Office of the Spokesperson
To improve our ability to explore, map, and inventory waters under U.S. jurisdiction and ocean resources, increase our maritime domain awareness, and enhance maritime security, the United States has updated its policy on marine scientific research (MSR). All MSR conducted by foreign researchers, foreign states, and international organizations in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and on the U.S. continental shelf is now subject to advance consent by the U.S. government consistent with international law. As a research nation, the United States recognizes the importance of MSR and its valuable contributions to society, and we will continue to facilitate MSR consent.
Previously, the United States required advance consent for MSR conducted in its EEZ and on the U.S. continental shelf only when such research implicated certain U.S. domestic legal requirements. The change in policy is consistent with international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention and with the practice of other coastal states and protects American citizens’ interests. The revised policy significantly enhances U.S. maritime domain awareness by ensuring visibility of vessels and personnel conducting MSR and facilitates the efficient receipt of the scientific data acquired from such research.
For more information please see https://www.state.gov/marine-scientific-research-consent-overview/ or write to OES-PA-DG@state.gov.