Archipelago waters

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Archipelago waters (dark blue), territorial sea (medium blue) and exclusive economic zone of the Philippines

As archipelagic waters are territorial waters referred to that between the islands of the archipelago an island state located. The possibility of establishing archipelago waters, recognized under international law, was created with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982. However, the Philippines in particular had long claimed them and they had been discussed at several maritime law conferences since 1930. In addition, Indonesia practiced archipelago waters even before the drafting of the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The archipelago waters according to the Convention on the Law of the Sea are delimited by a line that connects the outer coastal points of the archipelago, which does not have to encompass the entire state, in a straight line. The individual straight sections of the line may not be longer than 100 nautical miles (185.2 km), with the exception of a numerical proportion of three percent of these lines, which may be up to 125 nautical miles in length. Within the enclosed area, the ratio of water area to land area must be between 1: 1 and 9: 1.

The archipelago waters stand legally between the territorial sea and the internal waters: They are subject to the territorial sovereignty of the archipelago state. As baselines, its boundaries also form the basis for the delimitation of the other zones under international law that it can claim. However, other states have the right of peaceful passage .

States claiming archipelago waters (as of July 15, 2011):


  1. Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea: Table of claims to maritime jurisdiction (PDF file; 257 kB)
  2. Archipelagic Waters and Maritime Jurisdiction (Archipelagic Baselines) Order, 2008 (PDF file; 1.1 MB)
  3. Law 66-07 of May 22, 2007 (PDF file; 221 kB)
  4. Joint demarche of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America (PDF file; 117 kB)
  5. Maritime Spaces (Archipelagic Baselines and Exclusive Economic Zone) Order (PDF file; 1.2 MB)
  6. ^ Statutory Rules and Orders No. 31 of 1992 (PDF file; 2.5 MB)
  7. List of geographic coordinates in accordance with “Government Regulation No. 38 of 2002 as amended by Government Regulation No. 37 of 2008 " (PDF file; 77 kB)
  8. Exclusive Economic Zone (Baselines) Regulations, 1992 (PDF file; 20 kB)
  9. Decree of the President of the Union of Comoros 10-092 / PR of August 13, 2010 (PDF file; 13 kB)
  10. Maritime Zones (Baselines and Delineating Lines) Regulations 2005 (PDF file; 1.2 MB)
  11. Declaration of the baselines by method of co-ordinates of basepoints for purposes of the location of archipelagic baselines (PDF file; 1.4 MB)
  12. Republic Act No. 9522 (PDF file; 555 kB)
  13. Law 1/98, English translation (PDF file; 252 kB)
  14. Maritime Zone (Baselines) Order, 2008, amended by Maritime Zone (Baselines) (Amendment) Regulations, 2009 (PDF file; 4.5 MB)
  15. Coordinates and map deposited with the Secretary General of the United Nations (PDF file; 228 kB)
  16. Ministerial Order No. 81 of July 29, 2009 (PDF file; 959 kB)
  17. Law 60 / IV / 92 of December 21, 1992, English translation by the United Nations (PDF file; 42 kB)
  18. Law 6/96 on the Maritime Zones of the Maldives, English translation by the United Nations (PDF file; 46 kB)