Article 7: Transit

The European Communities and their Member States and Austria, Norway, Sweden and Finland declare that the provisions of Article 7 are subject to the conventional rules of international law on jurisdiction over submarine cables and pipelines or, where there are no such rules, to general international law.

They further declare that Article 7 is not intended to affect the interpretation of existing international law on jurisdiction over submarine cables and pipelines, and cannot be considered as doing so.

(1) Each Contracting Party shall take the necessary measures to facilitate the Transit of Energy Materials  and Products consistent with the principle of freedom of transit and without distinction as to the origin, destination or ownership of such Energy Materials and Products or discrimination as to pricing on the basis of such distinctions, and without imposing any unreasonable delays, restrictions or charges

(2) Contracting Parties shall encourage relevant entities to cooperate in:

  • (a) modernising Energy Transport Facilities necessary to the Transit of Energy Materials and Products;
  • (b) the development and operation of Energy Transport Facilities serving the Areas of more than one Contracting Party;
  • (c) measures to mitigate the effects of interruptions in the supply of Energy Materials and Products;
  • (d) facilitating the interconnection of Energy Transport Facilities.

(3) Each Contracting Party undertakes that its provisions relating to transport of Energy Materials and Products and the use of Energy Transport Facilities shall treat Energy Materials and Products in Transit in no less favourable a manner than its provisions treat such materials and products originating in or destined for its own Area, unless an existing international agreement provides otherwise.

(4) In the event that Transit of Energy Materials and Products cannot be achieved on commercial terms by means of Energy Transport Facilities the Contracting Parties shall not place obstacles in the way of new capacity being established, except as may be otherwise provided in applicable legislation which is consistent with paragraph (1).

The applicable legislation would include provisions on environmental protection, land use, safety, or technical standards.

(5) A Contracting Party through whose Area Energy Materials and Products may transit shall not be obliged to

  • (a)  permit the construction or modification of Energy Transport Facilities; or
  • (b)  permit new or additional Transit through existing Energy Transport Facilities,

which it demonstrates to the other Contracting Parties concerned would endanger the security or efficiency of its energy systems, including the security of supply.

Contracting Parties shall, subject to paragraphs (6) and (7), secure established flows of Energy Materials and Products to, from or between the Areas of other Contracting Parties.

(6) A Contracting Party through whose Area Energy Materials and Products transit shall not, in the event of a dispute over any matter arising from that Transit, interrupt or reduce, permit any entity subject to its control to interrupt or reduce, or require any entity subject to its jurisdiction to interrupt or reduce the existing flow of Energy Materials and Products prior to the conclusion of the dispute resolution procedures set out in paragraph (7), except where this is specifically provided for in a contract or other agreement governing such Transit or permitted in accordance with the conciliator’s decision.

(7) The following provisions shall apply to a dispute described in paragraph (6), but only following the exhaustion of all relevant contractual or other dispute resolution remedies previously agreed between the Contracting Parties party to the dispute or between any entity referred to in paragraph (6) and an entity of another Contracting Party party to the dispute:

  • (a)  A Contracting Party party to the dispute may refer it to the Secretary General by a notification summarising the matters in dispute. The Secretary General shall notify all Contracting Parties of any such referral.
  • (b)  Within 30 days of receipt of such a notification, the Secretary General, in consultation with the parties to the dispute and the other Contracting Parties concerned, shall appoint a conciliator. Such a conciliator shall have experience in the matters subject to dispute and shall not be a national or citizen of or permanently resident in a party to the dispute or one of the other Contracting Parties concerned.
  • (c)  The conciliator shall seek the agreement of the parties to the dispute to a resolution thereofor upon a procedure to achieve such resolution. If within 90 days of his appointment he has failed to secure such agreement, he shall recommend a resolution to the dispute or a procedure to achieve such resolution and shall decide the interim tarifs and other terms and conditions to be observed for Transit from a date which he shall specify until the dispute is resolved.
  • (d)  The Contracting Parties undertake to observe and ensure that the entities under their control or jurisdiction observe any interim decision under subparagraph (c) on tarifs, terms and conditions for 12 months following the conciliator’s decision or until resolution of the dispute, whichever is earlier.
  • (e)  Notwithstanding subparagraph (b) the Secretary General may elect not to appoint a conciliator if in his judgement the dispute concerns Transit that is or has been the subject of the dispute resolution procedures set out in subparagraphs (a) to (d) and those proceedings have not resulted in a resolution of the dispute.
  • (f)  The Charter Conference shall adopt standard provisions concerning the conduct of conciliation and the compensation of conciliators.

