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To carry out the task which has been confided to it by the terms of the present convention, the International Commission shall establish such administrative, technical, sanitary and financial services as may be considered necessary. The commission shall appoint and pay the personnel of these services and define their duties.
The Commission may thus establish at its headquarters:—
1. A permanent secretariat, of which the departmental chief shall be chosen from among the subjects of a non-riparian state represented on the commission.
2. A technical department, of which the chief shall be appointed, if he belongs to a non-riparian state, whether represented or not on the commission, by the statutory majority of its members, or, if he belongs to a riparian state of the Danube, by the unanimous vote of the commission.
3. A navigation service, of which the departmental chief shall be selected from among the subjects of a European state not represented on the commission.
4. An accounting and tax-controlling department, of which the chief shall be chosen from among the subjects of a riparian or non-riparian state, whether represented or not on the commission.
These heads of departments shall be assisted by functionaries, chosen preferably and, equally, as far as possible, from among the subjects of the riparian states. These functionaries are international; they are appointed, paid and may only be dismissed by the commission.
Each riparian state shall designate suitable functionaries, whose duties, within the limits of the frontiers of their respective states, shall be to place their services and local experience at the disposal of the high functionaries of the International Commission and to assist them in the execution of their work.
Riparian states shall afford the commission's functionaries all necessary facilities for the accomplishment of their duties. These functionaries, who shall be in possession of a warrant from the commission setting forth their official position, shall have the right to circulate freely on the river and in the ports and other places where public loading and discharging is carried out; the local authorities in every riparian state shall afford them assistance in the execution of their duties. The police and customs formalities to which they may necessarily be subjected shall be carried out so as not to interfere with their duties.
The properly qualified functionaries of the commission shall report every offence against the navigation and police regulations to the competent local authorities, who are required to apply the appropriate punishments and to inform the commission of the measures taken in respect of the offence of which they were notified.
Each riparian state shall indicate to the commission the courts which are appointed to deal in first instance and on appeal with the offences referred to in the preceding paragraph. The commission's representative who has reported the offence shall, if occasion requires, be heard before these courts, which should be situated as close to the river as possible.
In judicial actions relative to navigation on the Danube which may be brought before a court of a riparian state, special bail (caution judicatum solvi) may not be demanded from foreigners either on account of their nationality or owing to their not having a domicile or residence or not possessing effects in the country in which the tribunal is situated.
The captain of a vessel may not be prevented from continuing his voyage on account of an action having been instituted against him once he has furnished the surety required by the judge in respect of the action itself.
In order to maintain and improve navigable conditions on the section of the Danube between Turnu-Severin and Moldova, known as the Iron Gates and Cataracts, the two riparian states concerned and the International Commission shall by agreement set up special technical and administrative services with central headquarters at Orsova, without prejudice to other auxiliary services which, in case of necessity, may be established at other points of the section. With the exception of the pilots, who may be selected from the subjects of any country, the personnel of these services shall be provided and appointed by the two riparian states; this personnel shall be placed under the direction of heads of services selected by the same states and approved by the International Commission.
The commission, on the basis of proposals made by the services referred to in the preceding article, shall decide on the measures which may be usefully undertaken in respect of the upkeep and improvement of the navigable conditions and of the administration of the section, as well as of the dues or other resources required to meet the expenditure involved, subject to the condition, however, that no financial obligation shall be imposed on any of the governments represented on the commission.
The commission shall draw up special regulations to govern the working of these services, the method of collecting the dues and the payment of the personnel.
The commission shall place at the disposal of these services the equipment, buildings and fixtures referred to in Article 288 of the Treaty of Trianon.
When the natural difficulties which have occasioned the institution of these special administrative measures have disappeared, the commission may decide to abolish them and to place the section under the same administrative system, in respect of works and dues, which obtains on other frontier sections of the waterway.
The commission may, if it so decides, apply a similar administrative system to other parts of the waterway which offer the same natural difficulties to navigation, and may likewise abolish that system under the conditions set forth in the preceding article.
