30 U.S. Code § 1428 - Reciprocating states
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The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the heads of other appropriate departments and agencies, may designate any foreign nation as a reciprocating state if the Secretary of State finds that such foreign nation—
(1) regulates the conduct of its citizens and other persons subject to its jurisdiction engaged in exploration for, and commercial recovery of, hard mineral resources of the deep seabed in a manner compatible with that provided in this chapter and the regulations issued under this chapter, which includes adequate measures for the protection of the environment, the conservation of natural resources, and the safety of life and property at sea, and includes effective enforcement provisions;
(2) recognizes licenses and permits issued under this subchapter to the extent that such nation, under its laws,
(A) prohibits any person from engaging in exploration or commercial recovery which conflicts with that authorized under any such license or permit and
(B) complies with the date for issuance of licenses and the effective date for permits provided in section 1412 (c)(1)(D) of this title;
(3) recognizes, under its procedures, priorities of right, consistent with those provided in this chapter and the regulations issued under this chapter, for applications for licenses for exploration or permits for commercial recovery, which applications are made either under its procedures or under this chapter; and
(b) Effect of designation
No license or permit shall be issued under this subchapter permitting any exploration or commercial recovery which will conflict with any license, permit, or equivalent authorization issued by any foreign nation which is designated as a reciprocating state under subsection (a) of this section.
Upon receipt of any application for a license or permit under this subchapter, the Administrator shall immediately notify all reciprocating states of such application. The notification shall include those portions of the exploration plan or recovery plan submitted with respect to the application, or a summary thereof, and any other appropriate information not required to be withheld from public disclosure by section 1423 (c) of this title.
(d) Revocation of reciprocating state status
The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the heads of other appropriate departments and agencies, shall revoke the designation of a foreign nation as a reciprocating state if the Secretary of State finds that such foreign nation no longer complies with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section. At the request of any holder of a license, permit, or equivalent authorization of such foreign nation, who obtained the license, permit, or equivalent authorization while such foreign nation was a reciprocating state, the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may decide to recognize the license, permit, or equivalent authorization for purposes of subsection (b) of this section.
The President is authorized to negotiate agreements with foreign nations necessary to implement this section.
(f) International consultations
The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the heads of other appropriate departments and agencies, shall consult with foreign nations which enact, or are preparing to enact, domestic legislation establishing an interim legal framework for exploration and commercial recovery of hard mineral resources. Such consultations shall be carried out with a view to facilitating the designation of such nations as reciprocating states and, as necessary, the negotiation of agreements with foreign nations authorized by subsection (e) of this section. In addition, the Administrator shall provide such foreign nations with information on environmental impacts of exploration and commercial recovery activities, and shall provide any technical assistance requested in designing regulatory measures to protect the environment.