Law Approving The Following International Acts: 1 ° Treaty Amending The Treaty Instituting The Economic Union Benelux Signed On February 3, 1958, And Declaration, Done At The Hague On 17 June 2008, 2 ° Protocol On Privileges And Immun.

Original Language Title: Loi portant assentiment aux Actes internationaux suivants : 1° Traité portant révision du Traité instituant l'Union économique Benelux signé le 3 février 1958, et Déclaration, faits à La Haye le 17 juin 2008, 2° Protocole relatif aux privilèges et immun

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15 DECEMBER 2010. - Act to grant the following International Acts: 1° Treaty Revision of the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union signed on 3 February 1958, and Declaration, made at The Hague on 17 June 2008, 2° Protocol relating to the Privileges and Immunities of the Benelux Union, done at The Hague on 17 June 2008 (1) (2)



ALBERT II, King of the Belgians,
To all, present and to come, Hi.
The Chambers adopted and We sanction the following:
Article 1er. This Act regulates a matter referred to in Article 77 of the Constitution.
Art. 2. The Treaty for the Revision of the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union signed on 3 February 1958, and the Declaration, made at The Hague on 17 June 2008, will emerge their full and full effect.
Art. 3. The Benelux Union's Protocol on Privileges and Immunities, done at The Hague on 17 June 2008, will come out with its full and full effect.
Promulgation of this law, let us order that it be clothed with the seal of the State and published by the Belgian Monitor.
Given in Brussels on 15 December 2010.
ALBERT
By the King:
The Prime Minister,
Y. LETERME
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs,
S. VANACKERE
Seal of the state seal:
Minister of Justice,
S. DE CLERCK
____
Notes
(1) 2010-2011 session:
Senat.
Documents. - Bill tabled on 2 September 2010, No. 5-37/1. - Report, no. 5-37/2.
Annales parliamentarians. - Discussion, meeting of October 12, 2010. - Vote, meeting of 12 October 2010.
Room.
Documents. - Project transmitted by the Senate, No. 53-393/1. - Report No. 393/2. - Text adopted in plenary and subject to Royal Assent, No. 53-393/3.
Annales parliamentarians. - Discussion, meeting of October 28, 2010. - Vote, meeting of 28 October 2010.
(2) See the Decree of the Flemish Community/ Flemish Region of 2 July 2010 (Belgian Monitor of 29 July 2010 - Ed. 2), the Decree of the French Community of 28 April 2011 (Belgian Monitor of 24 May 2011), the Decree of the German-speaking Community of 25 May 2009 (Belgian Monitor of 24 July 2009), the Decree of the Walloon Region of 5 May 2011 +

INSTITUANT TRAITE THE ECONOMIC UNION BENELUX SIGNE LE 3 FEVRIER 1958
PREAMBULE
The Kingdom of Belgium,
Represented by:
the Federal Government,
the Flemish Government,
the Government of the French Community,
the Walloon Government,
the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region,
the Government of the German-speaking Community
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, The Kingdom of the Netherlands,
Considering that they concluded on 3 February 1958 the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union in the continuation of the Belgo-Luxembourg-Dutch Customs Convention signed in London on 5 September 1944;
Considering that the Treaty of 3 February 1958 was amended on 16 March 1971, 26 January 1976 and 16 February 1990;
Considering that the Committee of Ministers Benelux, on 20 November 1995, redefines the missions of the Benelux Economic Union based on the report of a committee of the wise;
Considering also that article 99, first paragraph, of the Treaty of 3 February 1958 provides that the Treaty shall be concluded for a period of fifty years, that period ending 31 October 2010;
Referring to the Convention of 5 November 1955 establishing an Inter-Parliamentary Advisory Council of Benelux and to the Additional Protocol to the Convention signed on 3 February 1958, as well as to the Treaty of 31 March 1965 on the institution and status of a Benelux Court of Justice and to the Protocols Amending and Implementing this Treaty;
Noting that, within the framework of the Benelux Economic Union, they have been able, on the basis of the Treaty of 3 February 1958 and in practice, to achieve their cooperation in a dynamic manner in an evolving international context, particularly in the face of growing integration within the European Union;
Noting that, based on their cooperation, they have been able to carry out initiatives that have had a positive impact on international developments and, in particular, within the European Union;
Noting that, in accordance with Article 306 of the Treaty establishing the European Community and Article 202 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, the provisions of those treaties do not impede the existence and achievement of a regional union between Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, to the extent that the objectives of this union are not achieved in accordance with the said treaties;
Strongly committed to deepening and strengthening their cooperation in border areas in many areas;
Noting that the Kingdom of Belgium has adopted a federal state structure;
Desiring to continue and extend their cooperation and to create a treaty basis for this purpose that can be realized proactively;
Desirous, after cooperation within the Customs Union and the extension of the Benelux Economic Union, to continue their cooperation in the broader context of the Benelux Union;
Are Convenus to review the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union of 3 February 1958 as follows:
PART 1. - Principles and objectives
Article 1er
The High Contracting Parties establish a Benelux Union to defend their common interests and promote the well-being of their populations.
Article 2
1. The Benelux Union aims at deepening and expanding cooperation between the High Contracting Parties so that it can continue its role as a precursor within the European Union and strengthen and improve cross-border cooperation at all levels.
2. The Benelux Union aims in particular:
(a) the maintenance and development of an economic union involving the free movement of persons, goods, capital and services, and covering a concerted economic, financial and social policy, including the continuation of a common policy in economic relations with third countries;
(b) sustainable development combining balanced economic growth, social protection and environmental protection;
(c) Cooperation in the areas of justice and internal affairs.
Article 3
1. In order to achieve the objectives set out in Article 2, the Benelux Union periodically establishes a multi-year joint programme of work defining the priorities of cooperation.
2. The joint programme of work includes:
(a) the completion of the Benelux domestic market and the realization of the Benelux Economic Union, including the further harmonization of social policy, energy and climate policy, and cooperation in transport and communication;
(b) cooperation in environmental, nature, agriculture and natural areas;
(c) Visa and immigration policy, police cooperation, crisis management and disaster management cooperation, as well as counter-terrorism and fraud, including tax;
(d) cooperation in other areas, if necessary to achieve the objectives of Article 2.
Article 4
Rights and obligations arising from Parties 1re and 3 of the 1958 Treaty shall apply without restriction unless otherwise provided in this Treaty
PART 2. - Institutions
Article 5
The institutions of the Benelux Union are:
(a) the Benelux Committee of Ministers;
(b) the Benelux Council;
(c) the Benelux Inter-Parliamentary Advisory Council;
(d) Benelux Court of Justice;
(e) General Secretariat Benelux.
CHAPTER 1. - Committee of Ministers Benelux
Article 6
1. The Committee of Ministers shall ensure the implementation of this Treaty and ensure the fulfilment of its objectives. It sets out the directions and priorities of cooperation in the Benelux Union.
2. To this end, the Committee of Ministers is mandated to:
(a) to determine the modalities for the implementation of the provisions of this Treaty under the conditions provided for by them. These decisions of the Committee involve the High Contracting Parties;
(b) to stop the joint work programme referred to in Article 3 on the basis of a coordinated proposal by the General Secretariat;
(c) to stop the budget of the Benelux Union in accordance with the procedures established in Article 22;
(d) to stop the annual plan of the Benelux Union;
(e) to stop the annual report of the Benelux Union;
(f) establish conventions that are submitted to the High Contracting Parties for their implementation in accordance with the constitutional rules of each of the High Contracting Parties;
(g) make recommendations relevant to the functioning of the Benelux Union. These recommendations do not link the High Contracting Parties;
(h) provide guidance to the Council and the Secretariat-General.
Article 7
The Committee of Ministers has at least one representative at the ministerial level of each High Contracting Party. The composition of the Committee of Ministers may vary according to the agenda and division of competence within each High Contracting Party.
