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5 . Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes
Helsinki, 17 March 1992
Entry into force
6 October 1996, in accordance with article 26(1).
Registration :
6 October 1996, No. 33207
Status :
Signatories : 26. Parties : 41. 1
Text :
United Nations,  Treaty Series , vol. 1936, p. 269.
Note :
The Convention was adopted by the Senior Advisers to the Economic Commission for Europe Governments on Environmental and Water Problems at their Resumed Fifth Session held at Helsinki from 17 to 18 March 1992. The Convention was opened for signature at Helsinki from 17 to 18 March 1992 and was open for signature at United Nations Headquarters in New York until 18 September 1992.
Ratification, Accession(a), Acceptance(A), Approval(AA)
18 Mar 1992
 5 Jan 1994
18 Mar 1992
25 Jul 1996
   3 Aug 2000 a
  29 May 2003 a
18 Mar 1992
 8 Nov 2000
Bosnia and Herzegovina
   3 Dec 2009 a
18 Mar 1992
28 Oct 2003
   8 Jul 1996 a
Czech Republic
  12 Jun 2000 a
Denmark 2
18 Mar 1992
28 May 1997 AA
18 Mar 1992
16 Jun 1995
European Union
18 Mar 1992
14 Sep 1995 AA
18 Mar 1992
21 Feb 1996 A
France 3
18 Mar 1992
30 Jun 1998 AA
18 Mar 1992
30 Jan 1995
18 Mar 1992
 6 Sep 1996
18 Mar 1992
 2 Sep 1994 AA
18 Mar 1992
23 May 1996
  11 Jan 2001 a
18 Mar 1992
10 Dec 1996
  19 Nov 1997 a
18 Mar 1992
28 Apr 2000
20 May 1992
 7 Jun 1994
  23 Jun 2014 a
Netherlands 4
18 Mar 1992
14 Mar 1995 A
18 Sep 1992
 1 Apr 1993 AA
18 Mar 1992
15 Mar 2000
Portugal 5
 9 Jun 1992
 9 Dec 1994
Republic of Moldova
   4 Jan 1994 a
18 Mar 1992
31 May 1995
Russian Federation
18 Mar 1992
 2 Nov 1993 A
  27 Aug 2010 a
   7 Jul 1999 a
  13 Apr 1999 a
18 Mar 1992
16 Feb 2000
18 Mar 1992
 5 Aug 1993
18 Mar 1992
23 May 1995
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  28 Jul 2015 a
  29 Aug 2012 a
   8 Oct 1999 a
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
18 Mar 1992
   4 Sep 2007 a
Declarations and Reservations
(Unless otherwise indicated, the declarations and reservations were made
upon ratification, accession, acceptance or approval.)

       "The Republic of Austria declares in accordance with article 22 paragraph 2 of the Convention, that it accepts both of the means of dispute settlement mentioned in this paragraph as compulsory in relation to any Party accepting an obligation concerning one or both these means of dispute settlement."

France 3

3 January 1999

       The Government of the French Republic, in approving the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, declares that reference to the concept of reasonable and equitable use of transboundary waters does not constitute recognition of a principle of customary law, but illustrates a principle of cooperation between Parties to the Convention; the scope of such cooperation is specified in agreements, to which the Convention between States bordering the same transboundary waters - such agreements being concluded on the basis of equality and reciprocity.


Declaration made upon signature and confirmed upon ratification:
       "The Federal Republic of Germany, in order to protect information related to personal data according to its national law, reserves the right to supply personal data only under the condition that the part receiving such protected information shall respect the confidentiality of the information received and the conditions under which it is supplied, and shall only use that information for the purposes for which it was supplied".


       [Same declaration, identical in essence , mutatis mutandis,  as the one made under Austria.]


       “The Republic of Lithuania declares that, for a dispute not resolved in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 22 it accepts the means of dispute settlement provided in paragraph 2 (b) of Article 22 of the said Convention.”


Declaration made upon signature and confirmed upon acceptance:
       "The Kingdom of the Netherlands accepts for a dispute not resolved in accordance with paragraph 1 of article 22 of the Convention both the following means of dispute settlement as compulsory in relation to any Party accepting the same obligation:
       ( a ) Submission of the dispute to the International Court of Justice;
       ( b ) Arbitration in accordance with the procedure set out in annex IV."


Declaration made upon accesion:
       “In accordance with Article 22 paragraph 2 of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, the Republic of Serbia declares that, for a dispute not resolved in accordance with paragraph 1 of the Article 22, it accepts both means of dispute settlement in the manner and under the conditions referred to in Article 22 paragraphs 2 and 3.”


       In relation to article 3, paragraph 1 (c), the Spanish State takes it that the limits for waste-water discharges stated in permits shall guarantee, in any case, respect for the water-quality criteria of the receiving environment, based on the best available technologies and the technical features of the affected installation, its geographical site and local environmental conditions.

End Note
1.For the purpose of entry into force of the [Convention/Protocol] , any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession deposited by a regional economic integration organization shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by member States of that Organization.
2.With reservation of application to the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
3.On 14 August 1998, the Government of France made a declaration with respect to the above Convention. The said declaration was communicated to all Contracting States by a depositary notification. Within a period of 90 days from the date of the depositary notification (i.e. 5 October 1998), none of the Contracting States to the Convention notified the Secretary-General of an objection. Consequently, the declaration is deemed to have been accepted for deposit on 3 January 1999.
4.For the Kingdom in Europe.
5.On 28 June 1999, the Government of Portugal informed the Secretary-General the the Convention would also apply to Macau.  See note 1 under "Portugal" in the "Historical Information" section in the front matter of this volume.