United Kingdom – Key statements

Date: 11 November 2022

March 2023


  • The UK stated that they won’t sponsor or support exploitation licences unless and until there is sufficient scientific evidence about the impact and that strong and enforceable regs and guidelines and standards have been developed and are in place
  • It’s important that necessary scientific research incl on baselines can be carried out comprehensively, safely and without interference
  • UK will continue to engage fully with negotiations at ISA and with successful conclusion on BBNJ, the UK will work closely with partners to ensure a regulatory framework with the highest level of environmental protection


  • Stated that “we’re mindful as well of the need to ensure that the length of the EIS is not such as to place a burden, which can sometimes occur”


  • Called for protection of the marine environment from ‘harmful effects’


  • Stated that financial incentives to begin deep-sea mining are not incompatible with the draft regulations on financial models.
  • Questioned the rigid imposition of royalties paid to ISA by contractors, which could artificially put into bankruptcy a contractor that could otherwise recover its cash flow.


  • The UK stated that they will continue to sponsor for both contract areas and remain licensed under UK’s domestic legislation and will continue to meet the requirements for “qualified applicant” under exploitation code

October/November 2022


  • The UK stated that it is beyond the mandate of the ISA to ensure that it doesn’t monopolize the production of any single mineral and metal produced


  • The UK stated that they are committed to fully engaging in negotiations underway and emphasized that they are keen to see the ISA Council finalize regulations by July 2023.


  • Together with China noted that “the work of the expert group should be under the oversight of the LTC and their final decision making on adopting a REMP should of course rest of the council and be based on the LTCs recommendation.”
  • The UK called on delegates to ensure that we don’t lose momentum on “critical work.”
  • The UK expressed support for steps to be taken to operationalize the Enterprise, commending the proposed methodology in terms of looking to adopt it at the next meeting in the spring.
  • The UK stated that they are very supportive of building up the organs of the ISA. This includes EPC.


  • The UK delegation proposed bringing forward discussions on drafts standards and guidelines.

July/August 2022


  • Stated with regard to the Belgium proposal – “We acknowledge the point made by observers and note that they all have their own policy positions as well in relation to the interventions which they make as well.”


  • The UK delegation stated that the discussion on ‘what if’ scenarios was scheduled by the Council for the 31st of October to November meeting and that has been in the roadmap since December.


  • The UK stated that “we think that the time has come to take the steps to put the [economic planning] committee in place as the council and the ISA takes this forward. It’s important work.”
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