International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism

New York, December 1999.

This is a summary of the Convention in my own writing, the Convention can be found here.

Convention status as of 20th July 2017: States parties: 188, Signatories: 132.


  • The treaty derives from the concern about acts of terrorism in all its forms.
  • The financing of terrorism concerns the international community.
  • The seriousness of the acts of terrorism committed depends on the financing of terrorism.
  • To enhance international co-operation, there needs to be effective measures for the prevention of the financing of terrorism.

Article 1: Definitions

  • “Funds” – assets of every kind
  • “A state or government facility” – facility occupied by representatives of the state
  • “Proceeds”- funds derived from an offence

Article 2:

A person commits an offence if they provide or collect funds in order to carry out:

  • Any act that is an offence under certain treaties listed under the Annex (see below).
  • Any act intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to a civilian.
  • Any attempt to commit an offence as above, and any participation, organisation or direction in committing an offence as above.

Article 3:

  • The convention shall not apply when an offence is committed in a single state, and the offender is a national of that state and is present in the territory of that state, and no other state has a basis to exercise jurisdiction.

Article 4:

  • The states parties shall establish as criminal offences in their domestic law the offences in Article 2.
  • To make those offences punishable by appropriate penalties.

Article 5:

  • A state party is committed to enable a person who is responsible for a legal entity in a state to be held liable for any offence under Article 2 acting in the capacity of the legal entity.
  • Such sanctions for an offence in regards to the above are to be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

Article 6:

  • A state party shall ensure the appropriate domestic legislation to ensure that criminal acts committed within this convention are not justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature.

Article 7: On jurisdiction of the offence

  • A state may have jurisdiction over the offence if the offence:
    • Was committed in the state’s territory.
    • Was committed on board a vessel (flying the flag of the state).
    • Was committed on an aircraft (that is registered to the state).
    • Was committed by a national of the state.
  • A state may also establish jurisdiction over the offence if the offence:
    • Was committed against a national of the state.
    • Was committed against a state premise abroad (such as an embassy/consulate).
    • Was committed in an attempt to make the state to do or not do something.
    • Was committed by a stateless person who has habitual residence of the state.
    • Was committed on board an aircraft operated by the government of the state.

Article 8:

  • Each party shall take measures to identify, detect and freeze or seize any funds used for committing the offences as mentioned in Article 2.
  • Each party shall consider making agreements to sharing funds derived from forfeitures between other states party. 
  • Each party shall consider establishing mechanisms where the funds derived from forfeitures are to be used for the victims or family of victims of offences in Article 2.

Article 9:

  • From receiving information that a person who has committed an offence under Article 2 is in the territory of a state party, the state party shall take appropriate measures to investigate the facts.
  • Upon satisfied of the facts, the state party shall take the measures in domestic law to prosecute or extradite the person.
  • A person mentioned above has the right to:
    • Communicate with the representative of a state to which the person is a national.
    • Be visited by a representative of that state.
    • Be informed of the above two rights.

Article 10:

  • In cases where the state party does not extradite the person (where article 7 applies), the state party shall submit the case to the competent authorities for prosecution.
  • In cases where the state party extradites the person or surrenders one of its nationals to another state on the condition that the person will be returned to the state to serve the sentence imposed, the two states shall have to come to an agreement for this option.

Article 11:

  • Each state party shall include offences in Article 2 as extraditable offences.
  • For the purpose of extradition, the offences in Article 2 shall be treated not only in the territory in which they occur, but in states that have established jurisdiction. (Article 7)

Article 12:

  • Each state party shall offer assistance to one another in connection to any criminal investigation in respect to offences in Article 2.
  • A state party cannot refuse assistance on the grounds of bank secrecy.
  • A state party may not use information gained from another state party for prosecution or proceedings without the prior consent of the other state party.

Article 13:

  • For the purposes of extradition or legal assistance, none of the offences in Article 2 shall be regarded as a fiscal offence.

Article 14:

  • For the purposes of extradition or legal assistance, none of the offences in Article 2 shall be regarded as a political offence, or an offence connected with political motives.

Article 15:

  • Nothing in this Convention obliges a state to extradite or give legal assistance to another state of the offences made in Article 2 if the requesting state believes (with substantial grounds) that the request was made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing a person based on their race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin or political opinion.

