Each Party shall define search and rescue zones that are required to establish, operate and maintain an “appropriate and effective search and rescue capability” in well-defined areas of its territory. The “competent authority” of each party is also identified, with Canada being the Minister of National Defence. Search and rescue agencies are also identified for each party, in the case of Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Coast Guard. The “Rescue Coordination Centre” (“RCC”) of each Contracting Party is identified. In Canada, the RCC is the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ontario. The Treaty coordinates international reports and responses to search and rescue (SAR) services in the Arctic and defines the jurisdiction of each State Party.  Given conflicting land claims in the Arctic, the treaty provides that “the delimitation of search and rescue zones is not linked to, and does not affect, the delimitation of boundaries between states or their sovereignty, sovereignty or jurisdiction.” This agreement will serve as a basis for future bilateral cooperation and coordination of sar operations off Southeast Florida, the Florida Route and the Bahamas, areas where the United States and the Bahamas are responsible for managing the saral services. The agreement aims to strengthen cooperation and coordination in the Arctic for search and rescue operations in the fields of aviation and sea conducted in the “territory” of the Parties (i.e. their land, inland and coastal areas, as well as in the upper airspace).
These operations are to be conducted on the basis of the 1979 International Convention on Search and Rescue at Sea (“SAR Convention”) and the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation (the “Chicago Convention”) with additional guidance from the IAMSAR Manual. The Parties may apply for permission to enter the territory of other Parties for search and rescue purposes (including refuelling) and shall be informed as soon as possible whether such entry is permitted and, if so, under what conditions the mission may be carried out. In such cases, a border crossing procedure shall be as expeditting as possible, in accordance with the law and international obligations. 1 It seems that some States have an interest in provisionally applying the Agreement. . . .