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13098 Panama - Treaty for the Return of Stolen, Robbed or Converted Vehicles and Aircraft


   
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TREATIES AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ACTS SERIES 13098

 

 

STOLEN PROPERTY

 

 

 

Treaty Between the
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
and PANAMA

 

Signed at Panama June 6, 2000

with

Annexes

and

Related Exchange of Notes

 

 

 


 

 


NOTE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Pursuant to Public Law 89—497, approved July 8, 1966
(80 Stat. 271; 1 U.S.C. 113)—

“. . .the Treaties and Other International Acts Series issued
under the authority of the Secretary of State shall be competent
evidence . . . of the treaties, international agreements other than
treaties, and proclamations by the President of such treaties and
international agreements other than treaties, as the case may be,
therein contained, in all the courts of law and equity and of maritime
jurisdiction, and in all the tribunals and public offices of the
United States, and of the several States, without any further proof
or authentication thereof.”


 

 

 

PANAMA

Stolen Property

Treaty signed at Panama June 6, 2000;
Transmitted by the President of the United States of America
to the Senate September 5, 2000 (Treaty Doc. 106-44,
106th Congress, 2d Session);
Reported favorably by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
September 27, 2000 (Senate Executive Report No. 106-22,
106th Congress, 2d Session);
Advice and consent to ratification by the Senate
October 18, 2000;
Ratified by the President January 17, 2001;
Ratified by Panama August 6, 2001;
Ratifications exchanged at Panama City September 13, 2001;
Entered into force September 13, 2001.
With annexes.
And related exchange of notes.

 

 

 

 

 

