Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

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Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

 

Article 12

THE EXEQUATUR

1. The head of a consular post is admitted to the exercise of his functions
by an authorization from the receiving State termed an exequatur, whatever
the form of this authorization.

2. A State which refuses to grant an exequatur is not obliged to give to
the sending State reasons for such refusal.

3. Subject to the provisions of Articles 13 and 15, the head of a consular
post shall not enter upon his duties until he has received an exequatur.

Article 13

PROVISIONAL ADMISSION OF HEADS OF CONSULAR POSTS

Pending delivery of the exequatur, the head of a consular post may be
admitted on a provisional basis to the exercise of his functions. In that
case, the provisions of the present Convention shall apply.

Article 14
NOTIFICATION TO THE AUTHORITIES OF THE CONSULAR DISTRICT

As soon as the head of a consular post is admitted even provisionally to
the exercise 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 a consular post
to carry out the duties of his office and to have the benefit of the
provisions of the present Convention.

Article 15

TEMPORARY EXERCISE OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE HEAD OF A CONSULAR POST

1. If the head of a consular post is unable to carry out his functions or
the position of head of consular post is vacant, an acting head of post may
act provisionally as head of the consular post.

2. The full name of the acting head of post shall be notified either by the
diplomatic mission of the sending State or, if that State has no such
mission in the receiving State, by the head of the consular post, or, if he
is unable to do so, by any competent authority of the sending State, to the
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the receiving State or to the authority
designated by that Ministry. As a general rule, this notification shall be
given in advance. The receiving State may make the admission as acting head
of post of a person who is neither a diplomatic agent nor a consular
officer of the sending State in the receiving State conditional on its
consent.

3. The competent authorities of the receiving State shall afford assistance
and protection to the acting head of post. While he is in charge of the
post, the provisions of the present Convention shall apply to him on the
same basis as to the head of the consular post concerned. The receiving
State shall not, however, be obliged to grant to an acting head of post any
facility, privilege or immunity which the head of the consular post enjoys
only subject to conditions not fulfilled by the acting head of post.

4. When, in the circumstances referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, a
member of the diplomatic staff of the diplomatic mission of the sending
State in the receiving State is designated by the sending State as an
acting head of post, he shall, if the receiving State does not object
thereto, continue to enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities.

Article 16

PRECEDENCE AS BETWEEN HEADS OF CONSULAR POSTS

1. Heads of consular posts shall rank in each class according to the date
of the grant of the exequatur.

2. If, however, the head of a consular post before obtaining the exequatur
is admitted to the exercise of his functions provisionally, his precedence
shall be determined according to the date of the provisional admission;
this precedence shall be maintained after the granting of the exequatur.

3. The order of precedence as between two or more heads of consular posts
who obtained the exequatur or provisional admission on the same date shall
be determined according to the dates on which their commissions or similar
instruments or the notifications referred to in paragraph 3 of Article 11
were presented to the receiving State.

4. Acting heads of posts shall rank after all heads of consular posts and,
as between themselves, they shall rank according to the dates on which they
assumed their functions as acting heads of posts as indicated in the
notifications given under paragraph 2 of Article 15.

5. Honorary consular officers who are heads of consular posts shall rank in
each class after career heads of consular posts, in the order and according
to the rules laid down in the foregoing paragraphs.

6. Heads of consular posts shall have precedence over consular officers not
having that status.

Article 17

PERFORMANCE OF DIPLOMATIC ACTS BY CONSULAR OFFICERS

1. In a State where the sending State has no diplomatic mission and is not
represented by a diplomatic mission of a third State, a consular officer
may, with the consent of the receiving State, and without affecting his
consular status, be authorized to perform diplomatic acts. The performance
of such acts by a consular officer shall not confer upon him any right to
claim diplomatic privileges and immunities.

2. A consular officer may, after notification addressed to the receiving
State, act as representative of the sending State to any inter-governmental
organization. When so acting, he shall be entitled to enjoy any privileges
and immunities accorded to such a representative by customary international
law or by international agreements; however, in respect of the performance
by him of any consular function, he shall not be entitled to any greater
immunity from jurisdiction than that to which a consular officer is
entitled under the present Convention.

Article 18

APPOINTMENT OF THE SAME PERSON BY TWO OR MORE STATES
AS A CONSULAR OFFICER

Two or more States may, with the consent of the receiving State, appoint
the same person as a consular officer in that State.

Article 19

APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS OF CONSULAR STAFF

1. Subject to the provisions of Articles 20, 22 and 23, the sending State
may freely appoint the members of the consular staff.

2. The full name, category and class of all consular officers, other than
the head of a consular post, shall be notified by the sending State to the
receiving State in sufficient time for the receiving State, if it so
wishes, to exercise its rights under paragraph 3 of Article 23.

3. The sending State may, if required by its laws and regulations, request
the receiving State to grant an exequatur to a consular officer other than
the head of a consular post.

4. The receiving State may, if required by its laws and regulations, grant
an exequatur to a consular officer other than the head of a consular post.

Article 20

SIZE OF THE CONSULAR STAFF

In the absence of an express agreement as to the size of the consular
staff, the receiving State may require that the size of the staff be kept
within limits considered by it to be reasonable and normal, having regard
to circumstances and conditions in the consular district and to the needs
of the particular post.

