Depositing and registration
The South African Treaty Section in the OCSLA (IL) is the official custodian of all international agreements that South Africa is a party to and keeps the South African Treaty Register, which is the only official record of all bilateral and multilateral agreements up to date.
It is of utmost importance that:
- The original copy of every agreement along with the President’s Minute, after signature, must be deposited with the Treaty Section for record keeping and registration at the United Nations.
- In the case of multilateral agreements where the original copy is not available, a certified copy must be deposited with the Treaty Section, as well as a signed copy of the Instrument of Ratification or Accession, and the proof of Parliament’s approval, for such ratification or accession.
- Every action that causes a change in the status of an agreement must be reported and the relevant documents sent to the Treaty Section without delay.
These documents include:
- Parliament’s approval (both houses) to ratify or accede to an agreement
- copies of Instruments of Ratification or Accession
- depositary notifications
- Entry-into-force dates
- termination or any other relevant information.
Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations stipulates that every member state has to register its agreements with the Secretariat of the United Nations after the entry into force thereof. This is the responsibility of the Treaty Section.