Part Five: Legal Material

The following pages in this booklet summarize and provide the basic legal authorities that pertain to the rights of consular officials to assist their nationals. They include the key legal provisions relating to consular notification and access including, in the case of mandatory notification, excerpts from the bilateral agreements. (Note: As each agreement excerpt is a verbatim quote, some inconsistencies in capitalization and spelling conventions appear.)

The materials in this section include:

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Legal Overview

Historical Background

A function of governments has long been to provide services to their citizens/nationals abroad. These "consular" services include certain legal services, such as notarizing documents or assisting with the estate of a citizen who dies abroad. They also include looking for missing citizens, determining whether citizens are safe, assisting in evacuating citizens from countries where their lives are endangered, and other similar "welfare and whereabouts" services. Another important consular function is the provision of assistance to citizens who are detained by a foreign government. Protecting such citizens may include attempting to ensure that they receive a fair and speedy trial with benefit of counsel; visiting them in prison to ensure that they are receiving humane treatment; and facilitating communications with their families.

The performance of such consular functions was originally a subject of customary international law but not uniformly addressed in any treaty. Eventually, however, efforts were made to codify in international treaties the rights of governments to provide consular services to their citizens. Such treaties might be called treaties, conventions, or agreements, but all would generally have the status of treaties in international law, in that they would be binding on the countries that adhered to them.

When the United States first began to codify its consular relations in international agreements with other countries, the vehicle was often a treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation ("FCN"). Later, bilateral conventions dealing exclusively with consular matters became more common. They are often simply referred to as "consular conventions." In 1963, however, the multilateral Vienna Convention on Consular Relations ("VCCR"1), was completed and countries throughout the world began ratifying it. Today, most countries, including the United States, are parties to the VCCR. The VCCR to a large extent codified customary international law and thus represents the most basic principles pertaining to the performance of consular functions. Since the VCCR entered into force for the United States on December 24, 1969, we have relied increasingly on it as the principal basis for the conduct of our consular activities. Bilateral consular conventions continue to be negotiated from time to time, however.

________
1 Done at Vienna April 24, 1963; entered into force March 19, 1967; entered into force for the United States December 24, 1969; 21 UST 77; TIAS 6820; 596 UNTS 261.

Vienna Convention on Consular Relations ("VCCR")

Because of its comprehensive nature and near-universal applicability, the VCCR now establishes the "baseline" for most obligations with respect to the treatment of foreign nationals in the United States, and for the treatment of U.S. citizens abroad by foreign governments. As of June 1997, some 165 different countries were party to the VCCR (another 26 or so were not). The VCCR provides rules for the operation of consulates and for the functions of consuls and honorary consuls of a "sending" country (i.e., the country that has sent the consular official abroad) in a "receiving" country (the country to which the foreign consular official has been sent). Much of the VCCR addresses the "privileges and immunities" of consular officers (e.g., the fact that they may not be sued for officials acts). Some of the VCCR's articles, however, address what consular officers may actually do for their nationals in the "host country."

Article 5 of the VCCR enumerates appropriate consular functions and includes a "catch-all" provision that consular functions include "performing any . . . functions entrusted to a consular post by the sending State which are not prohibited by the laws and regulations of the receiving State or to which no objection is taken by the receiving State or which are referred to in the international agreements in force between the sending State and the receiving State." Other specifically enumerated functions relevant to the issues addressed in this booklet include "helping and assisting nationals . . . of the sending State", "safeguarding the interests of nationals . . . of the sending State in cases of succession mortis causa in the territory of the receiving State . . ." , and "safe-guarding . . . the interests of minors and other persons lacking full capacity who are nationals of the sending State, particularly where any guardianship or trusteeship is required with respect to such persons."

The special importance of providing assistance to citizens who are arrested or detained is reflected in the fact that these issues are addressed, additionally, in Article 36 of the VCCR. To facilitate the foreign government's ability to protect its nationals in these circumstances, Article 36(1)(b) of the VCCR provides that a detained person must be informed that consular officials of his/her country may be notified about the detention. If the detainee "so requests," the consular officials must be notified of the detention. Article 36(1)(c) provides for access to detainees by consular officials.

The special needs for government assistance in cases of death, vulnerability due to incompetence, and major accidents are also reflected in the VCCR by giving these matters additional treatment, in Article 37. Article 37 provides expressly for consular notification in the situations it addresses.

The full text of Articles 5, 36, and 37 of the VCCR are reproduced below.

