a view to harmonizing the divergent views which, in the event of naval
war, are still held on the relations between neutral Powers and
belligerent Powers, and to anticipating the difficulties to which such
divergence of views might give rise;
that, even if it is not possible at present to concert measures applicable
to all circumstances which may in practice occur, it is nevertheless
undeniably advantageous to frame, as far as possible, rules of general
application to meet the case where war has unfortunately broken out;
that, in cases not covered by the present Convention, it is expedient to
take into consideration the general principles of the law of nations;
that it is desirable that the Powers should issue detailed enactments to
regulate the results of the attitude of neutrality when adopted by them;
that it is, for neutral Powers, an admitted duty to apply these rules
impartially to the several belligerents;
that, in this category of ideas, these rules should not, in principle, be
altered, in the course of the war, by a neutral Power, except in a case
where experience has shown the necessity for such change for the
protection of the rights of that Power;
agreed to observe the following common rules, which cannot however modify
provisions laid down in existing general treaties, and have appointed as
their Plenipotentiaries, namely:
after having deposited their full powers, found in good and due form, have
agreed upon the following provisions:
are bound to respect the sovereign rights of neutral Powers and to
abstain, in neutral territory or neutral waters, from any act which would,
if knowingly permitted by any Power, constitute a violation of neutrality.
act of hostility, including capture and the exercise of the right of
search, committed by belligerent war-ships in the territorial waters of a
neutral Power, constitutes a violation of neutrality and is strictly
a ship has been captured in the territorial waters of a neutral Power,
this Power must employ, if the prize is still within its jurisdiction, the
means at its disposal to release the prize with its officers and crew, and
to intern the prize crew.
the prize is not in the jurisdiction of the neutral Power, the captor
Government, on the demand of that Power, must liberate the prize with its
officers and crew.
prize court cannot be set up by a belligerent on neutral territory or on a
vessel in neutral waters.
are forbidden to use neutral ports and waters as a base of naval
operations against their adversaries, and in particular to erect wireless
telegraphy stations or any apparatus for the purpose of communicating with
the belligerent forces on land or sea.
supply, in any manner, directly or indirectly, by a neutral Power to a
belligerent Power, of war-ships, ammunition, or war material of any kind
whatever, is forbidden.
neutral Power is not bound to prevent the export or transit, for the use
of either belligerent, of arms, ammunition, or, in general, of anything
which could be of use to an army or fleet.
neutral Government is bound to employ the means at its disposal to prevent
the fitting out or arming of any vessel within its jurisdiction which it
has reason to believe is intended to cruise, or engage in hostile
operations, against a Power with which that Government is at peace. It is
also bound to display the same vigilance to prevent the departure from its
jurisdiction of any vessel intended to cruise, or engage in hostile
operations, which had been adapted entirely or partly within the said
jurisdiction for use in war.
A neutral Power must apply impartially to the two belligerents the
conditions, restrictions, or prohibitions made by it in regard to the
admission into its ports, roadsteads, or territorial waters, of
belligerent war-ships or of their prizes.
a neutral Power may forbid a belligerent vessel which has failed to
conform to the orders and regulations made by it, or which has violated
neutrality, to enter its ports or roadsteads.
neutrality of a Power is not affected by the mere passage through its
territorial waters of war-ships or prizes belonging to belligerents.
neutral Power may allow belligerent war-ships to employ its licensed
the absence of special provisions to the contrary in the legislation of a
neutral Power, belligerent war-ships are not permitted to remain in the
ports, roadsteads, or territorial waters of the said Power for more than
twenty-four hours, except in the cases covered by the present Convention.
a Power which has been informed of the outbreak of hostilities learns that
a belligerent war-ship is in one of its ports or roadsteads, or in its
territorial waters, it must notify the said ship to depart within
twenty-four hours or within the time prescribed by local regulations.
belligerent war-ship may not prolong its stay in a neutral port beyond the
permissible time except on account of damage or stress of weather. It must
depart as soon as the cause of the delay is at an end.
regulations as to the question of the length of time which these vessels
may remain in neutral ports, roadsteads, or waters, do not apply to
war-ships devoted exclusively to religious, scientific, or philanthropic
the absence of special provisions to the contrary in the legislation of a
neutral Power, the maximum number of warships belonging to a belligerent
which may be in one of the ports or roadsteads of that Power
simultaneously shall be three.
