ICPO Convention

ICPO Convention




on the International Commission
for the Protection of the Oder



Hereinafter referred to as `the contracting parties`,
CONVINCED of the need to improve the ecological state of the Oder and the Stettiner Haff, including their drainage areas,
DESIROUS of preventing further pollution of these waters,
RESOLVED to contribute to a sustained reduction of pollution of the Baltic Sea,
CONVINCED of the urgency of these tasks,
DESIROUS of increasing the cooperation that already exists between the contracting parties in this area,


Article 1


1. The Contracting Parties shall cooperate within the International Commission for the Protection of the Oder against Pollution, hereinafter referred to as `the Commission`, to prevent the pollution of the Oder and the Stettiner Haff, including their drainage areas, hereinafter referred to as `the Oder`.

2. The objectives of this cooperation shall be in particular:


(a) to prevent the pollution of the Oder and the Baltic Sea by contaminants and to achieve a sustained reduction in the pollution thereof;

(b) to achieve the most natural aquatic and littoral ecosystems possible with the corresponding species diversity;

(c) to permit utilisation of the Oder, in particular the production of drinking water from bank filtrate and the use of its water and sediments in agriculture.


3. To achieve objectives, the Contracting Parties shall draw up joint action programmes within the Commission with timetables for their implementation. These action programmes may be gradually supplemented as necessary.

4. For the attainment of these objectives, the Contracting Parties shall promote the exchange of modern technologies to prevent and reduce pollution resulting from agreements concluded under civil law.


Article 2


1. The Commission shall in particular:


(a) prepare surveys of point sources of pollution, estimate water pollution from non-point sources and extrapolate both by sector and the main types of pollution;

(b) propose limit values for the discharge of waste waters;

(c) propose water quality objectives which take account of the intended use of the waters and the particular conditions for protection of the Baltic Sea and the aquatic and littoral ecosystems;

(d) establish joint measurement and analysis programmes to demonstrate the quality and quantity of the waters and the quality of the sediments, to assess the state of the aquatic and littoral ecosystems and, where necessary, to evaluate the consequences of the water pollution, and to evaluate the results;

(e) develop standardised methods for the classification of the waters;

(f) analyse data and information necessary for the protection of the Oder, in particular with regard to hydrology and water resource management;

(g) propose action programmes for the reduction of pollution, especially by contaminants from both municipal and industrial point sources and from nonpoint sources and other measures including the proposed timescale, cost estimate and possible funding arrangements;

(h) propose safeguards to prevent and deal with unforeseen pollution incidents, and establish a uniform warning and alert system in the light of experience;

(i) document the ecological importance of the various biotope elements, including the eco-morphology, and draft proposals for the maintenance, restoration and protection of aquatic and littoral ecosystems;

(j) discuss planned and existing types of utilisation of the waters which may have important transboundary repercussions;

(k) promote cooperation on scientific research projects and the exchange of information, in particular on the state of the art and modern technologies to prevent and reduce water pollution.


2. The Commission shall also cover matters relating to the protection of the waters against pollution where such pollution is caused by fisheries, shipping or other uses of the waters.

3. The Commission may be given other tasks by joint agreement between the Contracting Parties.


Article 3


This Convention shall apply in the territories of the Republic of Poland and the Czech Republic and in the territories in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applicable.


Article 4


1. The Commission's activities shall be conducted in accordance with the laws of the Contracting Parties.

2. The Commission shall make proposals and recommendations to the Contracting Parties to achieve the objectives of this Convention.

3. The Contracting Parties shall inform the Commission, within specific periods of time, of the conditions and resources needed to achieve the objectives and of the measures taken and the results thereof.


Article 5


1. The Commission shall consist of delegations of the Contracting Parties. Each Contracting Party shall appoint a maximum of five delegates, including the head of the delegation and his deputy and up to five alternate delegates.

2. Each delegation may call in experts designated by it for the consideration of specific issues.

3. The Commission shall adopt rules of procedure.


Article 6


1. The chairmanship of the Commission shall be held by the delegations of the Contracting Parties in turn. Details of the chairmanship and the related tasks shall be laid down in the rules of procedure. The delegation holding the chairmanship shall designate one of its members as chairman. The delegation may appoint a further delegate for the duration of its chairmanship.