Bilateral Agreements

As noted above, prior to the VCCR the United States entered into numerous treaties with specific countries to address the conduct of consular relations. We have done fewer such treaties since the United States ratified the VCCR, but may still enter into a bilateral consular treaty if special circumstances suggest the need for an agreement in addition to, or in lieu of, the VCCR. (The United States has also entered into a small number of non-binding memoranda of understanding, in which goals and principles relating to consular assistance have been set forth.)

Importantly, some of our bilateral consular agreements require that consular officials be notified of the arrest and/or detention of one of their nationals regardless of their national's request. These are commonly called "mandatory notification agreements" and the countries to which they pertain are called "mandatory notification countries." They are listed on page 5 in this booklet, and the text of the mandatory notification provisions is reproduced below. While the mandatory notification requirement pertains to over 50 countries, it flows from a much smaller number of treaties. This is because, under international law principles relating to successor states, a treaty that applied to a country when it was part of another country may in some circumstances continue to apply to that country when it becomes independent. Thus, one of the mandatory notification agreements now applies to two countries2, another applies to 32 countries3, and a third applies to 12 countries4.

Note that the United States is party to many bilateral agreements that do not contain "mandatory notification" provisions but that nevertheless contain other important provisions relevant to the provision of consular assistance. These agreements should be consulted if particular questions arise as to the treatment of a foreign national of a particular country (e.g., with respect to the handling of deaths and estates of foreign nationals in the United States).

The large number of bilateral agreements and the many variations in their provisions makes it unrealistic to include any of their text other than the mandatory notification provisions in this booklet. The most commonly referred to agreements relevant to the provision of consular services are listed below, however, under the heading "Agreements Pertaining to Consular Functions."

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2 The Czech Republic and Slovakia are covered by the Consular Convention between the United States of America and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (signed 1973; entered into force 1987), TIAS 11083.

3 Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brunei, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Kiribati, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Nigeria, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, the United Kingdom, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are covered by the Consular Convention Between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (signed 1951; entered into force 1952), 3 UST 3426. British dependencies also covered by this agreement are Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Their residents carry British passports.

4 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan are covered by the Consular Convention between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (signed 1964; entered into force 1968), 19 UST 5018.

Customary International Law

While the field of consular relations is now largely occupied by the treaties discussed above, the United States still looks to customary international law as a basis for insisting upon adherence to the right of consular notification, even in the case of countries not party to the VCCR or any relevant bilateral agreement. Consular notification is in our view a universally accepted, basic obligation that should be extended even to foreign nationals who do not benefit from the VCCR or from any other applicable bilateral agreement. Thus, in all cases, the minimum requirements are to notify a foreign national who is arrested or detained that the national's consular officials may be notified upon request; to so notify consular officials if requested; and to permit consular officials to provide consular assistance if they wish to do so.

Basis for Implementation

The obligations of consular notification and access are binding on states and local governments as well as the federal government, primarily by virtue of the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the United States Constitution, which provides that "all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." See United States v. Arlington, 669 F.2d 925 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 801 (1982).Customary international law-the basis for consular notification and access obligations in the absence of any treaty-is also binding on federal, state, and local authorities in these circumstances (where there is no controlling contrary federal authority).

The obligations of consular notification and access are not codified in any federal statute. Implementing legislation is not necessary (and the VCCR and bilateral agreements are thus "self-executing") because executive, law enforcement, and judicial authorities can implement these obligations through their existing powers.

Implementation can be directly on the basis of the relevant treaties and written guidance such as this booklet. Implementation may also be facilitated through issuance of internal directives, orders, or similar instructions by appropriate federal, state, and local officials to their subordinates. For example, many police departments incorporate instructions on consular notification into their local manuals. The Department of State encourages local law enforcement entities to develop practical guidance based on the instructions in this booklet or to adapt the five pages of "basic instructions" at the front of this book-let for general distribution to law enforcement officers in the field.

It is also open to government entities to adopt laws or regulations for the purpose of implementing these obligations. The Immigration and Naturalization Service has adopted such regulations, which are published in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 8, Section 236.1(e).

Inquiries on this subject may be directed to the Office of Public Affairs and Policy Coordination for Consular Affairs, CA/P, Rm. 6831, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520; telephone number: 202-647-4415; facsimile number: 202-736-7559.