(8) Nothing in this Article shall derogate from a Contracting Party’s rights and obligations under international law including customary international law, existing bilateral or multilateral agreements, including rules concerning submarine cables and pipelines.

(9) This Article shall not be so interpreted as to oblige any Contracting Party which does not have a certain type of Energy Transport Facilities used for Transit to take any measure under this Article with respect to that type of Energy Transport Facilities. Such a Contracting Party is, however, obliged to comply with paragraph (4).

(10) For the purposes of this Article:

(a)  “Transit” means

  • (i)  the carriage through the Area of a Contracting Party, or to or from port facilities in its Area for loading or unloading, of Energy Materials and Products originating in the Area of another state and destined for the Area of a third state, so long as either the other state or the third state is a Contracting Party; or
  • (ii)  the carriage through the Area of a Contracting Party of Energy Materials and Products originating in the Area of another Contracting Party and destined for the Area of that other Contracting Party, unless the two Contracting Parties concerned decide otherwise and record their decision by a joint entry in Annex N. The two Contracting Parties may delete their listing in Annex N by delivering a joint written notification of their intentions to the Secretariat, which shall transmit that notification to all other Contracting Parties. The deletion shall take effect four weeks after such former notifiation.

(b)  “Energy Transport Facilities” consist of high-pressure gas transmission pipelines, high-voltage electricity transmission grids and lines, crude oil transmission pipelines, coal slurry pipelines, oil product pipelines, and other xed facilities specifically for handling Energy Materials and Products.

Evolution of Article 7:

