Maritime Zones Act


Published: 1999

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1999 Maritime Zones No1999 Maritime Zones No. 18









SAMOA
Arrangement of Provisions

Title

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and
commencement
2. Interpretation

PART II
INTERNAL WATERS AND
TERRITORIAL SEA

3. Internal waters
4. Territorial sea
5. Sovereignty
6. Baseline of the territorial
sea
7. Baseline of the territorial
sea adjacent to a bay
8. Ports
9. Bed of the territorial sea
and internal waters vested
in Samoa
10. Low water mark, official
charts and publicity

PART III
INNOCENT PASSAGE

11. Right of innocent passage
12. Prohibited passage
13. Suspension of innocent
passage
14. Obligations of foreign
vessels
15. Charges which may be
levied on foreign vessels

PART IV
JURISDICTION OVER
FOREIGN
VESSELS

16. Criminal jurisdiction
17. Civil jurisdiction

PART V
THE CONTIGUOUS ZONE

18. The Contiguous zone

PART VI
EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC
ZONE

19. Exclusive economic zone
20. Rights and jurisdiction in
the exclusive economic
zone
21. Delimitation of the
exclusive economic zone
22. Prohibited activities
23. Offences in the exclusive
16 Maritime Zones 1999, No. 18
economic zone

PART VII
THE CONTINENTAL SHELF

24. The Continental shelf

PART VIII
GENERAL PROVISIONS

25. Jurisdiction of the Courts
26. International agreements
27. Regulations
28. Repeals


__________


1999, No. 18

AN ACT to make provision with respect to the internal
waters, territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive
economic zone and the continental shelf of Samoa; and
related matters. [25th August 1999]

BE IT ENACTED by the Legislative Assembly of Samoa in
Parliament assembled as follows:-

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and commencement-(1) This Act may be
cited as the Maritime Zones Act 1999.
(2) This Act shall come into force on the date that it is
assented to by the Head of State.

2. Interpretation-(1) In this Act, unless the context
otherwise requires -
"Baseline" means the line from which -
(a) The breadth of the territorial sea;
(b) The outer limits of:
(i) the contiguous zone;
(ii) the exclusive economic zone; and
(iii) the continental shelf;
are measured;

1999, No. 18 Maritime Zones 17

"Bay" means a well-marked indentation of the coast such that
its area is as large as or larger than that of the area of the
semi-circle whose diameter is a line drawn across the
mouth of that indentation; and for the purposes of this
definition the area of an indentation shall be taken to be
the area bounded by the low-water mark around the shore
of the indentation and the straight baseline joining the
low-water marks of its natural entrance points; and where,
because of the presence of islands, an indentation has
more than one mouth the length of the diameter of the
semi-circle referred to shall be the sum of the lengths of
the straight baselines drawn across each of the mouths and
in calculating the area of an indentation the area of any
islands lying within it shall be included as if they were
part of the water area of the indentation:
"Exclusive economic zone" means the exclusive economic
zone of Samoa as defined in section 19:
"Foreign vessel" means any vessel which is, for the time
being, not registered in Samoa:
"High-water mark" means the line of mean high water:
"Internal waters" means the internal waters of Samoa as
defined in section 3:
"Island" means a naturally formed area of land which is
surrounded by water and which is above water at high tide:
"Low-water mark" has the meaning assigned thereto by
section 10 and "low-water line" shall have the
corresponding meaning:
"Low-tide elevation" means a naturally formed area of land
which is surrounded by and above water at low tide but is
submerged at mean high tide:
"Minister" shall mean the Minister responsible for Foreign
Affairs:
"Nautical mile" means the international nautical mile of 1,852
meters:
"Official chart" means a chart notified under section 10(3):

18 Maritime Zones 1999, No. 18

"Official list of geographical coordinates" means a list of
geographical coordinates specifying geodetic datum and
notified under section 10(3):
"Territorial sea" means the territorial sea of Samoa as defined
in section 4 of the Act.
(2) For the purpose of assisting in determining the meaning
of any words defined in subsection (1), and in the application of
any principle or matter provided for by this Act, reference may be
made to any book or reference document prescribed under this
Act.


PART II
INTERNAL WATERS AND TERRITORIAL SEA

3. Internal waters - The internal waters include any areas
of the sea that are on the landward side of the baseline of the
territorial sea of Samoa.

