Council of Europe Convention on the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health

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Council of Europe Convention on the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health
Moscow, 28 October 2011

by the Council of Europe

Contents

Preamble[edit]

The member States of the Council of Europe and the other signatories to this Convention,

Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members;
Noting that the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes by their very nature seriously endanger public health;
Recalling the Action Plan adopted at the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005), which recommends the development of measures to strengthen the security of European citizens;
Bearing in mind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950, ETS No. 5), the European Social Charter (1961, ETS No. 35), the Convention on the Elaboration of a European Pharmacopoeia (1964, ETS No. 50) and its Protocol (1989, ETS No. 134), the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (1997, ETS No. 164) and the Additional Protocols thereto (1998, ETS No. 168, 2002, ETS No.186, 2005, CETS No. 195, 2008, CETS No. 203) and the Convention on Cybercrime (2001, ETS No. 185);
Also bearing in mind the other relevant work of the Council of Europe, particularly the decisions of the Committee of Ministers and work of the Parliamentary Assembly, notably Resolution AP(2001)2 concerning the pharmacist's role in the framework of health security, the replies adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 6 April 2005 and on 26 September 2007, concerning respectively, Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations 1673 (2004) on “Counterfeiting: problems and solutions” and 1794 (2007) on the “Quality of medicines in Europe”, as well as relevant programmes conducted by the Council of Europe;
Having due regard to other relevant international legal instruments and programmes, conducted notably by the World Health Organisation, in particular the work of the group IMPACT, and by the European Union, as well as in the forum of the G8;
Determined to contribute effectively to the attainment of the common goal of combating crime involving counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health, by introducing notably new offences and penal sanctions relative to these offences;
Considering that the purpose of this Convention is to prevent and combat threats to public health, giving effect to the provisions of the Convention concerning substantive criminal law should be carried out taking into account its purpose and the principle of proportionality;
Considering that this Convention does not seek to address issues concerning intellectual property rights;
Taking into account the need to prepare a comprehensive international instrument which is centred on the aspects linked to prevention, protection of victims and criminal law in combating all forms of counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health, and which sets up a specific follow-up mechanism;
Recognising that, to efficiently combat the global threat posed by the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes, close international co-operation between Council of Europe member States and non-member States alike should be encouraged,

Have agreed as follows:

Chapter I – Object and purpose, principle of non-discrimination, scope, definitions[edit]

Article 1 – Object and purpose[edit]

1 The purpose of this Convention is to prevent and combat threats to public health by:

a providing for the criminalisation of certain acts;
b protecting the rights of victims of the offences established under this Convention;
c promoting national and international co-operation.

2 In order to ensure effective implementation of its provisions by the Parties, this Convention sets up a specific follow-up mechanism.

Article 2 – Principle of non-discrimination[edit]

The implementation of the provisions of this Convention by the Parties, in particular the enjoyment of measures to protect the rights of victims, shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, age, religion, political or any other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth, sexual orientation, state of health, disability or other status.

Article 3 – Scope[edit]

This Convention concerns medical products whether they are protected under intellectual property rights or not, or whether they are generic or not, including accessories designated to be used together with medical devices, as well as the active substances, excipients, parts and materials designated to be used in the production of medical products.

Article 4 – Definitions[edit]

For the purposes of this Convention:

