The Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the one part and the other Parties of the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South Eastern Europe, on the other part: the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania and the Governments of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, the Republic of Slovenia, the Republic of Serbia, the Republic of Turkey (hereinafter jointly “the DPPI SEE Parties”):
Recognising efforts that the DPPI SEE Parties invest in establishing a closer regional co-operation and determined to enhance the regional ownership, under the political umbrella of SEECP process, within the support of Regional Cooperation Council;
Building upon the commitments made in the Memorandum of Understanding on the Institutional Framework of the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South Eastern Europe signed by the Council of Ministers of Republic of Albania and the Governments of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, the Republic of Serbia, the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Turkey in Sarajevo on 28 November 2013 and by the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo on 18 April 2014 and by the Government of Romania in Sarajevo on 19 November 2015;
Recalling that the Memorandum of Understanding on the Institutional Framework of the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South Eastern Europe (2013) determines that the seat of DPPI SEE Secretariat is in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina;
Recognizing the expressed commitments of the DPPI SEE Parties to embrace full regional ownership which would further encourage existing and new partners to be involved in the regional political and technical cooperation in the field of disaster preparedness and prevention;
Wishing to regulate legal status, privileges and immunities necessary for the functioning and successful accomplishment of the DPPI SEE Secretariat’ mission.
For purposes of the present Agreement:
a) “Council of Ministers” means the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
b) “Expert” means a person performing temporary mission for the Secretariat other than as provided under paragraphs e) and g) of this Article and might include personnel seconded from the DPPI SEE Parties or interns;
c) “Head of the Secretariat” means a person appointed as the Head of the DPPI SEE Secretariat in Sarajevo;
d) “Host Country” means Bosnia and Herzegovina;
e) “Local Service Staff” means an employee providing support services for the Secretariat such as a web administrator, driver, cleaner and/or other;
f) “Memorandum of Understanding” means the Memorandum of Understanding on the Institutional Framework of the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South Eastern Europe signed on 28 November 2013 in Sarajevo;
g) “Official” means staff member of the Secretariat, notified to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Host Country, performing duties to the Secretariat on a full time basis other than persons mentioned in paragraph e) of this Article;
h) “Premises of the Secretariat” means the building including the land ancillary thereto, occupied by the Secretariat and used only for the purposes of the Secretariat, irrespective of the ownership;
i) “Representative” means entitled representative of the DPPI SEE Party or DPPI SEE Partners;and
j) “Secretariat” means Secretariat of the DPPI SEE.
1. The objective of this Agreement is to enable the Secretariat to discharge its operational duties and functions efficiently through its Seat.
2. In accordance with Article 7 paragraph 1 of the Memorandum of Understanding, the Seat of the Secretariat is in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1. The Secretariat shall have legal personality and the legal capacity necessary for carrying out its functions as to conclude contracts, to acquire and dispose movable and immovable property and to establish legal proceedings in accordance with the legislation of the Host Country.
2. Competent authorities of the Host Country shall assist the Secretariat in the procedure of obtaining relevant documents for regulating legal status of the Secretariat, in order that the status is achieved within 60 days from signing of this Agreement.
Office-related contributions by the Host Country
1. The Council of Ministers shall provide to the Secretariat, for duration of this Agreement, at no fee, the necessary facilities, including convenient and appropriate premises in Sarajevo for effective performance of its functions, equipment and furniture.
2. The premises including equipment, furniture and services shall be made available upon signature of this Agreement.
Internal regulations of the Secretariat
The Secretariat may issue the necessary internal regulations concerning the implementation and organization of its functions, in line with the Memorandum of Understanding or any other applicable internal regulation.
1. The Secretariat may display the DPPI SEE items of visual identity (e.g. flag, logo), as adopted by the DPPI SEE, on its premises and on motor vehicles used for official purposes.
2. Motor vehicles that belong to the Secretariat shall be entitled to diplomatic registration plates and to an appropriate status.
The freedom of Secretariat‘s operations
The Host Country shall guarantee the Secretariat a freedom of operations.
1. The premises of the Secretariat shall be inviolable. Competent authorities of the Host Country shall have the right to enter the premises of the Secretariat in order to perform their duties, only with consent of the Head of the Secretariat or duly authorized Officials of the Secretariat, under conditions agreed by them.
2. The Council of Ministers shall take all measures in order to protect the Secretariat›s premises against any intrusions or damages, and to prevent damaging of its dignity.
3. Records and archive of the Secretariat as well as all the documentation (including computer programs and photographs) belonging to it or being in its possession shall be inviolable.
Exception from court proceedings and executions
1. The Secretariat shall enjoy an exemption from court proceedings and executions in the Host Country, except in cases:
a) when the DPPI SEE competent body has authorized waiver of immunity from court proceedings. Waiver of immunity from court proceedings shall not be held to imply waiver in respect to any measures of execution or detention of property;
b) counter-claims in direct connection to procedure initiated by the Secretariat;
c) any agreement on purchase of goods and services, any loan or other transaction to provide financing, as well as any guarantee relationship or indemnification related to any such transaction or any other financial obligation;
d) civil lawsuit initiated by a third party due to death, material damage or personal injury caused in a motor traffic offence by a motor vehicle that belongs to or is used on behalf Secretariat; and
e) labour disputes.