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Vienna Convention on Consular Relations: Articles 5, 36, and 37

Article 5: Consular Functions

Consular functions consist in:

(a) protecting in the receiving State the interests of the sending State and of its nationals, both individuals and bodies corporate, within the limits permitted by international law;

(b) furthering the development of commercial, economic, cultural and scientific relations between the sending State and the receiving State and otherwise promoting friendly relations between them in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention;

(c) ascertaining by all lawful means conditions and developments in the commercial, economic, cultural and scientific life of the receiving State, reporting thereon to the Government of the sending State and giving information to persons interested;

(d) issuing passports and travel documents to nationals of the sending State, and visas or appropriate documents to persons wishing to travel to the sending State;

(e) helping and assisting nationals, both individuals and bodies corporate, of the sending State;

(f) acting as notary and civil registrar and in capacities of a similar kind, and performing certain functions of an administrative nature, provided that there is nothing contrary thereto in the laws and regulations of the receiving State;

(g) safeguarding the interests of nationals, both individuals and bodies corporate, of the sending State in cases of succession mortis causa in the territory of the receiving State, in accordance with the laws and regulations of the receiving State;

(h) safeguarding, within the limits imposed by the laws and regulations of the receiving State, the interests of minors and other persons lacking full capacity who are nationals of the sending State, particularly where any guardianship or trusteeship is required with respect to such persons;

(i) subject to the practices and procedures obtaining in the receiving State, representing or arranging appropriate representation for nationals of the sending State before the tribunals and other authorities of the receiving State, for the purpose of obtaining, in accordance with the laws and regulations of the receiving State, provisional measures for the preservation of the rights and interests of these nationals, where, because of absence or any other reason, such nationals are unable at the proper time to assume the defence of their rights and interests;

(j) transmitting judicial and extra-judicial documents or executing letters rogatory or commissions to take evidence for the courts of the sending State in accordance with international agreements in force or, in the absence of such international agreements, in any other manner compatible with the laws and regulations of the receiving State;

(k) exercising rights of supervision and inspection provided for in the laws and regulations of the sending State in respect of vessels having the nationality of the sending State, and of aircraft registered in that State, and in respect of their crews;

(l) extending assistance to vessels and aircraft mentioned in sub-paragraph (k) of this Article and to their crews, taking statements regarding the voyage of a vessel, examining and stamping the ship's papers, and, without prejudice to the powers of the authorities of the receiving State, conducting investigations into any incidents which occurred during the voyage, and settling disputes of any kind between the master, the officers and the seamen in so far as this may be authorized by the laws and regulations of the sending State;

(m) performing any other functions entrusted to a consular post by the sending State which are not prohibited by the laws and regulations of the receiving State or to which no objection is taken by the receiving State or which are referred to in the inter-national agreements in force between the sending State and the receiving State.

Article 36: Communication and Contact With Nationals of the Sending State

1. With a view to facilitating the exercise of consular functions relating to nationals of the sending State:

(a) consular officers shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending State and to have access to them. Nationals of the sending State shall have the same freedom with respect to communication with and access to consular officers of the sending State;

(b) if he so requests, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the consular post of the sending State if, within its consular district, a national of that State is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner. Any communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested, in prison, custody or detention shall also be forwarded by the said authorities without delay. The said authorities shall inform the person concerned without delay of his rights under this sub-paragraph;

(c) consular officers shall have the right to visit a national of the sending State who is in prison, custody or detention, to converse and correspond with him and to arrange for his legal representation. They shall also have the right to visit any national of the sending State who is in prison, custody or detention in their district in pursuance of a judgment. Nevertheless, consular officers shall refrain from taking action on behalf of a national who is in prison, custody or detention if he expressly opposes such action.

2. The rights referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be exercised in conformity with the laws and regulations of the receiving State, subject to the proviso, however, that the said laws and regulations must enable full effect to be given to the purposes for which the rights accorded under this Article are intended.

Article 37: Information in Cases of Deaths, Guardianship or Trusteeship, Wrecks, and Air Accidents

If the relevant information is available to the competent authorities of the receiving State, such authorities shall have the duty:

(a) in the case of the death of a national of the sending State, to inform without delay the consular post in whose district the death occurred;

(b) to inform the competent consular post without delay of any case where the appointment of a guardian or trustee appears to be in the interests of a minor or other person lacking full capacity who is a national of the sending State. The giving of this information shall, however, be without prejudice to the operation of the laws and regulations of the receiving State concerning such appointments;

(c) if a vessel, having the nationality of the sending State,is wrecked or runs aground in the territorial sea or internal waters of the receiving State, or if an aircraft registered in the sending State suffers an accident on the territory of the receiving State, to in-form without delay the consular post nearest to the scene of the occurrence.

