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The Nordic Environmental Protection Convention

Done at Stockholm on 19 February 1974

Convention on the Protection of the Environment between Denmark,
Finland, Norway and Sweden.

The Governments of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden,
convinced of the urgent need to protect and improve the
environment, have agreed as follows:

Article 1

For the purpose of this Convention environmentally harmful
activities shall mean the discharge from the soil or from
buildings or installations of solid or liquid waste, gas or any
other substance into water courses, lakes or the sea and the use
of land, the seabed, buildings or installations in any other way
which entails or may entail environmental nuisance by water
pollution or any other effect on water conditions, sand drift,
air pollution, noise, vibration, changes in temperature,
ionizing radiation, light etc. The Convention shall not apply
insofar as environmentally harmful activities are regulated by a
special agreement between two or more of the Contracting States.

Article 2

In considering the permissibility of environmentally harmful
activities, the nuisance which such activities entail or may
entail in another Contracting State shall be equated with a
nuisance in the States where the activities are carried out.

Article 3

Any person who is affected or may be affected by a nuisance
caused by environmentally harmful activities in another
Contracting State shall have the right to bring before the
appropriate Court or Administrative Authority of that State the
question of the permissibility of such activities including the
question of measures to prevent damage, and to appeal against
the decision of the Court or the Administrative Authority to the
same extent and on the same terms as a legal entity of the State
in which the activities are being carried out.

The provisions of the first paragraph of this Article shall be
equally applicable in the case of proceedings concerning
compensation for damage caused by environmentally harmful
activities. The question of compensation shall not be judged by
rules which are less favourable to the injured party than the
rules of compensation of the State in which the activities are
being carried out.

Article 4

Each State shall appoint a special authority (supervisory
authority) to be entrusted with the task of safeguarding general
environmental interests insofar as regards nuisances arising out
of environmentally harmful activities in another Contracting
State. For the purpose of safeguarding such interests, the
supervisory authority shall have the right to institute
proceedings before or be heard by the competent Court or
Administrative Authority of another Contracting State regarding
the permissibility of the environmentally harmful activities if
an authority or other representative of general environmental
interests in that State can institute proceedings or be heard in
matters of this kind, as well as the right to appeal against the
decision of the Court or the Administrative Authority in
accordance with the procedures and rules of appeal applicable to
such cases in the State concerned.

Article 5

If the Court or the Administrative Authority examining the
permissibility of environmentally harmful activities (examining
authority) finds that the activities entail or may entail
nuisance of significance in another Contracting State, the
examining authority shall, if proclamation or publication is
required in cases of that nature, send as soon as possible a
copy of the documents of the case to the supervisory authority
of the other State, and afford it the opportunity of giving its
opinion. Notification of the date and place of a meeting or
inspection shall, where appropriate, be given well in advance to
the supervisory authority which, moreover, shall be kept
informed of any developments that may be of interest to it.

Article 6

Upon the request of the supervisory authority, the examining
authority shall, insofar as compatible with the procedural rules
of the States in which the activities are being carried out,
require the applicant for a permit to carry out environmentally
harmful activities to submit such additional particulars,
drawings and technical specifications as the examining authority
deems necessary for evaluating the effects in the other State.

Article 7

The supervisory authority, if it finds it necessary on account
of public or private interests, shall publish communications
from the examining authority in the local newspaper or in some
other suitable manner. The supervisory authority shall also
institute such investigations of the effects in its own State as
it deems necessary.

Article 8

Each State shall defray the cost of the activities of its
supervisory authority.

Article 9

If, in a particular case, the supervisory authority has informed
the appropriate Court of Administrative authority of the State
in which the activities are being carried out that in the case
concerned the duties of the supervisory authority shall be
discharged by another authority, the provisions of this
Convention relating to supervisory activities shall, where
appropriate, apply to that authority.

Article 10

If necessary for determining the damage caused in another State
by environmentally harmful activities, the supervisory authority
of that other State shall upon request of the examining
authority of the State in which the activities are being carried
out make arrangements for on-site inspection. The examining
authority or an expert appointed by it may be present at such an

Where necessary, more detailed instructions concerning
inspections such as referred to in the preceding paragraph shall
be drawn up in consultation between the countries concerned.

Article 11

Where the permissibility of environmentally harmful activities
which entail considerable nuisance in another Contracting State
is being examined by the Government or by the appropriate
Minister or Ministry of the State in which the activities are
being carried out, consultations shall take place between the
States concerned if the Government of the former State so

Article 12

In cases such as those referred to in Article 11, the Government
of each State concerned may demand that an opinion be given by a
Commission which, unless otherwise agreed, shall consist of a
chairman from another Contracting State to be appointed jointly
by the parties and three members from each of the States
concerned. Where such a Commission has been appointed, the case
cannot be decided upon until the Commission has given its

Each State shall remunerate the members it has appointed. Fees
or other remuneration of the Chairman as well as any other costs
incidental to the activities of the Commission which are not
manifestly the responsibility of one or the other State, shall
be equally shared by the States concerned.

Article 13

This Convention shall also apply to the continental shelf areas
of the Contracting States.

Article 14

This Convention shall enter into force six months from the date
on which all the Contracting States have notified the Swedish
Ministry for Foreign Affairs that the constitutional measures
necessary for the entry into force of the Convention have been
implemented. The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall
notify the other Contracting States of the receipt of such

Article 15

Actions or cases relevant to this Convention, which are pending
before a Court or an Administrative Authority on the date when
this Convention enters into force, shall be dealt with and
judged according to provisions previously in force.

Article 16

Any Contracting State wishing to denounce this Convention shall
give notice of its intention in writing to the Swedish
Government, which shall forthwith inform the other Contracting
States of the denunciation and of the date on which notice was

The denunciation shall take effect twelve months from the date
on which the Swedish Government received such notification or on
such later date as may be indicated in the notice of
denunciation. This Convention shall be deposited with the
Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which shall send certified
copies thereof to the Government of each Contracting State.

In witness whereof the undersigned, representative of the
Contracting States, being duly authorized thereto by the
irrespective Governments, have signed this Convention.

Done at Stockholm, this 19th day of February 1974 in a single
copy in the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish languages,
all texts being equally authoritative.


In connection with the signing today of the Nordic Environmental
Protection Convention the duly authorized signatories agreed
that the following comments on its application shall be appended
to the Convention.

In the application of Article I discharge from the soil, or from
buildings or installations of solid or liquid waste, gases or
other substances into watercourses, lakes or the sea shall be
regarded as environmentally harmful activities only if the
discharge entails or may entail a nuisance to the surroundings.

The right established in Article 3 for anyone who suffers injury
as a result of environmentally harmful activities in a
neighbouring State to institute proceedings for compensation
before a court or administrative authority of that State shall,
in principle, be regarded as including the right to demand the
purchase of his real property. Article 5 shall be regarded as
applying also to applications for permits where such
applications are referred to certain authorities and
organizations for their opinion but not in conjunction with
proclamation or publication procedures.

The Contracting States shall require officials of the
supervisory authority to observe professional secrecy as regards
trade secrets, operational devices or business conditions of
which they have become cognizant in dealing with cases
concerning environmentally harmful activities in another State.

Stockholm, 19th February, 1974