International Canals

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Canals, International


in international law, man-made waterways that connect various seas and are used for international navigation. By shortening the seaways of the world, international canals play a major role in maritime navigation and world trade. They also are of great strategic military significance (for example, the Kiel Canal, the Suez Canal, and the Panama Canal). From the legal standpoint, international canals must be distinguished from straits, which are natural seaways, and from national (inland) canals, which are not used for international shipping and are under the exclusive sovereignty of the given state.

International canals, as man-made structures located in the territory of a state, are an integral part of its territory and are subject to its jurisdiction, taking international legal regulations into account. International canals may be leased to another state.

The navigational conditions for passage through international canals are regulated by international conventions. These conditions are based on the principle of free passage for the vessels of all countries through the international canal, respect by the states using the canals for the sovereign rights of the state through whose territory the canal passes, the removal of the canal from the sphere of military operations in the event of an armed conflict, and the obligation to pay the stipulated fees for passage.


Barabolia, P. D., L. A. Ivanashchenko, and D. N. Kolesnik. Mezhdunarodno-pravovoi rezhim vazhneishikh prolivov i kanalov. Moscow, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Besides, you are interested, I know, in International Canal schemes.
"We are also working on producing a complete documentary on Lebanon to be broadcasted on the leading world satellite channels such as Al-Jazeera, TV 5, Discovery Channel, France 24, as well as other Russian, Spanish, and other international canals," he added.

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