to and about to clear for ports of his country, for the sole purpose of observing, the sanitary conditions and measures taken on board such vessels, in other that he may be enabled thereby to execute intelligently bills of health and other documents required by the laws of his country and to inform his government concerning the extent to which its sanitary regulations have been observed at ports of departure by vessels destined to one of its ports, with a view to facilitating entry of much vessels provided that the captain of the vessel shall have requested of the consular officer the issuance or visa of the appropriate bill of health
2. In exercising the right conferred upon them by this Article, consular officers shall act with all possible dispatch and without unnecessary delay.
1. All proceedings relative to the salvage of vessels of either High Contracting Party wrecked upon the coasts of the other High Contracting Party shall be directed by the consular officer of the country to which the vessel belongs and within whose district the wreck may have occurred, or by other person authorized for such purpose by the law of such country and whose identity shall be made known to the local authorities by the consular officer.
2. The local authorities of the receiving State shall immediately inform the consular officer, or the other authorized person to whom reference is made in the foregoing paragraph, of the occurrence, and shall in the meantime take all necessary measures for the protection of persons and the preservation of the wrecked property. Such authorities shall intervene only to maintain order, to protect the interests of the salvors, if the salvors do not belong to he crew of of the wrecked vessels, and to ensure the execution of the arrangements which shall be made for the entry and exportation of the salvaged merchandise, such merchandise not to be subjected to any custom charges unless intended for subsequent consumption in the country where the wreck has occurred.
3. When the wreck occurs within a port, there shall the observed also those arrangements which may be ordered by the local authorities with a view to avoiding any damage that might otherwise be caused thereby to the port and to other ships
4. The intervention of the local authorities shall occasion no expense of any kind to he owners or operators of the vessels, except such expenses as may he caused by the operations of salvage and the preservation of the goods saved, together with expenses that would he incurred under similar circumstances by vessels of the country.
Honorary Consuls or Vice Consuls, as the case may be, shall enjoy, in addition to all the rights, privileges, exemptions enjoyed by honorary consular officers of the same rank of the most favored nation, those rights, privileges, exemptions, immunities and obligations provided for in paragraph 3 of Article I and in Articles V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, and XII of the present Convention, for which they have received authority in conformity to the laws of the State by which they are appointed
1. This Convention shall be ratified and ratifications thereof shall be exchanged in the City of Mexico.
The Convention shall take effect in all its provisions the thirtieth day after the day of the exchange of ratifications and shall continue in force for the term of five years.
2. If, six months before the expiration of the aforesaid period of five years, the Government of neither High Contracting Party shall have given notice to the Government of the other High Contracting Party of an intention of modifying by change omission any of the provisions of any of the Articles of this Convention or of terminating the Convention upon the expiration of the aforesaid period of five years the Convention shall continue in effect after the aforesaid period and until six months from the date on which the Government of either High Contracting Party shall have notified to the Government of the other High Contracting Party an intention of modifying or terminating the Convention.
In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this Convention and have hereunto affixed their seals.
Done in duplicate in the Spanish and English languages, in the City of Mexico, on this 12th day of the month of August, 1942.