Skip Navigation

Czech and Slovak Treaty

Note: The United States considers that consular relations with the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic are governed by the agreements on this subject in force at the time of the dissolution of the former Czechoslovakia. The following bilateral convention therefore applies to both the current nations of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

CZECHOSLOVAK SOCIALIST REPUBLIC
Consular Convention
TIAS 11083
1973 U.S.T. LEXIS 313
July 9, 1973, Date-Signed
November 6, 1987, Date-In-Force

STATUS:
Convention signed at Prague July 9, 1973;
Transmitted by the President of the United States of America to the Senate February 7, 1974 (S. Ex. A, 93d Cong., 2d Sess.);
Reported favorably by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations September 16, 1974 (S. Ex. Rept. No. 93-32, 93d Cong., 2d Sess.);
Advice and consent to ratification by the Senate September 30, 1974;
Ratified by the President December 16, 1974;
Ratifications exchanged at Washington October 8, 1987;
Proclaimed by the President November 30, 1987;
Entered into force November 6, 1987.
With related notes.

Consular Convention between the United States of America and
the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic

TEXT:
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION CONSIDERING THAT:

The Consular Convention between the United States of America and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, along with the Agreed Memorandum and related exchange of notes, was signed at Prague on July 9, 1973, the text of which is hereto annexed;

The Senate of the United States of America by its resolution of September 30, 1974, two-thirds of the Senators present concurring therein, gave its advice and consent to ratification of the Convention;

The Convention was ratified by the President of the United States of America on December 16, 1974, in pursuance of the advice and consent of the Senate, and was ratified on the part of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic;

It is provided in Article 42 of the Convention that the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the exchange of the instruments of ratification;

The instruments of ratification of the Convention were exchanged at Washington on October 8, 1987, and accordingly the Convention entered into force on November 6, 1987;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, proclaim and make public the Convention, along with the Agreed Memorandum and related exchange of notes to the end that they be observed and fulfilled with good faith on and after November 6, 1987, by the United States of America and by the citizens of the United States of America and all other persons subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have signed this proclamation and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the city of Washington this thirtieth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred eighty-seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred twelfth.

[SEAL]

By the President:

Secretary of State

The United States of America and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic:

Wishing to regulate the relations in the consular field between the two States and thus to facilitate the protection of their national interests and the protection of the interests and rights of their nationals;

Have decided to conclude this Consular Convention and have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries for this purpose:
For the United States of America William P. Rogers, Secretary of State
For the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic Ing. Bohuslav Chnoupek, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Who, having communicated to each other their respective full powers, which were found in good and due form, have agreed as follows:

PART I

Definitions

Article I

For the purposes of this Convention the terms listed below shall have the following meanings:

a) "consulate" is any consulate-general, consulate, vice consulate or consular agency;

b) "consular district" is the area assigned to the consulate for the performance of consular duties;

c) "head of a consulate" is any person charged by the sending State with the performance of duties connected with this position;

d) "consular officer" is any person, including the head of a consulate, who has been charged with the performance of consular duties;

e) "consular employee" is any person employed to perform administrative, technical or other services of a consulate;

f) "members of a consulate" are consular officers and consular employees;

g) "consular premises" are buildings or parts of buildings and land connected thereto, used exclusively for the purposes of a consulate, irrespective of ownership;

h) "consular archives" includes all official papers, documents, correspondence, books, films, recording tapes and registers of a consulate, together with ciphers and codes, card files and any equipment used for their protection and storage;

i) "vessel of the sending State" is any vessel sailing under the flag of the sending State excluding warships;

j) "members of the family" are the spouse, minor children and other relatives of a consular officer or a consular employee, who reside with him as a part of his household.

PART II

Establishment of Consulates and Appointment of Consular Officers and Consular Employees

Article 2

1. A consulate may be established in the territory of the receiving State only with the consent of that State.

2. The seat of the consulate and the limits of the consular district shall be determined by agreement between the sending and receiving States.