4. Territorial sea - The territorial sea of Samoa comprises
those areas of the sea having, as their inner limits, the baselines
described in sections 6 and 7 and, as their outer limits, a line
measured seaward from those baselines, every point of which is
distant 12 nautical miles from the nearest point of the baseline.

5. Sovereignty - The sovereignty of the Independent State
of Samoa extends beyond its land territory and internal waters to
the territorial sea and over the airspace of the territorial sea as
well as its bed and subsoil.

6. Baseline of the territorial sea - Except as otherwise
provided in section 7, the baseline from which the breadth of the
territorial sea of Samoa is measured shall be the seaward side of -
(a) The low-water mark of any reef fringing the coast of
any part of Samoa;

1999, No. 18 Maritime Zones 19

(b) The low-water line of any low tide elevation which is
situated wholly or partly at a distance not
exceeding the breadth of the territorial sea from
the mainland or an island;
(c) The low-water line along the coast of Samoa, in the
case where a fringing reef is not present.

7. Baseline of the territorial sea adjacent to a bay - In the
case of the sea adjacent to a bay, the baseline from which the
breadth of the territorial sea is measured shall be -
(a) If the bay has only one mouth and the distance
between the low-water marks of the natural
entrance points of the bay does not exceed 24
nautical miles, a straight line joining the said low-
water marks;
(b) If, because of the presence of islands, the bay has
more than one mouth and the sum total of the
distances between the low-water marks of the
natural entrance points of each mouth does not
exceed 24 nautical miles, a series of straight lines
across each of the mouths so as to join the said
low-water marks;
(c) If the distance between the low-water marks of the
natural entrance points of a bay exceeds 24
nautical miles, a straight baseline of 24 nautical
miles drawn from low-water mark to low-water
mark within the bay in such a manner as to
enclose the maximum area of water that is
possible with a line of that length.

8. Ports - For the purposes of this Act, the outermost
permanent harbour works which form an integral part of a
harbour system shall be treated as forming part of the coast.
Provided that offshore installations and artificial islands shall
not be considered as permanent harbour works.


20 Maritime Zones 1999, No. 18

9. Bed of the territorial sea and internal waters vested in
Samoa - Subject to the grant of any estate or interest therein
(whether by or pursuant to the provisions of any enactment or
otherwise, and whether made before or after the commencement
of this Act), the sea bed and subsoil of the submarine areas
bounded on the landward side by the high-water mark along the
coast of Samoa including the coast of all islands, and on the
seaward side by the outer limits of the territorial sea of Samoa
shall be deemed to be and always to have been public land vested
in Samoa.

10. Low-water mark, official charts and publicity-(1) For
the purposes of this Act, the low-water mark in any area shall be
the low-water mark at low tides either -
(a) As depicted on an official chart; or
(b) As determined by reference to an official list of
geographical coordinates.
(2) In any proceedings in any court, a certificate purporting
to be signed by the Director of Lands, Surveys and Environment
or by a Port Master appointed under the Ports Authority Act 1998
or by the Ministry of Transport that any chart of any area is the
official chart for that area, shall be admissible as evidence of the
matters stated in the certificate.
(3) The Head of State acting on the advice of Cabinet, shall
by Order, cause all closing lines, baselines and other lines drawn
under the provisions of this Act for the purpose of determining
the limits of the internal waters, the territorial sea, the contiguous
zone and exclusive economic zone of Samoa to be clearly
indicated on an official chart prepared on a scale adequate for
ascertaining their position, or cause an official list of geographical
coordinates, specifying the geodetic datum defining their
position, to be produced and shall give due publicity to such
charts or list of geographic coordinates by notice in the Savali.
(4) When making an Order under subsection (3) of this
section, the Head of State may also declare, by reference to
physical features marked on an official chart or an official list of

1999, No. 18 Maritime Zones 21

geographical coordinates, the points between baselines to be
drawn for determining the limits of the internal waters, the
territorial sea and exclusive economic zone.


PART III
INNOCENT PASSAGE

11. Right of innocent passage-(1) Any foreign vessel shall
enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea, in
accordance with the provisions of this Act and international law.
(2) Passage means navigation through the territorial sea for
the purpose of -
(a) Traversing that sea without entering internal waters or
calling at a roadstead or port facility outside the
internal waters; or
(b) Proceeding to or from internal waters or a call at such
roadstead or port facility.
(3) Stopping and anchoring shall only be permitted insofar
as the same are incidental to ordinary navigation or are rendered
necessary by force majeure or distress or for the purpose of
rendering assistance to persons, ships or aircraft in danger or in
distress.

12. Prohibited passage - Passage of a foreign vessel
through the territorial sea shall be prejudicial to the peace, good
order and security of Samoa if it engages in any of the following
activities -
(a) Any threat or use of force against the sovereignty,
territorial integrity or political independence of
Samoa or in any other manner in violation of the
principles of international law;
(b) Any unauthorised exercised or practice with weapons
of any kind;
(c) Any act aimed at collecting information prejudicial to
the national security, or defence of Samoa;

22 Maritime Zones 1999, No. 18

(d) Any act of propaganda aimed at affecting the national
security or defence of Samoa;
(e) The launching, landing or taking on board of any
aircraft or helicopter or military device;
(f) The loading or unloading of any commodity, currency
or persons contrary to the laws and regulations of
Samoa;
(g) Any act of wilful and serious pollution of the marine
environment of Samoa;
(h) Any fishing activities without a licence issued in
accordance with the laws of Samoa;
(i) The carrying out of scientific research or hydrographic
survey activities;
(j) Any activity aimed at interfering with any system of
communication or any such facilities or
installations of Samoa; and
(k) Any other activity not having a direct bearing on
passage.

13. Suspension of innocent passage-(1) The government
of Samoa may take any steps necessary to prevent passage by any
foreign vessel which is prejudicial to the peace order and good
government of Samoa under section 12.
(2) The Minister may suspend temporarily in specified areas
of its territorial sea, the innocent passage of foreign vessels if
such suspension is essential for the protection of national security.
(3) Such suspension referred to in subsection (2) shall only
take effect after it has been duly publicised.

14. Obligations of foreign vessels-(1) Submarines and
other underwater vehicles shall navigate on the surface and show
their flag during their passage through the territorial sea.
(2) Vessels carrying radioactive wastes or other inherently
dangerous, noxious or hazardous wastes, or substances harmful to
the environment, through the territorial sea must have the prior
authorization of the Minister and any other authority in Samoa
vested with relevant lawful authority.

1999, No. 18 Maritime Zones 23

15. Charges which may be levied on foreign vessels-(1)
No charges may be levied on foreign vessels by reason only of
their passage through the territorial sea.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), charges may be levied
upon a foreign vessel passing through the territorial sea as
payment for specific services rendered to the ship.


PART IV
JURISDICTION OVER FOREIGN VESSELS

16. Criminal jurisdiction - The criminal jurisdiction of
Samoa shall not extend to crimes committed on board a foreign
commercial vessel passing through the territorial sea, except -
(a) Where the consequences of the crime extend to or
have any affect in Samoa; or
(b) If the crime is of a kind to disturb the peace of Samoa
or the good order of the territorial sea;
(c) Where the master of the vessel or a diplomatic agent
or consular officer of the flag State seeks the
assistance of the Government of Samoa; or
(d) If such measures are necessary for the suppression of
illicit traffic in narcotic drugs or psychotropic
substances.

17. Civil jurisdiction-(1) A foreign vessel passing through
the territorial sea shall not be stopped for the purpose of
exercising civil jurisdiction in relation to a person on board the
vessel.
(2) No person shall levy execution or arrest a foreign vessel
passing through the territorial sea in connection with any civil
proceedings, except in respect of obligations or liabilities
assumed or incurred by the vessel in the course of, or for the
purpose of its voyage through the territorial sea.

24 Maritime Zones 1999, No. 18

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), any person may levy
execution against, or arrest a foreign vessel for the purpose of any
civil proceedings, if the vessel is lying in the territorial sea, or
passing through the territorial sea after leaving internal waters.


PART V
THE CONTIGUOUS ZONE

18. The Contiguous zone-(1) The contiguous zone of
Samoa comprises that part of the sea within 24 nautical miles
from the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is
measured.
(2) The Government of Samoa may exercise any powers and
take any measures in relation to the contiguous zone as may be
necessary in order to prevent or punish infringements of its laws
that relate to customs, fiscal matters, immigration, environmental
protection or health, or any other law as prescribed under this
Act.


