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Inicio / Treaties / Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection

Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection

The States Parties to this Convention,

Conscious of the implications of acts of terrorism for international security;

Expressing deep concern regarding terrorist acts aimed at destruction of aircraft, other means of transportation and other targets;

Concerned that plastic explosives have been used for such terrorist acts;

Considering that the marking of such explosives for the purpose of detection would contribute significantly to the prevention of such unlawful acts;

Recognizing that for the purpose of deterring such unlawful acts there is an urgent need for an international instrument obliging States to adopt appropriate measures to ensure that plastic explosives are duly marked;

Considering United Nations Security Council Resolution 635 of 14 June 1989, and United Nations General Assembly Resolution 44/29 of 4 December 1989 urging the International Civil Aviation Organization to intensify its work on devising an international regime for the marking of plastic or sheet explosives for the purpose of detection;

Bearing in mind Resolution A27-8 adopted unanimously by the 27th Session of the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization which endorsed with the highest and overriding priority the preparation of a new international instrument regarding the marking of plastic or sheet explosives for detection;

Noting with satisfaction the role played by the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization in the preparation of the Convention as well as its willingness to assume functions related to its implementation;

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

For the purposes of this Convention:

  1. “Explosives” mean explosive products, commonly known as “plastic explosives”, including explosives in flexible or elastic sheet form, as described in the Technical Annex to this Convention.
  2. “Detection agent” means a substance as described in the Technical Annex to this Convention which is introduced into an explosive to render it detectable.
  3. “Marking” means introducing into an explosive a detection agent in accordance with the Technical Annex to this Convention. 4. “Manufacture” means any process, including reprocessing, that produces explosives.
  4. “Duly authorized military devices” include, but are not restricted to, shells, bombs, projectiles, mines, missiles, rockets, shaped charges, grenades and perforators manufactured exclusively for military or police purposes according to the laws and regulations of the State Party concerned. 6. “Producer State” means any State in whose territory explosives are manufactured.

Article 2

Each State Party shall take the necessary and effective measures to prohibit and prevent the manufacture in its territory of unmarked explosives.

Article 3

  1. Each State Party shall take the necessary and effective measures to prohibit and prevent the movement into or out of its territory of unmarked explosives.
  2. The preceding paragraph shall not apply in respect of movements for purposes not inconsistent with the objectives of this Convention, by authorities of a State Party performing military or police functions, of unmarked explosives under the control of that State Party in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article IV.

Article 4

  1. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to exercise strict and effective control over the possession and transfer of possession of unmarked explosives which have been manufactured in or brought into its territory prior to the entry into force of this Convention in respect of that State, so as to prevent their diversion or use for purposes inconsistent with the objectives of this Convention.
  2. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to ensure that all stocks of those explosives referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article not held by its authorities performing military or police functions are destroyed or consumed for purposes not inconsistent with the objectives of this Convention, marked or rendered permanently ineffective, within a period of three years from the entry into force of this Convention in respect of that State.
  3. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to ensure that all stocks of those explosives referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article held by its authorities performing military or police functions and that are not incorporated as an integral part of duly authorized military devices are destroyed or consumed for purposes not inconsistent with the objectives of this Convention, marked or rendered permanently ineffective, within a period of fifteen years from the entry into force of this Convention in respect of that State.
  4. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to ensure the destruction, as soon as possible, in its territory of unmarked explosives which may be discovered therein and which are not referred to in the preceding paragraphs of this Article, other than stocks of unmarked explosives held by its authorities performing military or police functions and incorporated as an integral part of duly authorized military devices at the date of the entry into force of this Convention in respect of that State. 5. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to exercise strict and effective control over the possession and transfer of possession of the explosives referred to in paragraph II of Part 1 of the Technical Annex to this Convention so as to prevent their diversion or use for purposes inconsistent with the objectives of this Convention.
  5. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to ensure the destruction, as soon as possible, in its territory of unmarked explosives manufactured since the coming into force of this Convention in respect of that State that are not incorporated as specified in paragraph II (d) of Part 1 of the Technical Annex to this Convention and of unmarked explosives which no longer fall within the scope of any other sub-paragraphs of the said paragraph II.

