Australian Treaty Series

Australian Treaty Series 1924 No 3



Treaty between the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, and Greece, concerning Thrace

(Sèvres, 10 August 1920)

Entry into force for Australia and generally: 30 August 1924


1924 No. 3 (electronic)

(c) Commonwealth of Australia 1999


The British Empire, France, Italy and Japan, the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, of the one part; and Greece of the other part;

BEING AGREED to recognise the sovereignty of Greece over the territories in Thrace over which Bulgaria, by Article 48 of the Treaty of Peace signed at Neuilly-sur-Seine on 27 November 1919,[1] renounced all rights and titles in favour of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, and

BEING DESIROUS of ensuring the economic outlets of Bulgaria to the Aegean Sea,

For this purpose the High Contracting Parties have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries:

[Names of plenipotentiaries not reproduced here.]

Who, having communicated their full powers found in good and due form, have agreed as follows:

Article 1

The Principal Allied and Associated Powers hereby transfer to Greece, who accepts the said transfer, all rights and titles which they hold, under Article 48 of the Treaty of Peace with Bulgaria signed at Neuilly-sur-Seine on 27 November 1919, over the territories in Thrace which belonged to the Bulgarian Monarchy and are dealt with in the said Article.

Article 2

The whole of the frontier line described in Article 27(3) of the Treaty of Peace with Bulgaria will be traced on the spot by the Commission provided for in Article 43 of the said Treaty.

Article 3

The provisions of Articles 44 and 45 of the Treaty of Peace with Bulgaria, relating to the nationality of the inhabitants, will apply to the territories referred to in Article 1 of the present Treaty.

The provisions of Article 46, relating to the protection of minorities, freedom of transit and equitable treatment of commerce, which form the subject of the Treaty of even date, and those of Article 47, relating in particular to the proportion and nature of the financial obligations of Bulgaria which Greece will have to assume on account of the territory placed under her sovereignty, will similarly apply to the territories referred to in Article 1 of the present Treaty.

The provisions of the Convention concluded on 27 November 1919 between Greece and Bulgaria, relating to reciprocal emigration,[2] will apply ipso facto to the territories referred to in Article 1 of the present Treaty.

Article 4

In order to ensure to Bulgaria free access to the Aegean Sea, freedom of transit is accorded to her over the territories and in the ports assigned to Greece under the present Treaty.

Freedom of transit is the freedom defined in Article 212 of the Treaty of Peace with Bulgaria, until such time as a General Convention on the subject shall have been concluded, whereupon the dispositions of the new Convention shall be substituted therefor.

Special Conventions between Greece and Bulgaria, or the Administrations concerned, will lay down the conditions of the exercise of the right accorded above, and will settle in particular the method of using the ports, subject to Article 5, the establishment of international (joint) services and tariffs, including through tickets and waybills, and the application of the Convention of Berne of 14 October 1890,[3] and its supplementary provisions, until its replacement by a new Convention.

Freedom of transit will extend to postal, telegraphic and telephonic services.

Article 5

In the port of Dedeagatch, Bulgaria will be accorded a lease in perpetuity, subject to determination by the League of Nations, of a zone which shall be placed under the regime laid down in Articles 11 to 14, and shall be used for the direct transit of goods coming from or going to that State.

The delimitation of the zone referred to in the preceding paragraph, its connection with existing railways, its equipment and exploitation, and, in general, all the conditions of its utilisation, including the amount of the rental, shall be decided by a Commission consisting of one delegate of Bulgaria, one delegate of Greece, and one delegate appointed by the League of Nations. These conditions shall be susceptible of revision every ten years in the same manner.

Article 6

Dedeagatch is declared a port of international concern.

The nationals, goods and flags of all States Members of the League of Nations shall enjoy at Dedeagatch complete freedom in the use of the port. In this connection and in all respects they shall be treated on a footing of perfect equality, particularly as regards all port and quay facilities and charges, including facilities for berthing, loading and discharging, tonnage dues and charges, quay, pilotage, lighthouse, quarantine and all similar dues and charges of whatsoever nature, levied in the name of the Government, public functionaries, private individuals, corporations or establishments of every kind, no distinction being made between the nationals, goods and flags of the different States and those of Greece.

There shall be no restrictions on the movement of persons or vessels other than those arising from regulations concerning customs, police, public health, emigration and immigration, and those relating to the import and export of prohibited goods. Such regulations must be reasonable and uniform, and must not impede traffic unnecessarily.

Article 7

All dues and charges for the use of the port of Dedeagatch or of its approaches, or for the use of facilities provided in the port, shall be levied under the conditions of equality prescribed in Article 6, and shall be reasonable both as regards their amount and their application, having regard to the expenses incurred in the administration, upkeep and improvement of the port and of the approaches thereto, or in the interests of navigation.

All dues and charges other than those provided in this Article or in Articles 8, 12 or 13 are forbidden.

