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AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF FRANCE
AND
THE OFFICE INTERNATIONAL DES EPIZOOTIES
CONCERNING THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE OFFICE INTERNATIONAL DES EPIZOOTIES AND ITS PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES ON FRENCH TERRITORY

Signed in Paris, on 21 February 1977

The Office International des Epizooties and the Republic of France,

Considering the International Agreement signed in Paris on 25 January 1924, creating the Office International des Epizooties and determining that the Headquarters of the Office should be in Paris,

Wishing to settle by this present Agreement questions relating to the establishment in Paris of the permanent Headquarters of the Office International des Epizooties and to define, accordingly, the privileges and immunities of the Office in France,

Have appointed for this purpose as their representatives:

The Office International des Epizooties:

Dr Werner Eckerskorn, President,

Dr René Vittoz, Director General,

The Government of the French Republic:

Mr Claude Chayet, Minister Plenipotentiary, Director of Administrative Agreements and Consular Affairs,

Who have agreed as follows:

Article 1

The Government of the Republic of France recognizes the juridical personality of the Office International des Epizooties, hereinafter referred to as the Office, and its capacity to contract, to acquire, and dispose of movable and fixed property required for its work, and to institute legal proceedings.

Article

1.

The headquarters of the Office includes 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.

2.

The premises occupied by the Office at the date of the signature of this present Agreement are defined in Appendix A.

Article 3

1.

The Headquarters of the Office shall be inviolable. The officers or agents of the Republic of France may not enter them for the purposes of carrying out their official duties, except with the agreement or at the request of the Director of the Office or a person delegated by him.

2.

The Office 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 for whom the competent French authorities have issued a legal warrant, a penal judgment or a deportation order.

3.

The archives of the Office and, in general, all the scientific documents belonging to it or in its keeping are inviolable.

Article 4

The properties and assets of the Office cannot be seized, confiscated, requisitioned or expropriated, nor subjected to any other kind of administrative or legal constraint.

Article 5

1.

The Office 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;

 

b.

freely transfer its funds and currency within the territory of France or from France to another country, and vice versa.

2.

In exercising the rights granted to it by the present Article, the Office shall give consideration to any representations which the Government of the French Republic may make to it.

Article 6

The Office, its assets, incomes and other properties are exempt from all direct taxes. The exemption does not apply, however, to the taxes collected as payment for services rendered.

Article 7

1.

The acquisition and rental of property by the Office for its administrative operation are exempt from registration duties ("droits d'enregistrement") and land taxes ("taxes de publicité foncière").

2.

Insurance contracts subscribed to by the Office within the framework of its official activities are exempt from the special tax on insurance agreements.

Article 8

The Office shall pay, under the conditions of common law, the indirect taxes which are included in the price of goods sold or of services rendered. However, taxes on turnover collected on behalf of the State budget, and which concern major acquisitions necessary for the administrative functioning of the Office, and the issuing of publications relating directly to its work, may be reimbursed under conditions to be settled by common accord between the Office and the competent French Authorities.

Article 9

1.

Furniture, supplies and office equipment imported or exported by the Office, and which are strictly essential for its administrative work, and publications relating directly to its work, shall be exempt from custom duties and taxes on turnover.

2.

The articles included in the category of goods designated in the above paragraph shall also be exempt from any prohibition or restriction concerning their importation and exportation.

3.

Goods acquired or imported for the purposes provided for in Article 8 and the present Article may at no time be the object of a sale or a loan, whether free of charge or otherwise, on the Territory of France, other than under conditions previously agreed upon by the competent French Authorities.

Article 10

Unless prevented by reasons of public order, the Government of the French Republic undertakes to authorize, without charge for visas and without delay, the entry and stay in France during the period of their appointment or mission with the Office of:

 

a.

Delegates of Member Countries to the Office, including their deputies, experts and observers to the General Sessions of the Office or Conferences and Meetings convened by the Office;

 

b.

Members of the Administrative Commission of the Office;

 

c.

members of the personnel of the Office and their families.