TREATY
BETWEEN
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
FOR THE RETURN OF STOLEN, ROBBED, OR CONVERTED
VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT
The Government of the United States of America and the Government
of the Republic of Panama (hereinafter, "the Parties");
Recognizing the growing problem, affecting both countries, of
transnational theft, robbery, and conversion of vehicles and aircraft;
Considering the difficulties faced by innocent owners in securing the
return of vehicles and aircraft stolen, robbed, or converted in the territory of
one Party that are recovered in the territory of the other Party; and
Desiring to eliminate such difficulties and to regularize procedures for
the expeditious return of such vehicles and aircraft;
Have agreed as follows:
2
Article 1
For purposes of this Treaty:
1. A "vehicle" means any automobile, truck, bus, motorcycle,
motorhome, or trailer.
2. An "aircraft" means any self-propelled means of transportation
used or designed for flight.
3. A vehicle or an aircraft shall be considered "stolen" when
possession thereof has been obtained without the consent of the
owner or other person legally authorized to use such vehicle or
aircraft, and shall be considered "robbed" when such possession
has been obtained through the use of force against persons or
things.
4. A vehicle or an aircraft shall be considered "converted" when:
(a) the person who had rented it from a legally authorized
rental enterprise, in the normal course of the enterprise's
business, has taken unauthorized possession of it;
(b) the person with whom it had been deposited by official or
judicial action has taken unauthorized possession of it; or
(c) the person to whom it had been entrusted by the owner or
the owner's legal representative has taken unauthorized
possession of it, for his own benefit or that of a third
person.
5. To "seize" means to take possession or custody of property in the
exercise of law enforcement authority.
6. All references to "days" shall mean calendar days.
3
Article 2
Each Party agrees to return, in accordance with the terms of this
Treaty, vehicles and aircraft that are:
1. registered, titled, or otherwise documented (or, in the case of
aircraft, manufactured) in the territory of the other Party;
2. stolen, robbed, or converted in the territory of the other Party, or
from one of its nationals; and
3. found in the territory of the first Party.
In the case of a vehicle or aircraft that has been stolen, robbed, or converted
outside of the territory of the other Party from one of its nationals, the
obligation to return the vehicle or aircraft shall arise only if the request for its
return under this Treaty is made prior to any request by a third country for
return of the same vehicle or aircraft.
Article 3
1. Each Party shall designate a Central Authority responsible for
processing notifications and requests under this Treaty.
2. For the United States of America, the Central Authority shall be
the Department of State or the Embassy of the United States of America in
Panama.
3. For the Republic of Panama, the Central Authority shall be the
Office of the Attorney General or the Office of the Deputy Attorney General.
4
Article 4
1. Whenever police, customs, or other authorities of a Party seize a
vehicle that they have reason to believe is registered, titled, or otherwise
documented in the territory of the other Party, the Central Authority of the
first Party shall, within sixty (60) days of such seizure, notify the Central
Authority of the other Party in writing that its authorities have the vehicle in
custody. Such notification shall include all available data identifying the
vehicle, as described in Annex 1.
2. Whenever police, customs, or other authorities of a Party seize an
aircraft that they have reason to believe is registered, titled, otherwise
documented, or manufactured in the territory of the other Party, the Central
Authority of the first Party shall, within sixty (60) days of such seizure, notify
the Central Authority of the other Party in writing that its authorities have the
aircraft in custody. Such notification shall include all data identifying the
aircraft, as described in Annex 2.
3. Whenever a vehicle or an aircraft, as described in paragraphs 1
or 2 of this Article, is seized by authorities of one of the Parties because it may
have been involved in the commission, or may represent the proceeds, of a
crime, the Central Authority of the first Party shall, within sixty (60) days of
such seizure, notify the Central Authority of the other Party, in writing, of the
seizure and of the reasons for it, so that the owner or the owner's authorized
representative may have an opportunity to make use of the recourse provided
by the laws of the first Party.
Article 5
Authorities of a Party who have seized a vehicle or an 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) shall promptly place it in a storage area and shall
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take reasonable steps to safeguard it, including those necessary to prevent the
obliteration or modification of identifying information such as vehicle
identification numbers and aircraft registration or tail numbers. The said
authorities shall not thereafter operate, auction, dismantle, or otherwise alter
or dispose of the vehicle or aircraft. This Treaty, however, shall not preclude
the said authorities from operating, auctioning, dismantling, or otherwise
altering or disposing of the vehicle or aircraft if:
1. No request for the return of the vehicle or aircraft is received
within sixty (60) days of receipt of a notification made pursuant to
paragraphs 1 or 2 of Article 4;
2. A determination is made in accordance with paragraph 1 of
Article 8 that a request for the return of the vehicle or aircraft
