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Status of Forces Agreement between the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Government of the United States of AmericaSigned 1 October 2002
PREAMBLEThe Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste and the Government of the United States of America (hereinafter referred to as the "Parties"), recognize the importance of closer cooperation between our two countries, and further recognize that the following principles and understandings are intended to enhance the cooperation between the Parties in furtherance of the objectives of this agreement:
The Parties recognize the independence and sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste as matters of the highest importance;
The Parties recognize the importance of this agreement to their bilateral interests, regional peace and security, and humanitarian undertakings;
The Parties reaffirm that the principles of mutual respect, friendship, good faith, partnership and cooperation will guide the implementation of this agreement;
Therefore, the Parties have agreed as follows:
United States military and civilian personnel of the United States Department of Defense who may be present in the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste in connection with humanitarian and civic assistance, ship visits, military training and exercises and other agreed activities shall be accorded a status equivalent to that accorded to the administrative and technical staff of the Embassy of the United States of America under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961.
Such personnel may enter and exit the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste with United States identification and with collective movement or individual travel orders; the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste shall accept as valid, without a driving fee or test, driving licenses or permits issued by the appropriate United States authorities to United States personnel for the operation of vehicles; such personnel, including contract security guards, be authorized to wear uniforms while performing their official duties and to carry weapons when their orders call for it.
Vehicles, vessels and aircraft owned or operated by or for the United States armed forces shall not be subject to the payment of landing, navigation, overflight or parking charges, port and pilotage fees, or overland transit fees while in the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste; however, the United States armed forces shall pay reasonable charges for services requested and received. Aircraft, vessels and vehicles of the United States shall be free of inspections.
The Government of the United States of America, its military and civilian personnel, contractors and contractor personnel shall not be liable to pay any tax or similar charge assessed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste.
The Government of the United States of America, its military and civilian personnel, contractors and contractor personnel may import into, export out of, and use in the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste any personal property, equipment, supplies, materials, technology, training or services utilized in connection with activities covered by this agreement. Such importation, exportation and use shall be exempt from any inspection, license, other restrictions, customs duties, taxes or any other charges assessed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste.
The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste shall cooperate in taking such steps as shall be necessary to ensure the security of the United States personnel and property in the territory of the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste.
In the event that the Government of the United States of America awards contracts for the acquisition of articles and services, including construction, to implement this agreement, such contracts shall be awarded in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Government of the United States of America. Acquisition of articles and services in the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste by or on behalf of the Government of the United States of America in connection with activities covered by this agreement shall not be subject to any taxes, customs duties or similar charges in the territory of the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste.
The Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste recognizes the particular importance of disciplinary control by U.S. military authorities over United States personnel and, therefore, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste authorizes the United States Government to exercise criminal jurisdiction over such personnel. The Government of the Democratic‑Republic of Timor‑Leste and the Government of the United States of America confirm that such personnel may not be surrendered to, or otherwise transferred to, the custody of an international tribunal or any other entity or state without the express consent of the Government of the United States of America.
The Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste recognizes that it shall be necessary for U.S. personnel and systems to use the radio spectrum. The United States Government shall be allowed to operate its own telecommunication systems (as telecommunication is defined in the 1992 Constitution of the International Telecommunication Union). This shall include the right to utilize such means and services as required to assure full ability to operate telecommunication systems, and the right to use all necessary radio spectrum for this purpose. Use of radio spectrum shall be free of cost.
Other than contractual claims, the Parties waive any and all claims against each other for damage to, loss or destruction of property owned by each party, or death or injury to any military or civilian personnel of the armed forces of either party, arising out of activities in the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste covered by this agreement. Claims by third parties arising out of the acts or omissions of any U.S. personnel may, at the discretion of the United States Government, be dealt with and settled by the United States Government in accordance with U.S. law.
This Agreement shall enter into force upon signature of both Parties. After this Agreement has been in force for one year, either party may request a review of the Agreement. Such review shall begin 180 days after either party has made the request in writing.
Done at Washington this first day of October, 2002, in duplicate in the English language.
