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Agreement Between the Office International des Epizooties and the Government of the Argentine Republic Concerning the Headquarters of the OIE Regional Representation for the Americas and its Privileges and Immunities on Argentine Territory
Signed in Paris and Buenos Aires on 24 November 2003
The Office International des Epizooties, hereinafter referred to as ‘the OIE’, and the Government of the Argentine Republic ,
Considering the International Agreement signed in Paris on 25 January 1924 , creating the OIE,
Considering the establishment in Paris of the permanent Headquarters of the OIE by virtue of the Headquarters Agreement, signed with the Government of the Republic of France on 21 February 1977 ,
Wishing to settle by the present Agreement questions relating to the establishment in the city of Buenos Aires the OIE Regional Representation for Americas , hereinafter referred to as ‘the Representation’, and to define, accordingly, the privileges and immunities of the Representation in the Argentine Republic
Have agreed as follows:
The Government of the Argentine Republic recognizes the juridical personality of the OIE Regional Representation for Americas and its capacity to enter into contracts, to acquire and dispose of movable and immovable property connected with its activities, and to be party to judicial proceedings.
The Headquarters of the Representation include the premises which it now occupies or which it may occupy in the future for the requirements of its work, with the exception of residential premises used for its personnel.
1. The Headquarters of the Representation shall be inviolable. The officers or agents of the Argentine Republic may not enter them except with the agreement or at the request of the Director of the OIE or a local representative delegated by the Director of the OIE.
2. The Representation shall not permit its Headquarters to be used as a refuge for any person being sought in connection with a criminal offence following a crime or a flagrant offence or who is the subject of a judicial procedure instituted by the competent Argentine authorities.
3. The archives of the Representation and, in general, all the scientific documents belonging to it or in its keeping are inviolable.
The property and assets of the Representation may not be seized, confiscated, requisitioned or expropriated, nor subjected to any other kind of administrative or legal procedure.
1. The Representation may, without being subjected to any verification, regulation or financial moratorium:
a. receive and hold funds and currency in any form and keep accounts in any currency and in any country, in compliance with the relevant Argentine legislation in force;
b. freely transfer its funds and currency within the territory of Argentina , or from Argentina to another country and vice versa, in compliance with the relevant Argentine legislation in force.
2. In exercising the rights granted to it by the present Article, the Representation shall give consideration to any representations which the Government of the Argentine Republic may make to it.
The Representation shall be exempt from all direct taxes on its immovable property intended for its Headquarters and from all other taxes on operations that it shall carry out exclusively for the official requirements of the Representation, except for remunerations corresponding to payment for service s rendered.
The Representation shall pay the excise duties and the taxes on the sale of movable and immovable property included in the sale price. Nevertheless, when the Representation makes major purchases of goods subject to, or liable to be subject to, such taxes and duties, the Argentine State will, within the limits envisaged by its national legislation, make the arrangements for the refunding of an amount corresponding to the said taxes and duties.
1. Furniture, supplies and office equipment imported or exported by the Representation, and which are strictly essential for its administrative work, and publications relating directly to its work, shall be exempt from custom duties.
2. The articles included in the category of goods designated in the above paragraph shall be exempt from any prohibition or restriction concerning their importation and exportation, subject to regulations relating to public health or to safety.
3. Goods purchased or imported under the terms of the facilities granted by the present Article shall not give rise, on the territory of the Argentine Republic , to any legal transactions, whether free of charge or in return for payment, other than those authorized under Argentine law.
Unless prevented by reasons of public order, the Government of the Argentine Republic undertakes to authorize, without charge for visas and without delay, the entry and stay in the Argentine Republic during the period of their appointment or mission with the Representation of:
a. Delegates of Member Countries to the OIE, including their deputies, experts and observers at conferences and meetings convened by the Representation; m of the OIE Central Bureau;
b. members of the personnel of the Representation and their families.
Subject to conformity with the provisions of international conventions, rules and agreements to which it is a contracting party, the Government of the Argentine Republic, taking into consideration the special character of the objectives of the Representation with regard to control of epizootics, grants to the Representation for its official communications by mail, telephone, telegraph, radiotelephone and radiotelegraph, treatment as favourable as that granted by it to the diplomatic missions accredited in Argentina.
1. Members of the personnel of the Representation shall be exempt from all taxes on salaries and emoluments received in remuneration of their work at the Representation.
2. The Representative of the OIE, responsible for the Representation, shall be exempt from the tax on his main residence and from taxes on his income of foreign origin.
1. Members of the personnel of the Representation will not be subject to duty on the temporary importation of their personal motor car.
2. Members of the personnel of the Representation shall be entitled:
a. to immunity in regard to any legal action concerning their official activities;
b. to import free of tax, if they were previously living abroad, their furniture and personal effects already in use at the time of their settlement in Argentina;
c. to the same facilities for repatriation, for themselves and their families, as granted to members of diplomatic missions of similar rank in times of international crisis.
The privileges and immunities provided for within the present Agreement are granted to their beneficiaries in the interest of the proper functioning of the Representation. The International Committee or the Director General of the OIE shall agree to the lifting of immunity granted to any such beneficiary if such immunity might risk impeding the course of justice and if it may be lifted without prejudice to the interests of the Representation. The Representation shall cooperate with the Argentine administration with a view to facilitating the proper course of justice and ensuring the implementation of police regulations and preventing any misuse of the immunities and facilities provided for in Articles 2 to 12 of the present Agreement.
The Government of the Argentine Republic has no obligation to grant either to its own citizens or to persons permanently resident in Argentina , the privileges and immunities mentioned in Articles 11 and 12.
1. The Government of the Argentine Republic shall make a specific financial contribution to the OIE Central Bureau in Paris to ensure the functioning of the Representation in Buenos Aires .
2. The Government of the Argentine Republic shall place at the disposal of the Representation the necessary premises.
Any dispute between the Government of the Argentine Republic and the Office concerning the interpretation or applications of the present Agreement, if not settled by means of negotiation, shall be submitted for final decision without appeal to a Tribunal consisting of:
– an arbitrator nominated by the Government of the Argentine Republic ;
– an arbitrator nominated by the Office;
– an arbitrator nominated by both or, in the event of failure to agree, by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The present Agreement will come into force at the date on which the Argentine Republic informs the OIE through diplomatic channels that it has complied with the requirements for approval provided for in its constitution.
The present Agreement may be terminated by either Party, notice being given through diplomatic channels at least twelve months in advance.
Done in Paris and Buenos Aires on 24 November 2003 in two originals, both equally authentic, in Spanish and French.
For the Government of the
Republic of Argentina
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
International commerce and
Office International des Epizooties
Dr Bernard Vallat