UNCLOS (The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea)


UNCLOS Signed:10 December 1982.
UNCLOS Signatories:157 Signatories.
UNCLOS Effective from:16 November 1994.
UNCLOS Signed location:Montego Bay, Jamaica.
UNCLOS Type:International Treaty.
UNCLOS Treaty Area:Treaty on the Sea and Water.

What is UNCLOS?

The UNCLOS stands for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is an international treaty that establishes a legal framework for all marine and maritime activities.

UNCLOS Signed:

The UNCLOS was adopted and signed on 10th December 1982 and entered into force on 16th November 1994. The UNCLOS has created three new institutions on the international scene-

1. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

2. The International Seabed Authority.

3. The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.


The UNCLOS has been signed by 157 countries till now however, a total of 168 parties ratified the convention including European Union.

UNCLOS Parties:

The convention has been ratified by 168 parties. One of the major countries, the United States has not ratified the convention.


The main objective of the UNCLOS is to establish a legal framework for all marine and maritime activities in the world. The UNCLOS helps to resolve the issues between the countries related to maritime activities.

Limits of various Areas set by the Convention:

The convention set limits for various areas, measured from the baseline of the coastal states.

Internal Waters: It covers all water and waterways within the country’s land.

Territorial Waters: Within the 12 Nautical Miles from the baseline, the coastal states can set laws, regulate the use of resources of territorial waters.

Contiguous Zone: Beyond the 12 NM of territorial waters, there is a further 12 NM limit from the baseline of territorial waters, which is known as a contiguous zone.

Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ): The EEZ covers 200 NM from the baseline of the coastal state.

India and UNCLOS:

India is one of the signatories of the UNCLOS. India ratified the convention and following the rules and regulations of the convention.