Article 8
The Committee's decisions are unanimously taken. Each of the High Contracting Parties shall have one vote. The forbearance of a High Contracting Party does not constitute an obstacle to the acquisition of a decision.
Article 9
1. The Committee of Ministers shall meet at least once by presidency. In the event of an emergency, the Committee shall meet at the request of one of the High Contracting Parties.
2. The meetings of the Committee of Ministers are chaired in turn by a Belgian, Luxembourgish and Dutch member for the duration of a calendar year, regardless of the location of the meeting.
Article 10
The Committee of Ministers may establish ministerial working groups to which it may delegate some of its powers. These groups are composed of members of the Committee or other members of the Governments in each of the High Contracting Parties.
Article 11
The Committee of Ministers sets out its rules of procedure.
CHAPTER 2. - The Benelux Council
Article 12
The mission of the Benelux Council is to:
(a) prepare the meetings and deliberations of the Committee of Ministers and ministerial working groups;
(b) to establish and revoke working groups of the administration and independent expert commissions. The Council shall give such working groups and commissions the necessary guidelines for their activities. The Council shall, if necessary, transmit to the Committee of Ministers the proposals of the working groups and commissions, together with its opinion, as appropriate;
(c) ensure, with respect to it, the conduct of the deliberations of the Committee of Ministers;
(d) to make to the Committee of Ministers the proposals it deems useful for the functioning of the Benelux Union.
Article 13
1. The Council shall be formed by at least one representative of each High Contracting Party. The composition of the Council may vary depending on the agenda and the allocation of competencies within each High Contracting Party.
2. The Presidency of the Council is assumed by the High Contracting Party which provides for the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers.
Article 14
The Commission determines its rules of procedure.
CHAPTER 3. - The Benelux Inter-Parliamentary Advisory Council
Article 15
The Convention of 5 November 1955 establishing a Benelux Inter-Parliamentary Advisory Council regulates the composition, competence and working method of the Inter-Parliamentary Advisory Council.
Article 16
For matters of direct interest to the functioning of the Benelux Union, the Benelux Inter-Parliamentary Advisory Council maintains relations with the Committee of Ministers.
CHAPTER 4. - The Benelux Court of Justice
Article 17
The Treaty of 31 March 1965 on the institution and status of a Benelux Court of Justice regulates the composition, jurisdiction and operation of the Benelux Court of Justice.
CHAPTER 5. - General Secretariat Benelux
Article 18
The headquarters of the General Secretariat Benelux is located in Brussels.
Article 19
1. The College of Secretaries General is composed of a Secretary General and two Deputy Secretary General. Members of the College are nationals of the High Contracting Parties. The three nationalities are represented in the College. The College is responsible for the direction of the General Secretariat.
2. The College of Secretaries-General is divided into tasks, with the final responsibility for the functioning of the Secretariat-General.
3. The Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-General shall be appointed for a term of five years, renewable only once.
4. The Committee of Ministers shall appoint and revoke the Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-General. It shall, after the Council ' s opinion, establish the scales of their salary, pension and allowances, as well as all the conditions under which they shall perform their duties.
Rule 20
1. The Secretary-General shall appoint and revoke staff members of the Secretariat-General, in accordance with the statute set out in paragraph 2 of this article.
2. The status of staff, the organizational framework, salary scales, pensions and allowances, as well as any conditions under which staff members are required to perform their functions, shall be established by the Committee of Ministers on the proposal of the Secretary-General and after the advice of the Council.
Article 21
1. The mission of the General Secretariat is to:
(a) to make a coordinated proposal for the joint programme of work;
(b) ensure the secretariat of the Committee of Ministers, ministerial working groups, the Council, the working groups of the administration and the independent expert commissions;
(c) to coordinate in the administrative field the activities of the Committee of Ministers, ministerial working groups, the Council, working groups of the administration and independent expert commissions;
(d) establish the annual plan of the Benelux Union;
(e) make all useful suggestions for the implementation of this Treaty taking into account the skills of other institutions of the Benelux Union.