war-ships belonging to both belligerents are present simultaneously in a
neutral port or roadstead, a period of not less than twenty-four hours
must elapse between the departure of the ship belonging to one belligerent
and the departure of the ship belonging to the other.
order of departure is determined by the order of arrival, unless the ship
which arrived first is so circumstanced that an extension of its stay is
belligerent war-ship may not leave a neutral port or roadstead until
twenty-four hours after the departure of a merchant ship flying the flag
of its adversary.
neutral ports and roadsteads belligerent war-ships may only carry out such
repairs as are absolutely necessary to render them seaworthy, and may not
add in any manner whatsoever to their fighting force. The local
authorities of the neutral Power shall decide what repairs are necessary,
and these must be carried out with the least possible delay.
war-ships may not make use of neutral ports, roadsteads, or territorial
waters for replenishing or increasing their supplies of war material or
their armament, or for completing their crews.
war-ships may only revictual in neutral ports or roadsteads to bring up
their supplies to the peace standard.
these vessels may only ship sufficient fuel to enable them to reach the
nearest port in their own country. They may, on the other hand, fill up
their bunkers built to carry fuel, when in neutral countries which have
adopted this method of determining the amount of fuel to be supplied.
in accordance with the law of the neutral Power, the ships are not
supplied with coal within twenty-four hours of their arrival, the
permissible duration of their stay is extended by twenty-four hours.
war-ships which have shipped fuel in a port belonging to a neutral Power
may not within the succeeding three months replenish their supply in a
port of the same Power.
prize may only be brought into a neutral port on account of
unseaworthiness, stress of weather, or want of fuel or provisions.
must leave as soon as the circumstances which justified its entry are at
an end. If it does not, the neutral Power must order it to leave at once;
should it fail to obey, the neutral Power must employ the means at its
disposal to release it with its officers and crew and to intern the prize
neutral Power must, similarly, release a prize brought into one of its
ports under circumstances other than those referred to in Article 21.
neutral Power may allow prizes to enter its ports and roadsteads, whether
under convoy or not, when they are brought there to be sequestrated
pending the decision of a Prize Court. It may have the prize taken to
another of its ports.
the prize is convoyed by a war-ship, the prize crew may go on board the
the prize is not under convoy, the prize crew are left at liberty.
notwithstanding the notification of the neutral Power, a belligerent ship
of war does not leave a port where it is not entitled to remain, the
neutral Power is entitled to take such measures as it considers necessary
to render the ship incapable of taking the sea during the war, and the
commanding officer of the ship must facilitate the execution of such
a belligerent ship is detained by a neutral Power, the officers and crew
are likewise detained.
officers and crew thus detained may be left in the ship or kept either on
another vessel or on land, and may be subjected to the measures of
restriction which it may appear necessary to impose upon them. A
sufficient number of men for looking after the vessel must, however, be
always left on board.
officers may be left at liberty on giving their word not to quit the
neutral territory without permission.
neutral Power is bound to exercise such surveillance as the means at its
disposal allow to prevent any violation of the provisions of the above
Articles occurring in its ports or roadsteads or in its waters.
exercise by a neutral Power of the rights laid down in the present
Convention can under no circumstances be considered as an unfriendly act
by one or other belligerent who has accepted the articles relating
Contracting Powers shall communicate to each other in due course all laws,
proclamations, and other enactments regulating in their respective
countries the status of belligerent war-ships in their ports and waters,
by means of a communication addressed to the Government of the
Netherlands, and forwarded immediately by that Government to the other
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 ratifications 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 inform them at the same
time of the date on which it received the notification.
Powers may adhere to the present Convention. The 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.
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, mentioning the
date on which it received the notification.
present Convention shall come into force in the case of the Powers which
were a party to the first deposit of the ratifications, sixty days after
the date of the procès-verbal of that deposit, and, in the case of the
Powers who ratify subsequently or who adhere, sixty days after the
notification of their ratification or of their decision 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, who shall at once communicate a duly 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 been made to the Netherlands
register kept by the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs shall give
the date of the deposit of ratifications made by Article 29, paragraphs 3
and 4, as well as the date on which the notifications of adhesion (Article
30, paragraph 2) or of denunciation (Article 32, paragraph 1) have been
Contracting Power is entitled to have access to this register and to be
supplied with duly certified extracts.
faith whereof the Plenipotentiaries have appended their signatures to the
Done at The Hague, 18 October 1907, in a single copy, which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Netherlands Government, and duly certified copies of which shall be sent, through the diplomatic channel, to the Powers which have been invited to the Second Peace Conference.