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AgreementonGermanExternalDebts1953 Ger

AgreementonGermanExternalDebts1953 Ger

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Published by Panos Skouras

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Published by: Panos Skouras on Sep 27, 2012
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11/29/2012

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Agreement on German External Debts
 (London, 27 February 1953)Entry into force generally: 16 September 1953
 
AGREEMENT ON GERMAN EXTERNAL DEBTS
 [1]THE GOVERNMENTS of Belgium, Canada, Ceylon, Denmark, the French Republic, Greece, Iran, Ireland, Italy,Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Pakistan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Union of South Africa, the UnitedKingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, and Yugoslavia of the one part, andTHE GOVERNMENT of the Federal Republic of Germany of the other part,DESIRING to remove obstacles to normal economic relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and othercountries and thereby to make a contribution to the development of a prosperous community of nations;CONSIDERING that, for about twenty years, payments on German external debts have not, in general,conformed to the contractual terms; that from 1939 to 1945 the existence of a state of war prevented anypayments from being made with respect to many of such debts; that since 1945 such payments have beengenerally suspended; and that the Federal Republic of Germany desires to put an end to this situation;CONSIDERING that France, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America have, since 8 May 1945, furnished to Germany economic assistance, which has substantially contributedto the rebuilding of the German economy, with the effect of facilitating a resumption of payments on the Germanexternal debts;CONSIDERING that on 6 March 1951, an exchange of letters (copies of which are contained in Appendix A to thepresent Agreement) took place between the Governments of the French Republic, the United Kingdom of GreatBritain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, which constitutes the basis on which have been established the present Agreement for the settlementof German external debts (with its Annexes) and the agreements for the settlement of the debts arising out of the economic assistance furnished to Germany;CONSIDERING that the Governments of the French Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and NorthernIreland and the United States of America set up a Commission entitled the Tripartite Commission on GermanDebts for the purpose of preparing for and working out, with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, with other interested Governments and with representatives of creditor and debtor interests, a plan forthe orderly overall settlement of Germany external debts;CONSIDERING that this Commission informed the representatives of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany that the Governments of the French Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Irelandand the United States of America were prepared to make important concessions with respect to the priority of their claims for post-war economic assistance over all other foreign claims against Germany and Germannationals and with respect to the total amount of these claims, on condition that a satisfactory and equitablesettlement of Germany's pre-war external debts was achieved;CONSIDERING that such a settlement of German external debts could be achieved only by a single overall planwhich would take into account the relative positions of the various creditor interests, the nature of variouscategories of claims and the general situation of the Federal Republic of Germany;CONSIDERING that, in order to achieve this purpose, an International Conference on German External Debts,which was attended by representatives of interested Governments and of creditor and debtor interests, was heldin London from 28 February 1952 to 8 August 1952;CONSIDERING that these representatives made agreed recommendations as to the terms and procedures of settlement (the texts of which are reproduced as Annexes I to VI, inclusive, to the present Agreement); thatthese recommendations were appended to the Report of the Conference on German External Debts (the text of 
 
which is reproduced as Appendix B to the present Agreement); and that the present Agreement has beeninspired by the principles and objectives set forth in the abovementioned Report;CONSIDERING that the Governments of the French Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and NorthernIreland and the United States of America, having found that these recommendations provide a satisfactory andequitable plan for the settlement of German external debts, have this day signed with the Government of theFederal Republic of Germany bilateral agreements for the settlement of debts arising from the post-war economicassistance[2] furnished by these three Governments which set forth their modified rights and priorities in respectthereto;HAVE AGREED as follows:Article 1Approval of settlement terms and proceduresThe Parties to the present Agreement regard the provisions thereof and of the Annexes thereto as reasonable inthe light of the general situation of the Federal Republic of Germany and as satisfactory and equitable to theinterests concerned. They approve the settlement terms and procedures contained in the said Annexes.Article 2Implementation by the Federal Republic of GermanyThe Federal Republic of Germany will enact such legislation and take such administrative action as may benecessary to give effect to the present Agreement and the Annexes thereto and will modify or repeal suchlegislation and administrative measures as are inconsistent therewith.Article 3DefinitionsFor the purposes of the present Agreement and of Annexes IX and X thereto only, unless the context requiresotherwise-(a) "creditor" means a person, other than the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, to whom a debtis owing;(b) "creditor country" means a country, other than the Federal Republic of Germany, the Government of whichbecomes a party to the present Agreement and includes any territories to which the present Agreement isextended under Article 37;(c) "currency option" means a term of a contract under which a creditor has the right to require payment in anyone of two or more currencies;(d) "debt" means a debt as qualified in Article 4;(e) "fixed", in relation to the amount of a debt, means established by agreement, by final judgment or order of acourt or final decision of an arbitral body, or by operation of law;(f) "marketable securities" means stocks, shares, bonds and debentures which were issued for public subscriptionor form part of an issue which is or has been dealt in on a recognized stock market;(g) "offer of settlement", as used in relation to a bonded debt, means an offer by the debtor of terms of paymentand other conditions which have been established for such debt in accordance with the present Agreement and
 
the Annexes thereto, by negotiation between the debtor and the appropriate creditors' representative, by final judgment or order of a court or final decision of an arbitral body;(h) "Party to the present Agreement" means any Government as to which the present Agreement has enteredinto force in accordance with the provisions of Article 35 or Article 36 thereof;(i) "person" means any natural, collective or juridical person under public or private law, and any Government,including all political subdivisions, corporations under public law, including agencies and instrumentalities thereof and individuals acting on their behalf;(j) "resides in" or "residing in" means having his ordinary residence in; a juridical person or a partnership shall bedeemed to reside in the country under the laws of which it is organized or, if its head office is not in that country,in the country in which its head office is registered;(k) "settled", in relation to a debt, means that terms of payment and other conditions have been established forsuch debt in accordance with the provisions of the present Agreement and the Annexes thereto, by agreementbetween the creditor and debtor, or, in proceedings between the creditor and debtor, by final judgment or orderof a court or by final decision of an arbitral body;(l) "settlement", in relation to a debt, means the establishment of terms of payment and other conditions inaccordance with paragraph (k).Article 4Debts to be settled(1) The debts to be settled under the present Agreement and the Annexes thereto are:(a) non-contractual pecuniary obligations the amount of which was fixed and due before 8 May 1945;(b) pecuniary obligations arising out of loan or credit contracts entered into before 8 May 1945;(c) pecuniary obligations arising out of contracts other than loan or credit contracts and due before 8 May 1945;(2) Provided that such debts:(a) are covered by Annex I to the present Agreement, or(b) are owed by a person, whether as principal or otherwise, and whether as original debtor or as successor,who, whenever a proposal for settlement is made by the debtor or a request for settlement is made by thecreditor or, where appropriate in the case of a bonded debt, a request for settlement is made by the creditors'representative under the present Agreement and the Annexes thereto, resides in the currency area of allDeutschemark West;(3) Provided also that such debts:(a) are owed to the Government of a creditor country; or(b) are owed to a person who, whenever a proposal for settlement is made by the debtor or a request forsettlement is made by the creditor under the present Agreement and the Annexes thereto, resides in or is anational of a creditor country; or(c) arise out of marketable securities payable in a creditor country.

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