a the term “medical product” shall mean medicinal products and medical devices;
b the term “medicinal product” shall mean medicines for human and veterinary use, which may be:
i any substance or combination of substances presented as having properties for treating or preventing disease in humans or animals;
ii any substance or combination of substances which may be used in or administered to human beings or animals either with a view to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis;
iii an investigational medicinal product;
c the term “active substance” shall mean any substance or mixture of substances that is designated to be used in the manufacture of a medicinal product, and that, when used in the production of a medicinal product, becomes an active ingredient of the medicinal product;
d the term “excipient” shall mean any substance that is not an active substance or a finished medicinal product, but is part of the composition of a medicinal product for human or veterinary use and essential for the integrity of the finished product;
e the term “medical device” shall mean any instrument, apparatus, appliance, software, material or other article, whether used alone or in combination, including the software, designated by its manufacturer to be used specifically for diagnostic and/or therapeutic purposes and necessary for its proper application, designated by the manufacturer to be used for human beings for the purpose of:
i diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of disease;
ii diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, alleviation of or compensation for an injury or handicap;
iii investigation, replacement or modification of the anatomy or of a physiological process;
iv control of conception;
and which does not achieve its principal intended action in or on the human body by pharmacological, immunological or metabolic means, but which may be assisted in its function by such means;
f the term “accessory” shall mean an article which whilst not being a medical device is designated specifically by its manufacturer to be used together with a medical device to enable it to be used in accordance with the use of the medical device intended by the manufacturer of the medical device;
g the terms “parts” and “materials” shall mean all parts and materials constructed and designated to be used for medical devices and that are essential for the integrity thereof;
h the term “document” shall mean any document related to a medical product, an active substance, an excipient, a part, a material or an accessory, including the packaging, labeling, instructions for use, certificate of origin or any other certificate accompanying it, or otherwise directly associated with the manufacturing and/or distribution thereof;
i the term “manufacturing” shall mean:
i as regards a medicinal product, any part of the process of producing the medicinal product, or an active substance or an excipient of such a product, or of bringing the medicinal product, active substance or excipient to its final state;
ii as regards a medical device, any part of the process of producing the medical device, as well as parts or materials of such a device, including designing the device, the parts or materials, or of bringing the medical device, the parts or materials to their final state;
iii as regards an accessory, any part of the process of producing the accessory, including designing the accessory, or of bringing the accessory to its final state;
j the term “counterfeit” shall mean a false representation as regards identity and/or source;
k the term “victim” shall mean any natural person suffering adverse physical or psychological effects as a result of having used a counterfeit medical product or a medical product manufactured, supplied or placed on the market without authorisation or without being in compliance with the conformity requirements as described in Article 8.

Chapter II – Substantive criminal law[edit]

Article 5 – Manufacturing of counterfeits[edit]

1 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to establish as offences under its domestic law, the intentional manufacturing of counterfeit medical products, active substances, excipients, parts, materials and accessories.

2 As regards medicinal products and, as appropriate, medical devices, active substances and excipients, paragraph 1 shall also apply to any adulteration thereof.

3 Each State or the European Union may, at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, by a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, declare that it reserves the right not to apply, or to apply only in specific cases or conditions, paragraph 1, as regards excipients, parts and materials, and paragraph 2, as regards excipients.

Article 6 – Supplying, offering to supply, and trafficking in counterfeits[edit]

1 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to establish as offences under its domestic law, when committed intentionally, the supplying or the offering to supply, including brokering, the trafficking, including keeping in stock, importing and exporting of counterfeit medical products, active substances, excipients, parts, materials and accessories.

2 Each State or the European Union may, at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, by a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, declare that it reserves the right not to apply, or to apply only in specific cases or conditions, paragraph 1, as regards excipients, parts and materials.

Article 7 – Falsification of documents[edit]

1 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to establish as offences under its domestic law the making of false documents or the act of tampering with documents, when committed intentionally.

2 Each State or the European Union may, at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, by a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, declare that it reserves the right not to apply, or to apply only in specific cases or conditions, paragraph 1, as regards documents related to excipients, parts and materials.

Article 8 – Similar crimes involving threats to public health[edit]

Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to establish as offences under its domestic law, when committed intentionally, in so far as such an activity is not covered by Articles 5, 6 and 7:

a the manufacturing, the keeping in stock for supply, importing, exporting, supplying, offering to supply or placing on the market of:
i medicinal products without authorisation where such authorisation is required under the domestic law of the Party; or
ii medical devices without being in compliance with the conformity requirements, where such conformity is required under the domestic law of the Party;
b the commercial use of original documents outside their intended use within the legal medical product supply chain, as specified by the domestic law of the Party.

Article 9 – Aiding or abetting and attempt[edit]

1 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to establish as offences when committed intentionally, aiding or abetting the commission of any of the offences established in accordance with this Convention.

2 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to establish as an offence the intentional attempt to commit any of the offences established in accordance with this Convention.

3 Each State or the European Union may, at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, by a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, declare that it reserves the right not to apply, or to apply only in specific cases or conditions, paragraph 2 to offences established in accordance with Articles 7 and 8.