The International Commission determines its own method of procedure by regulations drawn up in plenary session. When establishing the annual budget, the commission will decide upon the measures to be adopted to meet the general expenses of its administration. The commission fixes the number of its ordinary and extraordinary sessions and the place where they shall be held, and constitutes a permanent executive committee, composed of the commissioners or their deputies present at the seat of the commission, and responsible for carrying out the decisions taken during the plenary session and for the proper conduct of the service.
The presidency of the commission is held for a period of six months by each delegation in turn in the alphabetical order of the states represented. The commission may only validly deliberate when two-thirds of its members are present.
Decisions are taken by a majority vote of two-thirds of the members present.
The statutory seat of the International Commission shall be at Bratislava for a period of five years from the date of the coming into force of this convention.
At the expiration of that period, the commission shall have the right to change its seat, for a further period of five years, to another town situated on the Danube, by virtue of a system of rotation which shall be decided by the commission.
The property of the International Commission and the person of the commissioners are entitled to the privileges and immunities which are accorded in peace and war to accredited diplomatic agents.
The commission shall have the right to fly on its buildings and vessels a flag, of which it shall itself determine the description and color.
All question relative to the interpretation and application of the present convention shall be submitted to the commission.
A state which is prepared to allege that a decision of the International Commission is ultra vires or violates the convention may, within six months, submit the matter to the special jurisdiction set up for that purpose by the League of Nations. A demand for a ruling under the aforesaid conditions, based on any other grounds, may only be preferred by the state or states territorially interested.
When a state neglects to carry out a decision taken by the commission in virtue of the powers which it holds from the convention, the dispute may be submitted to the jurisdiction referred to in the preceding paragraph, in the conditions provided for in the rules of the said jurisdiction.
IV. General Stipulations.
The International Commission of the Danube and the European Commission of the Danube shall take all measures necessary to ensure, so far as it is possible and advisable, a uniform system of administration for the Danube.
The two commissions shall, for this purpose, regularly exchange all information, documents, minutes, plans and projects which may interest both. They may by agreement draw up certain identic regulations relative to the navigation and policing of the river.
The states signatory of the present convention shall endeavor, by the conclusion of separate conventions, to establish uniform civil, commercial, sanitary and veterinary regulations relative to the exercise of navigation and to shipping contracts.
All treaties, conventions, acts and agreements relative to international waterways generally and particularly to the Danube and its mouths, which are in force when the present convention is signed, are maintained in all and sundry of their stipulations which are not abrogated or modified by the preceding stipulations.
At the expiration of five years from the date of its coming into force, the present statute may be revised if two-thirds of the signatory states so request and specify the stipulations which appear to them to require revision.
This request shall be addressed to the Government of the French Republic, which will summon, within six months, a conference in which all the states signatory of the present convention shall be invited to take part.
The provisions of the present convention shall be interpreted in the sense that they shall not infringe the stipulations of the treaties of peace as indicated in Articles 327 (paragraph 3), 332 (paragraph 2) and 378 of the Treaty of Versailles and the corresponding articles of the Treaties of SaintGermain, Neuilly and Trianon.
The present convention shall be ratified and the ratifications deposited at Paris as soon as possible, and at latest before the 31st March, 1922.2 The present convention shall come into operation three months after the deposit of the ratifications.
In witness whereof the above-mentioned plenipotentiaries have signed the present convention, drawn up in a single copy, which shall be deposited in the archives of the Government of the French Republic, a certified copy being transmitted to each of the signatory powers.
Done at Paris, the 23rd July, 1921.
(L.S.) J. BRUNET.
(L.S.) A. LEGRAND.
(L.S.) JOHN BALDWIN.
(L.S.) A. ANDRÉADÈS.
(L.S.) VANNUTELLI REY.
(L.S.) CONST. CONTZESCO.
(L.S.) M. G. RISTITCH.
(L.S.) ING. BOHUSLAV MÜLler.
(L.S.) DR. ONDRACZEK.
(L.S.) GEORGES LAZAROFF.
(L.S.) E. DE MIKLOS.
At the time of signing the act establishing the definitive statute of the Danube and with a view to making its meaning more precise, the undersigned plenipotentiaries have agreed as follows:
2 By Additional Protocol signed at Paris dated March 31, 1922, this period was prolonged until June 30, 1922.