2. The Committee of Ministers may assign other tasks to the General Secretariat.
Article 22
1. The Secretary-General shall prepare the draft annual budget for the institutions of the Benelux Union and submit it to the Committee of Ministers, with the advice of the Council.
2. By convention, the High Contracting Parties shall:
(a) control of budget execution;
(b) the termination of accounts;
(c) the award of the necessary advances;
(d) the distribution between the High Contracting Parties of the excess of expenditures on revenues.
3. The provisions of this article shall not apply to the Benelux Inter-Parliamentary Council or to the Benelux Court of Justice.
Article 23
The Secretary-General shall publish in the Benelux Bulletin decisions, joint work programme, annual plan, annual report and recommendations referred to in Article 6, paragraph 2, sub (a), (b), (d), (e) and (g).
PART 3. - External relations
Article 24
The Committee of Ministers determines the principles of the cooperation of the Benelux Union with other states and federated entities, and in particular with Member States of the European Union and the regional cooperation structures of these States, if this approach promotes the achievement of the objectives of this Treaty and in particular the fulfilment of the role of precursor in the broader framework of the European Union.
Rule 25
The Committee of Ministers may, within the framework of the establishment or implementation of the joint programme of work, decide to establish cooperation between the Benelux Union, on the one hand, and states, federated entities and administrative entities adjacent to the territory of the High Contracting Parties, on the other.
Rule 26
Where the application of Articles 24 or 25 implies the conclusion of a treaty by the High Contracting Parties with a third State or a federated entity, Article 6, second paragraph, sub (f), applies.
Rule 27
Within the framework of the objectives of this Treaty and in consultation with the Council, the General Secretariat of the Benelux Union maintains appropriate relations with states, federated entities and other administrative entities, as well as with international organizations and other international institutions.
PART 4. - International legal personality, privileges and immunities
Rule 28
The Benelux Union enjoys international legal personality for the purpose of granting privileges and immunities.
Rule 29
1. The privileges and immunities necessary for the exercise of the mission and for the fulfilment of the objectives of the Benelux Union are set by the Protocol annexed to this Treaty.
2. The Secretary General is authorized to enter into supplementary agreements on behalf of the Benelux Union with the State where the Benelux Union has its seat or with a State where an entity has been established by the Benelux Union and is recognized as such by that State. Such supplementary agreements are intended to implement the provisions of the Protocol referred to in paragraph 1 and other arrangements to ensure the proper functioning of the Benelux Union and the safeguarding of its interests in the States concerned.
3. The Secretary-General shall submit such supplementary agreements before their signature and accompanied by a notice from the Council to the Committee of Ministers.
PART 5. - Benelux Common Services
Rule 30
The Committee of Ministers may establish Common Services that are relevant to the functioning of the Benelux Union; it determines the responsibilities, organizational conditions and operation of these Services.
PART 6. - Benelux Intellectual Property Organization
Rule 31
The Benelux Intellectual Property Organization is governed by the Benelux Intellectual Property Convention (marks and drawings or models), signed in The Hague on 25 February 2005.
PART 7. - Transitional provisions
Rule 32
1. The Committee of Ministers shall decide on the basis of an inventory prepared by the General Secretariat Benelux and after the advice of the Council, which decisions, recommendations and directives referred to in Article 6, second paragraph, sub (a), (g) and (h), are null and void because they are no longer applied.
2. The commissions and special commissions established in and on the basis of the 1958 Treaty are empowered to continue their activities. The Commission shall decide as soon as possible, on the basis of an inventory by the General Secretariat Benelux, how section 12, sub (b), applies to these special commissions and commissions.
Rule 33
1. As long as they have not been provided for by a supplementary agreement between the Benelux Union and the State in which the Benelux Union has its seat, referred to in Article 29, second paragraph, the Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-General shall, in that State, enjoy the privileges and immunities granted to a diplomatic mission leader accredited in that State and to the diplomatic personnel under the Vienna Convention of 18 April 1961 on Diplomatic Relations.