Article 10 – Jurisdiction[edit]

1 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to establish jurisdiction over any offence established in accordance with this Convention, when the offence is committed:

a in its territory; or
b on board a ship flying the flag of that Party; or
c on board an aircraft registered under the laws of that Party; or
d by one of its nationals or by a person habitually residing in its territory.

2 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to establish jurisdiction over any offence established in accordance with this Convention, when the victim of the offence is one of its nationals or a person habitually resident in its territory.

3 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to establish jurisdiction over any offence established in accordance with this Convention, when the alleged offender is present in its territory and cannot be extradited to another Party because of his or her nationality.

4 Each State or the European Union may, at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, by a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, declare that it reserves the right not to apply, or to apply only in specific cases or conditions, the jurisdiction rules laid down in paragraph 1, sub-paragraph d, and paragraph 2 of this article.

5 Where more than one Party claims jurisdiction over an alleged offence established in accordance with this Convention, the Parties concerned shall consult, where appropriate, with a view to determining the most appropriate jurisdiction for prosecution.

6 Without prejudice to the general rules of international law, this Convention shall not exclude any criminal jurisdiction exercised by a Party in accordance with its domestic law.

Article 11 – Corporate liability[edit]

1 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to ensure that legal persons can be held liable for offences established in accordance with this Convention, when committed for their benefit by any natural person, acting either individually or as part of an organ of the legal person, who has a leading position within it based on:

a a power of representation of the legal person;
b an authority to take decisions on behalf of the legal person;
c an authority to exercise control within the legal person.

2 Apart from the cases provided for in paragraph 1, each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to ensure that a legal person can be held liable where the lack of supervision or control by a natural person referred to in paragraph 1 has made possible the commission of an offence established in accordance with this Convention for the benefit of that legal person by a natural person acting under its authority.

3 Subject to the legal principles of the Party, the liability of a legal person may be criminal, civil or administrative.

4 Such liability shall be without prejudice to the criminal liability of the natural persons who have committed the offence.

Article 12 – Sanctions and measures[edit]

1 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to ensure that the offences established in accordance with this Convention are punishable by effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions, including criminal or non-criminal monetary sanctions, taking account of their seriousness. These sanctions shall include, for offences established in accordance with Articles 5 and 6, when committed by natural persons, penalties involving deprivation of liberty that may give rise to extradition.

2 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to ensure that legal persons held liable in accordance with Article 11 are subject to effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions, including criminal or non-criminal monetary sanctions, and may include other measures, such as:

a temporary or permanent disqualification from exercising commercial activity;
b placing under judicial supervision;
c a judicial winding-up order.

3 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to:

a permit seizure and confiscation of:
i medical products, active substances, excipients, parts, materials and accessories, as well as goods, documents and other instrumentalities used to commit the offences established in accordance with this Convention or to facilitate their commission;
ii proceeds of these offences, or property whose value corresponds to such proceeds;
b permit the destruction of confiscated medical products, active substances, excipients, parts, materials and accessories that are the subject of an offence established under this Convention;
c take any other appropriate measures in response to an offence, in order to prevent future offences.

Article 13 – Aggravating circumstances[edit]

Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to ensure that the following circumstances, in so far as they do not already form part of the constituent elements of the offence, may, in conformity with the relevant provisions of domestic law, be taken into consideration as aggravating circumstances in determining the sanctions in relation to the offences established in accordance with this Convention:

a the offence caused the death of, or damage to the physical or mental health of, the victim;
b the offence was committed by persons abusing the confidence placed in them in their capacity as professionals;
c the offence was committed by persons abusing the confidence placed in them as manufacturers as well as suppliers;
d the offences of supplying and offering to supply were committed having resort to means of large scale distribution, such as information systems, including the Internet;
e the offence was committed in the framework of a criminal organisation;
f the perpetrator has previously been convicted of offences of the same nature.

Article 14 – Previous convictions[edit]

Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to provide for the possibility to take into account final sentences passed by another Party in relation to the offences of the same nature when determining the sanctions.

Chapter III – Investigation, prosecution and procedural law[edit]

Article 15 – Initiation and continuation of proceedings[edit]

Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to ensure that investigations or prosecution of offences established in accordance with this Convention should not be subordinate to a complaint and that the proceedings may continue even if the complaint is withdrawn.

