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T.Doc.107-16 TREATY WITH LIECHTENSTEIN ON MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL ...


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107th Congress                                              Treaty Doc.
 2d Session                      SENATE                     107-15
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     



 
   TREATY WITH HONDURAS FOR RETURN OF STOLEN, ROBBED, AND EMBEZZLED 
       VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT, WITH ANNEXES AND EXCHANGE OF NOTES

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

 TREATY BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE 
   GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS FOR THE RETURN OF STOLEN, 
ROBBED, OR EMBEZZLED VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT, WITH ANNEXES AND A RELATED 
     EXCHANGE OF NOTES, SIGNED AT TEGUCIGALPA ON NOVEMBER 23, 2001

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


 September 5, 2002.--Treaty was read the first time, and together with 
the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations 
          and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate
                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                The White House, September 3, 2002.
To the Senate of the United States:
    With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the 
Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Treaty Between 
the Government of the United States of America and the 
Government of the Republic of Honduras for the Return of 
Stolen, Robbed, or Embezzled Vehicles and Aircraft, with 
Annexes and a related exchange of notes, signed at Tegucigalpa 
on November 23, 2001. I transmit also, for the information of 
the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect 
to the Treaty.
    The Treaty is one of a series of stolen vehicle treaties 
being negotiated by the United States in order to eliminate the 
difficulties faced by owners of vehicles that have been stolen 
and transported across international borders. Like several in 
this series, this Treaty also covers aircraft. When it enters 
into force, it will be an effective tool to facilitate the 
return of U.S. vehicles and aircraft that have been stolen, 
robbed, or embezzled and found in Honduras.
    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable 
consideration to the Treaty and give its advice and consent to 
ratification.

