CONVENTION (VI) RELATING TO THE STATUS
OF ENEMY MERCHANT SHIPS AT THE
OUTBREAK OF HOSTILITIES
Signed at The Hague, 18 October 1907
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: No rule of international law existed before the adoption of the present Convention preventing belligerent states from confiscating enemy merchantmen in their harbour or on the high seas at the outbreak of a war. From the beginning of the Crimean War, in 1854, it became a usage followed by some countries that enemy vessels in the harbours of the belligerent should be granted a reasonable time to depart unmolested and that such vessels, if met at sea, should be permitted to continue their voyage. It was, however, not before the Second Hague Peace Conference that binding rules to this effect were adopted.
ENTRY INTO FORCE: 26 January 1910.
AUTHENTIC TEXT: French. The English translation below is reprinted from Scott, Hague Conventions, pp. 141–145. It reproduces the translation of the United States Department of State. The marginal titles added to the Convention have no official character.
TEXT PUBLISHED IN: Conference internationale de la Paix, 1907, pp. 644–646 (French); Les deux Conférences de la Paix, pp. 123–126 (French); Scott, Hague Conventions, pp. 141–145 (Engl.); Scott, Les Conventions de La Haye, pp. 141–145 (French); Scott, Les Conférences de La Haye, pp. 70–72 (French); Martens, NRGT, 3ème série, Vol. III, pp. 533–556 (French, German); Deltenre, pp. 296–304 (Engl., French, German, Dutch); GBTS, 1910, No. 10, Cd. 5031 (Engl., French); BFSP, Vol. 100, 1906–1907, pp. 365–377 (French); CTS, Vol. 205, pp. 305–318 (French); Wilson-Tucker, pp. Lxxi-Lxxra (Engl.); AJIL, Vol. 2, 1908, Suppl., pp. 127–133 pp. 141–142 (Engl.); Friedman, pp. 332–337 (Engl.); Ronzitti, pp. 93–101 (Engl., French); Droit des conflits armés, pp. 1101–1107 (French); Korovin, p. 388 (Russ.); Arellano, p. 374 (Span. extract); Bricefio, pp. 218–219 (Span. — extract); Revista de Derecho Internacional y politico exterior, Cronica, Afio III, 1907, pp. 87–88 (Span.); Bustamante, Vol. II, pp. 315–320 (Span.); Ceppi, pp. 358–359 (Span. — extract); ICRC website: www.org/ihl.nsf (Engl., French, Span.).
|Merchant ships in enemy ports||1|
|Enemy merchant ships on high seas||3|
|Merchant ships intended for conversion into warships||5|