does not meet the requirements of this Treaty, and notification of
such determination has been made in accordance with paragraph
3 of Article 8;
3. The vehicle or aircraft has not been retrieved, within the time
period stated in paragraph 2 of Article 8, by the person identified
in the request for return as the owner or the owner's authorized
representative, after the vehicle or aircraft has been made
available as provided in paragraph 2 of Article 8; or
4. There is no obligation under this Treaty, pursuant to
paragraphs 2, 3 or 4 of Article 9, to return the vehicle or
aircraft.
Article 6
1. After a Party receives a notification made pursuant to
paragraphs 1 or 2 of Article 4, that Party may submit a request for the return
of the vehicle or aircraft.
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2. The request for return shall be transmitted under an official seal
of the Central Authority of the Requesting Party and shall follow the form
appended in Annex 3 (for vehicles) or Annex 4 (for aircraft).
3. In cases involving vehicles, a request shall include certified copies
of the following documents:
(a) The title of ownership to the vehicle, if the vehicle is
subject to titling, but, if the title is not available, a certified
statement from the appropriate authority specifying the
person or entity to whom it is titled;
(b) The certificate of registration of the vehicle, if the vehicle is
subject to registration, but, if the registration document is
not available, a certified statement from the appropriate
authority specifying the person or entity to whom it is
registered;
(c) The bill of sale or other documentation that establishes
ownership of the vehicle, in the event the vehicle is not
titled or registered;
(d) Documentation that establishes the transfer of ownership
of the vehicle, if subsequent to the theft, robbery, or
conversion of the vehicle, the owner has transferred
ownership to a third party;
(e) The report of the theft, robbery, or conversion issued by a
competent authority of the Requesting Party. In the event
that the crime is reported by the victim to the competent
authority after the vehicle has been seized or otherwise has
come into possession of the Requested Party, the person
seeking its return shall furnish a document justifying the
reasons for the delay in reporting the crime and may
provide any supporting documentation therefor; and
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(f) In cases in which the person requesting the return of a
vehicle is not the owner, a power of attorney granted in the
presence of a notary public by the owner or the owner's
legal representative, authorizing that person to recover the
vehicle.
4. In cases involving aircraft, a request shall include certified copies
of the following documents:
(a) The bill of sale or other documentation that establishes
ownership of the aircraft;
(b) The certificate of registration of the aircraft, but, if the
registration document is not available, a certified
statement from the appropriate authority specifying the
person or entity to whom it is registered;
(c) Documentation that establishes the transfer of ownership
of the aircraft, if subsequent to the theft, robbery, or
conversion of the aircraft, the owner has transferred
ownership to a third party;
(d) The report of the theft, robbery, or conversion issued by a
competent authority of the Requesting Party. In the event
that the crime is reported by the victim to the competent
authority after the aircraft has been seized or otherwise
has come into possession of the Requested Party, the
person seeking its return shall furnish a document
justifying the reasons for the delay in reporting the crime
and may provide any supporting documentation therefor;
and
8
(e) In cases in which the person requesting the return of an
aircraft is not the owner, a power of attorney granted in
the presence of a notary public by the owner or the
owner's legal representative, authorizing that person to
recover the aircraft.
5. All the documents to which this Article refers shall be
accompanied by an appropriate translation. No further legalization or
authentication of documents shall be required by the Requested Party.
Article 7
If a Party learns, through means other than a notification made
pursuant to Article 4, that the authorities of the other Party may have seized a
vehicle or an aircraft that may be registered, titled, or otherwise documented
in the territory of the first Party (or, in the case of aircraft, manufactured in
the territory of the first Party), or that authorities of the other Party have
seized such a vehicle or aircraft because it may have been involved in the
commission, or may represent the proceeds, of a crime, that Party:
1. May, through a written communication to the Central Authority
of the other Party, seek official confirmation of this information
and may request that the other Party provide the notification
described in Article 4, in which case the other Party shall either
provide the notification or explain, in writing, why notification is
not required; and
2. May also, in appropriate cases, submit a request for the return of
the vehicle or aircraft as described in Article 6.
Article 8
1. Except as provided in Article 9, the Requested Party shall, within
thirty (30) days of receiving a request for the return of a stolen, robbed, or
converted vehicle or aircraft, determine whether the request meets the
9
requirements of this Treaty for the return of the vehicle or aircraft and shall
notify the Central Authority of the Requesting Party of its determination.
2. If the Requested Party determines that the request for the return
of a stolen, robbed, or converted vehicle or aircraft meets the requirements of
this Treaty, the Requested Party shall, within fifteen (15) days of such