2. The Secretariat, in terms of its movable and immovable property, wherever located and by whomsoever held in the Host Country shall be exempted from any measure of execution, including confiscation, deprival, freezing or any other form of execution or sequestration or any other deprivation of property provided for by the laws of the Host Country.
1. The Secretariat shall, in terms of its official communication, be provided with the same treatment which is accorded to diplomatic missions in the Host Country.
2. The Secretariat may use all appropriate communication tools. It shall also have the right to send and receive correspondence via properly identified couriers or in packages that shall be given the same privileges and enjoy exemptions as diplomatic couriers or diplomatic packages.
3. Official correspondence and other official communication of the Secretariat, when properly identified, shall not be censored.
Import and export of publications for the needs of the Secretariat as well as of other information material that the Secretariat imports or exports within its official activities, shall not be subject to restrictions of any kind.
1. Competent authorities of the Host Country shall be obligated to, upon request of the Secretariat and under the just conditions, provide utility services to the Secretariat, necessary for performance of its functions, including, but not being limited to, post services, phone, electricity, water, sewerage, gas, garbage pick-up services and fire fighting protection.
2. Prices for utility services stipulated in paragraph 1 hereof, which are not subject to Article 4 paragraph 2, shall not exceed the lowest comparable prices approved to diplomatic missions in the Host Country.
3. In case of termination or indication of termination of the aforementioned utility services, the Secretariat shall be given the same priority as to diplomatic missions, for the requirements of its official functions.
4. At request of competent authorities of the Host Country, the Head of the Secretariat shall be responsible to ensure to appropriately authorized representatives of utility service companies, to check, repair, maintain and relocate installations in the Secretariat’s premises, at appropriate time, under conditions that will not affect the functioning of the Secretariat.
Exemption from Duties and Taxes
1. The Secretariat, its funds, income and other property shall be exempted from any direct duties and taxes. This exemption shall not be applied to taxes and appropriations considered as utility services taxes offered at fixed prices, in line with the quantity of provided services, which can be identified, described and divided.
2. In terms of value added tax (hereinafter: VAT) included in prices or separately calculated, exemption shall be applied only on items acquired for official usage of the Secretariat, whereas goods purchased for its usage, for which exemptions apply in line with this provision, must not be sold, given as a gift or in any other way deprived, except in line with conditions agreed with the Council of Ministers.
3. The Secretariat shall be exempted from all state and local rates or fees, except rates or fees calculated as the price of actually rendered services.
4. Exemptions from VAT stipulated in paragraph 2 hereof, and further in Article 17 paragraph 1, item d), and in Article 18 paragraph 1, item d), shall be acquired through the right to a VAT refund.
Goods imported or exported for the purpose of official use by the Secretariat shall be exempted from payment of customs, taxes and fees.
Free disposal of funds and freedom of business
The Secretariat, for the purpose of executing its functions, shall have the right to receive, keep, convert and transfer all funds, currencies, cash and other transferable values, and dispose freely of them and perform business without restrictions, in line with the legislation of the Host Country.
The Head of Secretariat, the Officials and Experts, who are not citizens of the Host Country or permanent residents, shall be exempted from paying obligatory contributions in connection to any type of social security in the Host Country.
Head of the Secretariat and Officials
1. The Head of the Secretariat and the Officials in the Host Country shall enjoy the following privileges and immunities in the Host Country:
a) immunity from court proceedings in respect of words spoken or written, as well in respect of all acts done by them in their official capacity, even after they cease to be the Officials of Secretariat;
b) immunity from search and seizure of their personal baggage;
c) inviolability of official documents, data and other material;
d) exemption from taxes, including VAT, contributions on salaries, emoluments and compensations paid to them by the Secretariat for their services;
e) exemption from immigration restrictions and the obligation to register themselves and their family members forming part of their respective households;
f) the same protection and repatriation facilities for themselves and their family members forming part of their respective households, as are accorded to the officials of comparable ranks in diplomatic missions; and
g) right to import for their personal use, free of import duty and other taxes or charges, provided that these are not fees charged for delivery of utility services, as well as exemption from import restrictions and the import and export limitations;
i) their furniture and personal effects at the time of first taking up their post, in one or more individual shipments; and
ii) one motor vehicle every four years.
2. The way in which imported goods will be disposed of, with exemption from payment of import duties, shall be applied in line with regulations on duty, tax and other facilities to which foreign diplomatic and consular representatives in the Host Country are entitled.
Experts shall enjoy the following privileges and exemptions in the Host Country:
a) exemption from court proceedings in respect of words spoken or written as well as all acts carried out by them in the performance of their official functions, even after they cease to be the Experts;
b) exemption from check and seizure of personal and official luggage;
c) inviolability of official documentation, data and other material; and
d) exemption from taxes, including VAT, contributions on salaries, additional benefits and indemnities, paid to them by the Secretariat for their services in accordance with applicable legislation of the Host Country.