Article 3

1. The sending State shall request in advance through diplomatic channels the consent of the receiving State to the appointment of a head of the consulate.

2. After such consent has been obtained, the diplomatic mission of the sending State shall transmit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the receiving State the consular commission or other document of appointment. The consular commission or other document of appointment shall specify the full name of the head of the consulate, his nationality, his class, the seat of the consulate and the consular district.

3. Upon the presentation of the consular commission or other document of appointment of a head of the consulate, the exequatur or other authorization shall be granted as soon as possible by the receiving State.

4. The head of a consulate may enter upon the performance of his duties upon the presentation of the consular commission or other document of appointment and upon the granting by the receiving State of the exequatur or other authorization.

5. As soon as an exequatur or other authorization has been granted in conformity with this Article, the appropriate authorities of the receiving State shall take all necessary measures to ensure that the head of a consulate is enabled to enter upon the performance of his duties and is accorded the rights, facilities, privileges and immunities due to him under this Convention and the law of the receiving State.

Article 4

Pending the granting of an exequatur or other authorization, the receiving State may grant the head of a consulate a provisional authorization for the performance of consular duties.

Article 5

A consular officer shall be a national of the sending State and shall not be a national or a permanent resident of the receiving State.

Article 6

1. The sending State shall, in advance, notify the receiving State in writing of the full name, nationality, rank and class of each consular officer appointed to a consulate.

2. The sending State also shall, in advance, notify the receiving State in writing of the full name, nationality and function of a consular employee appointed to a consulate.

Article 7

1. The sending State may, in conformity with Articles 3, 5 and 6, charge one or more members of its diplomatic mission in the receiving State with the performance of consular functions. A member of the diplomatic mission charged with the performance of consular functions shall continue to enjoy the privileges and immunities to which he is entitled as a member of the diplomatic mission.

2. A consular department, charged with the performance of consular functions, may be established by the sending State at its diplomatic mission.

Article 8

The receiving State shall issue to each consular officer a document certifying his right to perform consular functions in the territory of the receiving State.

Article 9

The receiving State shall afford its protection to a consular officer and shall take all appropriate measures to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity, and shall take all necessary measures to ensure that he is enabled to perform his duties and is accorded the rights, facilities, privileges and immunities due to him under this Convention.

Article 10

1. If the head of the consulate is unable for any reason to carry out his functions or if the position of the head of the consulate is temporarily vacant, the sending State may appoint a consular officer belonging to the same consulate or to another consulate of the sending State in the receiving State or a member of the diplomatic staff of its diplomatic mission in that State to act as temporary head of the consulate. The full name of the person concerned shall be notified in advance and in writing to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the receiving State.

2. A person acting temporarily as head of a consulate shall be entitled to perform all functions of a head of a consulate and to enjoy all rights, facilities, privileges and immunities as a head of a consulate appointed under Article 3.

3. A member of the diplomatic staff of the diplomatic mission, temporarily acting as head of a consulate, shall continue to enjoy the privileges and immunities accorded to him by virtue of his diplomatic status.

Article 11

1. The receiving State may, at any time and without having to explain the reason for its decision, notify the sending State through diplomatic channels that a consular officer is persona non grata or that a consular employee is unacceptable.

The sending State shall thereupon recall the person concerned.

2. If the sending State fails to carry out its obligations under paragraph 1 within a reasonable period of time, the receiving State may decline to continue to recognize such person as a member of the consulate.

Article 12

1. The sending State may, to the extent that it is permitted under the law of the receiving State, acquire by ownership, lease, or any other form of tenure which may exist under that law, land, buildings or parts of buildings for the purposes of the consulate or residences for the members of the consulate, provided that the person concerned is not a national or a permanent resident of the receiving State.

2. The receiving State shall provide to the sending State all assistance necessary to facilitate the acquisition of land, buildings or parts of buildings for the purposes mentioned under paragraph 1.

3. Nothing in paragraph 1 or paragraph 2 of this Article shall be construed to exempt the sending State from compliance with the building, planning, zoning and other similar regulations or restrictions of the receiving State in connection with construction or alteration of buildings or parts of buildings in the receiving State.

