Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: London, United Kingdom
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 01/09/1972

Category

Transport and telecommunications

Sub category

Space

Groups

UNS

What is it about?

This Convention elaborates international rules and procedures concerning liability for damage caused by space objects and ensures equitable compensation for victims of such damage. It implements the principles set forth in the 1967 Treaty governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies. A launching State has the absolute liability to pay compensation for damage caused by its space object on the surface of the earth or to aircraft in flight, whereas damage implies loss of life, personal injury and the loss of or damage to personal property. In the event of damage being caused elsewhere than on the surface of the earth to a space object of a launching State by a space object of another launching State, the liability of the latter is engaged if the damage is due to its fault. A claim for compensation for damage has to be presented to a launching State through diplomatic channels. If a State does not maintain diplomatic relations with the launching State concerned, its claim may be presented through a third State or the Secretary General of the United Nations. The provisions of the Convention do not apply to damage caused by a space object of a launching State to nationals of that State, neither to foreign nationals participating in the operation of the damaging space object, nor to guests invited to the launching or recovery area. Two or more States engaging commonly to launch an object into space are jointly liable for all resulting damages.

Why is it relevant?

Up to 2005 the liability rules provided by this Convention have been applied only once since their adoption when a Soviet military satellite dissipated above Canada in 1978.

Additional Information

The presentation of compensation claims is open to states that suffer damage or whose nationals do so. If the state of nationality has not presented a claim, legal action is open for the state in whose territory the damage was sustained or for the state of permanent residence of a person that sustained damage.

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Country ratifications
CountryRatification date
Algeria17/10/2006
Antigua and Barbuda26/01/1989
Argentina14/11/1986
Australia20/01/1975
Austria10/01/1980
Belarus27/12/1973
Belgium13/08/1976
Benin25/04/1975
Bosnia and Herzegovina15/08/1994
Botswana11/03/1974
Brazil09/03/1973
Bulgaria16/05/1972
Canada20/02/1975
Chile01/12/1976
China20/12/1988
Croatia01/01/2014
Cuba25/11/1982
Cyprus15/05/1973
Czech Republic09/09/1976
Denmark01/04/1977
Dominican Republic23/02/1973
Ecuador17/08/1972
Fiji04/05/1973
Finland01/02/1977
France31/12/1975
Gabon05/02/1982
Germany18/12/1975
Greece04/05/1997
Hungary27/12/1972
India09/07/1979
Indonesia18/06/1996
Iran21/02/1974
Iraq04/10/1972
Ireland29/06/1972
Israel23/06/1977
Italy22/02/1983
Japan20/06/1983
Kazakhstan11/06/1998
Kenya25/09/1975
Kuwait30/10/1972
Lao People's Democratic Republic25/04/1973
Lebanon29/03/1972
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya01/01/2014
Liechtenstein09/01/1980
Luxembourg18/10/1983
Macedonia (The former Yugoslav Republic of)20/10/1975
Mali04/04/1972
Malta13/01/1978
Mexico08/04/1974
Mongolia14/09/1972
Montenegro01/01/2014
Morocco15/03/1983
Netherlands17/02/1981
New Zealand30/10/1974
Niger01/09/1972
Nigeria21/12/2005
Norway03/04/1995
Pakistan10/04/1973
Panama05/06/1974
Papua New Guinea27/10/1980
Peru06/11/2002
Poland25/01/1973
Qatar11/01/1974
Republic of Korea14/01/1980
Romania18/03/1980
Russian Federation09/10/1973
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines13/05/1999
Saudi Arabia17/12/1976
Senegal26/03/1975
Serbia20/10/1975
Seychelles05/01/1978
Singapore19/08/1975
Slovakia07/04/2006
Slovenia27/05/1992
South Africa01/01/2014
Spain02/01/1980
Sri Lanka03/05/1973
Sweden15/06/1976
Switzerland22/01/1974
Syrian Arab Republic06/02/1980
Togo26/04/1976
Trinidad and Tobago08/02/1980
Tunisia06/06/1973
Turkey15/02/2007
Ukraine28/09/1973
United Arab Emirates04/10/2000
United Kingdom09/10/1973
United States of America29/03/1972
Uruguay07/01/1977
Venezuela01/08/1978
Zambia28/08/1973
Treaties analysis
YearRatifications
197211
197314
19747
197510
19766
19775
19783
19791
19808
19811
19822
19834
19861
19883
19891
19921
19941
19951
19961
19971
19981
19991
20001
20021
20051
20062
20071
20144
Total94
Map
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