                                                    George W. Bush.
                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                    The Secretary of State,
                                        Washington, August 4, 2002.
The President,
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor to submit to you the Treaty 
Between the Government of the United States of America and the 
Government of the Republic of Honduras for the Return of 
Stolen, Robbed, or Embezzled Vehicles and Aircraft (``the 
Treaty''), with Annexes and a related exchange of notes, signed 
at Tegucigalpa on November 23, 2001. I recommend that the 
Treaty, with Annexes and related exchange of notes, be 
transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to 
ratification.
    The Treaty establishes procedures for the return by either 
Party of vehicles or aircraft that are registered, titled or 
otherwise documented (or, in the case of aircraft, 
manufactured) in the territory of one Party; stolen, robbed, or 
embezzled in the territory of that Party or from one of its 
nationals; and found in the territory of the other Party. The 
United States currently has three such treaties in force, with 
Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republican. The 1981 
Convention between the United States of America and the United 
Mexican States for the Recovery and Return of Stolen or 
Embezzled Vehicles and Aircraft (``U.S.-Mexico Treaty'') 
entered into force in 1983. The treaties with Panama and the 
Dominican Republic, which entered into force in 2001, are two 
of five similar treaties to which the Senate gave advice and 
consent in October 2000. The other three treaties are still 
awaiting entry into force. The Treaty with Honduras is very 
similar to the five recent treaties, all of which, in turn, 
contain provisions similar to those in the U.S.-Mexico Treaty. 
At the same time, the Treaty with Honduras, like the other more 
recent treaties, incorporate an important improvement in one 
aspect over the U.S.-Mexico Treaty in that it sets more 
restrictive deadlines for action by the Party receiving a 
request for the return of a vehicle or aircraft. As with the 
other stolen vehicle and aircraft treaties, this Treaty will 
not require implementing legislation.
    Article 1 defines certain terms for purposes of the Treaty.
    Article 2 sets forth the agreement of the Parties, in 
accordance with the Treaty's terms and procedures, to return 
vehicles or aircraft that are registered, titled, or otherwise 
documented (or, in the case of aircraft, manufactured) in the 
territory of one Party; stolen, robbed, or embezzled in the 
territory of that Party or from one of its nationals; and found 
in the territory of the other Party.
    Article 3 provides the Treaty's notification requirements. 
Article 3(1) requires that whenever the police, customs, or 
other authorities of a Party impound or seize a vehicle or 
aircraft that they have reason to believe is registered, 
titled, or otherwise documented (or, in the case of aircraft, 
manufactured) in the territory of the other Party, the first 
Party must, within 30 days of such impoundment or seizure, 
notify the Embassy of the other Party in writing that its 
authorities have custody of the vehicle or aircraft. Pursuant 
to Article 3(2), in the case of vehicles, this notification 
must include all available identifying information about the 
vehicle listed in Annex 1 to the Treaty. Pursuant to Article 
3(3), in the case of aircraft, this notification must include 
all available identifying information about the aircraft listed 
in Annex 2 to the Treaty. Annexes 1 and 2 contain the 
information the Parties agreed would be sufficient to develop a 
reliable and complete identification of the vehicle or 
aircraft.
    Article 4 requires authorities who have impounded or seized 
a vehicle or aircraft that they have reason to believe is 
registered, titled, or otherwise documented in the territory of 
the other Party (or, in the case of aircraft, manufactured in 
the territory of the other Party), to promptly place it in a 
storage area and to take reasonable steps regarding its 
safekeeping, including those necessary to prevent the 
obliteration or modification of identifying information, such 
as vehicle identification numbers and aircraft registration or 
tail numbers. The article also prohibits such authorities from 
operating, auctioning, dismantling, or otherwise altering or 
disposing of the vehicle or aircraft unless one of several 
enumeratedconditions is met e.g., no request for the return of 
the vehicle or aircraft is received within 60 days of receipt of a 
notification made pursuant to Article 3.
    Article 5 prescribes the form and content of requests for 
return of vehicles and aircraft under the Treaty. Article 5(1) 
provides that after a Party has received a notification 
pursuant to Article 3, it may submit a request for the return 
of the vehicle or aircraft. Article 5(2) requires the request 
to be transmitted under seal of a consular officer of the 
Requesting Party and to follow the form appended in Annex 3 
(for vehicles) or Annex 4 (for aircraft) to the Treaty. The 
request must be transmitted under cover of a note to the 
foreign ministry of the Requested Party.
    Requests must include certified copies of documents listed 
in Article 5(3) (for vehicles) or Article 5(4) (for aircraft). 
Pursuant to Article 5(5) all documents referenced in Article 5 
must be accompanied by an appropriate translation. An exchange 
of notes accompanying the Treaty memorializes the Parties' 
understanding that an ``appropriate translation'' includes 
forms in which the standard language in title or registration 
documents originating in the United States has been translated 
into Spanish in generic fashion, with appropriate blanks to be 
filled in with the particular information relating to the 
specific vehicle or aircraft whose return is being requested. 
No further legalization or authentication of documents may be 
required by the Requested Party. Article 5(6) notes that the 
Requested Party may waive the translation requirements of 
Article 5(5).
    Under Article 6, a Party that has learned outside of the 
Article 3 notification process that the authorities of the 
other Party may have impounded, seized, or otherwise taken 
possession of a vehicle or aircraft that may be registered, 
title, or otherwise documented (or, in the case of aircraft, 
manufactured) in the territory of the first Party, may, through 
a note to the foreign ministry of the other Party, seek 
official confirmation of this and may request the other Party 
to provide notification pursuant to Article 3. If a 
notification is requested, the other Party must either provide 
the notification or explain, in writing, why notification is 
not required. The first Party may also, in appropriate cases, 
