Vienna Convention of 1963 on Consular Relations
an international convention laying down the procedures for the establishment of consular relations and consular posts, and also defining the functions, privileges, and immunities of such posts. It was signed on Apr. 24, 1963, and became effective on Mar. 19, 1967. The convention establishes the classes of chiefs of consular posts—namely, consuls general, consuls, vice-consuls and consular agents—and the procedure for their appointment and admission to the exercise of their functions by the receiving state, as well as the procedure for the appointment of consular staff. On Jan. 1, 1970, 65 states were parties to the convention.
Under the convention, consular posts enjoy certain facilities, privileges, and immunities. The consular archives and documents and the working premises of the consular post are inviolable; there is, however, a clause enabling the local authorities to enter the consular premises in case of fire or other disaster without the consent of the consul or head of the diplomatic mission. Consular officers enjoy personal inviolability in the receiving state, although they may be detained or arrested pursuant to a decision by a judicial authority in the case of a grave crime. Consular staff members are immune from the jurisdiction of the judicial or administrative bodies with respect to acts performed in the exercise of consular functions. They are exempt from local taxes and dues and from any obligation with regard to the registration of aliens or residence permits. Consular officials are free to communicate with nationals of their own state in the receiving state, and the authorities of the receiving state must inform the consular post of any arrest of such nationals. Consular officials may correspond with and visit such nationals in conformity with the laws and regulations of the receiving state. The convention also provides for the rights and functions of honorary consular officers.
The USSR is not a party to the convention.
I. K. GORODETSKAIA
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