2. Immunity of jurisdiction may, where appropriate, be waived by the Committee of Ministers.
Rule 34
At the entry into force of this Treaty, Article 19, third paragraph, applies without restriction to the Secretary-General at the time of signature.
PART 8. - Final provisions
Rule 35
The title of the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union is replaced by the Treaty establishing the Benelux Union.
Rule 36
1. The application of this Treaty is limited to the territory of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
2. The Kingdom of the Netherlands reserves the right to include in the treaties referred to in articles 6, second paragraph, sub (f), and 26 clauses of interest to the other constituent parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Rule 37
The provisions of this Treaty do not preclude the existence or possible development of the existing Economic Union between the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, since the objectives of this Union are not achieved under this Treaty.
Rule 38
French and Dutch are the official languages of the institutions of the Benelux Union.
Rule 39
1. This Treaty shall be concluded for an indefinite period.
2. Each High Contracting Party may denounce the Treaty within three years on the day of receipt to the General Secretariat of notification of denunciation.
3. The Secretary-General shall inform the other High Contracting Parties of this denunciation by mentioning the effective date of the denunciation.
4. The High Contracting Parties conduct a consultation on the shipment of current affairs.
5. The second paragraph does not apply for a period of ten years from the date of entry into force of the Treaty.
Rule 40
1. This Treaty will be ratified and the instruments of ratification will be deposited with the Secretary-General who will inform other High Contracting Parties of the receipt of instruments of ratification.
2. This Treaty shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following the deposit of the third instrument of ratification. The Secretary-General shall communicate to the High Contracting Parties the date of entry into force of this Treaty.
In faith, the Plenipotentiaries signed this Treaty and put it on its seal.
Done in The Hague on 17 June 2008 in three copies, in French and Dutch, both texts being equally authentic.

PROTOCOL ON PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITES OF THE BENELUX UNION
Referring to Article 29 of the Treaty establishing the Benelux Union (hereinafter: the Treaty), the High Contracting Parties have agreed to the following provisions:
Article 1er
For the purpose of this Protocol:
(a) the "localities of the Benelux Union" are the land and buildings used by the Benelux Union for the exercise of its official activities;
(b) "architects" are all records, documents, manuscripts, electronic documents, photos, films, and audio and video recordings owned or detained by the Benelux Union or its staff in the course of their official activities;
(c) the "host country" is the State where the Benelux Union has its seat or a State where an entity is established, which has been established by the Benelux Union and is recognized as such by that State;
(d) "official activities" are the activities of the Benelux Union which are strictly necessary for the fulfilment of its mission as defined in Part 1 of the Treaty.
Article 2
1. The premises of the Benelux Union and its archives and any documents belonging to or held by it are inviolable.
2. The authorities of the High Contracting Parties in whose territory the Benelux Union has its premises can only enter these premises with the consent of the Secretary-General. This consent is presumed to be acquired in the event of a fire or other disaster requiring immediate protection.
3. The surrender to the premises of the Benelux Union of all procedural acts required by a court of law concerning the Benelux Union does not constitute an offence to inviolability.
Article 3
1. As part of its official activities, the Benelux Union is granted immunity from jurisdiction and enforcement unless:
(a) to the extent that the Benelux Union expressly waived such immunity in a particular case;
(b) in the event of a third party's civil action concerning persons and/or property, provided that this civil action does not relate directly to the official functioning of the Benelux Union;
(c) in the event of civil action brought by a third party for damages resulting from an accident caused by a self-propelled vehicle belonging to the Union Benelux or circulating on its behalf or in the event of a violation of the regulation of motor traffic of the aforementioned vehicle.
2. The assets, funds and assets of the Benelux Union, regardless of where they are located in the territory of the High Contracting Parties, are immune to any form of requisition, confiscation, expropriation and sequester.
3. The assets, funds and assets of the Benelux Union also benefit from immunity in respect of any form of administrative or judicial constraint, except to the extent or temporarily require the prevention of accidents involving self-propelled vehicles belonging to the Benelux Union or circulating on behalf of the Benelux Union and the investigations to which such accidents may be investigated.
