Terms of Reference


The Committee advises the Commissioners of the British Antarctic Territory (BAT) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) on matters relating to place-naming in the respective territories.


The Committee will meet to receive, consider and make proposals and recommendations for place names in BAT and SGSSI. It will exchange information and liaise with the Antarctic Place-Names Committees of other states in the consideration and formulation of place names.

The recommendation of the Committee will be transmitted to the Commissioners of the BAT and SGSSI for their endorsement, as appropriate. Following endorsement by the Commissioners of the British Antarctic Territory and South Georgia, names can then be used in reports, publications, maps and charts.

If the representative of the Commissioner is at the APC meeting then the recommended names shall be deemed to be accepted and the approval date shall be the date of the meeting. Otherwise, the date of endorsement shall be the official date of approval of the relevant names, that being the date of the acceptance letter from the Commissioner of the Territory. In the absence of any letter from the Commissioner, it will be the date of the letter from the Representative of the Commissioner.

The Committee normally meets at least two times a year. In addition, the Secretary prepares research for new place name proposals intersessionally, as appropriate.

The Chairman of the Committee is appointed by the Head of Overseas Territories Directorate, Foreign and Commonwealth Office in liaison with the Commissioner of SGSSI. A Vice-Chairman is chosen by the members of the Committee.

The term of tenure of the Chairman shall be for three years, but may be renewed. Expert members have an open-ended tenure. Ad hoc members serve a three year tenure with the option to reapply at the end of that time.