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Mandatory Notification Provisions

(Excerpts From Bilateral Agreements)

The following are the provisions in bilateral agreements between the United States and other countries that require mandatory consular notification. Under international law principles relating to successor states, a treaty that applied to a country when it was part of another country may in some circumstances continue to apply to that country when it becomes independent. Thus, three of the bilateral consular agreements now apply to two or more foreign countries. As a result, while over 50 countries are covered by bilateral consular agreements providing for mandatory consular notification, these obligations arise from a much smaller number of agreements. The relevant treaty text is shown under the governing agreement.

Citations to "Bevans" are to Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949, compiled under the direction of Charles I. Bevans. Citations to "UST" are to United States Treaties and Other International Obligations (calendar-year volumes published since 1950). Citations to "TIAS" are to Treaties and Other International Acts Series, issued singly in pamphlets by the Department of State (use of this citation generally means that the agreement has not yet been published in UST).

Algeria. The consular post of the sending State shall be informed without delay of any measure taken to deprive one of its nationals of his liberty and the motivating circumstances.

Antigua and Barbuda. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Armenia. See the text for the U.S.S.R.
Azerbaijan. See the text for the U.S.S.R.
Bahamas, The. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Barbados. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Belarus. See the text for the U.S.S.R.
Belize. See the text for the United Kingdom
Brunei. See the text for the United Kingdom.

Bulgaria. In any case in which a national of the sending State is subjected to any form of deprivation or limitation of his personal freedom, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall in-form the consulate of the sending State immediately and, in any event, not later than after three calendar days from the date on which the national was placed under any form of deprivation or limitation of personal freedom. Upon his request, a consular officer shall be informed of the reasons for which the national has been arrested or deprived of personal freedom.

Consular Convention, 26 UST 687, Article 38, paragraph 2 (signed 1974; entered into force 1975)

China. If a national of the sending State is arrested or placed under any form of detention within the consular district, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall immediately, but no later than within four days from the date of arrest or detention, notify the consulate of the sending State. If it is not possible to notify the consulate of the sending State within four days because of communications difficulties, they should try to provide notification as soon as possible. Upon the request of a consular officer, he shall be informed of the reasons for which said national has been arrested or detained in any manner.

Consular Convention, 33 UST 2973, Article 35 paragraph 2 (signed 1980; entered into force 1982) (not applicable to people who carry "Republic of China" passports issued by Taiwan)

Costa Rica. A consular officer shall be informed immediately by the appropriate authorities of the receiving State when any national of the sending State is confined in prison awaiting trial or otherwise detained in custody within his consular district by such authorities.

Consular Convention, 1 UST 247, Article VII (signed 1948; entered into force 1950)

Cyprus. See the text for the United Kingdom.

Czech Republic. 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.

Consular Convention (with Czechoslovakia), TIAS 11083, Article 36, paragraph 1 (signed 1973; entered into force 1987)

Dominica. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Fiji. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Gambia, The. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Georgia. See the text for the U.S.S.R.
Ghana. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Grenada. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Guyana. See the text for the United Kingdom.

Hong Kong. If a national of the sending State is arrested or placed under any form of detention within the consular district, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall immediately, but no later than within four days from the date of arrest or detention, notify the consulate of the sending State. If it is not possible to notify the consulate of the sending State within four days because of communications difficulties, they should try to provide notification as soon as possible.

Agreement on the Maintenance of the United States Consulate General in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of March 15, 1997, paragraph 3(f)(2), and related agreed minute (identical language in agreement with China)

Hungary. In any case where a national of the sending State has been placed under detention pending trial or subjected to any other deprivation of personal liberty, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall notify the appropriate consulate of the sending State accordingly. Notification shall be made without delay and in any event within three days.

Consular Convention, 24 UST 1141, Article 41, paragraph (1) (signed 1972; entered into force 1973)

Jamaica. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Kazakhstan. See the text for the U.S.S.R.
Kiribati. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Kuwait. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Kyrgyzstan. See the text for the U.S.S.R.
Malaysia. See the text for the United Kingdom
Malta. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Mauritius. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Moldova. See the text for the U.S.S.R.