Basic Protocol (20/08/91):
Article 7(1): Article 9a - Freedom of Movement
Article 7(3): Article 9.b to c - Freedom of Movement
BP 2 (11/09/91):
Article 7(1): Article 11a - Freedom of Movement
Article 7(3): Article 11.b to c - Freedom of Movement
Article 7(5): Article 11d - Freedom of Movement
BA 4 (31/10/91):
Article 7(1): Article 11.1a - Freedom of Movement
Article 7(3): Article 11.1b - Freedom of Movement
Article 7(5): Article 11.2  - Freedom of Movement
BA 6 (21/01/92):
Article 7(1): Article 3.4 – Principles and Article 11.1 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(2): Article 11.2 -Transport and Transit
Article 7(3): Article 11.3 to 11.5 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(4): Article 11.6 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(5): Article 11.8 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(6): Article 11.7 - Transport and Transit
BA 12 (09/04/92)-BA-31 (21/12/92):
Article 7(1): Article 11.1 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(2): Article 11.2 -Transport and Transit
Article 7(3): Article 11.3 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(4): Article 11.4 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(5): Article 11.6 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(6): Article 11.5 - Transport and Transit
BA-35 (09/02/93):
Article 7(1): Article 11.1 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(2): Article 11.2 -Transport and Transit
Article 7(3): Article 11.3 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(4): Article 11.4 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(5): Article 11.5 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(6): Article 11.6 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(8): Article 11.1 - Transport and Transit
BA-37 (01/03/93):
Ministerial Declaration - To Article 11
Article 7(1): Article 11.1 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(2): Article 11.2 -Transport and Transit
Article 7(3): Article 11.3 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(4): Article 11.4 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(5): Article 11.5 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(6): Article 11.6 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(7): Article 11.7 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(8): Article 11.1 - Transport and Transit
(Compromise text) ECT 1 [CONF 50] (15/03/93):
Ministerial Declaration 4 - To Article 8
Article 7(1): Article 8.1 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(2): Article 8.2 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(3): Article 8.3  - Transport and Transit
Article 7(4): Article 8.4 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(5): Article 8.5 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(6): Article 8.6 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(7): Article 8.7 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(8): Article 8.9 - Transport and Transit
ECT 2 [CONF 56] (01/05/93)
Ministerial Declaration 5- To Article 8
Article 7(1): Article 8.1 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(2): Article 8.2 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(3): Article 8.3  - Transport and Transit
Article 7(4): Article 8.4 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(5): Article 8.5 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(6): Article 8.6 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(7): Article 8.7 - Transport and Transit
Article 7(8): Article 8.8 – Transport and Transit
Article 7(9): Article 8.9 – Transport and Transit
ECT 3 [CONF 60] (01/06/93)
Article 7(1): Article 8.1 – Transit
Article 7(2): Article 8.2 - Transit
Article 7(3): Article 8.3 – Transit
Article 7(4): Article 8.4 – Transit + Ministerial Declaration 5 (To Article 8(4))
Article 7(5): Article 8.5 – Transit
Article 7(6): Article 8.6 - Transit
Article 7(7): Article 8.7 - Transit
Article 7(8): Article 8.8 - Transit
Article 7(9): Article 8.9 - Transit
Article 7(10): Article 8.10 - Transit
ECT 4 [CONF 64] (07/07/93)- ECT 6 [CONF 82] (20/12/93):
Article 7(1): Article 8.1 – Transit
Article 7(2): Article 8.2 - Transit
Article 7(3): Article 8.3 – Transit
Article 7(4): Article 8.4 – Transit + Ministerial Declaration 6 (To Article 8(4))
Article 7(5): Article 8.5 – Transit
Article 7(6): Article 8.6 - Transit
Article 7(7): Article 8.7 - Transit
Article 7(8): Article 8.8 - Transit
Article 7(9): Article 8.9 - Transit
Article 7(10): Article 8.10 - Transit
ECT 7 (17/03/94)-Compromise text [CONF 98] (22/04/94):
Article 7(1): Article 8.1 – Transit
Article 7(2): Article 8.2 - Transit
Article 7(3): Article 8.3 – Transit
Article 7(4): Article 8.4 – Transit + Ministerial Declaration 7 (To Article 8(4))
Article 7(5): Article 8.5 – Transit
Article 7(6): Article 8.6 - Transit
Article 7(7): Article 8.7 - Transit
Article 7(8): Article 8.8 - Transit
Article 7(9): Article 8.9 - Transit
Article 7(10): Article 8.10 - Transit
Interim Text (20/06/94)- Interim Text (25/06/94):
Article 7(1): Article 8.1 – Transit
Article 7(2): Article 8.2 - Transit
Article 7(3): Article 8.3 – Transit
Article 7(4): Article 8.4 – Transit + Understanding 8 – To Article 8(4)
Article 7(5): Article 8.5 – Transit
Article 7(6): Article 8.6 - Transit
Article 7(7): Article 8.7 - Transit
Article 7(8): Article 8.8 - Transit
Article 7(9): Article 8.9 - Transit
Article 7(10): Article 8.10 - Transit
CONF 104 (Text for adoption) (14/09/94):
Declaration 2 - With respect to Article 7
Article 7(1): Article 7.1 – Transit
Article 7(2): Article 7.2 - Transit
Article 7(3): Article 7.3 – Transit
Article 7(4): Article 7.4 – Transit + Understanding 8 – With respect to Article 7(4)
Article 7(5): Article 7.5 – Transit
Article 7(6): Article 7.6 - Transit
Article 7(7): Article 7.7 - Transit
Article 7(8): Article 7.8 - Transit
Article 7(9): Article 7.9 – Transit
Article 7(10): Article 7.10 - Transit
Final Act and ECT as adopted (17/12/94):
Declaration 3 - With respect to Article 7
Article 7(1): Article 7.1 – Transit
Article 7(2): Article 7.2 - Transit
Article 7(3): Article 7.3 – Transit
Article 7(4): Article 7.4 – Transit + Understanding 8 – With respect to Article 7(4)
Article 7(5): Article 7.5 - Transit
Article 7(6): Article 7.6 - Transit
Article 7(7): Article 7.7 - Transit
Article 7(8): Article 7.8 - Transit
Article 7(9): Article 7.9 – Transit
Article 7(10): Article 7.10 - Transit