Article 21

PRECEDENCE AS BETWEEN CONSULAR OFFICERS OF A CONSULAR POST

The order of precedence as between the consular officers of a consular post
and any change thereof shall be notified by the diplomatic mission of the
sending State or, if that State has no such mission in the receiving State,
by the head of the consular post, to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of
the receiving State or to the authority designated by that Ministry.

Article 22

NATIONALITY OF CONSULAR OFFICERS

1. Consular officers should, in principle, have the nationality of the
sending State.

2. Consular officers may not be appointed from among persons having the
nationality of the receiving State except with the express consent of that
State which may be withdrawn at any time.

3. The receiving State may reserve the same right with regard to nationals
of a third State who are not also nationals of the sending State.

Article 23

PERSONS DECLARED “NON GRATA”

1. The receiving State may at any time notify the sending State that a
consular officer is persona non grata or that any other member of the
consular staff is not acceptable. In that event, the sending State shall,
as the case may be, either recall the person concerned or terminate his
functions with the consular post.

2. If the sending State refuses or fails within a reasonable time to carry
out its obligations under paragraph 1 of this Article, the receiving State
may, as the case may be, either withdraw the exequatur from the person
concerned or cease to consider him as a member of the consular staff.

3. A person appointed as a member of a consular post may be declared
unacceptable before arriving in the territory of the receiving State or, if
already in the receiving State, before entering on his duties with the
consular post. In any such case, the sending State shall withdraw his
appointment.

4. In the cases mentioned in paragraphs 1 and 3 of this Article, the
receiving State is not obliged to give to the sending State reasons for its
decision.

Article 24

NOTIFICATION TO THE RECEIVING STATE OF APPOINTMENTS,
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES

1. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the receiving State or the authority
designated by that Ministry shall be notified of:

(a) the appointment of members of a consular post, their arrival after
appointment to the consular post, their final departure or the
termination of their functions and any other changes affecting their
status that may occur in the course of their service with the
consular post;
(b) the arrival and final departure of a person belonging to the family
of a member of a consular post forming part of his household and,
where appropriate, the fact that a person becomes or ceases to be
such a member of the family;
(c) the arrival and final departure of members of the private staff and,
where appropriate, the termination of their service as such;
(d) the engagement and discharge of persons resident in the receiving
State as members of a consular post or as members of the private
staff entitled to privileges and immunities.

2. When possible, prior notification of arrival and final departure shall
also be given.

Section II

END OF CONSULAR FUNCTIONS

Article 25

TERMINATION OF THE FUNCTIONS OF A MEMBER OF A CONSULAR POST

The functions of a member of a consular post shall come to an end inter
alia:

(a) on notification by the sending State to the receiving State that his
functions have come to an end;
(b) on withdrawal of the exequatur;
(c) on notification by the receiving State to the sending State that the
receiving State has ceased to consider him as a member of the
consular staff.

Article 26

DEPARTURE FROM THE TERRITORY OF THE RECEIVING STATE

The receiving State shall, even in case of armed conflict, grant to members
of the consular post and members of the private staff, other than nationals
of the receiving State, and to members of their families forming part of
their households irrespective of nationality, the necessary time and
facilities to enable them to prepare their departure and to leave at the
earliest possible moment after the termination of the functions of the
members concerned. In particular, it shall, in case of need, place at their
disposal the necessary means of transport for themselves and their property
other than property acquired in the receiving State the export of which is
prohibited at the time of departure.

Article 27

PROTECTION OF CONSULAR PREMISES AND ARCHIVES AND OF THE INTERESTS OF THE
SENDING STATE IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES

1. In the event of the severance of consular relations between two States:

(a) the receiving State shall, even in case of armed conflict, respect
and protect the consular premises, together with the property of the
consular post and the consular archives;
(b) the sending State may entrust the custody of the consular premises,
together with the property contained therein and the consular
archives, to a third State acceptable to the receiving State;
(c) the sending State may entrust the protection of its interests and
those of its nationals to a third State acceptable to the receiving
State.

2. In the event of the temporary or permanent closure of a consular post,
the provisions of sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph 1 of this Article shall
apply. In addition,

(a) if the sending State, although not represented in the receiving State
by a diplomatic mission, has another consular post in the territory
of that State, that consular post may be entrusted with the custody
of the premises of the consular post which has been closed, together
with the property contained therein and the consular archives, and,
with the consent of the receiving State, with the exercise of
consular functions in the district of that consular post; or
(b) if the sending State has no diplomatic mission and no other consular
post in the receiving State, the provisions of sub-paragraphs (b) and
(c) of paragraph 1 of this Article shall apply.

 

Conclusion

Notes

See Also

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

Mentioned in these Entries

Citation of legal blogs in law reviews, Conventions: Chronological Index 1951-1970, Encyclopedia of Public International Law update, International Court of Justice Part 21, International Court of Justice Part 25, International Court of Justice Part 26, International Court of Justice Part 27, International Court of Justice Part 8, International Court of Justice4, International Court of Justice8, International Criminal Court Part 33, International Law Encyclopedia 10, International law index V, International law index, International law topics, MPEPIL: Diplomacy and consular relations, MPEPIL: Public Law: V, MPEPIL: Specific treaties and instruments.

Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

Embracing mainstream international law, this section on vienna convention on consular relations explores the context, history and effect of the area of the law covered here.

Resources

Further Reading

  • The entry “vienna convention on consular relations” in the Parry and Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (currently, the Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law, 2009), Oxford University Press

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