Mongolia. If a citizen of the sending country is arrested or detained in any manner, the authorities of the receiving state shall, within 72 hours, notify the consular post or embassy of the arrest or detention of the person and permit within 24 hours of such notification access by a consular officer of the sending state to the citizen who is under arrest or detained in custody.

Memorandum of Understanding, TIAS 11457, paragraph 3 (signed 1987; entered into force 1987)

Nigeria. See the text for the United Kingdom.

Philippines. Consular Officers of either High Contracting Party shall be informed immediately whenever nationals of their country are under detention or arrest or in prison or are awaiting trial in their consular districts and they shall, upon notification to the appropriate authorities, be permitted without delay to visit and communicate with any such national.

Consular Convention, 11 Bevans 74, Article VII, paragraph 2 (signed 1947; entered into force 1948)

Poland. The appropriate authorities of the receiving State shall immediately inform a consular officer of the sending State of the detention or arrest of any national of the sending State who has not been admitted to a permanent residence in the receiving State. In the case of the detention or arrest of a national of the sending State who has been admitted to permanent residence in the receiving State, the appropriate authorities of the receiving State on the request of such national, shall immediately inform a consular officer of the sending State of such detention or arrest.

Consular Convention, 24 UST 1231, Article 29, paragraph 2 (signed 1972; entered into force 1973)

Romania. 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 consular establishment of the sending state without delay and, in any event, not later than after two days.

Consular Convention, 24 UST 1317, Article 22, paragraph 1 (signed 1972; entered into force 1973)

Russia. See the text for the U.S.S.R.
Saint Kitts and Nevis. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Saint Lucia. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Seychelles. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Sierra Leone. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Singapore. See the text for the United Kingdom.

Slovakia. 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.

Consular Convention (with Czechoslovakia), TIAS 11083, Article 36, paragraph 1 (signed 1973; entered into force 1987)

Tajikistan. See the text for the U.S.S.R.
Tanzania. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Tonga. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Trinidad and Tobago. See the text for the United Kingdom.

Tunisia. The competent authorities of the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the appropriate consular post whenever a national of the sending state is the subjest of an arrest or of any form of restriction on his personal freedom. For the purpose of this article, the term "without delay" contemplates that this notification will be made within three days following restriction on the freedom of nationals of the sending State, or in cases where the notification cannot be made within three days because of communications or other difficulties, as soon as possible thereafter.

Turkmenistan. See the text for the U.S.S.R.
Tuvalu. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Ukraine. See the text for the U.S.S.R.

United Kingdom. A consular officer shall be informed immediately by the appropriate authorities of the territory when any national of the sending state is confined in prison awaiting trial or is otherwise detained in custody within his district.

Consular Convention, 3 UST 3426, Article 16, paragraph 2 (signed 1951; entered into force 1952)

U.S.S.R. The appropriate authorities of the receiving state shall immediately inform a consular officer of the sending state about the arrest or detention in other form of a national of the sending state.

Consular Convention, 19 UST 5018, Article 12, paragraph 2 (signed 1964; entered into force 1968)

Uzbekistan. See the text for the U.S.S.R.
Zambia. See the text for the United Kingdom.
Zimbabwe. See the text for the United Kingdom.

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Agreements Pertaining to Consular Functions

The following table lists most of the agreements in force between the United States and other countries or jurisdictions (listed by short-form names) that relate to the performance of consular functions, including provisions relating to the treatment of foreign nationals and to the rights of consular officers to assist them. It is generally current through November 1, 1997. It is not a definitive record, however, and does not list all relevant agreements. (For example, it does not include agreements that relate principally to visa matters.)

The first column indicates whether the country or jurisdiction is a party to or is governed by the multilateral Vienna Convention on Consular Relations ("VCCR"6).

The second column ("Bilateral Consular Conventions") ists bilateral consular conventions, agreements dealing in significant part with consular matters, and agreements amending such conventions or agreements. The third column ("Other Relevant Agreements") lists other more general agreements that include consular provisions of current relevance. These are generally treaties of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation ("FCN"). Where a year is entered in one of the columns, it indicates that there is a relevant agreement signed that year.

The fourth column ("Prisoner Transfer Agreements") indicates the existence of a multilateral and/or a bilateral prisoner transfer agreement. An "S" indicates that the country is a party to the multilateral 1983 Council of Europe (Strasbourg) Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners. A "B" followed by a date indicates that there is in force between the United States and that country a bilateral agreement which was signed in the year indicated.