2. The chairman shall not normally speak on behalf of his delegation in the Commission meetings.


Article 7


1. The Commission shall meet at least once a year at the chairman's invitation for an ordinary meeting at a place specified by him/her.

2. Extraordinary meetings shall be convened by the chairman at the request of at least one delegation.

3. The heads of the delegations may confer between meetings of the Commission.

4. The chairman shall propose the agenda. Each delegation shall be entitled to include those items in the agenda which it wishes to have discussed.

Article 8


1. Each delegation shall have one vote.

2. Negotiations and decisions within the framework of this Convention and in the course of its implementation shall be carried out by the European Community and the Federal Republic of Germany within their respective fields of competence. The European Community shall not exercise its right to vote in cases in which the Federal Republic of Germany is competent and vice-versa.

3. The Commission's decisions and proposals shall be unanimously adopted. A written procedure may be applied in accordance with conditions to be specified in the rules of procedure.

4. Decisions nem. con. shall be deemed to be unanimous, provided all the delegations are present.


Article 9


1. The Commission shall set up working parties to carry out certain tasks.

2. The working parties shall consist of the delegates or experts designated by each delegation.

3. The Commission shall determine the tasks and the number of members of each working party and shall appoint the chairman.


Article 10


The Commission shall have legal personality. Its legal capacity shall be governed by the law of the State in which its secretariat is located. The Commission shall be represented by its chairman. The chairman may determine his/her representatives in accordance with the rules of procedure.


Article 11


The Commission shall establish a secretariat for the preparation and implementation of its work. The Commission shall lay down rules for the work of the secretariat in the rules of procedure. The secretariat shall be located in Breslau.


Article 12


The Commission may call on the services of specially qualified persons or bodies to examine specific issues within the limits of its budget.


Article 13


1. The Commission shall, in accordance with the objectives of this Convention, decide on cooperation with other international and national organisations concerned with protection of waters against pollution.

2. The Commission shall inform the public of the results of its work and its programmes and measures.


Article 14


The Commission shall provide the contracting parties with an activity report at least every two years and, if necessary, with further reports, in particular on measures taken and the results of analyses and their evaluation.


Article 15


1. Each Contracting Party shall bear the costs of its representation in the Commission and in the working parties.

2. Other costs incurred by the Commission and the costs of the secretariat shall be covered by the Commission's budget. The contributions to the Commission's budget shall be divided among the Contracting Parties as follows:
  • Federal Republic of Germany - 38,75 %
  • Republic of Poland - 38,75 %
  • Czech Republic - 20,00 %
  • European Community - 2,50 %

Total - 100,00 %


3. The Commission shall decide on its budget and confirm its performance. Further details shall be laid down in the rules of procedure.

4. The Commission's budget shall be made up, apart from the contributions from the Contracting Parties, of donations, grants, interest receipts and resources from other sources.


Article 16


1. Rights and obligations of the Contracting Parties resulting from bi- and multilateral agreements shall not be affected by this Convention.

2. The Commission shall examine, in agreement with the Contracting Parties, the extent to which it is possible and expedient to harmonise the rights and obligations from existing agreements in order, among other things, to avoid duplication of effort and shall present corresponding proposals if appropriate.


Article 17


The working languages of the Commission shall be German, Polish and Czech.


Article 18


1. This Convention must be ratified or confirmed in accordance with the respective laws of the Contracting Parties.

2. The ratification or confirmation deeds shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union as depositary. The depositary shall inform the other Contracting Parties of every ratification or confirmation deed deposited.

3. This Convention shall enter into force 30 days after the day on which the last ratification or confirmation deed has been deposited with the depositary. The depositary shall inform the other Contracting Parties of the date of entry into force.


Article 19


1. The Convention shall be concluded for an indefinite period.

2. Five years after its entry into force, this Convention may be denounced at any time by any of the Contracting Parties through notification to the depositary. The Convention shall thereby cease to have effect for the denouncing party one year after the deposit of the note in question with the depositary.


Article 20


This Convention which is drawn up in original copies in German, Polish and Czech, each text being equally binding, shall be deposited in the archives of the Secretariat-General of the Council of the European Union. The latter shall send a certified copy to each of the Contracting Parties.


Done at Breslau on the eleventh day of April nineteen hundred and ninety-six.

Last update: 2008.12.01