PART III

Rights, Facilities, Privileges and Immunities

Article 13

1. The coat of arms of the sending State together with an inscription designating the consulate in the language of the sending State and of the receiving State may be affixed to the buildings in which the offices of a consulate are located as well as to the building which is the residence of the head of a consulate.

2. The flag of the sending State may be flown on the buildings in which the offices of a consulate are located and also at the residence of the head of a consulate and on his means of transport used for official duties.

Article 14

The consular premises and the residence of the head of the consulate shall be inviolable. The authorities of the receiving State may enter the consular premises or the residence of the head of the consulate only with the consent of the head of the consulate or the head of the diplomatic mission of the sending State or by a person designated by one of them.

Article 15

The consular archives shall be inviolable at all times and wherever they may be. Documents and objects of an unofficial character shall not be kept in the archives.

Article 16

1. A consulate shall be entitled to exchange communications with its Government, with the diplomatic missions of the sending State and with other consulates of the sending State wherever they may be. For this purpose the consulate may employ all suitable means of communication, including diplomatic and consular couriers, diplomatic and consular bags and codes or ciphers. A wireless transmitter may be installed only with the consent of the receiving State.

2. With respect to public means of communication the same conditions shall be applied in the case of a consulate as are applied in the case of the diplomatic mission.

3. The official correspondence of a consulate and courier containers and bags shall, provided that they bear visible external marks of their official character, be inviolable and may not be examined or detained. They may contain only official correspondence and articles intended for official use.

4. A consular courier shall be provided with an official document indicating his position and specifying the number of containers forming the consular bag. The consular courier shall enjoy the same rights, facilities, privileges and immunities as a diplomatic courier of the sending State.

5. The master of a vessel or the captain of a civil aircraft of the sending State may also be charged with the conveyance of a consular bag. The master or captain shall be provided with an official document indicating the number of containers forming the consular bag entrusted to him; he shall not, however, be considered to be a consular courier. By arrangement with the appropriate authorities of the receiving State, the consulate may send a member of the consulate to take possession of the consular bag directly and freely from the master of the vessel or captain of the aircraft or to deliver such bag to him.

Article 17

1. Consular officers and members of their families, provided that the person concerned is not a national or a permanent resident of the receiving State, shall be immune from the criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving State.

2. Consular employees and members of their families, provided that the person concerned is not a national or a permanent resident of the receiving State, shall be immune from the criminal jurisdiction of that State. They shall also be immune from the civil and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving State with respect to any act performed in their official capacity.

3. Provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply to civil proceedings:

a) resulting from agreements that have not been concluded by the consular officer or consular employee on behalf of the sending State;

b) relating to succession in which the consular officer or consular employee is involved as executor, administrator, heir or legatee as a private person and not on behalf of the sending State;

c) concerning a claim brought by a third party for damage caused in the receiving State by a vessel, vehicle or aircraft;

d) relating to any private or commercial activities engaged in by a consular officer or consular employee in the receiving State outside his official functions;

e) relating to private immovable property in the territory of the receiving State unless the consular officer or consular employee holds it on behalf of the sending State for the purposes of the consulate.

4. The sending State may waive any of the immunities provided for in this Article. The waiver shall be express and shall be communicated in writing to the receiving State.

5. The waiver of immunity from jurisdiction with respect to civil and administrative proceedings shall not be held to imply waiver of immunity with respect to execution of the judgment for which a separate waiver shall be required.

Article 18

1. Members of a consulate may be requested to give evidence as witnesses in judicial or administrative proceedings. If a consular officer declines to give evidence, no coercive measure shall be taken against him. Consular employees are not entitled to decline to give evidence with the exception of the cases referred to in paragraph 3.

2. The appropriate provisions of paragraph 1 pertaining to consular officers and consular employees shall also apply to members of their families.

3. Members of a consulate are entitled to decline to give evidence as witnesses with regard to matters falling within the performance of their official functions or to produce any official document and official correspondence. They are also entitled to decline to give evidence as experts on the law of the sending State, as well as on its application and interpretation.

