Subsea Cable Crossing Agreement

This chapter begins with a review of the relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (CNMS) (Section 2). It continues to identify the competing interests of the parties concerned (section 3) before examining in detail the main features and provisions of the crossover agreements (section 4). The following sections focus on the installation phase (section 5) and, in particular, the liability and compensation regime applied by the crossover agreements (section 6). „New situations“ are expected after completion (section 7). The chapter concludes with some final observations (section 8). This chapter focuses on sea crossings, i.e. sea-bottom crossings outside coastal seas. While the problems on land are similar and there is a similar need for crossing agreements, sea agreements have some peculiarities. For example, the coastal state may have used its jurisdiction to influence border crossing rules and influence the liability and compensation regime.

In addition, it is very likely that there will be other types of pipelines, such as water pipes and onshore pipes. The analysis of this chapter is limited to three types of „connections“4 mentioned above: oil and gas pipelines, electrical cables and telecommunications cables. It goes without saying that the logistics and potential difficulties associated with offshore installation and the need to use specialized vessels mean that the construction of under-sea cable systems is a special loading area and that there are a relatively small number of contractors in the world who are both capable and experienced in designing, supplying and installing these systems. During the Sydney-Guam connection, PPC-1 must cross a series of pre-installed cables that are already at the bottom of the sea. In our case, we cross THE APNG2, Southern Cross, Gondwana-1 and Australia Japan in service cable. The Underwater Community is working on a series of guidelines from the International Committee for the Protection of Cables (ICC) that define the crossing angles and types of cables used at each crossing point. Kind of like the traffic rules for submarine cables. The second group of third parties is sometimes called „true“ third parties and is very diverse. It may include owners of other facilities near the border crossing, shipowners, fishermen, users of the connector concerned, etc. A particular type of claim concerns pollution liability, which is particularly important in practice for oil and gas pipelines.

There may be national exceptions for owners of pipes and cables entering territorial waters (not just the seabed outside those boundaries, or owners of pipelines and cables used for the use of resources on the continental shelf).