Article 16 – Criminal investigations[edit]

1 Each Party shall take the necessary measures to ensure that persons, units or services in charge of criminal investigations are specialised in the field of combating counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health or that persons are trained for this purpose, including financial investigations. Such units or services shall have adequate resources.

2 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures, in conformity with the principles of its domestic law, to ensure effective criminal investigation and prosecution of offences established in accordance with this Convention, allowing, where appropriate, for the possibility of carrying out financial investigations, of covert operations, controlled delivery and other special investigative techniques.

Chapter IV – Co-operation of authorities and information exchange[edit]

Article 17 – National measures of co-operation and information exchange[edit]

1 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to ensure that representatives of health authorities, customs, police and other competent authorities exchange information and co-operate in accordance with domestic law in order to prevent and combat effectively the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health.

2 Each Party shall endeavour to ensure co-operation between its competent authorities and the commercial and industrial sectors as regards risk management of counterfeit medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health.

3 With due respect for the requirements of the protection of personal data, each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to set up or strengthen mechanisms for:

a receiving and collecting information and data, including through contact points, at national or local levels and in collaboration with private sector and civil society, for the purpose of preventing and combating the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health;
b making available the information and data obtained by the health authorities, customs, police and other competent authorities for the co-operation between them.

4 Each Party shall take the necessary measures to ensure that persons, units or services in charge of co-operation and information exchange are trained for this purpose. Such units or services shall have adequate resources.

Chapter V – Measures for prevention[edit]

Article 18 – Preventive measures[edit]

1 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to establish the quality and safety requirements of medical products.

2 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to ensure the safe distribution of medical products.

3 With the aim of preventing counterfeiting of medical products, active substances, excipients, parts, materials and accessories, each Party shall take the necessary measures to provide, inter alia, for:

a training of healthcare professionals, providers, police and customs authorities, as well as relevant regulatory authorities;
b the promotion of awareness-raising campaigns addressed to the general public providing information about counterfeit medical products;
c the prevention of illegal supplying of counterfeit medical products, active substances, excipients, parts, materials and accessories.

Chapter VI – Measures for protection[edit]

Article 19 – Protection of victims[edit]

Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to protect the rights and interests of victims, in particular by:

a ensuring that victims have access to information relevant to their case and which is necessary for the protection of their health;
b assisting victims in their physical, psychological and social recovery;
c providing, in its domestic law, for the right of victims to compensation from the perpetrators.

Article 20 – The standing of victims in criminal investigations and proceedings[edit]

1 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to protect the rights and interests of victims at all stages of criminal investigations and proceedings, in particular by:

a informing them of their rights and the services at their disposal and, unless they do not wish to receive such information, the follow-up given to their complaint, the possible charges, the general progress of the investigation or proceedings, and their role therein as well as the outcome of their cases;
b enabling them, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of domestic law, to be heard, to supply evidence and to choose the means of having their views, needs and concerns presented, directly or through an intermediary, and considered;
c providing them with appropriate support services so that their rights and interests are duly presented and taken into account;
d providing effective measures for their safety, as well as that of their families and witnesses on their behalf, from intimidation and retaliation.

2 Each Party shall ensure that victims have access, as from their first contact with the competent authorities, to information on relevant judicial and administrative proceedings.

3 Each Party shall ensure that victims have access, provided free of charge where warranted, to legal aid when it is possible for them to have the status of parties to criminal proceedings.

4 Each Party shall take the necessary legislative and other measures to ensure that victims of an offence established in accordance with this Convention committed in the territory of a Party other than the one where they reside can make a complaint before the competent authorities of their State of residence.

5 Each Party shall provide, by means of legislative or other measures, in accordance with the conditions provided for by its domestic law, the possibility for groups, foundations, associations or governmental or non-governmental organisations, to assist and/or support the victims with their consent during criminal proceedings concerning the offences established in accordance with this Convention.

Chapter VII – International co-operation[edit]

Article 21 – International co-operation in criminal matters[edit]

1 The Parties shall co-operate with each other, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and in pursuance of relevant applicable international and regional instruments and arrangements agreed on the basis of uniform or reciprocal legislation and their domestic law, to the widest extent possible, for the purpose of investigations or proceedings concerning the offences established in accordance with this Convention, including seizure and confiscation.