The fifth column indicates whether the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which has been in force for the United States since July 1, 1988, is in force between the United States and the listed country or jurisdiction.

Agreements relevant to specialized areas of consular work but not reflected in the following table include, in addition to visa agreements, social security totalization agreements and the Hague conventions relating to international legal assistance.

When the chart indicates the year in which a relevant treaty was signed, information about the precise date when the agreement entered into force (which may be some years after the date of signing) can be found in Treaties in Force (a State Department publication) or may be obtained by calling the Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Treaty Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, 202-647-2044.

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6 Another multilateral consular convention is the 1928 Havana Convention on Consular Agents. Unlike the VCCR, it deals only with the privileges and immunities of consular officers.

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Agreements Pertaining to Consular Functions
Country/JurisdictionVCCR Bilateral Consular ConventionsOther Relevant Agreements Prisoner Transfer AgreementsChild Abduction
Afghanistan
--
--
--
--
--
AlbaniaYes
--
1922
--
--
AlgeriaYes19891
--
--
--
AndorraYes
--
--
--
--
AngolaYes
--
--
--
--
Antigua and BarbudaYes 19512
--
--
--
ArgentinaYes
--
1853
--
Yes
Armenia3Yes 196419894
1933
--
--
AustraliaYes
--
--
--
Yes
AustriaYes
--
1928Yes (S)Yes
Azerbaijan3Yes 196419894
1933
--
--
Bahamas, TheYes19512
--
Yes (S) Yes
BahrainYes
--
--
--
--
BangladeshYes
--
--
--
--
BarbadosYes19512
--
--
--
Belarus3Yes 196419894
1933
--
--
BelgiumYes1969 1963Yes (S)
--
Belize--19512
--
--
Yes
BeninYes
--
--
--
--
BhutanYes
--
--
--
--
BoliviaYes
--
1858Yes (B1978)
--
Bosnia and Herzegovina5Yes
--
1881
--
Yes
Botswana
--
--
--
--
--
BrazilYes
--
1828
--
--
BruneiNo619512
--
--
--
BulgariaYes1974
--
Yes (S)
--
Burkina FasoYes
--
--
--
Yes
Burma (also known as Myanmar)Yes
--
--
--
--
Burundi
--
--
--
--
--
Cambodia
--
--
--
--
--
CameroonYes
--
--
--
--
CanadaYes1935
--
Yes (S; B 1977) Yes
Cape VerdeYes
--
--
--
--
Central African Republic
--
--
--
--
--
Chad
--
--
--
--
--
ChileYes
--
1833
--
Yes
ChinaYes1979
1980
1981
--
--
--
ColombiaYes1850 1846
--
Yes
Comoros
--
--
--
--
--
Congo (Brazzaville)
--
--
--
--
--
Congo (Kinshasa) formerly ZaireYes
--
--
--
--
Costa RicaYes1948 1851
--
--
Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
--
--
--
--
--
Croatia5Yes
--
1881Yes (S) Yes
CubaYes1926
--
--
--
CyprusYes19512
--
Yes (S) Yes
Czech Republic7Yes 1973
--
Yes (S)
--
DenmarkYes
--
19518Yes (S)
Yes
DjiboutiYes
--
--
--
--
DominicaYes19512
--
--
--
Dominican RepublicYes
--
--
--
--
EcuadorYes
--
1839
--
Yes
EgyptYes
--
--
--
--
El SalvadorYes
--
--
--
--
Equatorial GuineaYes
--
--
--
--
EritreaYes
--
--
--
--
EstoniaYes
--
1925Yes (S)
--
Ethiopia
--
--
1951
--
--
FijiYes19512
1972
--
--
--
FinlandYes
--
1934
1953
Yes (S) Yes
FranceYes1968
--
Yes (S; B 1983) Yes
GabonYes
--
--
--
--
Gambia, The
--
19512
--
--
--
Georgia3Yes 196419894
1933
Pending (S)
--
GermanyYes
--
1923
1953
Yes (S) Yes
GhanaYes19512
--
--
--
GreeceYes1902
--
Yes (S) Yes
GrenadaYes19512
--
--
--
GuatemalaYes
--
1849
--
--
GuineaYes
--
--
--
--
Guinea-Bissau
--
--
--
--
--
GuyanaYes19512
