Oceans and Law of the Sea

Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS)
Outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines:
Submissions to the Commission: Submission by the Russian Federation

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Updated on 30 June 2009

    On 20 December 2001, the Russian Federation made a submission through the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, pursuant to article 76, paragraph 8, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982.

    Read the Press Release 

    The submission contains the information on the proposed outer limits of the continental shelf of the Russian Federation beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured. It is noted that the Convention entered into force for the Russian Federation on 11 April 1997.

    The consideration of the submission made by the Russian Federation shall be included in the agenda of the 10th session of the Commission to be held in New York from 25 March to 12 April 2002. Upon completion of the consideration of the submission, the Commission shall make recommendations in accordance with article 76 of the Convention. The limits of the continental shelf established by the Russian Federation on the basis of these recommendations shall be final and binding. The Secretary-General shall then give due publicity to the limits thus established.

    In accordance with rule 49 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission (CLCS/3/Rev.3 and Corr.1), a communication has been circulated to all States-Members of the United Nations, including States Parties to the Convention, in order to make public the proposed outer limits of the continental shelf pursuant to the submission.

Text of the communication, as circulated (pdf format, unless otherwise specified)

 
Continental Shelf Notification Lists of coordinates Maps
Arctic Ocean Pacific Ocean (page 5:  Unofficial translation of legends to all maps,)
English page 1 page 3 MAP 1: Illustration of limits of the economic zone and the continental shelf of the Russian Federation (jpg)
Français page 2 page 4 MAP 2: Area of the continental shelf of the Russian Federation in the Arctic Ocean beyond 200-nautical-mile zone (jpg)
MAP 3: Outer limits of the continental shelf of the Russian Federation in the Pacific Ocean (jpg)
 

 

Reaction of States to the submission made by the Russian Federation to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf

In response to the note verbale of the Secretary-General, which was circulated in conformity with rule 49 of the Rules of Procedure of the CLCS, and within the three-month period referred to in rule 50 of the Rules, communications were received from Canada, Denmark, Japan, Norway and the United States of America. The contents of these communications were circulated to all Member States of the United Nations and to other States, and were communicated to the Commission at its tenth session (see CLCS/32).
Canada Denmark Japan Norway United States of America
English Français* English Français* English Français* English Français* English Français*

* Translation

    At the 10th session of the Commission, following informal consultations and taking into account the specific elements of the submission as well as the need to ensure, to the extent possible, a balanced scientific and geographical representation, the following seven members of the Commission were nominated to the Subcommission for the consideration of the Russian submission: Alexandre Tagore Medeiros de Albuquerque, Lawrence Folajimi Awosika, Galo Carrera Hurtado, Peter F. Croker, Karl H. F. Hinz, Iain C. Lamont and Yong Ahn Park. The composition of the Subcommission was approved by consensus.

     The Commission confirmed that the Subcommission should be guided in its work, inter alia, by the document entitled “Internal procedure of the subcommission of the Commission on the Limits on the Continental Shelf” (CLCS/L.12), adopted at its ninth session (CLCS/29, para. 9). It was also decided that the Subcommission would use English as its working language.

    The Subcommission elected Galo Carrera Hurtado as its Chairperson, Karl H. F. Hinz as its Vice-Chairperson, and Peter F. Croker as the Rapporteur.

    After the adjournment of the plenary of the Commission, the Subcommission continued its work through 12 April, the end of the tenth session of the Commission. The Subcommission met twice daily and convened 20 meetings. Six afternoon meetings were devoted to consultations in the form of questions and answers between members of the Subcommission and the experts of the delegation of the Russian Federation who had presented their country’s submission during the previous week to the plenary of the Commission.

     A number of points of clarification were sought from members of the Russian delegation and additional data and information were requested. Some of the requested material was submitted during the session and the representatives of the submitting State committed themselves to presenting additional data and information by mid-May, so that at its next meeting the Subcommission could continue the preparation of its recommendations to the Commission in accordance with article 6 (1) of Annex II to the Convention.

     Upon the recommendation of some members of the Subcommission, the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea organized a visit to the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, where several of its members examined the SCICEX-1999 data in the Ocean Drilling Program Data Bank in order to review recent data containing several seismic tracklines and multi-channel seismic and swath bathymetry data.

    Furthermore, the staff of the Division provided, inter alia, the technical infrastructure and technical assistance for the Subcommission by preparing and plotting illustrative maps, created on the basis of the data contained in the submission of the Russian Federation, and assisted in preparing the diagrams and tables for the assessment of the submission.

    The members of the Subcommission expressed their great satisfaction with the technical preparedness of the Division and with the availability of state-of the-art technical equipment, which was used to full advantage by the members in their assessment of the submission. The technical premises set aside for the Subcommission for the examination of the submission were very well situated, allowing the members efficient access to the technical secretariat, the conference facilities and the library of the Division.

    During its eleventh session, held in New York from 24 to 28 June 2002, the Commission deliberated on the recommendations prepared by the Subcommission. The Chairman of the Subcommission, Mr. Carrera, made a presentation on the work of the Subcommission and on the recommendations. He stated, inter alia, that following its establishment during the tenth session of the Commission on 28 March 2002, the Subcommission had undertaken a brief review of the submission and had come to the conclusion that the consideration of the submission would take more than two weeks. That had been reported to the Commission on the same day. He further stated that the Subcommission had reconvened on 1 April and had held a total of 20 meetings between 1 and 12 April 2002. Six afternoon meetings had been devoted to consultations in the form of questions and answers between members of the Subcommission and the group of experts of the delegation of the Russian Federation. Thirty-six questions had been posed by the Subcommission and written answers had been provided by the team of experts of the Russian Federation during the consideration of the Russian submission.

    He further noted that a number of points of clarification had been sought from members of the delegation of the Russian Federation, and additional data and information had also been requested. Some of the requested material had been submitted during the consultations. Other additional materials had been provided to the Subcommission through the Secretariat on 15 May 2002.

    Following those consultations, Mr. Carrera stated, the members of the Subcommission had agreed on the format, contents and main conclusions of a document bearing the working title "Outline recommendations of the Subcommission". Different members of the Subcommission were given the task of drafting the various parts of the document during the inter-sessional period. The Subcommission decided to reconvene in New York from 10 to 14 June 2002, before the expiration of the term of office of the first membership of the Commission on 15 June 2002. The Subcommission met throughout the week of 10 June 2002 to consider the new material which had been submitted and to finalize its recommendations. Upon the completion of its work, the Subcommission submitted its final recommendations dated 14 June 2002 through the Secretariat to the Commission at the present session.

    In the second part of his presentation Mr. Carrera elaborated on substantive elements of the recommendations.

    After a series of deliberations and informal consultations, the Commission concluded its examination of the recommendations prepared by the Subcommission, made several amendments to it and adopted the recommendations of the Commission by consensus. In conformity with the provisions of the Convention, the recommendations of the Commission will be submitted in writing to the coastal State that made the submission, via the Secretariat, and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

    The short summary of the recommendations is contained in the Report of the Secretary-General to the Fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly under the agenda item Oceans and the Law of the Sea (A/57/57/Add.1, paras. 38-41).

Note:
The designations employed in the submissions, including description of the areas, are as contained in the communications from submitting States or in the executive summaries. Their listing on this web site and the presentation of material do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Prepared by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations.

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