UNCLOS does not establish tax on corporations or individuals, only a modest revenue sharing agreement for mineral/energy extraction in international waters
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[MYTH]: The Convention gives the UN its first opportunity to levy taxes. The Convention does not provide for or authorize taxation of individuals or corporations. It does include revenue sharing provisions for oil/gas activities on the continental shelf beyond 200 miles and administrative fees for deep seabed mining operations. The amounts involved are modest in relation to the total economic benefits, and none of the revenues would go to the United Nations or be subject to its control. U.S. consent would be required for any expenditure of such revenues. With respect to deep seabed mining, because the United States is a non-party, U.S. companies currently lack the practical ability to engage in such mining under U.S. authority. Becoming a Party will give our firms such ability and will open up new revenue opportunities for them when deep seabed mining becomes economically viable. The alternative is no deep seabed mining for U.S. firms, except through other nations under the Convention. These minimal costs are worth it.
Opponents argue that by ratifying UNCLOS, the United Nations would be given the first opportunity to tax U.S. citizens. However, this is a misunderstanding of the royalties structure within UNCLOS. The International Seabed Authority requires royalty payments from all companies engaged in seabed mining in areas that do not belong to any country and are therefore under the management of the ISA. These payments are a small fraction of the revenue and similar to payments U.S. companies already pay around the world to governments for resource concessions.