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Last updated at 14:16 (UK time) 9 Aug 2012

Depositary

The UK is the legal depositary for multilateral treaties encompassing a wide range of subjects (see links below).

As part of this function, Treaty Section is responsible for co-ordinating the UK's response to formal instruments of ratification or accession to these treaties which are deposited with the FCO by foreign governments. Part VII of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties contains provisions on the role of depositaries.

In most cases, treaties take effect for a new State Party either on the day an instrument is deposited with the FCO, or after a pre-determined period of time has elapsed. The exact date the instrument is received within the FCO is therefore crucial, as it determines exactly when a State is bound by international law to exercise the rights and obligations that the treaty concerned provides.

Those Governments wishing to deposit an instrument of ratification or accession with the FCO by post should ensure that it is sent to the following address, and clearly marked:

Treaty Section
(Legal Advisers)
Room WH.MZ.23
King Charles Street
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
London
SW1A 2AH

Requests for Heads of Mission (in London) to deposit instruments of ratification or accession with the FCO personally should be addressed to the Head of Treaty Section at the above address.

It should be noted that while Treaty Section can provide publication references to treaties and links to texts of treaties for which the UK is depositary, it is unable to supply treaty texts. Texts can be purchased from The Stationery Office  [opens a new website], or consulted in Library Reference collections. Photocopies of out-of-print items can be purchased from the British Library [opens a new website].

Full texts and status lists of the UK's depositary agreements can also be found through the following links [all links open a new website]:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office London is not responsible for the contents or reliability of the linked websites, and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. Listing shall not be taken as endorsement of any kind. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time and we have no control over availability of the linked pages. ~

NOTE ON THE NETHERLANDS ANTILLES, 7 October 2010 [PDF, new window]

International Convention relative to the Preservation of Fauna and Flora in their Natural State
(London, 8 November 1933)
Command Paper
Status list [PDF]

Agreement for the Prosecution and Punishment of the Major War Criminals of the European Axis
(London, 8 August 1945) 
Command Paper

Constitution of UNESCO
(London, 16 November 1945)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Convention for the Regulation of Meshes of Fishing Nets and the Size Limits of Fish
(London, 5 April 1946)
Command Paper
Status list [PDF]

International Convention for Permanent Control of Outbreak Areas of the Red Locust
(London, 22 February 1949)
Command Paper
Status List  [PDF, 6K]

Protocol Modifying the International Convention of 22 February 1949 for the Permanent Control of Outbreak Areas of the Red Locust
(London, 29 October 1953)
Command Paper
Status List  [PDF, 5K]

North-East Atlantic Fisheries Convention
(London, 24 January 1959)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

International Agreement regarding the Maintenance of Certain Lights in the Red Sea
(London, 20 February 1962)
Command Paper
Status List  [PDF, 10K]

Treaty banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water
(Moscow, 5 August 1963)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Treaty on Principles governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies
(London, Moscow and Washington, 27 January 1967)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Convention on the Conduct of Fishing Operations in the North Atlantic
(London, 1 June 1967)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects launched into Outer Space
(London, Moscow and Washington, 22 April 1968)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
(London, Moscow and Washington, 1 July 1968)
Command Paper
Status list [PDF]
Declarations [PDF]

Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft
(The Hague, 16 December 1970)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nulclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Sea-Bed and the Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil Thereof [London Version]
(London, Moscow and Washington, 11 February 1971)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation
(Montreal, 23 September 1971)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction
(London, Moscow and Washington, 10 March 1972)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Convention on the International Liability for Damage caused by Space Objects
(London, Moscow and Washington, 29 March 1972)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals
(London, 1 June 1972)
Command Paper
Status list [PDF]

Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and other Matter
(London, Moscow, Mexico City and Washington, 29 December 1972)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage resulting from Exploration for and Exploitation of Seabed Mineral Resources
(London, 1 May 1977)
Status list [PDF]

Convention on Future Multilateral Co-operation in North-East Atlantic Fisheries
(London, 18 November 1980)
Status List [PDF]
Amendments [PDF]

Agreement terminating the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Financial Agreement, 1973
(London, 30 March 1983)
Command Paper

Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Financial Agreement, 1983
Command Paper
Status list [PDF]

Agreement establishing an International Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank
(London, 26 June 1985)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Agreement on CAB International
(London, 8 July 1986)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation, Supplementary to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation
(Montreal, 24 February 1988)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]

Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats
(London, 4 December 1991)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]  
- with Amendment (1995) Status List [PDF]
- with Amendment (2000) Status List [PDF]

Agreement (with France) concerning the European Air Group
(London, 6 July 1998)
Command Paper 
and
Amending Protocol 
(London, 16 June 1999)
Command Paper
Status List [PDF]
and
Second Amending Protocol
(London, 12 December 2011)
Status List [PDF, 73kb]

Framework Agreement between France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK concerning Measures to Facilitate the Restructuring and Operation of the European Defence Industry 
(Farnborough, 27 July 2000)
Command Paper [Pt 1 of 2]
Command Paper [Pt 2 of 2]   
Status list [PDF]
Status list for Amendment to Article 16  [PDF]
(Brussels, 13 March 2008) 

 

Agreement concerning the Shipwrecked Vessel RMS Titanic (English)  
(London, 6 November 2003)
Agreement concerning the Shipwrecked Vessel RMS Titanic (French)
Status List [PDF]
Press Release

 



The following do not yet have full texts available on the website:

Agreement on German External Debts
(London, 27 February 1953)
Status List  [PDF, 9K]






See also


Useful links