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in international relations. (1) A term for the head of a consular institution (consular agency) in customary consular relations in a number of states, including the USSR. The rank of consular agent is provided for in the Vienna convention on consular relations of 1963.
According to the USSR consular charter of 1926 the consular agent is appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR upon receiving the preliminary agreement (agrément) of the appropriate powers of the state where the agent is to be sent. The consular agent, in addition to being subordinate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR and the diplomatic representative of the USSR in the country where he is located, is also subordinate to the consul, vice-consul, or general consul of the USSR nearest him in the given country. In 1967 the Soviet Union had a consular agency headed by a consular agent in Santiago de Cuba in the Republic of Cuba.
The function of the consular agent is defined by consular agreements (if they exist) between corresponding countries, by customary international law, the Vienna convention of 1963 on consular relations, consular decrees, and by the regulations of his native country. These functions are implemented in accordance with the laws and customs of the country where he is sent and with international law based on a specific document—exequatur.
(2) In the practice of a number of states—for instance, the German Democratic Republic—the consular agent is a functionary in a consular institution. However, in accordance with legislation in these countries, the consular agent is appointed with the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of his state by the consul himself and is subordinate to him, acting as the authorized consul in individual private affairs, for example, in questions of navigation and questions of inheritance.
I. P. BLISHCHENKO