4. The authorities of the receiving State requesting evidence from consular officers or from consular employees shall take all steps to avoid interference with the performance of their official functions. Where it is possible, the evidence may be given at the consulate or at the residence of the consular officer or consular employee, or it may be given in a written form.

Article 19

Members of a consulate and members of their families, provided that the person concerned is not a national or a permanent resident of the receiving State, shall be exempt in the receiving State from public service and obligations of any kind.

Article 20

Members of a consulate and members of their families, provided that the person concerned is not a national or a permanent resident of the receiving State, shall be exempt from all requirements under the law of the receiving State relative to the registration of aliens, permission to reside and other regulations concerning the residence of aliens.

Article 21

1. The sending State shall be exempt in the receiving State from all taxes, charges and fees with respect to:

a) land, buildings and parts of buildings acquired in accordance with Article 12 and used for consular purposes or as residences of the members of a consulate, provided that the premises in question are owned or leased in the name of the sending State;

b) transactions and instruments relating to the acquisition of the immovable property referred to in paragraph 1(a) of this Article;

c) the performance of consular functions, including payments for consular services.

2. The sending State shall also be exempt in the receiving State from all taxes, charges and fees with respect to movable property owned, possessed or used by the sending State exclusively for consular purposes.

3. The exemptions provided for in this Article shall not apply to charges and fees for specific services rendered.

Article 22

A member of a consulate and members of his family, provided that the person concerned is not a national or a permanent resident of the receiving State, shall be exempt in the receiving State from taxes and charges with respect to the salary, emoluments, wages and allowances which he receives in connection with the discharge of his official duties.

Article 23

1. A member of a consulate and members of his family, provided that the person concerned is not a national or a permanent resident of the receiving State, shall be exempt in the receiving State from all national, regional and local taxes and charges, including taxes and charges imposed on movable property that he owns.

2. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall not apply with respect to:

a) indirect taxes that are, as a rule, contained in the price of goods or services;

b) charges and taxes on private immovable property situated within the receiving State unless an exemption is provided under Article 21;

c) taxes on the transfer or instruments effecting the transfer of property, including taxes related to succession, collected by the receiving State;

d) taxes and charges on private income the source of which is situated within the receiving State;

e) court, mortgage and administrative charges, unless an exemption is provided under Article 21;

f) charges collected for specific services rendered.

Article 24

If a member of a consulate or a member of his family dies and leaves movable property in the receiving State, no estate, succession, or inheritance or other tax or charge on the transfer of property at death shall be imposed by the receiving State with respect to that property, provided that the deceased person was not a national or a permanent resident of the receiving State and that the presence of the property in that State was due solely to the presence of the deceased in his capacity as a member of a consulate or as a member of the family of such a member of a consulate.

Article 25

1. All articles, including motor vehicles, imported for the official use of a consulate shall, in conformity with the law of the receiving State, be exempt from all customs duties and all charges imposed upon or by reason of importation to the same extent as if they were imported by the diplomatic mission of the sending State in the receiving State.

2. All articles imported for the personal use of a consular officer and members of his family, including articles for the initial equipment of his household, provided that the person concerned is not a national or a permanent resident of the receiving State, shall be exempt from all customs duties and all charges imposed upon or by reason of their importation. A consular employee shall enjoy the exemptions provided for in this paragraph only with respect to articles imported by him at the time of his first installation at the consulate.

3. The articles designed for personal use shall not exceed the quantity required for direct use by the persons concerned.

4. The personal baggage of consular officers and members of their families, provided that the person concerned is not a national or a permanent resident of the receiving State, shall be exempt from customs inspection. It may be inspected only in cases when there is serious reason to believe that it contains articles other than those stated in paragraph 2 or articles the importation or exportation of which is prohibited by the law of the receiving State or which are subject to its quarantine law. Such an inspection must be undertaken in the presence of the consular officer concerned or a member of his family or a person authorized by the consular officer or a member of his family to represent him.