Article 5

  1. There is established by this Convention an International Explosives Technical Commission (hereinafter referred to as “the Commission”) consisting of not less than fifteen nor more than nineteen members appointed by the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (hereinafter referred to as “the Council”) from among persons nominated by S
    tates Parties to this Convention.
  2. The members of the Commission shall be experts having direct and substantial experience in matters relating to the manufacture or detection of, or research in, explosives.
  3. Members of the Commission shall serve for a period of three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment.
  4. Sessions of the Commission shall be convened, at least once a year at the Headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization, or at such places and times as may be directed or approved by the Council. 5. The Commission shall adopt its rules of procedure, subject to the approval of the Council.

Article 6

  1. The Commission shall evaluate technical developments relating to the manufacture, marking and detection of explosives.
  2. The Commission, through the Council, shall report its findings to the States Parties and international organizations concerned.
  3. Whenever necessary, the Commission shall make recommendations to the Council for amendments to the Technical Annex to this Convention. The Commission shall endeavour to take its decisions on such recommendations by consensus. In the absence of consensus the Commission shall take such decisions by a two-thirds majority vote of its members.
  4. The Council may, on the recommendation of the Commission, propose to States Parties amendments to the Technical Annex to this Convention.

Article 7

  1. Any State Party may, within ninety days from the date of notification of a proposed amendment to the Technical Annex to this Convention, transmit to the Council its comments. The Council shall communicate these comments to the Commission as soon as possible for its consideration. The Council shall invite any State Party which comments on or objects to the proposed amendment to consult the Commission.
  2. The Commission shall consider the views of States Parties made pursuant to the preceding paragraph and report to the Council. The Council, after consideration of the Commission’s report, and taking into account the nature of the amendment and the comments of States Parties, including producer States, may propose the amendment to all States Parties for adoption.
  3. If a proposed amendment has not been objected to by five or more States Parties by means of written notification to the Council within ninety days from the date of notification of the amendment by the Council, it shall be deemed to have been adopted, and shall enter into force one hundred and eighty days thereafter or after such other period as specified in the proposed amendment for States Parties not having expressly objected thereto.
  4. States Parties having expressly objected to the proposed amendment may, subsequently, by means of the deposit of an instrument of acceptance or approval, express their consent to be bound by the provisions of the amendment.
  5. If five or more States Parties have objected to the proposed amendment, the Council shall refer it to the Commission for further consideration.
  6. If the proposed amendment has not been adopted in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Article, the Council may also convene a conference of all States Parties.

Article 8

  1. States Parties shall, if possible, transmit to the Council information that would assist the Commission in the discharge of its functions under paragraph 1 of Article VI.
  2. States Parties shall keep the Council informed of measures they have taken to implement the provisions of this Convention. The Council shall communicate such information to all States Parties and international organizations concerned.

Article 9

The Council shall, in co-operation with States Parties and international organizations concerned, take appropriate measures to facilitate the implementation of this Convention, including the provision of technical assistance and measures for the exchange of information relating to technical developments in the marking and detection of explosives.

Article 10

The Technical Annex to this Convention shall form an integral part of this Convention.

Article 11

  1. Any dispute between two or more States Parties concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention which cannot be settled through negotiation shall, at the request of one of them, be submitted to arbitration. If within six months from the date of the request for arbitration the Parties are unable to agree on the organization of the arbitration, any one of those Parties may refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice by request in conformity with the Statute of the Court.
  2. Each State Party may, at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance or approval of this Convention or accession thereto, declare that it does not consider itself bound by the preceding paragraph. The other States Parties shall not be bound by the preceding paragraph with respect to any State Party having made such a reservation.
  3. Any State Party having made a reservation in accordance with the preceding paragraph may at any time withdraw this reservation by notification to the Depositary.

Article 12

Except as provided in Article XI no reservation may be made to this Convention.

