High Sea


All parts of the sea which are not included in EEZ, Territorial sea, Archipelagic waters are High seas. All flag state vessels have the freedom of Navigation Fishing Scientific research Laying of submarine cables and pipelines, building artificial islands.

The jurisdiction in High Seas

The flag state alone exercises its jurisdiction over its vessels in the High Seas. Right of visit by Warship – Warships have the right to visit over merchant vessels in the high seas if they have reason to believe the merchant vessel:-

  • Engaged in piracy
  • Slave trade
  • Unauthorized broadcasting
  • Does not have a flag state.
  • Refuses to show their flag.
  • carrying narcotics
  • caused pollution in the high seas and such pollution is likely to spread to coastal waters and cause damage to its environment, the coastal State affected (under the intervention convention) can (after due consultation with the Flag State of the vessel) take measures to prevent such an event.

In case of collision in High seas, the disciplinary proceeding can be initiated only by the flag State.

  • The State of the person involved
  • No arrest or detention even as a matter of investigation by any another state other than the Flag State.
  • Competency certificate can be withdrawn/endorsed only by the State which issued it.
  • While in the High seas vessels are duty bound to render assistance to vessels and persons in distress.

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