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Determines The Extent Of The Maritime Areas Under The Sovereignty Or National Jurisdiction And The Powers That The Portuguese State Them Exercises As Well As The Powers Exercised On The High Seas

Original Language Title: Determina a extensão das zonas marítimas sob soberania ou jurisdição nacional e os poderes que o Estado português nelas exerce bem como os poderes exercidos no alto mar

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Exhibition of Motives

Portugal is part of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, signed in

December 10, 1982, and of the Agreement Relating to the Application of Part XI of the Convention,

both approved, for ratification, by the Resolution of the Assembly of the Republic n.

60-B/97, of April 3, 1997, and both ratified through the Decree of the President of the

Republic No 67-A/97 of October 14.

About Portugal impend, in the quality of State-Party, the obligation to adapt the

their respective internal legal planning to the scheme of the said Convention.

The design of the Law of the Sea is based on a fundamental basis: the maritime areas.

As far as these are concerned, International Law deals, on the one hand, of the limits of these

zones and, on the other hand, of the rights and obligations of states in those areas.

The autonomization of the boundaries of maritime areas with respect to the regime in these areas

vigour occurs also in the plan of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, to which

integrates the matter of boundaries of maritime zones in the absolute reserve of competence

legislative of the Assembly of the Republic.

One of the key aspects of the conformation of the internal legal planning of

Portugal to the mentioned Convention relates to the determination of limits

exteriors of the maritime areas, whose current legislation is very lacking in updating,

with a view to the creation of a single and consolidated framework on zone boundaries

maritime and the clarification of the spatial scope of sovereign and jurisdictional powers

by the Portuguese state at sea.

In addition, it matters to still prepare the bases for the compliance to the brief excerpment, in the

framework of the said Convention, of the obligation to publicized in the international plan of the

limits of the maritime areas of Portugal.

In this context, aiming at the above mentioned objectives, the regime on zone boundaries

maritime ora approved, provides, among other aspects and in addition to consolidation in a

only diploma of the boundaries of maritime areas, various changes to the regime so far


beholdant, such as: the consecration of a contiguous area, concerning customs matter,

tax, sanitary, immigration or underwater cultural heritage, whose outer limit

will be 24 nautical miles from the baselines; the change of the outer boundary of the

continental shelf for the 200 nautical miles to be counted from the baselines, with the

express prediction of the possibility of extension of this maritime area beyond this limit of

200 nautical miles, in the conventional terms, up to the outer edge of the margin

continental, through a process that will formally begin with the presentation of

a proposal to the continental shelf boundaries commission, until May 13, 2009,

the regulation of the aspects on the geographical coordinate lists to be prepared for

to note the conventional obligation of international publicitation of the limits of the

maritime areas of Portugal; and the clarification of the understanding of some terms

technicians used in the said Convention and in the legislation referred to the Law of the Sea,

for the purposes of greater accuracy in the interpretation of the relevant provisions.

On the other hand, the diversity of legislative acts confers powers on the various

services and bodies of the State lacks a common own regime that allows for a

uniformity of procedures both from an internal point of view, and at the level


There is, therefore, a need to make passing a legal regime in which those powers

come regulated in an integrated way for all services and bodies of the State

who exercise skills at sea, specifically the exercise of activities of

supervision, of the right to visit and their procedures, the boarding, the

procedures to be taken in the event of a need for suspension of the right of way

inoffensive and established the duty of cooperation among the organs of the state.

The self-governing bodies of the autonomous regions were heard.


Under the terms of the paragraph d) of Article 197 (1) of the Constitution, the Government presents to the

Assembly of the Republic the following proposal for a law:



General provisions

Article 1.

Object and scope

1-A This Law regulates:

a) The boundaries of maritime areas under sovereignty or national jurisdiction;

b) The exercise of powers of the Portuguese state in the maritime areas under

sovereignty or national jurisdiction and on the high seas.

2-The provisions of this Law shall be without prejudice to the powers exercised by the Portuguese State

in the maritime areas of third States or in specific maritime areas, in the

terms defined in International Law.

Article 2.

Maritime areas under sovereignty or national jurisdiction

They are maritime areas under sovereignty or national jurisdiction the inland waters, the sea

territorial, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf.

Article 3.


The provisions of this Law are interpreted in accordance with the principles and

standards of International Law, specifically those provided for in the Convention of Nations

United on the Law of the Sea, December 10, 1982.

Article 4.

Technical terms

For the purposes of the determination of maritime areas, pursuant to this Law, it shall be understood

if by:


a) "Costa", any island formations of reduced size,

particularly short-blown short, and permanent port facilities;

b) "straight line", the line corresponds to a loxodromic line;

c) "Equidistant line between two states", the line consisting of points

equidistant from the points closest to the normal baselines of each

of the States;

d) "Zero hydrographic", the baseline level of the low-sea line of cards

official Portuguese nautical officers;

e) "Nautical mile", the distance corresponding to a thousand eight hundred and fifty and

two meters.


Limits of maritime areas

Article 5.


1-A normal baseline is the low-sea line along the coast, represented in the

official nautical letters of greater scale.

2-The straight-line lines and the closing lines adopted by the Portuguese State are

defined in a legislative act of its own.

Article 6.

Outer boundary of the territorial sea

The outer boundary of the territorial sea is the line whose points dismiss 12 nautical miles from the

point closer to the baselines.

Article 7.

Outer boundary of the contiguous zone

The outer boundary of the contiguous zone is the line whose points dismiss 24 nautical miles from the

point closer to the baselines.


Article 8.

External limit of the exclusive economic zone

The outer limit of the exclusive economic zone is the line whose points dismiss 200 miles

Nautical of the point closest to the baselines.

Article 9.