PART VI
EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE

19. Exclusive economic zone - The exclusive economic
zone of Samoa comprises that area of the sea, seabed, and subsoil
that are beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea, having as their
outer limits the line every point of which is 200 nautical miles
seaward from the nearest point of the territorial sea baseline.

20. Rights and jurisdiction in the exclusive economic
zone-(1) In the exclusive zone, the Government of Samoa has
sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting,
conserving and managing the natural resources (whether living or
non-living) of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the
seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to any other activity
relating to the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone.

1999, No. 18 Maritime Zones 25

(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the
Government of Samoa has jurisdiction in the exclusive economic
zone with regard to the following -
(a) The establishment and use of artificial islands,
installations and structures;
(b) Marine scientific research; and
(c) The protection and preservation of the marine
environment.

21. Delimitation of the exclusive economic zone-(1)
Where the exclusive economic zone of Samoa overlaps with the
zone of an opposite or adjacent state, then the delimitation of the
outer limits of the exclusive economic zone of Samoa shall be
affected by agreement on the basis of international law, as
referred to in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court
of Justice, in order to achieve an equitable solution.
(2) Pending the conclusion of an agreement referred to in
subsection (1) between the Government of Samoa and another
opposite or adjacent state, the median line shall, without
prejudice to any negotiations of an agreement, provisionally
constitute the outer limits of the exclusive economic zone of
Samoa.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) "median line" means
the line every point on which is equidistant from the nearest
points on the territorial sea baselines of the coastline of Samoa
and the territorial sea baselines of the coastlines of the opposite or
adjacent States.
(4) The Minister shall deposit with the Secretary-General of
the United Nations a copy of each chart and each official list
prepared under this Act and showing the outer limit of the
exclusive economic zone.

22. Prohibited activities-(1) No person shall within the
limits of the exclusive economic zone engage in any activity
which is inconsistent with the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of
the Independent State of Samoa referred to in section 20 unless
he is first authorized by the Minister or holds any other

authorisation under any law in Samoa.
26 Maritime Zones 1999, No. 18

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) of this
section is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 1000
penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five
years, or both.

23. Offences in the exclusive economic zone - Any offence
against this Act that is committed within the exclusive economic
zone shall be deemed to have been committed in Samoa.


PART VII
THE CONTINENTAL SHELF

24. The Continental shelf - The continental shelf of Samoa
comprises the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that
extend beyond its territorial sea throughout the natural
prolongation of its land territory to -
(a) The outer edge of the continental margin; or
(b) A distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines
from which the territorial sea is measured where the
outer edge of the continental margin does not extend
up to that distance.


PART VIII
GENERAL PROVISIONS

25. Jurisdiction of the Courts - Notwithstanding any
provision in any enactment, the Supreme Court shall have
exclusive jurisdiction over any matter arising under this Act.

26. International agreements - The Head of State may,
acting on the advice of Cabinet, from time to time, limit any
provision of this Act so far as it is necessary to give effect to any
obligations under any treaty to which Samoa is a party.


1999, No. 18 Maritime Zones 27

27. Regulations - The Head of State, acting on the advice of
Cabinet, may make regulations for the purpose of carrying out or
giving effect to the principles and provisions of the Act, and in
particular, but without restricting the generality of the foregoing,
may make regulations for all or any of the following -
(a) Regulating the conduct of scientific research within
the exclusive economic zone;
(b) Regulating the exploration and exploitation of the
exclusive economic zone for the production of
energy from waters, currents and winds, and for
other economic purposes;
(c) Regulating the construction, operation and use of
artificial islands, installations and structures
within the exclusive economic zone including
requirements for the establishment of safety zones
around islands, installations and structures;
(d) Prescribing measures for the protection and
preservation of the marine environment of the
fishery waters;
(e) Regulate the passage of vessels in the territorial sea
and the exclusive economic zone; and
(f) Providing for such other matters as are necessary or
expedient to give effect to the provisions of this
Act.

28. Repeals - The following Acts are repealed:
The Territorial Sea Act 1971
Exclusive Economic Zone Act 1977


__________



Printed under the authority of the Legislative Assembly,
by the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly.

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