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Facility Agreements

What is a facility agreement?

A facility agreement is a legal arrangement between the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and each Member State that hosts an International Monitoring System (IMS) facility. The IMS is a global network of facilities  established by the CTBTO to monitor underground, the oceans and the atmosphere for evidence of a nuclear explosion. 

A nuclear explosion emits different signals and radionuclides that can be detected from a distance.

Why are they important?

Facility agreements help to address the entire bandwidth of issues regarding IMS facilities between the hosting Member States and the CTBTO:

Political aspects: By representing the formal commitment of a Member State to host the facility and cooperate with the CTBTO during the preparatory phase, the facility agreement helps to secure the collaboration of all relevant institutions at the national level for the installation and operation of the stations. By signing facility agreements, Member States agree to cooperate with the CTBTO in establishing, testing, operating, upgrading and maintaining IMS facilities, even before the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has entered into force.

Legal aspects: The CTBT stipulates that while IMS stations are owned and operated by the hosting State, they are under the authority of the CTBTO (meaning that they must adhere to regulations laid out in the CTBT and developed further by the CTBTO). Issues such as ownership transfer, the conclusion of subsidiary arrangements with local operators, and granting the necessary privileges and immunities to the CTBTO and its officials are provided for in facility agreements.

Technological aspects: In order for the IMS to operate reliably, all facilities have to work in accordance with the requirements and procedures agreed on by the Treaty negotiators for the respective verification technologies (seismology, infrasound, hydroacoustics and radionuclide monitoring). Under facility agreements, the host State undertakes to test, operate and maintain the facility, as well as to provide utilities and transmit monitoring data to the International Data Centre (IDC) at the CTBTO’s headquarters in Vienna, in accordance with requirements and procedures.

Operational aspects: Facility agreements help ensure coordination between the CTBTO and countries hosting IMS facilities with regard to technical visits by CTBTO staff, access to the station, the cooperation of local entities, assistance with imports and exports, notification and solving of problems, and the physical security of the facility.

How many facility agreements need to be signed?

According to the CTBT, a facility agreement needs to be concluded with each of the 89 States hosting IMS facilities. As of 2022, facility agreements with 41 Member States (jointly hosting around 50% of all IMS facilities) have entered into force, while 8 more (another 8% of IMS facilities) have already been signed. Forty Member States (representing 44% of all IMS facilities) have yet to sign a facility agreement. 

Status of Facility Agreements

Host State Signature Entry into force
Argentina 09-DEC-1999 02-MAR-2004
Armenia 07-SEPT-2016 07-MAR-2017
Australia 13-MAR-2000 17-AUG-2000
Austria 17-SEP-2013 17-SEP-2013
Cameroon 16-NOV-2006  
Canada 19-OCT-1998 19-OCT-1998
Cabo Verde 23-NOV-2006  
Central African Republic 23-DEC-2010 31-DEC-2010
Chile 21-FEB-2014  
Cook Islands 14-APR-2000 14-APR-2000
Costa Rica    
Côte d’Ivoire    
Czech Republic 13-NOV-2002 29-JAN-2004
Ecuador 24-FEB-2015  
Finland 12-MAY-2000 06-JUN-2000
France 13-JUL-2001 01-MAY-2004
Guatemala 26-NOV-2002 02-JUN-2005
Iceland 13-OCT-2005 26-JAN-2006
Israel 23-SEP-2004 20-FEB-2014
Italy 29-MAR-2006  
Jordan 11-NOV-1999 11-NOV-1999
Kazakhstan 09-SEP-2004 05-DEC-2008
Kenya 29-OCT-1999 29-OCT-1999
Kuwait 17-SEP-2013 15-NOV-2016
Mauritania 17-SEP-2003 17-SEP-2003
Mexico 20-OCT-2011 20-OCT-2011
Mongolia 05-JUN-2000 25-MAY-2001
Namibia 01-APR-2009 01-APR-2009
New Zealand 13-NOV-1998 19-DEC-2000
Niger 24-NOV-2000 24-NOV-2000
Norway 10-JUN-2002 10-JUN-2002
Oman 19-MAY-2004  
Palau 29-APR-2002 29-APR-2002
Panama 26-NOV-2003 26-NOV-2003
Papua New Guinea    
Paraguay 4-APR-2003 27-JAN-2006
Peru 14-MAR-2001 08-JUL-2002
Philippines 14-APR-2003 08-JAN-2004
Portugal 17-FEB-2011  
Republic of Korea    
Romania 13-JUN-2003 13-OCT-2004
Russian Federation 22-MAR-2005 27-DEC-2006
Saudi Arabia    
Senegal 22-MAY-2001 24-MAR-2006
Solomon Islands    
South Africa 20-MAY-1999 20-MAY-1999
Spain 14-SEP-2000 12-DEC-2003
Sri Lanka 14-JUN-2000  
Tunisia 11-NOV-2011 14-FEB-2014
Turkmenistan 12-DEC-2015 28-DEC-2015
Uganda 15-JUN-2012 15-JUN-2012
Ukraine 27-SEP-1999 20-APR-2001
United Kingdom 12-NOV-1999 16-JUN-2004
United Republic of Tanzania 10-DEC-2007 10-DEC-2007
United States of America    
Zambia 20-OCT-2001 20-OCT-2001