Article 4
1. For its official communications and the transfer of all its documents, the Benelux Union enjoys, in each High Contracting Party, the most favourable treatment granted to any other international organization by this High Contracting Party.
2. No censorship may be exercised in respect of the official communications of the Benelux Union, regardless of the channel of communication used.
Article 5
1. As part of its official activities, the Benelux Union, its assets, assets and revenues for its official use are exempt from direct taxes.
2. Where significant purchases of goods or services are made by the Benelux Union for the exercise of its official activities and the price of such goods and services includes taxes, appropriate arrangements are made by the High Contracting Parties, whenever possible, and without prejudice to the application of European regulations, for the reimbursement to the Benelux Union of the amount of such taxes or the prior granting of the exemption.
3. No exemption is granted in respect of taxes and royalties which are only the mere remuneration of public utility services.
4. Assets or services that have been exempted from taxes referred to in the first and second paragraphs may not be assigned to any other use than that for which the exemption was granted only in accordance with the conditions established by the host country that granted the exemption.
Article 6
1. To the extent recognized to national civilians, the Benelux Union enjoys, on the territory of each of the High Contracting Parties, the legal capacity necessary to carry out its functions and achieve its purposes; it may, inter alia, acquire and dispose of real property and furniture and be brought to justice. The Benelux Union is represented for this purpose by the Secretary-General.
2. In the event of a conflict of jurisdiction between the jurisdictions of the High Contracting Parties in respect of a dispute to which the Benelux Union is a party, the jurisdiction of the State where the Benelux Union has its seat is solely competent.
Article 7
Representatives of the High Contracting Parties, their alternates, their advisers or experts shall, at meetings of the institutions of the Benelux Union, enjoy the Common Services and Working Groups of the Administration and during their travel to or from the place of the meeting of the following privileges and immunities:
(a) Immunity for arrest and detention, as well as for the seizure of personal baggage, except in cases of flagrante delicto;
(b) immunity from jurisdiction, even after the end of their mission, for acts, including their writings and words, performed in the performance of their duties; such immunity does not, however, play in the case of an offence to regulate the movement of motor vehicles, committed by one of the persons referred to above, or in the case of damage caused by a self-propelled vehicle owned or driven by it;
(c) inviolability for all official documents and documents;
(d) the right to use codes and to receive documents or correspondence by special mail or sealed suitcases.
Article 8
The Secretary-General, the Under-Secretary-General and the Benelux Union:
(a) enjoy, even when they have ceased to exercise their functions, immunity from jurisdiction for acts, including words and writings, performed in the performance of their duties; such immunity does not, however, play in the case of a violation of the regulation of the movement of self-propelled vehicles committed by them or in the case of damage caused by a self-propelled vehicle owned or driven by them;
(b) are exempt from any military service obligation;
(c) enjoy inviolability for all official documents and documents;
(d) enjoy, for themselves and for their legal or recognized spouses and their dependent children living in their homes, the same exceptions to the provisions limiting immigration and regulating the registration of aliens, as those generally recognized to staff of international organizations;
(e) enjoy, in times of international crisis, their legal or recognized spouses and their dependent children living in their homes, the same repatriation facilities as diplomatic agents.
Article 9
1. In addition to the privileges and immunities referred to in Article 8, the Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-General shall, respectively, enjoy the privileges and immunities granted to diplomatic agents under the Vienna Convention of 18 April 1961 on Diplomatic Relations.
2. Immunity of jurisdiction does not play in the case of civil actions arising from the damage caused by the Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-General in private life or any contracts they have entered into in private.
3. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, the application of income and property taxes, income and assets of the Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-General will be regulated in supplementary agreements within the meaning of Article 29 of the Treaty.
