Seabed Council Completes 2013 Session Agenda

The Council of the ISA, at its final meeting of the 19th Session, this morning recommended the adoption by the Assembly of a draft decision to institute a fixed overhead charge of $47,000 to be payable annually by contractors to cover the administration and supervision of contracts and review of their annual reports by the Authority.

By the draft text annexed to the Council’s decision on financial and budgetary matters (ISBA/19/C/16), the Assembly would also decide to amend the standard clauses for exploration contract by the addition of sections 10.5 and 10.6 which shall apply to contracts entered into by the Authority as a result of applications made after the date of adoption of the decision.

The new clauses read as follows:

10.5  The contractor shall pay at the time of submission of the annual report an annual overhead charge of $47,000 (or such sum as may be fixed in accordance with section 10.6 hereof) to cover the Authority’s costs of the administration and supervision of this contract  and of reviewing the reports submitted in accordance with section10.1 hereof.

10.6  The amount of the annual overhead charge may be revised by the Authority to reflect its costs actually and reasonably incurred.

The proposed fixed charges based on the original recommendations of the Finance Committee, dominated debate during the Council’s meetings at this session.  The final version of the decision that emerged was the result of consultations by the President of the Council, Tobias Pierlings (Germany), the Council’s four vice-Presidents, the Secretary-General, the vice-Chairman of the Finance Committee and the Legal Counsel.