2 The Parties shall co-operate to the widest extent possible in pursuance of the relevant applicable international, regional and bilateral treaties on extradition and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters concerning the offences established in accordance with this Convention.

3 If a Party that makes extradition or mutual legal assistance in criminal matters conditional on the existence of a treaty receives a request for extradition or legal assistance in criminal matters from a Party with which it has no such a treaty, it may, acting in full compliance with its obligations under international law and subject to the conditions provided for by the law of the requested Party, consider this Convention as the legal basis for extradition or mutual legal assistance in respect of the offences established in accordance with this Convention.

Article 22 – International co-operation on prevention and other administrative measures[edit]

1 The Parties shall co-operate on protecting and providing assistance to victims.

2 The Parties shall, without prejudice to their internal reporting systems, designate a national contact point which shall be responsible for transmitting and receiving requests for information and/or co-operation in connection with the fight against counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health.

3 Each Party shall endeavour to integrate, where appropriate, prevention and combating of the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health into assistance or development programmes provided for the benefit of third States.

Chapter VIII – Follow-up mechanism[edit]

Article 23 – Committee of the Parties[edit]

1 The Committee of the Parties shall be composed of representatives of the Parties to the Convention.

2 The Committee of the Parties shall be convened by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Its first meeting shall be held within a period of one year following the entry into force of this Convention for the tenth signatory having ratified it. It shall subsequently meet whenever at least one third of the Parties or the Secretary General so requests.

3 The Committee of the Parties shall adopt its own rules of procedure.

4 The Committee of the Parties shall be assisted by the Secretariat of the Council of Europe in carrying out its functions.

5 A contracting Party which is not a member of the Council of Europe shall contribute to the financing of the Committee of the Parties in a manner to be decided by the Committee of Ministers upon consultation of that Party.

Article 24 – Other representatives[edit]

1 The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), as well as other relevant Council of Europe intergovernmental or scientific committees, shall each appoint a representative to the Committee of the Parties in order to contribute to a multisectoral and multidisciplinary approach.

2 The Committee of Ministers may invite other Council of Europe bodies to appoint a representative to the Committee of the Parties after consulting them.

3 Representatives of relevant international bodies may be admitted as observers to the Committee of the Parties following the procedure established by the relevant rules of the Council of Europe.

4 Representatives of relevant official bodies of the Parties may be admitted as observers to the Committee of the Parties following the procedure established by the relevant rules of the Council of Europe.

5 Representatives of civil society, and in particular non-governmental organisations, may be admitted as observers to the Committee of the Parties following the procedure established by the relevant rules of the Council of Europe.

6 In the appointment of representatives under paragraphs 2 to 5, a balanced representation of the different sectors and disciplines shall be ensured.

7 Representatives appointed under paragraphs 1 to 5 above shall participate in meetings of the Committee of the Parties without the right to vote.

Article 25 – Functions of the Committee of the Parties[edit]

1 The Committee of the Parties shall monitor the implementation of this Convention. The rules of procedure of the Committee of the Parties shall determine the procedure for evaluating the implementation of this Convention, using a multisectoral and multidisciplinary approach.

2 The Committee of the Parties shall also facilitate the collection, analysis and exchange of information, experience and good practice between States to improve their capacity to prevent and combat the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health. The Committee may avail itself of the expertise of relevant Council of Europe committees and other bodies.

3 Furthermore, the Committee of the Parties shall, where appropriate:

a facilitate the effective use and implementation of this Convention, including the identification of any problems and the effects of any declaration or reservation made under this Convention;
b express an opinion on any question concerning the application of this Convention and facilitate the exchange of information on significant legal, policy or technological developments;
c make specific recommendations to Parties concerning the implementation of this Convention.

4 The European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) shall be kept periodically informed regarding the activities mentioned in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this article.

Chapter IX – Relationship with other international instruments[edit]

Article 26 – Relationship with other international instruments[edit]

1 This Convention shall not affect the rights and obligations arising from the provisions of other international instruments to which Parties to the present Convention are Parties or shall become Parties and which contain provisions on matters governed by this Convention.

2 The Parties to the Convention may conclude bilateral or multilateral agreements with one another on the matters dealt with in this Convention, for purposes of supplementing or strengthening its provisions or facilitating the application of the principles embodied in it.

