Norway maritime claims about baselines for determining the extent of the territorial sea around mainland Norway

the list of geographical coordinates of points as specified in the Regulations relating to the baselines for determining the extent of the territorial sea around mainland Norway, as laid down by Royal Decree of 1 June 2002.

On 1st January 2004 an Act extending the breadth of the territorial sea around mainland Norway, Jan Mayen and Svalbard from 4 to 12 nautical miles entered into force. The Act also established a contiguous zone for certain control purposes, extending for a further 12 nautical miles beyond the territorial sea around mainland Norway.

The right to establish the extent of the territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles (22,224 metres) measured from the baseline is founded on both customary international law and on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (the Law of the Sea) Article 3. The baseline of a coastal state is determined in accordance with the Law of the Sea Articles 5-7, which reflect customary international law. The baseline along the entire Norwegian coast was updated and technically adjusted in 2001-2002 in preparation for this new Act concerning territorial waters. The waters on the landward side of the baseline form part of the internal waters of the state.

The border for the territorial sea delineates the outer border of the coastal state’s territory, hence it is also called the territorial border. Within this border the state has sovereignty. Basically coastal states have the same authority in their territorial waters as on their land territory, thus national legislation is applicable and executory force can be exercised. Accordingly, the extension means that Norwegian legislation will have a broader geographical scope. This is of particular importance for measures concerning environmental protection and safety at sea, as well as security issues.

Norway is one of the last coastal states in Europe to extend its territorial sea to 12 nautical miles. On the other hand Norway is one of the first countries in Europe to establish a contiguous zone. The right to establish a contiguous zone of up to 24 nautical miles (44,448 metres) from the baseline is found in Article 33 of the Law of the Sea. In the contiguous zone the coastal state can exercise necessary control in order to prevent or punish infringements of Customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial waters. However, it is not possible to exercise full sovereignty or regular jurisdiction in the contiguous zone.

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