Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 4

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Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

 

Article 39

CONSULAR FEES AND CHARGES

1. The consular post may levy in the territory of the receiving State the
fees and charges provided by the laws and regulations of the sending State
for consular acts.

2. The sums collected in the form of the fees and charges referred to in
paragraph 1 of this Article, and the receipts for such fees and charges,
shall be exempt from all dues and taxes in the receiving State.

Section II

FACILITIES, PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES
RELATING TO CAREER CONSULAR OFFICERS
AND OTHER MEMBERS OF A CONSULAR POST

Article 40

PROTECTION OF CONSULAR OFFICERS

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.

Article 41

PERSONAL INVIOLABILITY OF CONSULAR OFFICERS

1. 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.

2. Except in the case specified in paragraph 1 of this Article, consular
officers shall not be committed to prison or liable to any other form of
restriction on their personal freedom save in execution of a judicial
decision of final effect.

3. If criminal proceedings are instituted against a consular officer, he
must appear before the competent authorities. Nevertheless, the proceedings
shall be conducted with the respect due to him by reason of his official
position and, except in the case specified in paragraph 1 of this Article,
in a manner which will hamper the exercise of consular functions as little
as possible. When, in the circumstances mentioned in paragraph 1 of this
Article, it has become necessary to detain a consular officer, the
proceedings against him shall be instituted with the minimum of delay.

Article 42

NOTIFICATION OF ARREST, DETENTION OR PROSECUTION

In the event of the arrest or detention, pending trial, of a member of the
consular staff, or of criminal proceedings being instituted against him,
the receiving State shall promptly notify the head of the consular post.
Should the latter be himself the object of any such measure, the receiving
State shall notify the sending State through the diplomatic channel.

Article 43

IMMUNITY FROM JURISDICTION

1. 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.

2. 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 impliedly
as an agent of the sending State; or
(b) by a third party for damage arising from an accident in the receiving
State caused by a vehicle, vessel or aircraft.

Article 44

LIABILITY TO GIVE EVIDENCE

1. Members of a consular post may be called upon to attend as witnesses in
the course of 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.

2. 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.

3. Members of a consular post are under no obligation to give evidence
concerning matters connected with the exercise 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.

Article 45

WAIVER OF PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES

1. The sending State may waive, with regard to a member of the consular
post, any of the privileges and immunities provided for in Articles 41, 43
and 44.

2. The waiver shall in all cases be express, except as provided in
paragraph 3 of this Article, and shall be communicated to the receiving
State in writing.

3. The initiation of proceedings by a consular officer or a consular
employee in a matter where he might enjoy immunity from jurisdiction under
Article 43 shall preclude him from invoking immunity from jurisdiction in
respect of any counter-claim directly connected with the principal claim.

4. The waiver of immunity from jurisdiction for the purposes of civil or
administrative proceedings shall not be deemed to imply the waiver of
immunity from the measures of execution resulting from the judicial decisio
n; in respect of such measures, a separate waiver shall be necessary.

Article 46

EXEMPTION FROM REGISTRATION OF ALIENS AND RESIDENCE PERMITS

1. Consular officers 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.

2. 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.

Article 47

EXEMPTION FROM WORK PERMITS

1. Members of the consular post shall, with respect to services rendered
for the sending State, be exempt from any obligations in regard to work
permits imposed by the laws and regulations of the receiving State
concerning the employment of foreign labour.

2. Members of the private staff of consular officers and of consular
employees shall, if they do not carry on any other gainful occupation in
the receiving State, be exempt from the obligations referred to in
paragraph 1 of this Article.

Article 48

SOCIAL SECURITY EXEMPTION

1. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3 of this Article, members of the
consular post with respect to services rendered by them for the sending
State, and members of their families forming part of their households,
shall be exempt from social security provisions which may be in force in
the receiving State.

2. The exemption provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article shall apply
also to members of the private staff who are in the sole employ of members
of the consular post, 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 are in
force in the sending State or a third State.

3. Members of the consular post who employ persons to whom 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.

4. 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 that
State.

Article 49

EXEMPTION FROM TAXATION

1. Consular officers and consular employees and members of their families
forming part of their households shall be exempt from all dues and taxes,n
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 or taxes on private immovable property situated in the territory
of the receiving State, subject to the provisions of Article 32;
(c) estate, succession or inheritance duties, and duties on transfers,
levied by the receiving State, subject to the provisions of paragraph
(b) of Article 51;
(d) dues and taxes on private income, including capital gains, having its
source in the receiving State and capital taxes relating to
investments made in commercial or financial undertakings in the
receiving State;
(e) charges levied for specific services rendered;
(f) registration, court or record fees, mortgage dues and stamp duties,
subject to the provisions of Article 32.

2. Members of the service staff shall be exempt from dues and taxes on the
wages which they receive for their services.

3. Members of the consular post who employ persons whose wages or salaries
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.

Article 50

EXEMPTION FROM CUSTOMS DUTIES AND INSPECTION

1. The receiving State shall, 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 a consular officer or members of his
family forming part of his household, including articles intended for
his establishment. The articles intended for consumption shall not
exceed the quantities necessary for direct utilization by the persons
concerned.

2. Consular employees shall enjoy the privileges and exemptions specified
in paragraph 1 of this Article in respect of articles imported at the time
of first installation.

3. 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 to in sub-paragraph (b) of
paragraph 1 of this Article, or articles the import or export of which is
prohibited by the laws and regulations of the receiving State or which are
subject to its quarantine laws and regulations. Such inspection shall be
carried out in the presence of the consular officer or member of his family
concerned.

 

Conclusion

Notes

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References and Further Reading

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