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[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



107th Congress                                               Exec. Rpt.
 2nd Session            SENATE                               107-11
======================================================================
 
         TREATY WITH HONDURAS ON THE RETURN OF STOLEN VEHICLES

                                _______
                                

                October 17, 2002.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

          Mr. Biden, from the Committee on Foreign Relations,
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                   [To accompany Treaty Doc. 107-15]

    The Committee on Foreign Relations, to which was referred 
the Treaty Between the Government of the United States of 
America and the Government of the Republic of Honduras for the 
Return of Stolen, Robbed, or Embezzled Vehicles and Aircraft, 
with Annexes and a related exchange of notes, signed at 
Tegucigalpa on November 23, 2001 (Treaty Doc. 107-15), having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon, and recommends 
that the Senate give its advice and consent to the ratification 
thereof as set forth in this report and the accompanying 
resolution of advice and consent to ratification.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page

  I. Purpose..........................................................1
 II. Background and Summary...........................................2
III. Entry Into Force and Termination.................................2
 IV. Committee Action.................................................2
  V. Text of Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification.........3

                               I. Purpose


    The purpose of the Treaty is to obligate the two parties to 
assist in the return of stolen vehicles or aircraft owned in 
the territory of one Party and found in the territory of the 
other Party.

                       II. Background and Summary


    The Treaty follows a model first used in a similar treaty 
between the United States and Mexico (signed in 1981), and 
which was also followed in five bilateral treaties approved by 
the Senate in 2000. (The treaties were with Belize, Costa Rica, 
the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Panama; see S. Exec. 
Rept. 106-22).

    The treaties address a problem of concern to U.S. vehicle 
owners, namely the need for a means to facilitate recovery of 
vehicles stolen from the United States and transported to other 
countries in the hemisphere. The State Department testified 
that the United States insurance industry strongly supports 
these stolen vehicle treaties, because ``U.S. insurers are 
typically subrogated to the ownership interests of U.S. 
citizens or businesses whose vehicles have been stolen and 
taken overseas.'' Representatives of insurance companies have 
informed the Department that these treaties provide 
``discernible improvements'' in cooperation of foreign 
authorities.

    The Treaty is similar to the treaties approved in 2000. It 
provides that a party shall notify the other party within one 
month of seizure of a vehicle or aircraft which may be 
documented in the other party. A party receiving a request for 
return must determine, within 30 days, whether the request 
meets the requirements of the treaty. Once the determination is 
made, the Requested Party must, within 15 days, make the 
vehicle available to the owner or his representative. The 
vehicle must remain available to such person to take delivery 
for at least 60 days.

    There are certain exceptions to the obligation to return 
the vehicle, including if it is being held in connection with a 
criminal investigation (in which case it may be held until the 
investigation is over), or if the vehicle is subject to 
forfeiture under its laws because it was used in the territory 
of the Requested State for the commission of the crime with the 
consent of the owner, or represents the proceeds of a crime.

                 III. Entry into Force and Termination


    Under Article 12, the Treaty enters into force upon 
exchange of the instruments of ratification. Under the same 
article, the Treaty may be terminated by either party upon six 
months notice. Such termination does not affect requests for 
return that are pending when the termination takes effect.

                          IV. Committee Action


    The Committee held a public hearing on the Treaty on 
September 19, 2002, receiving testimony from representatives of 
the Departments of State of Justice. (S. Hrg. 107-721) The 
Committee considered the Treaty on October 8, 2002, and ordered 
that it be favorably reported by unanimous voice vote with the 
recommendation that the Senate give its advice and consent to 
ratification of the Treaty as set forth in the resolution of 
advice and consent to ratification.

      V. Text of Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification


    Resolved (two-thirds of the Senators present concurring 
therein), That the Senate advise and consent to the 
ratification of the Treaty between the Government of the United 
States of America and the Government of the Republic of 
Honduras for the Return of Stolen, Robbed, or Embezzled 
Vehicles and Aircraft, with Annexes and a related exchange of 
notes, signed at Tegucigalpa on November 23, 2001 (Treaty Doc. 
107-15).

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