Chapter X – Amendments to the Convention[edit]

Article 27 – Amendments[edit]

1 Any proposal for an amendment to this Convention presented by a Party shall be communicated to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and forwarded by him or her to the Parties, the member States of the Council of Europe, non-member States having participated in the elaboration of this Convention or enjoying observer status with the Council of Europe, the European Union, and any State having been invited to sign this Convention.

2 Any amendment proposed by a Party shall be communicated to the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) and other relevant Council of Europe intergovernmental or scientific committees, which shall submit to the Committee of the Parties their opinions on that proposed amendment.

3 The Committee of Ministers, having considered the proposed amendment and the opinion submitted by the Committee of the Parties, may adopt the amendment.

4 The text of any amendment adopted by the Committee of Ministers in accordance with paragraph 3 of this article shall be forwarded to the Parties for acceptance.

5 Any amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 3 of this article shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of one month after the date on which all Parties have informed the Secretary General that they have accepted it.

Chapter XI – Final clauses[edit]

Article 28 – Signature and entry into force[edit]

1 This Convention shall be open for signature by the member States of the Council of Europe, the European Union and the non-member States which have participated in its elaboration or enjoy observer status with the Council of Europe. It shall also be open for signature by any other non-member State of the Council of Europe upon invitation by the Committee of Ministers. The decision to invite a non-member State to sign the Convention shall be taken by the majority provided for in Article 20.d of the Statute of the Council of Europe, and by unanimous vote of the representatives of the Contracting States entitled to sit on the Committee of Ministers. This decision shall be taken after having obtained the unanimous agreement of the other States/European Union having expressed their consent to be bound by this Convention.

2 This Convention is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval. Instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

3 This Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date on which five signatories, including at least three member States of the Council of Europe, have expressed their consent to be bound by the Convention in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph.

4 In respect of any State or the European Union, which subsequently expresses its consent to be bound by the Convention, it shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval.

Article 29 – Territorial application[edit]

1 Any State or the European Union may, at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, specify the territory or territories to which this Convention shall apply.

2 Any Party may, at any later date, by a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, extend the application of this Convention to any other territory specified in the declaration and for whose international relations it is responsible or on whose behalf it is authorised to give undertakings. In respect of such territory, the Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of such declaration by the Secretary General.

3 Any declaration made under the two preceding paragraphs may, in respect of any territory specified in such declaration, be withdrawn by a notification addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. The withdrawal shall become effective on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of such notification by the Secretary General.

Article 30 – Reservations[edit]

1 No reservation may be made in respect of any provision of this Convention, with the exception of the reservations expressly established.

2 Each Party which has made a reservation may, at any time, withdraw it entirely or partially by a notification addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. The withdrawal shall take effect from the date of the receipt of such notification by the Secretary General.

Article 31 – Friendly settlement[edit]

The Committee of the Parties will follow in close co-operation with the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) and other relevant Council of Europe intergovernmental or scientific committees the application of this Convention and facilitate, when necessary, the friendly settlement of all difficulties related to its application.

Article 32 – Denunciation[edit]

1 Any Party may, at any time, denounce this Convention by means of a notification addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

2 Such denunciation shall become effective on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary General.

Article 33 – Notification[edit]

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall notify the Parties, the member States of the Council of Europe, the non-member States having participated in the elaboration of this Convention or enjoying observer status with the Council of Europe, the European Union, and any State having been invited to sign this Convention in accordance with the provisions of Article 28, of:

a any signature;
b the deposit of any instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval;
c any date of entry into force of this Convention in accordance with Article 28;
d any amendment adopted in accordance with Article 27 and the date on which such an amendment enters into force;
e any reservation made under Articles 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10 and any withdrawal of a reservation made in accordance with Article 30;
f any denunciation made in pursuance of the provisions of Article 32;
g any other act, notification or communication relating to this Convention.

In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed this Convention.

Done in Moscow, this 28th day of October 2011, in English and in French, both texts being equally authentic, in a single copy which shall be deposited in the archives of the Council of Europe. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall transmit certified copies to each member State of the Council of Europe, to the non-member States which have participated in the elaboration of this Convention or enjoy observer status with the Council of Europe, to the European Union and to any State invited to sign this Convention.