to ensure the security of international commerce against the surprises of
war, and wishing, in accordance with modern practice, to protect as far as
possible operations undertaken in good faith and in process of being
carried out before the outbreak of hostilities, have resolved to conclude
a Convention to this effect, and have appointed the following persons as
after having deposited their full powers, found in good and due form, have
agreed upon the following provisions:
a merchant ship belonging to one of the belligerent Powers is at the
commencement of hostilities in an enemy port, it is desirable that it
should be allowed to depart freely, either immediately, or after a
reasonable number of days of grace, and to proceed, after being furnished
with a pass, direct to its port of destination or any other port
same rule should apply in the case of a ship which has left its last port
of departure before the commencement of the war and entered a port
belonging to the enemy while still ignorant that hostilities had broken
merchant ship unable, owing to circumstances of force majeure, to leave
the enemy port within the period contemplated in the above article, or
which was not allowed to leave, cannot be confiscated.
belligerent may only detain it, without payment of compensation, but
subject to the obligation of restoring it after the war, or requisition it
on payment of compensation.
merchant ships which left their last port of departure before the
commencement of the war, and are encountered on the high seas while still
ignorant of the outbreak of hostilities cannot be confiscated. They are
only liable to detention on the understanding that they shall be restored
after the war without compensation, or to be requisitioned, or even
destroyed, on payment of compensation, but in such cases provision must be
made for the safety of the persons on board as well as the security of the
touching at a port in their own country or at a neutral port, these ships
are subject to the laws and customs of maritime war.
cargo on board the vessels referred to in Articles 1 and 2 is likewise
liable to be detained and restored after the termination of the war
without payment of compensation, or to be requisitioned on payment of
compensation, with or without the ship.
same rule applies in the case of cargo on board the vessels referred to in
present Convention does not affect merchant ships whose build shows that
they are intended for conversion into war-ships.
provisions of the present Convention do not apply except between
Contracting Powers, and then only if all the belligerents are Parties to
present Convention shall be ratified as soon as possible. The
ratifications shall be deposited at The Hague.
first deposit of ratifications shall be recorded in a procès-verbal
signed by the representatives of the Powers which take part therein and by
the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs.
subsequent deposits of ratifications shall be made by means of a written
notification addressed to the Netherlands Government and accompanied by
the instrument of ratification.
duly certified copy of the procès-verbal relative to the first deposit of
ratifications, of the notifications mentioned in the preceding paragraph,
as well as of the instruments of ratification, shall be at once sent by
the Netherlands Government, through the diplomatic channel, to the Powers
invited to the Second Peace Conference, as well as to the other Powers
which have adhered to the Convention. In the cases contemplated in the
preceding paragraph, the said Government shall at the same time inform
them of the date on which it received the notification.
Powers may adhere to the present Convention.
Power which desires to adhere notifies in writing its intention to the
Netherlands Government, forwarding to it the act of adhesion, which shall
be deposited in the archives of the said Government.
said Government shall at once transmit to all the other Powers a duly
certified copy of the notification as well as of the act of adhesion,
stating the date on which it received the notification.
present Convention shall come into force, in the case the of the Powers
which were a party to the first deposit of ratifications, I be sixty days
after the date of the procès-verbal of that deposit, and, in the case of
the Powers which ratify subsequently or which adhere, sixty days after the
notification of their ratification or of their adhesion has been received
by the Netherlands Government.
the event of one of the Contracting Powers wishing to denounce the present
Convention, the denunciation shall be notified in writing to the
Netherlands Government, which shall at once communicate a certified copy
of the notification to all the other Powers, informing them of the date on
which it was received.
denunciation shall only have effect in regard to the notifying Power, and
one year after the notification has reached the Netherlands Government.
register kept by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall give the date of
the deposit of ratifications made in virtue of Article 7, paragraphs 3 and
4, as well as the date on which the notifications of adhesion (Article 8,
paragraph 2) or of denunciation (Article 10, paragraph 1) have been
Contracting Power is entitled to have access to this register and to be
supplied with certified extracts from it.
faith whereof the Plenipotentiaries have appended to the present
Convention their signatures.