Article 26

1. All persons to whom the rights, facilities, privileges and immunities are accorded under this Convention shall, without prejudice to the said rights, facilities, privileges and immunities, be under an obligation to respect the law of the receiving State, including law relative to the control of traffic and to the insurance of motor vehicles.

2. All vehicles owned by the sending State and used for the purposes of the consulate and all vehicles belonging to consular officers, consular employees, or members of their families must be adequately insured against third-party risks. In the case of nationals or permanent residents of the receiving State, such insurance shall be obtained as required by the law of the receiving State.

Article 27

Subject to the law concerning zones entry into which is prohibited or regulated for reasons of national security, the receiving State shall ensure freedom of movement and travel in its territory to all members of the consulate.

PART IV

Consular Functions

Article 28

1. A consular officer shall be entitled to perform the functions specified in this Part in keeping with the law of the receiving State. He may perform other consular functions only under the provision that they are not contrary to the law of the receiving State.

2. A consular officer shall be entitled to represent, in his consular district and in accordance with the law of the receiving State, the rights and interests of the sending State and of its nationals, both natural and juridical persons.

3. In the exercise of his functions, a consular officer may address directly,
in writing as well as orally, and receive direct replies from:

a) the competent local authorities of his consular district;

b) the competent central authorities of the receiving State, to the extent permissible under the laws, regulations and practice of the receiving State.

4. A consular officer shall be entitled, subject to the consent of the receiving State, to perform consular functions also outside his consular district.

Article 29

A consular officer shall further the development of economic, commercial, cultural and scientific contacts between the two States and contribute to the strengthening of mutual friendly relations.

Article 30

1. A consular officer shall be entitled within the consular district:

a) to keep a register of nationals of the sending State;

b) to receive applications and declarations relative to nationality of citizens of the sending State and to issue respective documents;

c) to receive declarations pertaining to the family relationships of a national of the sending State in accordance with the law of that State;

d) to register the births and deaths of nationals of the sending State;

e) to draw, attest, certify, authenticate, legalize or otherwise validate legal acts and documents required by a national of the sending State for use outside the territory of the receiving State or required by any person for use in the sending State, provided that such acts of consular officers are not at variance with the law of the receiving State;

f) to translate legal instruments and documents and to certify the accuracy of the translation, as well as to issue certified copies of these translated documents.

2. It is understood that the registration or the receipt of notification of a birth or death by a consular officer, the recording by a consular officer of a marriage celebrated under the law of the receiving State, or the receipt by a consular officer of declarations pertaining to the family relationship in no way exempts a person from any obligation contained in the law of the receiving State with regard to the notification to or registration with the appropriate authorities of the receiving State, of births, deaths, marriages or other matters pertaining to family relationships of a person.

Article 31

Legal acts and documents, issued, translated or certified by a consular officer in accordance with Article 30, paragraph 1, subparagraph (e), shall have equal legal effect and evidentiary value in the receiving State as documents issued, translated or certified by the competent authorities of the receiving State, provided such acts and documents have been drawn and executed in a manner not inconsistent with the law of the receiving State.

Article 32

1. A consular officer shall be entitled to issue, extend, amend and revoke travel documents of nationals of the sending State.

2. He shall also be entitled to issue visas to persons wishing to travel to the sending State.

Article 33

A consular officer may, in accordance with the law of the receiving State, recommend to the courts or other competent authorities of the receiving State appropriate persons to act in the capacity of guardians or trustees for nationals of the sending State or for the property of such nationals when this property is left without supervision.

Article 34

1. The competent authorities of the receiving State shall, if they have knowledge and without delay, inform the appropriate consular officer of the death of a national of the sending State in the territory of the receiving State.

2. The competent authorities of the receiving State shall also inform the consular officer, if they have knowledge, of an estate of a national of the sending State or of an estate of a person deceased in the receiving State, without regard to his nationality, which estate may concern a national of the sending State.