Article 10
Experts performing functions on behalf of and on behalf of the Benelux Union shall be accorded the following privileges and immunities to the extent that they are necessary for the performance of their duties, including during travel during the performance of their duties or during such missions:
(a) immunity from jurisdiction for acts performed in the performance of their duties, including words and writings, except in the case of a violation of the regulation of the movement of self-propelled vehicles by an expert or of damage caused by a self-propelled vehicle owned or operated by the expert; experts will continue to benefit from this immunity after the termination of their functions described at the beginning of this article with the Benelux Union;
(b) Inviolability for all official documents and documents.
Article 11
1. Without prejudice to the obligations that arise for the High Contracting Parties to the treaties relating to the European Union, the High Contracting Parties shall take the necessary measures to facilitate the entry into their countries of the persons referred to in Article 10. Any visa required for these persons will be issued as soon as possible.
2. The Secretary General of the Benelux Union will communicate the names of the persons referred to in paragraph 1er before the competent authorities.
Article 12
1. The High Contracting Parties are not required to grant the privileges and immunities referred to in Articles 7, 8 (b) and 9, paragraph 1:
(a) their own nationals;
(b) persons who have permanent residence in their territory at the time they take office with the Benelux Union.
2. For the purposes of this Article, a permanent residence is defined in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties with a minimum duration within the meaning of the provisions in force within that High Contracting Party, except for years spent in the service of an international organization or a foreign mission.
Article 13
1. The Secretary-General has the duty to lift the immunity of the agents referred to in Article 8 and of the experts referred to in Article 10 when he considers that this immunity hinders the course of justice and that it is possible to waive it without prejudice to the interests of the Benelux Union.
2. The Committee of Ministers may, for the same reasons, waive the immunities granted to the Secretary-General and to the Under-Secretary-General referred to in articles 8 and 9.
3. Each of the High Contracting Parties shall have the duty to lift the immunity of its representatives, as well as its alternates, advisers or experts referred to in Article 7, in all cases or, in its opinion, immunity would hinder the action of justice and or may be lifted without compromising the purposes for which it was granted.
Article 14
1. The Benelux Union shall cooperate at any time with the competent authorities of the High Contracting Parties to facilitate good administration of justice, to ensure compliance with the police regulations and those concerning public health and inspection of work or other national laws and to prevent any abuse of the privileges, immunities and facilities provided for in this Protocol.
2. The privileges and immunities granted by this Protocol to persons referred to in Articles 7, 8 and 10 are not established to grant personal benefits to persons concerned. They have the sole purpose of ensuring, under all circumstances, the proper functioning of the Benelux Union and the full independence of the concerned.
3. The Benelux Union and the persons referred to in Articles 7, 8 and 10 are required to comply with the laws and regulations of the High Contracting Parties.
Article 15
Each of the High Contracting Parties reserves the right to take all appropriate precautions in the interest of its security.
Article 16
The High Contracting Parties shall not, because of the activity of the Benelux Union, take any international responsibility whatsoever for the acts or omissions of the Benelux Union or its agents acting or abstaining in the course of their duties.
Article 17
This Protocol is not applicable to the Benelux Inter-Parliamentary Advisory Council and the Benelux Court of Justice.
Article 18
1. Any dispute between two or more High Contracting Parties or between the Benelux Union and one or more High Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation and application of this Protocol shall be settled by consultation, negotiation or other agreed means,
2. If the dispute is not settled in accordance with paragraph 1er of this Article within three months after the written request made to that effect by one of the parties to the dispute, it shall, at the request of one of the parties, be brought before an arbitral tribunal in accordance with the procedure set out in paragraphs 3 to 7 of this Article.
3. The arbitral tribunal consists of an odd number of members. Each party to the dispute is a member. If the Arbitral Tribunal consists of an odd number of members, these members shall designate a member within them to preside over the court. If an even number of members is designated, these members select an additional member who chairs the court.
4. If one of the parties to the dispute has not designated a member of the court within three months of the date of the written application referred to in paragraph 2 the other party or one of the other parties may request the President of the International Court of Justice to make such a designation. If there is no agreement between the first members on the choice of the President of the Arbitral Tribunal in the month following the appointment of the other members, the other party or one of the other parties may request the President of the International Court of Justice to appoint the President.