--
--
--
HaitiYes
--
--
--
--
Holy SeeYes
--
--
--
--
HondurasYes
--
1927
--
Yes
Hong KongYes
--
1997Pending (B)Yes
HungaryYes1972
--
Yes (S) Yes
IcelandYes
--
--
Yes (S) Yes
IndiaYes
--
--
--
--
IndonesiaYes
--
--
--
--
IranYes
--
1955
--
--
IraqYes
--
--
--
--
IrelandYes1950
1952
--
Yes (S) Yes
Israel
--
--
1951Pending (S) Yes
ItalyYes1878
--
Yes (S) Yes
JamaicaYes19512
--
--
--
JapanYes1963 1953
--
--
JordanYes
--
--
--
--
Kazakhstan3Yes 196419894
1933
--
--
KenyaYes
--
--
--
--
KiribatiYes19512
--
--
--
Korea, NorthYes
--
--
--
--
Korea, SouthYes1963
--
--
--
KuwaitYes19512
--
--
--
Kyrgyzstan3Yes 196419894
1933
--
--
LaosYes
--
--
--
--
LatviaYes
--
1928Yes (S)
--
LebanonYes
--
19249
1944
--
--
LesothoYes
--
--
--
--
LiberiaYes
19938
--
--
--
Libya
Yes
--
--
--
--
LiechtensteinYes
--
--
--
--
LithuaniaYes
--
--
Yes (S)
--
LuxembourgYes
--
1962Yes (S)Yes
Macedonia, former Yugoslav Republic of5 Yes
--
1881
--
Yes
MadagascarYes
--
189610
--
--
MalawiYes
--
--
--
--
MalaysiaYes19512
--
--
--
MaldivesYes
--
--
--
--
MaliYes
--
--
--
--
Malta
--
19512
--
Yes (S)
--
Marshall Islands 11
--
--
198612
--
--
Mauritania
--
--
--
--
--
MauritiusYes19512
--
--
Yes
MexicoYes1942
--
Yes (B 1976)
Yes
Micronesia, Federated States of11 Yes
--
198612
--
--
MoldovaYes1964 19894
1933
--
--
Monaco
--
--
--
--
Yes
MongoliaYes198713
--
--
--
MoroccoYes
--
1836
--
--
MozambiqueYes
--
--
--
--
NamibiaYes
--
--
--
--
Nauru
--
--
--
--
--
NepalYes
--
1947
--
--
NetherlandsYes
--
195714Yes (S) Yes
New ZealandYes
--
--
--
Yes
NicaraguaYes
--
--
--
--
NigerYes
--
--
--
--
NigeriaYes19512
--
--
--
NorwayYes
--
1928Yes (S)Yes
OmanYes
--
1958
--
--
PakistanYes
--
1959
--
--
Palau
--
--
1986
--
--
PanamaYes
--
1913Yes (B 1979)Yes
Papua New GuineaYes
--
--
--
--
ParaguayYes
--
1859
--
--
PeruYes
--
--
Yes (B 1979)
--
PhilippinesYes1947
--
--
--
PolandYes
--
--
Yes (S) Yes
PortugalYes
--
--
Yes (S) Yes
Qatar
--
--
--
--
--
RomaniaYes1972
--
Yes (S) Yes
Russia3Yes 196419894
1933
--
--
RwandaYes
--
--
--
--
Saint Kitts and NevisYes 19512
--
--
Yes
Saint LuciaYes
--
--
--
--
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesYes 19512
--
--
--
SamoaYes
--
--
--
--
San Marino
--
--
--
--
--
Sao Tome and PrincipeYes
--
--
--
--
Saudi ArabiaYes
--
1933
--
--
SenegalYes
--
--
--
--
Serbia and Montenegro5Yes
--
1881
--
--
SeychellesYes19512
--
--
--
Sierra Leone
--
19512
--
--
--
Singapore
--
19512
--
--
--
Slovakia7Yes 1973
--
Yes (S)
--
Slovenia5Yes
--
1881Yes (S) Yes
Solomon IslandsYes
--
--
--
--
SomaliaYes
--
--
--
--
South AfricaYes
--
--
--
Yes
SpainYes
--
1902Yes (S)Yes
Sri Lanka
--
--
--
--
--
SudanYes
--
--
--
--
SurinameYes1855 196315
--
--
Swaziland
--
--
--
--
--
SwedenYes1910
--
Yes (S) Yes
SwitzerlandYes1855
--
Yes (S) Yes
SyriaYes
--
19249
1944
--
--
Taiwan
--
--
194616
--
--
Tajikistan3Yes 196419894
1933
--
--
TanzaniaYes19512
--
--
--
Thailand
Yes
--
1966 Yes (B 1982)
--
TogoYes
--
1966
--
--
TongaYes19512
--
--
--
Trinidad and TobagoYes 19512
--
Yes (S)
--
TunisiaYes1988 1904
--
--
TurkeyYes
--
1927Yes (S; B 1979)
--
Turkmenistan3Yes 196419894
1933
--
--
TuvaluYes19512
--
--
--
Uganda
--
--
--
--
--
Ukraine3Yes1964 19894
1933
Yes (S)
--
United Arab EmiratesYes
--
--
--
--
United KingdomYes1951
--
Yes (S) Yes
UruguayYes
--
--
--
--
Uzbekistan3Yes 196419894
1933
--
--
VanuatuYes
--
--
--
--
VenezuelaYes
--
1836
--
Yes
VietnamYes
--
196117
199418
--
--
YemenYes
--
1946
--
--
Zambia
--
19512/
--
--
--
Zimbabwe
--
19512/
--
--
Yes