Article 16:

  • A person being detained or serving a sentence in one state, who is requested (by another state) to be in another state for the purpose of identification, testimony or other assistance may be transferred to that state if:
    • The person freely gives his or her consent.
    • Authorities of both states agree.
  • The state responsible for transfer of custody of the person is the state to which the person is transferred to, unless otherwise agreed.
  • The state to which the person is transferred is obligated to return the person to the original state as agreed beforehand.
  • The original state does not need to request extradition proceedings to the transferred state to return the person back to the original state.
  • The person shall receive credit for service of the sentence for the time spent in custody in the transferred state.

Article 17:

  • Any person taken into custody or any other measures described in this Convention shall be guaranteed fair treatment, this includes the rights and conformity of the laws in the state territory to which the person is present, and applicable provisions of international law.

Article 18:

  • States party shall co-operate in this Convention by adapting their domestic legislation if necessary to prevent the occurrence of offences in Article 2. States party shall also take practicable measures to prevent and counter preparations for offences in Article 2 including:
    • Measures to prohibit illegal activities that encourage, instigate, organise or engage in offences on Article 2.
    • Measures requiring financial institutions or professions involved in financial transactions to pay special attention to unusual or suspicious transactions and report transactions suspected of criminal activity. For this reason, a state party shall consider (a) prohibiting opening an account to unidentified persons, ensuring institutions verify the real identity of transactions (b) taking measures to identify the legal existence and structure of a legal entity where necessary (such as proof of incorporation, information from a public register and so on) (c) regulations whereby financial institutions report to authorities any complex, unusual patterns or unusual large transactions which have no apparent lawful purpose without fear of any breach of information disclosure if they report it in good faith. (d) measures to require financial institutions to maintain records on transactions for at least five years.
  • States party shall also consider measures to detect or monitor cross-border transportation of cash without impeding freedom of capital movement.
  • States party shall co-operate in the prevention of offences mentioned in Article 2 by the exchange of accurate information by setting up channels of communication between competent agencies and services. Exchange of information can be done through Interpol.
  • Such exchange of information concerns the identity and whereabouts of the person in which reasonable suspicion exists, and the movement of funds related to the commission of such offences.

Article 19:

  • The state party where the offender is prosecuted shall communicate the final outcome to the United Nations, who shall transmit the information to other states party.

Article 20:

  • ·States party shall carry out this Convention consistent with the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity and non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other states.

Article 21:

  • Nothing in this Convention shall affect the rights and obligations of states and individuals under international law, and in particular the United Nations Charter and international humanitarian law.

Article 22:

  • Nothing in this Convention entitles a state party to exercise jurisdiction or performance of functions which are exclusively reserved for the authorities of another state party by its domestic law.

Article 23:

  • The Annex may be amended to include new treaties if:
    • The treaty is open to the participation of all states.
    • Have entered into force.
    • Have been ratified, accepted, approved or acceded by at least 22 states party to the present convention.
  • Every state party may propose an amendment to the Annex in writing after the Convention’s entry into force. The state party seeking the amendment shall seek the views of the other states party on whether the proposed amendment should be adopted.
  • The proposed amendment shall be adopted unless one third of the states party object to it in writing within 180 days.
  • The adopted amendment shall enter into force 30 days after the 22nd state party have ratified, accepted, approved, or acceded the amendment.

Article 24:

  • If a dispute arises between two or more states parties on the interpretation of this Convention that cannot be settled through negotiation shall (at the request of one of them) be submitted to arbitration. If any of the parties are unable to agree on the organisation for arbitration, any one of the parties may refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice.
  • Each state may declare that it does not consider itself bound by the above paragraph at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession of this Convention. For the state that has made such reservation, the other state parties are also not bound by the above paragraph in relation to that state.
  • Any state that has made the above reservation may withdraw that reservation by notifying the United Nations.

Article 25:

  • This Convention will be open for signature from 10th January 2000 to 31st December 2001 at the United Nations.

Article 26:

  • This Convention shall enter into force on the 30th day after the 22nd state has ratified, accepted, approved or acceded the Convention.

Article 27:

  • Any state party may denounce this Convention by putting it in writing to the United Nations. The denunciation will take effect one year after the writing is received by the United Nations.

Article 28:

  • The Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts of this Convention are equally authentic.



1. Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, done at The Hague on 16 December 1970.

2. Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, done at Montreal on 23 September 1971.

3. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 14 December 1973.

4. International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 17 December 1979.

5. Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, adopted at Vienna on 3 March 1980.

6. Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation, supplementary to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, done at Montreal on 24 February 1988.

7. Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, done at Rome on 10 March 1988.

8. Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms located on the Continental Shelf, done at Rome on 10 March 1988.

9. International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 15 December 1997.