Standards and Guidelines

Stakeholder consultation and status of preparation

The draft regulations on exploitation of mineral resources in the Area (ISBA/25/C/WP.1) require that certain standards and guidelines be developed by the organs of ISA to support the implementation of the regulations. The standards will be legally binding on contractors and ISA, whereas the guidelines will be recommendatory in nature.
During the 25th session, the Council requested that the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) undertake work on standards and guidelines as a matter of priority, noting the proposed process and schedule for the development of standards and guidelines contained in ISBA/25/C/19/Add.1, Annex and Enclosures I and II. The LTC recommended a three-phase approach, as follows:
Phase 1: Standards and guidelines deemed necessary to be in place by the time of adoption of the draft regulations on exploitation.
Phase 2: Standards and guidelines deemed necessary to be in place prior to the receipt of an application of a plan of work for exploitation.
Phase 3: Standards and guidelines deemed necessary to be in place before commercial mining activities commence in the Area.
The process recommended by the LTC for the development of these standards and guidelines includes the circulation of the drafts for stakeholder consultations.

Documents currently available for consultation
The following draft standards and guidelines are open for stakeholder consultation until 7 June 2021 3 July 2021. Please follow the instructions provided below to submit your comments.

Please note that these documents are unedited drafts and provided for the limited purpose of stakeholder consultation and not for citation or other uses.

General Instructions for submission

  • ISA’s member States, observers and other stakeholders may submit written comments in either .doc or .docx format using the review template. Specific review instructions are included in the template.
  • All comments must be submitted in English or be accompanied by a courtesy English translation.
  • Comments must be submitted to the secretariat at no later than the prescribed deadline for each draft standard or guideline.

Completed stakeholder consultation
Phase 1

The comments received are available here.

Overview of the status of preparation of standards and guidelines

For enquiries, please contact: Mr. Nathan Eastwood, Legal Officer, Office of Legal Affairs, ISA at