Article 8

All customs, local octroi or consumption dues levied on goods imported or exported through the port of Dedeagatch shall be the same whether the flag of the vessel which effected, or is to effect, the transport be the Greek or any other flag. In the absence of special circumstances justifying an exception on account of economic needs, such dues must be fixed on the same basis and at the same tariffs as similar duties levied on the other customs frontiers of Greece. All facilities which may be accorded by Greece over other land or water routes or at other ports for the import or export of goods shall be equally granted to imports and exports through the port of Dedeagatch.

Article 9

In the absence of any special arrangement relative to the execution of works for maintaining and improving the port of Dedeagatch, it shall be the duty of Greece to take suitable measures to remove any obstacle or danger to navigation and to secure facilities for the movements of ships in the port.

Article 10

Greece must not undertake any works liable to prejudice the facilities for the use of the port of Dedeagatch or of its approaches.

Article 11

The facilities granted in the zone referred to in Article 5 for the erection or use of warehouses and for packing and unpacking goods shall be in accordance with trade requirements for the time being. All goods allowed to be consumed in the zone shall be exempt from customs, excise and all other duties of any description whatsoever, apart from the statistical duty provided for in Article 12. Unless otherwise provided in the present Treaty, it shall be within the discretion of Greece to permit or to prohibit manufacture within the said zone. There shall be no discrimination in regard to any of the provisions of this Article either between persons belonging to different nationalities or between goods of different origin or destination.

Article 12

No duties or charges, other than those provided for in Article 6, shall be levied on goods arriving in the zone referred to in Article 5 or departing therefrom, from whatever foreign country they come or for whatever foreign country they are destined, other than a statistical duty which shall not exceed 1 per mille ad valorem. The proceeds of this statistical duty shall be devoted exclusively to the maintenance of the service dealing with the statistics relating to the traffic of the said zone.

Article 13

Subject to the provisions of Article 14, the duties referred to in Article 8 may be levied under the conditions laid down in that Article on goods coming from or going to the zone referred to in Article 5, on their importation into Greek territory, or on their exportation from such territory respectively.

Article 14

Persons, goods, postal services, ships, vessels, carriages, wagons and other means of transport coming from or going to the zone referred to in Article 5, and crossing Greek territory, shall be deemed to be in transit across Greece if they are going to or coming from the territory of any other State whatsoever.

Article 15

Subject to the provisions of Article 16, differences which may arise with regard to the interpretation or to the application of the dispositions contained in Articles 4 to 14 of the present Treaty shall be settled in accordance with the conditions laid down by the League of Nations.

Differences with regard to the execution of works liable to prejudice the facilities for the use of the port of Dedeagatch or of its approaches shall be dealt with by an accelerated procedure, and may be the object of an expression of opinion, or of a provisional decision which may prescribe the suspension or the immediate suppression of the said works, without prejudice to the ultimate opinion or decision in the case.

Article 16

If a request is made by Bulgaria to the Council of the League of Nations, an International Commission shall be formed consisting of five members nominated by France, Great Britain, Italy, Greece and Bulgaria respectively. This Commission will be charged with assuring, so far as Dedeagatch and access thereto is concerned, the execution of the regime prescribed in Articles 4 to 14 of the present Treaty. Any differences relating to this regime shall be dealt with, in the first place, by the above Commission, which will take its decisions by a simple majority. In the event of any State concerned desiring to appeal against such decision, such appeal shall be brought before the competent authority of the League of Nations, pending whose decision the decision of the Commission shall be carried out.


The present Treaty, in French, in English and in Italian, shall be ratified.[4] In case of divergence the French text shall prevail.

The deposit of ratifications shall be made at Paris as soon as possible.

Powers of which the seat of the Government is outside Europe will be entitled merely to inform the Government of the French Republic through their diplomatic representative at Paris that their ratification has been given; in that case they must transmit the instrument of ratification as soon as possible.

A procès-verbal of the deposit of ratifications will be drawn up.

The present Treaty will come into force when the Treaty of Peace with Bulgaria has come into force, and as soon as it has been ratified by those of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers who have then ratified the said Treaty of Peace, and by Greece.[5]

The French Government will transmit to all the signatory Powers a certified copy of the procès-verbaux of the deposit of ratifications.

IN FAITH WHEREOF the abovenamed Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Treaty.

DONE at Sèvres, the tenth day of August, one thousand nine hundred and twenty, in a single copy, which will remain deposited in the archives of the French Republic, and of which authenticated copies will be transmitted to each of the signatory Powers.

[Signatures not reproduced here.]

[1] UKTS 1920 No. 5 (Cmd. 522); Hertslet 29 p. 473; SP 112 p. 781.

[2] LNTS 1 p. 67.

[3] SP 82 p. 771.

[4] The Treaty was signed for Australia 10 August 1920. Instrument of ratification deposited for the British Empire, including Australia, 6 August 1924.

[5] The Treaty entered into force for Australia and generally 30 August 1924.