3. The competent authorities of the receiving State shall take measures, in cases under paragraph 2 and provided that the estate is situated on the territory of that State, to secure the estate in conformity with the law of the receiving State and, upon his request, shall convey to the appropriate consular officer a copy of the testament, if it had been made, as well as all available information with respect to the heirs, the content and the value of the estate and shall advise him of the date on which probate proceedings will be opened.

4. A consular officer shall be entitled, in accordance with the law of the receiving State, to represent, directly or through a representative, the interests of a national of the sending State who has a claim to the estate situated in the receiving State and who is not a permanent resident of that State, unless or until such national is otherwise represented. However, nothing herein shall authorize a consular officer to act as an attorney at law.

5. A consular officer shall be entitled, in accordance with the law of the receiving State, to receive money or other property on behalf of a national of the sending State who is not a permanent resident of the receiving State, to which the national concerned may be entitled as a consequence of the death of a person, including payments made in pursuance of workmen's compensation laws, within a pension or social security scheme and the proceeds from insurance policies. The law of the receiving State must be applied so as to give full effect to the purposes for which these rights are intended.

6. Movable property and money derived from the liquidation of an estate belonging to a national of the sending State may be handed over to the appropriate consular officer, provided that the claims of creditors with respect to the estate have been settled or secured and that the taxes and charges in respect to the estate have been paid.

7. A consular officer shall be entitled to deal directly with the competent authorities of the receiving State in securing the estate pursuant to this Article.

8. In any case where a national of the sending State who is not a permanent resident of the receiving State dies while temporarily present in that State, money and personal effects in his possession, provided that they are not claimed by a person who is present and entitled to claim them, shall be turned over without delay for provisional custody and for conservatory purposes, to the appropriate consular officer of the sending State. This provision shall be without prejudice to the right of the competent authorities of the receiving State to take charge of them in the interests of justice. If an authority of the receiving State is charged with the administration of the estate of the deceased person, the consulate shall hand over the money and personal effects to said authority. The exportation of the money and personal effects shall be subject to the law of the receiving State.

9. Whenever a consular officer or a member of the diplomatic mission charged with the performance of consular functions shall perform the functions referred to in this Article, he shall be subject, with respect to the exercise of such functions, to the law of the receiving State and to the civil jurisdiction of the judicial and administrative authorities of the receiving State in the same manner and to the same extent as a national of the receiving State.

Article 35

1. A consular officer shall be entitled to represent, in the consular district in accordance with the law of the receiving State, nationals of the sending State before the authorities of the receiving State, if they are unable, for reasons of absence or for other serious reasons, to assume the defense of their rights and interests at the proper time. The representation shall continue until the represented person appoints his representative or assumes himself the defense of his rights and interests.

2. A consular officer shall be entitled, within his consular district, to establish and maintain contact with any national of the sending State, to provide him with counsel and all necessary assistance and, if necessary, to take steps to secure legal assistance for him. The receiving State shall in no way infringe upon the right of a national of the sending State to communicate with his consulate or visit his consulate.

Article 36

1. In all instances when a national of the sending State is placed under any form of deprivation or limitation of personal freedom, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall inform the consulate of the sending State without delay, and, in any event, not later than after three calendar days. Upon request, the consular officer shall be immediately informed of the reason for the national being placed under deprivation or limitation of personal freedom.

2. The competent authorities of the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the national of the sending State of the rights accorded him by this Article to communicate with a consular officer.

3. A consular officer shall be entitled to receive from and send to a national of the sending State who is under any form of deprivation or limitation of personal freedom correspondence or other forms of communication and take appropriate measures to assure him legal assistance and representation.

4. A consular officer shall be entitled to visit a national of the sending State who is under any form of deprivation or limitation of personal freedom, including such national who is in prison, custody or detention in the consular district in pursuance of a judgment, to converse and correspond with him in the language of the sending State or of the receiving State and to arrange for legal representation for him. These visits shall take place as soon as possible but in any event shall not be refused after the lapse of a four-calendar-day period from the date when the national was placed under any form of deprivation or limitation of personal freedom. Visits may be made on a recurring basis but at intervals of not more than one month.

5. In the case of a trial of a national of the sending State in the receiving State, the appropriate authority shall, at the request of a consular officer, inform such officer of the charges against such national and shall permit the consular officer to be present during the trial of such national and any subsequent appeal proceedings.

6. A national to whom the provisions of this Article apply may receive from a consular officer parcels containing food, clothes, medicaments and reading and writing materials to the extent the applicable regulations of the institution in which he is detained so permit.

7. The rights contained in this Article shall be exercised in conformity with the law of the receiving State, subject to the proviso, however, that the law must be applied so as to give full effect to the purposes for which these rights are intended.

Article 37

1. A consular officer shall be entitled, within the consular district, to render every assistance and aid to a vessel of the sending State which has come to a port or the coastal or inland waters of the receiving State, as well as to its crew and passengers.

2. A consular officer may invoke the aid of the competent authorities of the receiving State in any matter relating to the performance of his duties with respect to a vessel of the sending State or members of the crew or the passengers of such a vessel.

3. A consular officer may proceed on board of the vessel as soon as it has been given permission to establish contact with the shore. Members of the crew may immediately establish contact with the consular officer.

4. A consular officer shall be entitled within the consular district:

a) to investigate, without prejudice to the rights of the authorities of the receiving State, any incident occurring on board a vessel, question any member of the crew, examine the vessel's papers, take statements with regard to its voyage and destination and generally facilitate the vessel's entry into, stay in and departure from a port;

b) without prejudice to the rights of the authorities of the receiving State, to settle disputes between the master and any member of the crew, including disputes as to wages and contracts of service, to the extent that this is permitted under the law of the sending State;

c) to make arrangements for medical treatment for or the repatriation of any member of the crew or any passenger of the vessel;

d) to receive, draw up or certify declarations or other documents prescribed by the law of the sending State in connection with vessels.

Article 38

1. If the competent authorities of the receiving State intend to take any coercive action or to institute any formal inquiry on board a vessel of the sending State, they shall so inform the appropriate consular officer through the competent authorities of the receiving State. Except in cases when such notification is impossible because of the need to take immediate action on the matter, it shall be made in time to enable the consular officer or his representative to be present. If the consular officer or his representative has not been present, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall provide the consular officer with full information with regard to what has taken place.

2. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall also apply in any case in which the competent authorities of the port area intend to question members of the crew ashore.

The provisions of this Article shall not, however, apply to any routine examination by the competent authorities with regard to customs, immigration or public health nor to any action taken at the request or with the consent of the master of the vessel.

Article 39

1. If a vessel of the sending State is wrecked, runs aground, is swept ashore or otherwise sustains damage in the receiving State or if any article forming part of the cargo of a wrecked vessel of the sending, receiving or a third State, being the property of a national of the sending State, is found on the coast or in the inland or territorial waters of the receiving State as an article swept ashore or is brought into a port of that State, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall as soon as possible notify the consular officer accordingly. They shall also inform him of measures already taken for the preservation of the lives of persons on board the vessel, the vessel, the cargo and other property on board, as well as of articles belonging to the vessel or forming part of her cargo which have become separated from the vessel.

2. The consular officer may render every assistance to such vessel, her passengers and members of her crew. For this purpose he may invoke the assistance of the competent authorities of the receiving State. The consular officer may take the measures described in paragraph 1 as well as measures for the repair of the vessel, or request the competent authorities of the receiving State to take, or continue to take, such measures.

3. If the master or the owner or the underwriter of the vessel or other person who represents the interests of a vessel described in paragraph 1 is unable to make necessary arrangements in connection with the vessel or its cargo, a consular officer may make such arrangements on his behalf. A consular officer may under similar circumstances take appropriate steps with regard to cargo and other property owned by the sending State or the nationals thereof, which belongs to a wrecked or damaged vessel which is registered in a state other than the sending State, except when the vessel is under the flag of the receiving State.

4. No customs duties shall be levied against a damaged vessel of the sending State or its cargo or stores unless they are delivered for use in the receiving State.