Article 13

  1. This Convention shall be open for signature in Montreal on 1 March 1991 by States participating in the International Conference on Air Law held at Montreal from 12 February to 1 March 1991. After 1 March 1991 the Convention shall be open to all States for signature at the Headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal until it enters into force in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Article. Any State which does not sign this Convention may accede to it at any time.
  2. This Convention shall be subject to ratification, acceptance, approval or accession by States. Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is hereby designated the Depositary. When depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, each State shall declare whether or not it is a producer State.
  3. This Convention shall enter into force on the sixtieth day following the date of deposit of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Depositary, provided that no fewer than five such States have declared pursuant to paragraph 2 of this Article that they are producer St
    ates. Should thirty-five such instruments be deposited prior to the deposit of their instruments by five producer States, this Convention shall enter into force on the sixtieth day following the date of deposit of the instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession of the fifth producer State.
  4. For other States, this Convention shall enter into force sixty days following the date of deposit of their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
  5. As soon as this Convention comes into force, it shall be registered by the Depositary pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations and pursuant to Article 83 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago, 1944).

Article 14

The Depositary shall promptly notify all signatories and States Parties of:

  1. each signature of this Convention and date thereof;
  2. each deposit of an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession and date thereof, giving special reference to whether the State has identified itself as a producer State;
  3. the date of entry into force of this Convention;
  4. the date of entry into force of any amendment to this Convention or its Technical Annex;
  5. any denunciation made under Article XV; and
  6. any declaration made under paragraph 2 of Article XI.

Article 15

  1. Any State Party may denounce this Convention by written notification to the Depositary.
  2. Denunciation shall take effect one hundred and eighty days following the date on which notification is received by the Depositary.

In witness whereof the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized thereto by their Governments, have signed this Convention.

Done at Montreal, this first day of March, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-one, in one original, drawn up in five authentic texts in the English, French, Russian, Spanish and Arabic languages.

Technical Annex

Part 1: Description of Explosives

    1. are formulated with one or more high explosives which in their pure form have a vapour pressure less than 10-4 Pa at a temperature of 25�C;
    2. are formulated with a binder material; and
    3. are, as a mixture, malleable or flexible at normal room temperature.
  1. The explosives referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this Convention are those that:
  2. The following explosives, even though meeting the description of explosive in paragraph 1 of this Part, shall not be considered to be explosives as long as they continue to be held or used for the purposes specified below or remain incorporated as there specified, namely those explosive that:
    1. are manufactured, or held, in limited quantities solely for use in duly authorized research, development or testing of new or modified explosives;
    2. are manufactured, or held, in limited quantities solely for use in duly authorized training in explosives detection and/or development or testing of explosives detection equipment;
    3. are manufactured, or held, in limited quantities solely for duly authorized forensic science purposes; or
    4. are destined to be and are incorporated as an integral part of duly authorized military devices in the territory of the producer State within three years after the coming into force of this Convention in respect of that State. Such devices produced in this period of three years shall be deemed to be duly authorized military devices within paragraph 4 of Article 4 of this Convention.
  3. In this Part: “duly authorized” in paragraph 2 (a), (b) and (c) means permitted according to the laws and regulations of the State Party concerned; and “high explosives” include but are not restricted to cyclotetramethylenetetranitramine (HMX), pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) and cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX)

Part 2: Detection Agents

A detection agent is any one of those substances set out in the following Table. Detection agents described in this Table are intended to be used to enhance the detectability of explosives by vapour detection means. In each case, the introduction of a detection agent into an explosive shall be done in such a manner as to achieve homogeneous distribution in the finished product. The minimum concentration of a detection agent in the finished product at the time of manufacture shall be as shown in the said Table.

Name of detection agent Molecular formula Molecular weight Minimum concentration
Ethylene glycol dinitrate C2H4(NO3)2 152 0.2% by mass
(EGDN)2,3-Dimethyl-2,3dinitro C6H12(NO2)2 176 0.1% by mass
butane (DMNB)para-Mononitrololuene C7H7NO2 137 0.5% by mass
(p-MNT)ortho-Mononitrolotuene C7H7NO2 137 0.5% by mass
(o-MNT)

Any explosive which, as a result of its normal formulation contains any of the designated dectection agents at or above the required minimum concentration level shall be deemed to be marked.

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