An Argentine Decree (No.256/2010), issued on 16 February 2010, purports to require all vessels planning to travel between ports in Argentina and the Falkland Islands or crossing Argentine waters on their way to the Falklands, or carrying cargo between Argentina and the Falklands, to request prior permission from the Argentine government.
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency has responded as follows:
- the UK Government firmly rejects the legality of the decree in respect of UNCLOS and other international laws and has issued a formal protest to the Government of the Republic of Argentina
- if a British vessel is affected by the decree, the master is advised to tell the Argentine authorities that the UK Government has firmly rejected the legality of the decree and therefore they do not recognise any requirement to comply with its provisions
- if masters or owners of vessels feel compelled to comply with the decree, the advice of UK authorities is that they should do so only under strong protest and, at the earliest opportunity, should notify the UK authorities at the FCO
All Jersey vessels likely to be affected by the decree are asked to notify the British Register of Ships in Jersey.