Notes

1 The bilateral consular convention with Algeria was ratified by the U.S. Senate in August 1992. Instruments of ratification were exchanged on June 30, 1997, and the convention entered into force on July 30, 1997.

2 Consular convention between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, signed at Washington, DC, June 6, 1951, entered into force September 7, 1952, 3 UST 3426.

3 The United States considers that consular relations with each of the successor states of the former Soviet Union are governed by agreements in force on this subject at the time of the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, most notably the 1964 Consular Convention Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, signed at Moscow, June 1, 1964, entered into force July 13, 1968, and its related protocol, and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, done at Vienna, April 24, 1963, 21 UST 77 ("VCCR").

4 Agreement concerning passports and the mutual visits by inhabitants of the Bering Straits Region. Signed at Jackson Hole, Wyoming on September 13, 1989; entered into force on July 10, 1991. Applicable only as relevant.

5 The United States considers that consular relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro are governed by agreements in force on this subject at the time of the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, most notably the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, done at Vienna, April 24, 1963, 21 UST 77 ("VCCR"). A bilateral consular convention signed with the former Yugoslavia in 1988 never entered into force. It is the United States' view that the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has dissolved and that no successor state represents its continuation.

6 The United States has encouraged Brunei to accede formally to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Brunei has stated in the past that it deems accession unnecessary on the grounds that it has adopted many of the Convention's provisions into its domestic law.

7 The United States considers that consular relations with the Czech Republic and Slovakia are governed by the agreements on this subject in force at the time of the dissolution of the former Czechoslovakia, most notably the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, done at Vienna, April 24, 1963, 21 UST 77 ("VCCR"), and the bilateral Consular Convention Between the United States of America and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, signed at Prague July 9, 1973, entered into force Nov. 6, 1987, TIAS 11083.

8 Applicable to all Danish territories except Greenland and to all territories over which the United States has jurisdiction or international responsibility except the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

9 Convention between the United States and France relating to rights in Syria and Lebanon, signed at Paris April 4, 1924, entered into force July 13, 1924, 7 Bevans 925.

10 Convention on navigation and commerce between the United States and France, signed at Washington on June 24, 1822, and extended to Madagascar in 1896, 7 Bevans 822.

11 Formerly a member of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, now a sovereign State.

12 Agreement for the implementation of the Compact of Free Association between the Government of the United States and the Governments of the Marshall Islands and of the Federated States of Micronesia, Title II, Pub. L. 99-239, 48 U.S.C. 1681 note.

13 A bilateral consular convention between the United States and the Mongolian People's Republic was signed in 1990 and approved by the U.S. Senate in August, 1992, but instruments of ratification had not been exchanged and the convention had not entered into force as of the publication of this brochure.

14 Also applicable to Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles.

15 Treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation, with protocol and exchange of notes, between the United States and The Netherlands, signed at The Hague, March 27, 1956; applicable to Suriname as of February 10, 1963, 8 UST 2043.

16 Treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation with accompanying protocol. Signed at Nanking, November 4, 1946; entered into force on November 30, 1948, 6 Bevans 761.

17 A treaty of amity and economic relations was in force between the United States and the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) from November 30, 1961, until 1967. The status of this agreement, published at 12 UST 1703, remains under review by the United States.

18 The United States and Vietnam entered into an agreed minute in 1994, in which each side made certain undertakings with respect to consular relations and the conduct of consular functions.

~~~~~~

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