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Diplomatic Law - Commentary on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 4th Edition by Denza, Eileen (14th January 2016)

Exemption of Official Fees from Taxation

From: Diplomatic Law: Commentary on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (4th Edition)

Eileen Denza

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Subscriber: null; date: 10 December 2019

Consular relations — Diplomatic immunity — Diplomatic missions — Diplomatic relations — Right to liberty of movement

(p. 212) Exemption of Official Fees from Taxation

Article 28

The fees and charges levied by the mission in the course of its official duties shall be exempt from all dues and taxes.

Article 28, which was based on a proposal by The Netherlands, states a rule so universally accepted and practised that debate on it in the International Law Commission was limited to whether it was necessary to include it in the draft as a separate article or whether a reference in the commentary might suffice.1 It was adopted by the Vienna Conference unanimously and without amendment.2

For the most part, fees and charges levied by a diplomatic mission are likely to relate to functions which might be regarded as consular in nature—for example, passport and visa fees and charges for authenticating or legalizing documents. Possible restrictions and rules applicable where a diplomatic mission performs consular functions are discussed above in the context of Article 3 of the Convention.


1  UN Docs A/CN 4/114/Add. 1 p 16; A/CN 4/116 p 51; ILC Yearbook 1958 vol I p 143.

2  UN Doc A/Conf. 20/14 p 152.