determination, make the vehicle or aircraft available to the person identified
in the request for return as the owner or the owner's authorized
representative. For a period of ninety (90) days, the vehicle or aircraft shall
remain available for acceptance of delivery by the person identified in the
request for return as the owner or the owner's authorized representative.
The Requested Party shall take necessary measures to permit the owner or the
owner's authorized representative to take delivery of the vehicle or aircraft
and to return it to the territory of the Requesting Party.
3. If the Requested Party determines that the request for return
does not meet the requirements of this Treaty, it shall provide written
notification to the Central Authority of the Requesting Party, including the
grounds for its decision.
Article 9
1. If a vehicle or an aircraft whose return is requested is being held
as evidence in connection with a criminal investigation or prosecution, its
return pursuant to this Treaty shall be effected when its presence is no longer
required for purposes of that investigation or prosecution. The Requested
Party shall, however, take all practicable measures to assure that substitute
pictorial or other evidence is used wherever possible in such investigation or
prosecution so that the vehicle or aircraft may be returned as soon as possible.
2. 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 this Treaty shall be effected at the
conclusion of that judicial action. However, the Parties shall have no
obligation under this Treaty to return the vehicle or aircraft if such judicial
action results in a decision that awards the vehicle or aircraft to a person other
10
than the person identified in the request for return as the owner of the vehicle
or aircraft or the owner's authorized representative.
3. A Party shall have no obligation under this 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 in the commission of a crime
with the owner's consent or complicity, or because it represents the proceeds
of such a crime.
4. The Parties shall not be obligated under this Treaty to return a
stolen, robbed, or converted vehicle or aircraft if no request for return is
received within sixty (60) days of receipt of a notification made pursuant to
paragraphs 1 or 2 of Article 4.
5. If the requested return of a stolen, robbed, or converted vehicle or
aircraft is postponed pursuant to this Article, the Requested Party shall so
notify the Central Authority of the Requesting Party in writing within thirty
(30) days of receiving the request for the return of the vehicle or aircraft.
Article 10
1. The Requested Party shall not impose any import or export
duties, taxes, fines, or other monetary penalties or charges on vehicles or
aircraft returned in accordance with this Treaty, or on their owners or such
owners' authorized representatives, as a condition for the return of such
vehicles or aircraft.
2. Reasonable expenses incurred in the return of the vehicle or
aircraft in accordance with this Treaty, including the costs of towing, storage,
maintenance, transportation, and translation of required documents, shall be
borne by the person seeking its return and shall be paid prior to the return of
the vehicle or aircraft.
11
3. In particular cases, the expenses of return may include the costs
of any repairs or reconditioning of a vehicle or an 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. The person seeking the return of a
vehicle or an aircraft shall 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.
4. Provided that the Requested Party complies with the provisions of
this Treaty with respect to recovery, storage, safekeeping, and, where
appropriate, return of a vehicle or an aircraft, no person shall be entitled to
compensation from the Requested Party for damages sustained while the
vehicle or aircraft was in the custody of the Requested Party.
Article 11
The mechanisms for the recovery and return of stolen, robbed, or
converted vehicles or aircraft under this Treaty shall be in addition to those
available under the laws of the Requested Party. Nothing in this Treaty shall
impair any rights for the recovery of stolen, robbed, or converted vehicles or
aircraft under applicable law.
Article 12
1. Any differences regarding the interpretation or application of this
Treaty shall be resolved by means of consultation between the Parties through
diplomatic channels.
2. This Treaty shall be subject to ratification. It shall enter into
force on the date of exchange of instruments of ratification.
12
3. Either Party may terminate this Treaty upon ninety (90) days
written notification through diplomatic channels.
SIGNED at Panama , this sixth---- day of June , 2000, in
duplicate, in the English and Spanish languages, both texts being equally
authentic.
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AMERICA:
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA:
ANNEX 1
Identifying Information Regarding Vehicles
to be Provided in a
Notification Made Pursuant to Article 4
1. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN);
2. Name of manufacturer of vehicle;
3. Vehicle model and year of manufacture, if known;
4. Color of vehicle;
5. License plate number (LPN) of vehicle and place of issuance,
if known;
6. Number of tag or sticker issued by a city or other local authority,
and name of such city or other local authority, if known;
7. A description of the condition of the vehicle, including its
operability, if known, and repairs that appear necessary;
8. The current location of the vehicle;
9. The identity of the authority with physical custody of the
vehicle and a contact point, including name, address, and
telephone number of the official with recovery information;
10. Any information that indicates whether the vehicle has been
used in connection with the commission of a crime; and