Outer boundary of the continental shelf

The outer boundary of the continental shelf is the line whose points define the board

exterior of the continental margin, or the line whose dots dismiss 200 nautical miles from the

point closer to the baselines, in cases where the outer edge of the margin

continental do not reach that distance.

Article 10.

Delimitation of maritime boundaries

Unless otherwise established by international convention, or other practice

is adopted on a provisional basis, the maritime border of the Portuguese State with the

States with adjacent shores or situated front-facing is constituted by the line



Subareas and geographical coordinates

Article 11.

Subareas of the exclusive economic zone

1-A The exclusive economic zone is divided into the following subareas:

a) Subarea 1-Subarea of the Continent;

b) Subarea 2-Subarea of the Wood;


c) Subarea 3-Subarea of the Azores.

2-Subareas mentioned in the preceding paragraph may be subdivided for purposes

specific, by means of regulatory act to be approved by the competent authorities

on the grounds of matter.

Article 12.

Geographical coordinates

1-In the framework of the international obligations of the Portuguese State, the relevant lists of

geographical coordinates referring to the outer limits of the territorial sea, of the area

contiguous, exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf are approved

by legislative act of its own.

2-They are also approved by legislative act of their own co-ordinated lists

geographical areas referring to the lines referred to in Article 10.

3-The geographical coordinate lists referred to in this article are deposited

together with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.


Powers of the State

Article 13.

Scope of powers

The powers to be exercised by the Portuguese State in the sea comprise, without prejudice to the

established in special legislation, those that are enshrined:

a) On norms and principles of International Law that bind the State


b) In the provisions of this Law.


Article 14.

Competent entities

The exercise of the authority of the Portuguese state in the maritime areas under its sovereignty

or jurisdiction and on the high seas, as defined in the following articles and in legislation

own, compete for the entities, services and bodies that exercise the power of

maritime authority in the framework of the Maritime Authority System, the Navy and the

Air Force, within the framework of their respective competences.

Article 15.

Duty of cooperation

The entities, services and bodies referred to in the previous article, which do not possess

means appropriate to the exercise of their respective competences, they shall establish

protocols with the Navy, with the Air Force, with the National Maritime Authority,

with the Republican National Guard Fiscal Brigade, or with other entities

public with own naval or aerial means, which are revealed to be adjusted to the pursuit

of the respective missions.

Article 16.

Activities for the supervision and exercise of the right to visit

1-Within the scope of the supervisory activities, it may be exercised, under the Law

International and domestic law, the right to visit on all vessels,

boats or other floating devices, national or foreign, other than

of those who enjoy immunity:

a) In the territorial sea, when there are founded grounds to assume that the

passage of this vessel is detrimental to peace, good order or security


b) In the contiguous zone, when necessary to avoid infringements of laws and

regulations relating to customs, tax, health, immigration or

of underwater cultural heritage, or to crack down on infringements of laws and


regulations occurring on national territory;

c) In the exclusive economic zone, in the frame:

i) Of the rights of sovereignty relating to exploitation and exploitation,

conservation and management of natural resources, living or not living, and the

exploration and exploitation of this area for economic purposes;

ii) From the exercise of jurisdiction in what concerne, specifically, the protection

and preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific research and islands

artificial, installations and structures.

2-The right of visit covers the situations in which a ship, a vessel or other

floating device find itself in preparations for any of the activities

referred to in the preceding paragraph and in which there are founded grounds to assume that

a ship, a vessel or a floating device violated the domestic law or

the International Law applicable in that maritime area.

3-If, in the course of supervision activity, the vessel or vessel does not accrate the

order to stop can be undertaken persecution, in the terms of law


Article 17.

Ships enjoying immunity in the territorial sea

In the territorial sea, dealing with a ship that enjoys immunity, and if there are

grounds founded to assume that the passage of that ship is detrimental to peace, to good

order or national security, the immediate exit of the territorial sea may be required,

being this fact communicated to the diplomatic authorities of the respective State of


Article 18.

Right of visit on the high seas

The right to visit on the high seas can be exercised when:

a) There are founded motifs to assume that a ship flying the flag

national infringed the domestic law or international law;

b) For foreign ships, the Portuguese State has jurisdiction in


compliance with International Law.

Article 19.

Procedure of the visit on board

1-Case if it constate the practice of illicit during the onboard visit, it is raised auto de

news relating to the verified offences, the precautionary measures are applied

appropriate, specifically the seizure of the goods and documents constituting the

means of proof, the detention of the offenders ' crewmembers and the boarding of the ship.

2-A visit on board is mentioned in the shipping journal, or board registration

equivalent, and it shall be carried out a report in which it is const, specifically,

the identification and position of the vessel, the fundamentals and results of the exercise of the

right of visit, and the possible precautionary measures that have been applied.

3-The report regarding the onboard visit is sent to the relevant national authorities

and, dealing with a foreign vessel, to the diplomatic authorities of the State of


Article 20.

Rushing of the ship

1-In the event that the offender ship is rushed, it is ordered to transit to port

portuguese where it is at the order of the competent authority.

2-Of the occurrence is raised self-made news regarding the verified offences, which is

referred from followed by the competent authority.


Final and transitional provisions

Article 21.

Abrogation standard

They are revoked:

a) The Law n . 2080, of March 21, 1956;


b) The Law n . 2130, of August 22, 1966;

c) The Act No. 33/77 of May 28;

d) The Decree-Law No. 119/78 of July 1.

Article 22.

Transitional arrangement

Until the entry into force of the legislative act referred to in Article 12 (1), they shall remain

in force Articles 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Decree-Law No. 119/78 of July 1, as well as

the respective attachments.

Seen and approved in Council of Ministers of February 2, 2006.

The Prime Minister

The Minister of the Presidency

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs