Antarctic Act 1994

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1994 c. 15


Antarctic Act 1994

1994 CHAPTER 15

An Act to make new provision in connection with the Antarctic Treaty signed at Washington on 1st December 1959; to make provision consequential on the Protocol on Environmental Protection to that Treaty done at Madrid on 4th October 1991; to make provision consequential on the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources drawn up at Canberra on 20th May 1980; to provide for the taking of criminal proceedings against, and the punishment of, British citizens and others in respect of certain acts and omissions occurring in that part of Antarctica that lies between 150 West longitude and 90 West longitude; and for connected purposes.

[5th July 1994]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Preliminary

Part I

Preliminary

S-1 Meaning of ‘Antarctica’.

1 Meaning of ‘Antarctica’.

(1) In this Act ‘Antarctica’ means—

(a) the continent of Antarctica (including all its ice-shelves),

(b) all islands south of 60 South latitude (including all their ice-shelves),

(c) all areas of continental shelf which are adjacent to that continent or those islands and which are south of 60 South latitude, and

(d) all sea and airspace south of 60 South latitude.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) ‘continental shelf’ shall be construed in accordance with the rules of international law.

S-2 The Antarctic Treaty, the Protocol and the Convention.

2 The Antarctic Treaty, the Protocol and the Convention.

(1) In this Act—

‘the Antarctic Treaty’ means the Antarctic Treaty signed at Washington on 1st December 1959,

‘the Protocol’ means the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty done at Madrid on 4th October 1991, and

‘the Convention’ means the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources drawn up at Canberra on 20th May 1980.

(2) In this Act ‘another Contracting Party’ means any State other than the United Kingdom that is a party to the Protocol.

II Environmental Protection

Part II

Environmental Protection

Permits for entering and remaining in Antarctica

Permits for entering and remaining in Antarctica

S-3 Permits required for British expeditions to Antarctica.

3 Permits required for British expeditions to Antarctica.

(1) No person who is on a British expedition may enter or remain in Antarctica except in accordance with a permit granted under this section.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply—

(a) to a person travelling through, on or above the high seas to an immediate destination outside Antarctica, or

(b) to a person entering or remaining in Antarctica for the sole purpose of fishing for profit.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), for the purposes of this section an expedition is a British expedition if—

(a) it was organised in the United Kingdom, or

(b) the place of final departure for Antarctica of the persons on the expedition was in the United Kingdom.

(4) An expedition organised in and authorised in writing by another Contracting Party shall not be regarded as a British expedition.

(5) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

(6) If subsection (1) is contravened by a person who—

(a) is on an expedition in respect of which a permit has been granted under this section to another person, and

(b) is specified or of a description specified in that permit,

that other person shall be guilty of an offence.

(7) If a person whose place of final departure for Antarctica was in the United Kingdom enters Antarctica in contravention of subsection (1)—

(a) the operator of the vessel or aircraft on which he enters Antarctica, and

(b) the master of that vessel or the commander of that aircraft,

shall each be guilty of an offence.

(8) The Secretary of State may on the application of any person grant to him a permit authorising any person specified or of a description specified in the permit to enter and remain in Antarctica on a British expedition.

S-4 Permits required for British stations in Antarctica.

4 Permits required for British stations in Antarctica.

(1) No person may remain on a British station in Antarctica except in accordance with a permit granted under this section.

(2) For the purposes of this section a station is a British station if it is maintained by or on behalf of a United Kingdom national.

(3) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

(4) If subsection (1) is contravened by a person who—

(a) is on a station in respect of which a permit has been granted under this section to another person, and

(b) is specified or of a description specified in that permit,

that other person shall be guilty of an offence.

(5) The Secretary of State may on the application of any person grant to him a permit authorising any person specified or of a description specified in the permit to remain on any British station in Antarctica specified in the permit or of a description specified in the permit.

S-5 Permits required for British vessels and aircraft entering Antarctica.

5 Permits required for British vessels and aircraft entering Antarctica.

(1) No British vessel or British aircraft may enter Antarctica except in accordance with a permit granted under this section or under the written authorisation of another Contracting Party.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply—

(a) to a vessel or aircraft travelling to an immediate destination outside Antarctica, or

(b) to a vessel entering Antarctica for the sole purpose of fishing for profit.

(3) In this section—

‘British vessel’ means a United Kingdom ship within the meaning of section 21(1) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1979 , and

‘British aircraft’ means a British-controlled aircraft within the meaning of section 92 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 .

(4) If subsection (1) is contravened—

(a) the operator of the vessel or aircraft, and

(b) the master of the vessel or the commander of the aircraft,

shall each be guilty of an offence.

(5) The Secretary of State may on the application of any person grant to him a permit authorising any British vessel or aircraft of which he is the operator and which is specified or of a description specified in the permit to enter Antarctica on occasions or in circumstances specified in the permit.

Mineral resources

Mineral resources

S-6 Mineral resource activities.

6 Mineral resource activities.

(1) No United Kingdom national may in Antarctica—

(a) drill, dredge or excavate for mineral resources,

(b) collect any samples of mineral resources, or

(c) do anything for the purpose of identifying specific mineral resource occurrences or deposits, or areas where such occurrences or deposits may be found,

except in accordance with a permit granted under this section.

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) The Secretary of State may on the application of any person grant to him a permit authorising any United Kingdom national who is specified or of a description specified in the permit to do anything so specified or of a description so specified that would otherwise constitute a contravention of subsection (1).

(4) The Secretary of State shall not grant a permit under this section unless he is satisfied that the activities authorised by the permit will be carried on—

(a) only for the purposes of scientific research, or

(b) only for purposes connected with the construction, maintenance or repair in Antarctica of a British station within the meaning of section 4 or of any other structure, road, runway or jetty maintained by or on behalf of a United Kingdom national.

(5) In this section ‘mineral resource’ means any natural resource that is neither living nor renewable.

Fauna and flora

Fauna and flora

S-7 Conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora.

7 Conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora.

(1) No United Kingdom national may in Antarctica—

(a) intentionally kill, injure, capture, handle or molest any native mammal or native bird,

(b) while on foot intentionally disturb a breeding or moulting native bird, or a concentration of native mammals or native birds,

(c) use a vehicle, vessel or aircraft in a manner that disturbs a concentration of native mammals or native birds,

(d) use explosives or firearms in such a manner,

(e) remove or damage such quantities of any native plant that its local distribution or abundance will be significantly affected,

(f) significantly damage a concentration of native plants, or

(g) do anything that is likely to cause significant damage to the habitat of any native mammal, bird, plant or invertebrate,

except in accordance with a permit granted under section 12 or under the written authorisation of another Contracting Party.

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

S-8 Permits required for introducing non-native animals and plants into Antarctica.

8 Permits required for introducing non-native animals and plants into Antarctica.

(1) No United Kingdom national may introduce into any part of Antarctica any animal of a species that is not indigenous to Antarctica, or any plant that is not a native plant, except in accordance with a permit granted under section 12 or under the written authorisation of another Contracting Party.

(2) The keeping of an animal or plant on board a vessel in Antarctica shall not be regarded as a contravention of subsection (1).

(3)...

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