submit a request for return of the vehicle or aircraft as 
described in Article 5.
    Article 7 details the procedures for a Requested Party's 
review of a request. Article 7(1) requires that, except as 
provided in Article 8, the Requested Party must determine, 
within 30 days of receiving a request for the return of a 
stolen, robbed, or embezzled vehicle or aircraft, whether the 
request meets the requirements of the treaty and notify the 
Embassy of the requesting Party of its determination. Article 
7(2) requires the Requested Party, within 15 days of a 
determination by it that a request for return meets the 
requirements of the Treaty, to make the vehicle or aircraft 
available to the person identified in the request for return as 
the owner of the owner's authorized representative. The vehicle 
or aircraft must remain available for such person to take 
delivery for at least 60 days. The Requested Party is also 
required to take necessary measures to permit the owner of the 
owner's authorized representative to take delivery of the 
vehicle or aircraft and return with it to the territory of the 
Requesting Party. Where the Requested Party determines that a 
request for return does not meet the requirements of the 
Treaty, under Article 7(3) it must provide written notification 
to the Embassy of the Requesting Party, including the grounds 
for its decision. Article 7(4) provides that if the reasons for 
which the request was denied can be remedied, the Requested 
Party must notify the Requesting Party that it has been given a 
single opportunity to resubmit the request, and that such 
request must be submitted within 60 days of the date of 
notification of denial.
    Article 8 sets forth several circumstances under which a 
Requested State either has no obligation to return a vehicle or 
aircraft for which return has been requested or can defer the 
surrender of the vehicle or aircraft. Article 8(1) provides 
that if a vehicle or aircraft whose return is requested is 
being held in connection with a criminal investigation or 
prosecution, its return pursuant to the Treaty will be effected 
when its presence is no longer required for purposes of that 
investigation or prosecution. However, the Requested Party is 
required to takeall practicable measures consistent with its 
domestic law to assure that substitute pictorial or other evidence is 
used whenever possible in such investigation or prosecution so that the 
vehicle or aircraft may be returned as soon as possible.
    Article 8(2) provides that if the ownership or custody of a 
vehicle or an aircraft whose return is requested is at issue in 
a pending judicial action in the territory of the Requested 
Party, its return pursuant to the Treaty will be effected at 
the conclusion of that judicial action. However, if such 
judicial action results in a decision that awards the vehicle 
or aircraft to a person other than the person identified in the 
request for return as the owner of the vehicle or aircraft or 
the owner's authorized representative, the Requested State has 
no obligation to return the vehicle or aircraft under the 
Treaty.
    Article 8(3) states that a Party has no obligation under 
the Treaty to return a requested vehicle or aircraft if such 
vehicle or aircraft is subject to forfeiture under its laws 
because it was used in its territory for the commission of a 
crime with the consent or complexity of the owner, or because 
it represents the proceeds of such a crime. However, the 
Requested Party may not forfeit the vehicle or aircraft without 
giving the owner or the owner's authorized representative 
reasonable advance notice and an opportunity to contest such 
forfeiture in accordance with the laws of that Party.
    Under Article 8(4), a Party will have no obligation under 
the Treaty to return a stolen, robbed, or embezzled vehicle or 
aircraft if no request for return is received within 60 days of 
receipt of notification made pursuant to Article 3.
    Article 8(5) requires the Requested Party to notify the 
Embassy of the Requesting Party in writing within 30 days of 
receipt of a request for return if the return of a stolen, 
robbed, or embezzled vehicle or aircraft is postponed pursuant 
to Article 8.
    Article 9 addresses expenses associated with the return of 
vehicles and aircraft under the Treaty. Article 10(1) prohibits 
the Requested Party from imposing any import or export duties, 
taxes, fines, or other monetary penalties or charges on 
vehicles or aircraft returned in accordance with the Treaty, or 
on their owners or authorized representatives, as a condition 
for the return of such vehicles or aircraft. Article 9(2) 
provides that reasonable expenses incurred in the return of a 
vehicle or aircraft in accordance with the Treaty, including 
towing costs, storage costs, maintenance costs, transportation 
costs, and costs of translation of documents required under the 
Treaty, are to be borne by the person seeking the return and 
are to be paid prior to the return of the vehicle or aircraft. 
Under Article 9(3), the expenses of return in particular cases 
may include the costs of any repairs or reconditioning of a 
vehicle or aircraft that were necessary to permit the vehicle 
or aircraft to be moved to a storage area or to maintain it in 
the condition in which it was found. However, the person 
seeking the return of a vehicle or aircraft will not be 
responsible for the costs of any other work performed on the 
vehicle or aircraft while it was in the custody of the 
authorities of the Requested Party.
    Article 9(4) provides that if the Requested Party complies 
with the provisions of the Treaty with respect to recovery, 
storage, safekeeping, and, where appropriate, return of a 
vehicle or aircraft, no person is entitled to compensation from 
the Requested Party for damages sustained while the vehicle or 
aircraft was in the custody of the Requested Party.
    Article 10 provides that the mechanisms for the recovery 
and return of stolen, robbed, or embezzled vehicles or aircraft 
under the Treaty are in addition to those available under the 
laws of the Requested Party. It also states that nothing in the 
Treaty will prejudice any rights for the recovery of stolen, 
robbed, or embezzled vehicles or aircraft under applicable 
domestic law.
    Article 11 states that any differences regarding the 
interpretation or application of the Treaty are to be resolved 
through consultations between the Parties. Article 12(1) states 
that the Treaty will be subject to ratification and will enter 
into force on the date of exchange of instruments of 
ratification. Article 12(2) declares that the attached Annexes 
are an integral part of the Treaty. Article 12(3) provides that 
either Party may terminate the Treaty upon aminimum of six 

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