Article 11

As far as is consistent with the provisions of international conventions, rules and agreements to which it is a contracting party, the Government of the Republic of France, taking into consideration the special character of the objectives of the Office with regard to control of epizootics, grants to the Office for its official communications by mail, telephone, telegraph, radiotelephone and radiotelegraph, treatment as favourable as that granted by it to the diplomatic missions with respect to priority, taxes and charges.

Article 12

1.

Members of the personnel of the Office established in categories I, II and III as defined in Appendix B to this Agreement, shall be exempt from all taxes on salaries and emoluments received in remuneration of their work at the Office, with the exception of retirement or reversion pensions and annuities.

2.

The Government of the Republic of France does not extend to its own citizens or to persons permanently resident in France the exemption contained in paragraph 1 of the present Article, unless the Member Countries of the Office agree on a system whereby salaries and emoluments will be determined by the Office itself, in which case income other than the salary paid by the Office will be taxed by the French Government at the rate applicable to the whole of the income.

3.

The Director of the Office shall be exempt from the tax on his main residence ("taxe d'habitation") and from taxes on his income of foreign origin, if he does not engage in any lucrative work outside his official duties.

Article 13

1.

Members of the personnel of the Office in categories I and II, as defined in Appendix B of the present Agreement, will not be subject to duty on the temporary importation of their personal motor car.

2.

Members of the personnel of the Office, as defined in Appendix B of the present Agreement, shall be entitled:

 

a.

to immunity in regard to any legal action concerning their deeds performed within the province of their duties and within the limits of their powers; such immunity shall not apply to breaches of road traffic regulations committed by a member of the personnel of the Office or to damage caused by a motor vehicle belonging to him or driven by him;

 

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 France;

 

c.

to a special residence permit issued by the competent French Authorities for themselves, spouses and their minor children;

 

d.

to the facilities for repatriation granted to members of diplomatic missions in times of international crisis;

 

e.

to a special Social Security scheme under conditions to be determined by common agreement between the Office and the competent French Authorities.

3.

The provisions contained in paragraph 1 and paragraph 2, (a) and (d) of the present Article will also apply to Delegates and experts of Member Countries throughout their stay in France as required by their participation in the work of the Office.

Article 14

The privileges and immunities provided for within the present Agreement are granted to their beneficiaries in the interest of the proper functioning of the Office. The Committee or the Director 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 Office. The Office shall cooperate 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 3 to 13 of the present Agreement.

Article 15

The Government of the French Republic has no obligation to grant either to its own citizens or to persons permanently resident in France, the privileges and immunities mentioned in Article 12, paragraph 3, and Article 13, paragraph 1 and paragraph 2, sub-paragraphs b to d.

Article 16

Any dispute between the Government of the Republic of France 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 French Republic;

 

-

an arbitrator nominated by the Office;

 

-

an arbitrator nominated by both parties or, in the event of failure to agree, by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

 Article 17

The present Agreement will come into force following the exchange of the document of approval of the Government of the Republic of France and the notification of approval of the Office.

Done in two originals, both in the French language,

Paris, 21 February 1977

For the Government of the French Republic

For the Office International des Epizooties

Claude Chayet

Dr Werner Eckerskorn
Docteur René Vittoz

APPENDIX A

The permanent Headquarters of the Office are established on a piece of land with a total area of seven hundred and two square metres forty-five centimetres, situated in Paris, 17th arrondissement, 12 rue de Prony; this piece of land and the buildings erected thereon it were purchased by the Office by contract dated 22 February 1939.

APPENDIX B

The personnel of the Office consists of the following four categories:

 

I.

The Director of the Office, i.e. the person nominated by the Member Countries of the Office to manage the Office;

 

II.

The officers of the Office, i.e. the persons, other than the Director, appointed to positions of responsibility in the administrative or technical work of the Office;

III.

The clerical staff, i.e. persons entrusted with duties involving the administrative or technical work of the Office;

 

IV.

The service staff, i.e. the persons entrusted with the domestic work of the Office, and excluding personnel in the service of a member of the personnel of the Office.

Appendices A and B form an integral part of the present Agreement.

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