11. Any information that indicates whether the vehicle might
be subject to forfeiture under the laws of the notifying Party.
ANNEX 2
Identifying Information Regarding Aircraft
to be Provided in a
Notification Made Pursuant to Article 4
1. Aircraft registration number;
2. Name of manufacturer of aircraft;
3. Aircraft model and year of manufacture, if known;
4. Color of aircraft;
5. Aircraft serial number (airframe number);
6. Aircraft engine number(s);
7. A description of the condition of the aircraft, including its
airworthiness and flyability, if known, and repairs that appear
necessary;
8. The location of the aircraft at the time of seizure;
9. The current location of the aircraft;
10. The identity of the authority with physical custody of the
aircraft and a contact point, including name, address, and
telephone number of the official with recovery information;
11. Any information that indicates whether the aircraft has been
used in connection with the commission of a crime;
12. Any information that indicates whether the aircraft might be
subject to forfeiture under the laws of the notifying Party;
13. The names of any individuals involved with the aircraft at
the time of seizure; and
14. A description of any cargo or documents found aboard the
aircraft at the time of seizure, including aircraft or engine
logs, airworthiness certificate, registration certificate, pilot's license,
etc.
ANNEX 3
Request for the Return
of a Stolen, Robbed, or Converted Vehicle
The (Central Authority) of (country name) respectfully requests
that (the appropriate authority of [country name]) return the vehicle described
below to (its owner/its owner's authorized representative) in accordance with
the Treaty Between the Government of the United States of America and the
Government of the Republic of Panama for the Return of Stolen, Robbed,
or Converted Vehicles and Aircraft:
Make:
Model (Year):
Type:
Vehicle Identification Number:
License Plate Number:
Registered Owner:
The (Central Authority) of (country name) certifies that it has examined
the following documents which have been presented by (identity of person
submitting documents) as evidence of (his or her ownership of the vehicle/
ownership of the vehicle by the person for whom he or she is acting as
authorized representative) and found them to be properly certified under
the laws of (appropriate jurisdiction):
a. (document description)
b. (document description)
c. (document description)
d. (document description)
Complimentary closing
Place and date
Attachments
ANNEX 4
Request for the Return
of a Stolen, Robbed, or Converted Aircraft
The (Central Authority) of (country name) respectfully requests
that (the appropriate authority of [country name]) return the aircraft
described below to (its owner/its owner's authorized representative) in
accordance with the Treaty Between the Government of the
United States of America and the Government of the Republic of
Panama for the Return of Stolen, Robbed, or Converted Vehicles
and Aircraft:
Make:
Model (Year):
Serial Number:
Registration Number:
Registered Owner:
The (Central Authority) of (country name) certifies that it has examined
the following documents which have been presented by (identity of person
submitting documents) as evidence of (his or her ownership of the aircraft/
ownership of the aircraft by the person for whom he or she is acting as
authorized representative) and found them to be properly certified under
the laws of (appropriate jurisdiction):
a. (document description)
b. (document description)
c. (document description)
d. (document description)
Complimentary closing
Place and date
Attachments
EMBASSY OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Panama, July 25, 2000
No. 810
Excellency:
I have the honor to refer to the Treaty Between the Government of the
United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Panama for
the Return of Stolen, Robbed, or Converted Vehicles and Aircraft, signed on
June 6, 2000.
Article 6 of the Treaty sets forth the documents that the Requesting
Party shall include in a request for the return of a vehicle or aircraft.
Paragraph 5 of Article 6 provides that all such documents "shall be
accompanied by an appropriate translation."
It is the understanding of the Government of the United States of
America that, for purposes of this Article and with regard to standard
language used in registration and title documents originating in both Parties,
an "appropriate translation" will include translations on printed forms, in the
English and Spanish languages, with appropriate blanks to be filled in with
the particular information relating to the vehicle or the aircraft the return of
which is being requested.
I would appreciate confirmation that the Government of the Republic
of Panama shares this understanding.
His Excellency
Harmodio Arias Cerjack,
Minister of Foreign Relations, a.i.,
Panama, Republic of Panama.
Ministry of Foreign Relations
Office of the Minister
D.M. No. DT/311
U.S. Department of State
Office of Language Services
Translating Division
LS No. 0800079
HKE/JF
Spanish
Republic of Panama
Panama City
July 25, 2000
Mr. Ambassador:
I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your note No. 810, dated today, which reads
as follows:
[The Spanish translation of the above-mentioned note agrees in all substantive respects
with the original English text.]
In this regard, I have the honor to confirm that the Government of the Republic of
Panama concurs with said understanding.
I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to Your Excellency the assurances of my
highest consideration.
[Signature]
Harmodio Arias Cerjack
Acting Minister
[Illegible stamp]
His Excellency
Simon Ferro,
Ambassador of the United States of America,
Panama City.



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