Article 40

The provisions of Articles 37, 38 and 39 shall, to the extent feasible, apply also in relation to aircraft, provided that the application of these Articles is not contrary to the provisions of any agreements in force between the sending State and the receiving State.

Article 41

A consulate shall be entitled to levy in the receiving State the fees and charges prescribed under the law of the sending State for consular services.

PART V

Final Provisions

Article 42

1. This Convention shall be subject to ratification and shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date of the exchange of instruments of ratification which shall take place in Washington, D.C.

2. This Convention shall remain in force until the expiry of six months from the date on which one of the High Contracting Parties shall have given the other High Contracting Party a written notice of its intention to terminate the Convention.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the respective plenipotentiaries of the two High Contracting Parties have signed this Convention and affixed thereto their seals.

Done at Prague on this 9th day of July, 1973, in two original copies in the English and Czech languages, both texts being equally authoritative.

Agreed Memorandum

In connection with the signing today of the Consular Convention between the United States of America and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, it has been agreed by both Parties to record the discussion carried out during the negotiation of the Convention with respect to the meaning of the terms "law" and "pravni predpisy" as they are used in its various provisions.

The head of the delegation of the United States of America explained that, from the United States viewpoint, the term "law" includes all relevant national, state and local laws, ordinances, regulations, resolutions and similar provisions having the force and effect of law, including determinations of courts and other judicial agencies.

The head of the Czechoslovak delegation explained that, from the Czechoslovak viewpoint, the expression "pravni predpisy" encompasses all laws and other norms which are legally binding.

Done at Prague this 9th day of July, 1973.

[FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEXT OMITTED]

[RELATED NOTES]

Prague, July 9, 1973

Excellency:

I have the honor to refer to the Consular Convention between the United States of America and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic signed today and to confirm that both parties have agreed to the following provisions with respect to the implementation of that Convention:

1. Persons entering the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic for temporary visits on the basis of United States passports containing valid Czechoslovak entry visas will, during the period for which temporary visitor status has been accorded, in accordance with the visa's validity, be considered United States nationals by the appropriate Czechoslovak authorities for the purpose of insuring the consular protection provided for in the Convention signed today, as well as the right of departure from the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic without further documentation, regardless of whether such persons may also be regarded as citizens of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

2. Persons entering the United States of America for temporary visits on the basis of passports of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic containing valid United States entry visas will, during the period for which temporary visitor status has been accorded, be considered Czechoslovak citizens by the appropriate authorities of the United States of America for the purpose of insuring the consular protection provided for in the Convention signed today, as well as the right of departure without further documentation, regardless of whether such persons may also be regarded as nationals of the United States of America.

3. With reference to the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 above, it is understood that passports of the United States of America are issued only to persons considered by the Government of the United States of America as nationals of the United States of America. It is further understood that passports of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic are issued only to persons considered by the Government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic as citizens of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

4. The persons mentioned in paragraphs 1 and 2 above shall not lose the right of consular protection or the right of departure without further documentation if the period for which temporary visitor status has been accorded to these persons has expired during the course of judicial or administrative proceedings which prevent their voluntary departure.

5. The above agreement is not intended to modify or affect the obligations incurred by both Governments under the Treaty of Naturalization signed [*38] at Prague on July 16, 1928.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to Your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.

[FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEXT OMITTED]

TRANSLATION

MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Excellency,

Your Excellency conveyed to me by your letter dated today the following:

[For text of the U.S. note, see pp. 61-62.]

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter and to advise that my Government agrees to its contents.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.

SIGNATORIES:
For the United States of America

William P. Rogers.

For the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic

Ing. Bohuslav Chnoupek.

His Excellency

Ing. Bohuslav Chnoupek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic

William P. Rogers

Secretary of State

Prague, July 9, 1973

[s] Bohuslav Chnoupek

His Excellency

William P. Rogers

Secretary of State of the United States of America

List of Attorneys

Enroll in Step

Enrolling in this free service will allow us to better assist you in case of an emergency while you are abroad.