Brussels Convention Supplementary to the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy (Brussels Supplementary Convention or BSC)

The 1963 Convention Supplementary to the Paris Convention of 29 July 1960 (the "Brussels Supplementary Convention" or BSC) was adopted to provide additional funds to compensate damage as a result of a nuclear incident where Paris Convention funds proved to be insufficient. The Brussels Supplementary Convention stipulates that public funds are to be provided for this purpose, not only by the state where the liable operator's nuclear installation is located, but also by contributions from all the parties to the Brussels Supplementary Convention. The Convention is thus based on a strong bond of financial solidarity between its parties.

Unofficial consolidated text of the Brussels Supplementary Convention [English and French]

The Brussels Supplementary Convention is subject to the provisions contained in the Paris Convention including those which define the concepts of "nuclear incident", "nuclear installation", "nuclear substances" and "nuclear damage".

The combined Paris/Brussels regime provides for a compensation amount of not less than EUR 1.5 billion, in three tiers:

  • a first tier corresponding to the liability amount imposed under the Paris Convention, meaning that each party to the Brussels Supplementary Convention is required to establish by legislation an operator liability amount of at least EUR 700 million, to be provided by insurance or other financial security;
  • a second tier consisting of the difference between EUR 1.2 billion and the amount required under the first tier, which is to be provided from public funds to be made available by the party in whose territory the nuclear installation of the liable operator is situated;
  • a third tier comprising EUR 300 million to be made available from public funds contributed jointly by all the parties to the Brussels Supplementary Convention according to a pre-determined formula. 

Operator liability amounts under the Brussels Supplementary Convention

First tier

(National limit on the operator’s liability, as under the Paris Convention)

minimum €700 million 

Second tier

(Public funds made available by the installation state of the liable operator)

maximum €500 million

[difference between first tier and €1.2 billion]

Third tier

(Public funds made available by all BSC parties)

€300 million

[difference between €1.2 billion and €1.5 billion]

TOTAL amount available under the Paris and Brussels Conventions combined

minimum €1.5 billion


The method of calculating each contracting party's financial contribution to the third tier is based 35% on gross domestic product and 65% on installed nuclear capacity, reflecting the sense of responsibility the contracting parties to the BSC place on nuclear power generating states.

The Brussels Supplementary Convention’s geographical scope of application is limited to damage suffered on the territory of a contracting party to the Convention or, under specified circumstances, to nuclear damage suffered in or above maritime areas beyond the territorial sea of a contracting party or in or above a contracting party's exclusive economic zone. However, because the funds to be provided under the second and third tiers are considered "public" money, compensation under the Brussels Supplementary Convention will continue to be made available only to compensate victims in states that have agreed to participate in the supplementary regime.

No state may become or remain a contracting party to the Brussels Supplementary Convention unless it is already a contracting party to the Paris Convention. The Brussels Supplementary Convention will only remain in place for as long as the Paris Convention also remains in force.

The Brussels Supplementary Convention has been amended by protocols adopted in 1964, 1982 and 2004.

The Belgian Government is the depositary for the Brussels Supplementary Convention.


Related Decisions, Recommendations and Interpretations

  • OECD Council Recommendation on the application of the Brussels Supplementary Convention, in the field of nuclear liability [OECD/LEGAL/0272]
    English |   French

Historical Documents (no longer in force)

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Read more on the Brussels Supplementary Convention on our Multilateral agreements website