Representatives shall enjoy the following exemptions, during the period of execution of their responsibilities in the Host Country as well as during their stay on the territory of the Host Country:
a) exemption from court proceedings, in respect of words spoken or written as well as all acts carried out by them in the performance of their official functions, even after they cease to be the Representatives;
b) exemption from check and seizure of personal luggage;
c) inviolability of official documentation, data and other material; and
d) exemption from immigration restrictions.
Citizens of the Host Country and permanent residents
The Head of the Secretariat, the Officials and Experts, who are citizens of the Host Country or permanent residents, shall not be entitled to privileges and immunities stated in Article 17 paragraph 1, items a), b), c), and d) of this Agreement.
Secretariat shall be entitled to engage Local Service Staff in accordance with the legislation of the Host Country.
The Purpose of Privileges and Exemptions
1. Privileges and immunities under this Agreement are granted in the interests of the Secretariat and not for the personal benefits of the individuals themselves.
2. Their purpose is solely to provide freedom of actions of the Secretariat under all circumstances as well as full independence of mentioned persons in performing their duties for the Secretariat.
1. The Secretariat shall notify to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Host Country about the names of the Head of the Secretariat, the Officials, as well as those of the members of their families immediately or within five working days, at the latest, as of the date of their arrival. The Secretariat shall also notify the termination of the mandate of the Head of the Secretariat, or any Official as well as, where appropriate, the fact that a person ceases to be a member of their family.
2. The Head of the Secretariat, the Officials, and members of their families, who are not citizens of, or permanent residents in the Host Country, shall be issued appropriate identification cards by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Host Country.
3. The Secretariat shall not notify to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about names of any Experts. The Experts shall be subject to immigration restrictions and obligations to register with the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs of the Ministry of Security in accordance with applicable legislation of the Host Country.
Not Assuming Responsibility by the Host Country
The Host Country shall not assume any international responsibilities for actions or omissions made by the Secretariat at its territory.
1. Nothing in this Agreement shall preclude the right of the Council of Ministers of the Host Country to apply all appropriate measures of protection in the interest of public security. Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent implementation of the laws of the Host Country, necessary for perseverance of health or public order.
2. Should the Council of Ministers of the Host Country consider necessary to apply provisions of the Paragraph 1 of this Article, and as soon as circumstances allow, it shall establish the connection with the Secretariat in order to make a joint decision on measures that might be necessary to protect the interests of the Secretariat.
3. The Secretariat shall be obligated to cooperate with authorities of the Host Country in order to prevent any impediment of public security due to an activity carried out by the Secretariat.
All disputes regarding the interpretation or application of this Agreement shall be settled through consultations and negotiations between the DPPI SEE Parties.
1. This Agreement may be amended on a written proposal of any DPPI SEE Party.
2. Any such proposal shall be communicated by the Depository to all DPPI SEE Parties for consideration and approval.
3. DPPI SEE Parties shall notify Depository as soon as possible of their approval of the proposed amendments.
4. Amendments adopted by consensus in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Article shall enter into force in accordance with Article 28 of this Agreement.
Entry Into Force and Provisional Application
1. This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the date of the receipt by the Depository of the sixth notification of the DPPI SEE Parties, including of the Host Country, on the completion of their internal legal procedures necessary for the entry into force of this Agreement.
2. For each DPPI SEE Party that notifies the Depository on the completion of its internal legal procedures necessary for the entry into force of this Agreement after the date of its entry into force in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article, this Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the date of the receipt by the Depository of that DPPI SEE Party´s notification.
3. This Agreement shall apply provisionally as of the date of its signing unless a DPPI SEE Party declares at the moment of signing of the Agreement that its internal legal requirements do not permit such provisional application. For any such DPPI SEE Party the Agreement shall enter into force on the date of its notification to the Depository.
Upon its entry into force, this Agreement shall be open for accession to any DPPI SEE Party that acceded to the Memorandum of Understanding in accordance with its Article 13. For an acceding Party, this Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the date of the deposit of its instrument of accession with the Depository.
1. This Agreement shall remain in force as long as the Memorandum of Understanding is in force.
2. The Council of Ministers of the Host Country shall be entitled to denounce this Agreement by notifying the Parties in written form. In that case, this Agreement shall terminate six (6) months from the date of the receipt of this notification by the Depository.
3. Each DPPI SEE Party may denounce this Agreement by a written notification to the Depository. In such a case, this Agreement shall terminate for that DPPI SEE Party on the first day of the month following the date of the receipt by the Depository of its notification.
4. Denunciation of the Memorandum of Understanding, in accordance with its Article 15 paragraph 2, shall be considered as the denunciation of this Agreement. In such a case, this Agreement shall terminate for the DPPI SEE Party concerned from the date on which the denunciation of the Memorandum of Understanding shall take effect for that DPPI SEE Party.
1. The Council of Ministers of the Bosnia and Herzegovina shall act as the Depository of this Agreement.
2. The original of this Agreement shall be deposited with the Depository which shall provide the DPPI SEE Parties and the Secretariat with duly certified copies thereof.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned being duly authorized by their respective Governments, have signed this Agreement,
Done at Ankara on 4th April 2018, in one original in English.