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NEUTRAL MERCHANT VESSELS AND CIVIL AIRCRAFT
    SECTION V : NEUTRAL MERCHANT VESSELS AND CIVIL AIRCRAFT

    Neutral merchant vessels

    67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

    (a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;
    (b) engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy;
    (c) act as auxiliaries to the enemy s armed forces;
    (d) are incorporated into or assist the enemy s intelligence system;
    (e) sail under convoy of enemy warships or military aircraft; or
    (f) otherwise make an effective contribution to the enemy s military action, e.g., by carrying military materials, and it is not feasible for the attacking forces to first place passengers and crew in a place of safety. Unless circumstances do not permit, they are to be given a warning, so that they can re-route, off-load, or take other precautions.

    68. Any attack on these vessels is subject to the basic rules in paragraphs 38-46.

    69. The mere fact that a neutral merchant vessel is armed provides no grounds for attacking it.

    Neutral civil aircraft

    70. Civil aircraft bearing the marks of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

    (a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband, and, after prior warning or interception, they intentionally and clearly refuse to divert from their destination, or intentionally and clearly refuse to proceed for visit and search to a belligerent airfield that is safe for the type of aircraft involved and reasonably accessible;
    (b) engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy;
    (c) act as auxiliaries to the enemy's armed forces;
    (d) are incorporated into or assist the enemy's intelligence system; or
    (e) otherwise make an effective contribution to the enemy's military action, e.g., by carrying military materials, and, after prior warning or interception, they intentionally and clearly refuse to divert from their destination, or intentionally and clearly refuse to proceed for visit and search to a belligerent airfield that is safe for the type of aircraft involved and reasonably accessible.

    71. Any attack on these aircraft is subject to the basic rules in paragraphs 38-46.


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