5. Except for the parties to the dispute to decide otherwise, the arbitral tribunal shall determine its own procedure. The costs are borne by the parties to the dispute in the manner determined by the arbitral tribunal.
6. The arbitral tribunal, which shall decide by majority, shall decide on the dispute on the basis of the provisions of this Protocol and the applicable rules of international law. Its decision is final and binding on the parties to the dispute.
7. The decision of the arbitral tribunal shall be communicated to the parties to the dispute and to the Secretary General of the Benelux Union.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Plenipotentiaries have signed this Protocol and put it on its seal.
DONE at The Hague on 17 June 2008 in three copies, in French and Dutch, both texts being equally authentic.

DECLARATION
At the time of the signing of the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union of 3 February 1958 (hereinafter: the Treaty), the Plenipotentiaries of the High Contracting Parties adopted the following declaration:
Concerning the joint programme of work
The joint programme of work referred to in Article 3, paragraph 1erof the Treaty shall be established for a period of four years. The Committee of Ministers examines every two years the need to adapt the joint programme of work according to the procedure provided for in Article 6, paragraph 2, subparagraph (b), of the Treaty. The annual plan referred to in Article 6, paragraph 2, subparagraph (d), of the Treaty ensures the implementation of the joint programme of work.
Elements of a joint programme of work that will take place from the date of entry into force of this Treaty are annexed to this Declaration.
This initial joint work programme must ensure continuity between the current Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union and the revised Treaty establishing the Benelux Union. It must also allow the gradual transition to the deepening and widening of the Benelux tasks in order to be able to boost mutual cooperation in a modified international context.
The implementation of this work programme requires political leadership and senior officials. The High Contracting Parties will ensure that this is effectively done and if necessary at the ministerial level.
The General Secretariat is implementing the elements of the joint programme of work. It periodically assesses all cooperative activities and initiates subsequent appropriate actions. It supports diplomatic, logistical and administrative cooperation and reports on the results achieved.
Concerning the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers Benelux
At the time of the Treaty's entry into force, Article 9, paragraph 2, of the Treaty will be implemented as follows:
(a) If the Treaty enters into force before 1er October of a given year, the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers shall be held, for the remaining period of the calendar year from the date of entry into force, by the High Contracting Party which shall hold the presidency on the date of entry into force under Article 20, paragraph 2, of the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union of 3 February 1958.
(b) If the Treaty enters into force on 1er October of a given year or after that date, the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers shall be assured, for the remaining period of the calendar year from the date of entry into force, by the High Contracting Party which shall exercise the presidency on 1er January of the year following the year of entry into force under Article 20, paragraph 2, of the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union of 3 February 1958.
Concerning representation in the Benelux Council
The representative(s) of each of the High Contracting Parties referred to in Article 13, paragraph 1er, of the Treaty, shall serve in public services in the High Contracting Parties the functions of Secretary-General, Director-General or leadership at a comparable level.
Concerning contacts between the High Contracting Parties and the Benelux Union
Each High Contracting Party shall designate a point of contact which shall act as coordinator in the relations between the High Contracting Party concerned and the Benelux Union.
Concerning article 29, paragraph 3
Negotiations on the conclusion of a supplementary agreement between the Kingdom of Belgium and the Benelux Union will open as soon as possible after the signing in order to close them in the short term. Among other things, this agreement aims to achieve a more balanced composition of the General Secretariat.
Budget
1. The Convention of 14 January 1964 between the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg concluded pursuant to Article 37, paragraph 2, of the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union is deemed to have been concluded pursuant to Article 22, paragraph 2, of the Treaty.
2. Within three months of the entry into force of the Treaty, the Committee of Ministers shall determine by decision referred to in Article 6, paragraph 2, subparagraph (a), of the Treaty which representative of which High Contracting Party to the Council acts as a person referred to in Article 26, paragraph 2, of the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union.
For the consultation of the table, see image