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF TIMOR‑LESTE:
/s/ J. Ramos-Horta
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
/s/ Colin L. Powell
For reference, relevant excerpts from the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 18 April 1961
Article 37 (2)
2. Members of the administrative and technical staff of the mission, together with members of their families forming part of their respective households, shall, if they are not nationals of or permanently resident in the receiving State, enjoy the privileges and immunities specified in Articles 29 to 35, except that the immunity from civil and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving State specified in paragraph 1 of Article 31 shall not extend to acts performed outside the course of their duties. They shall also enjoy the privileges specified in Article 36, paragraph 1, in respect of articles imported at the time of first installation.
The person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. The receiving State shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity.
1. The private residence of a diplomatic agent shall enjoy the same inviolability and protection as the premises of the mission.
2. His papers, correspondence and, except as provided in paragraph 3 of Article 31, his property, shall likewise enjoy inviolability.
1. A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State. He shall also enjoy immunity from its civil and administrative jurisdiction, except in the case of:
(a) a real action relating to private immovable property situated in the territory of the receiving State, unless he holds it on behalf of the sending State for the purposes of the mission;
(b) an action relating to succession in which the diplomatic agent is involved as executor, administrator, heir or legatee as a private person and not on behalf of the sending State;
(c) an action relating to any professional or commercial activity exercised by the diplomatic agent in the receiving State outside his official functions.
2. A diplomatic agent is not obliged to give evidence as a witness.
3. No measures of execution may be taken in respect of a diplomatic agent except in the cases coming under sub-paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of paragraph 1 of this Article, and provided that the measures concerned can be taken without infringing the inviolability of his person or of his residence.
4. The immunity of a diplomatic agent from the jurisdiction of the receiving State does not exempt him from the jurisdiction of the sending State.
1. The immunity from jurisdiction of diplomatic agents and of persons enjoying immunity under Article 37 may be waived by the sending State.
2. Waiver must always be express.
3. The initiation of proceedings by a diplomatic agent or by a person enjoying immunity from jurisdiction under Article 37 shall preclude him from invoking immunity from jurisdiction in respect of any counter-claim directly connected with the principal claim.
4. Waiver of immunity from jurisdiction in respect of civil or administrative proceedings shall not be held to imply waiver of immunity in respect of the execution of the judgment, for which a separate waiver shall be necessary.
1. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3 of this Article, a diplomatic agent shall with respect to services rendered for the sending State be exempt from social security provisions which may be in force in the receiving State.
2. The exemption provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article shall also apply to private servants who are in the sole employ of a diplomatic agent, on condition:
(a) that they are not nationals of or permanently resident in the receiving State; and
(b) that they are covered by the social security provisions which may be in force in the sending State or a third State.
3. A diplomatic agent who employs persons to whom the exemption provided for in paragraph 2 of this Article does not apply shall observe the obligations which the social security provisions of the receiving State impose upon employers.
4. The exemption provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article shall not preclude voluntary participation in the social security system of the receiving State provided that such participation is permitted by that State.
5. The provisions of this Article shall not affect bilateral or multilateral agreements concerning social security concluded previously and shall not prevent the conclusion of such agreements in the future.
A diplomatic agent shall be exempt from all dues and taxes, personal or real, national, regional or municipal, except:
(a) indirect taxes of a kind which are normally incorporated in the price of goods or services;
(b) dues and taxes on private immovable property situated in the territory of the receiving State, unless he holds it on behalf of the sending State for the purposes of the mission;
(c) estate, succession or inheritance duties levied by the receiving State, subject to the provisions of paragraph 4 of Article 39;
(d) dues and taxes on private income having its source in the receiving State and capital taxes on investments made in commercial undertakings in the receiving State;
(e) charges levied for specific services rendered;
(f) registration, court or record fees, mortgage dues and stamp duty, with respect to immovable property, subject to the provisions of Article 23.
The receiving State shall exempt diplomatic agents from all personal services, from all public service of any kind whatsoever, and from military obligations such as those connected with requisitioning, military contributions and billeting.
1. The receiving State shall, in accordance with such laws and regulations as it may adopt, permit entry of and grant exemption from all customs duties, taxes, and related charges other than charges for storage, cartage and similar services, on:
(a) articles for the official use of the mission;
(b) articles for the personal use of a diplomatic agent or members of his family forming part of his household, including articles intended for his establishment.
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