(1) The state protocol officer shall be responsible for consular operations and the sister city and sister state program and shall serve as liaison with foreign, federal, and other state international organizations and with county and municipal governments in Florida.
(2) The state protocol officer shall be responsible for all consular relations between the state and all foreign governments doing business in Florida. The state protocol officer shall monitor United States laws and directives to ensure that all federal treaties regarding foreign privileges and immunities are properly observed. The state protocol officer shall:
(a) Establish a viable system of registration for foreign government officials residing or having jurisdiction in the state. Emphasis shall be placed on maintaining active communication between the state protocol officer and the United States Department of State in order to be currently informed regarding foreign governmental personnel stationed in, or with official responsibilities for, Florida. Active dialogue shall also be maintained with foreign countries which historically have had dealings with Florida in order to keep them informed of the proper procedure for registering with the state.
(b) Maintain and systematically update a current and accurate list of all such foreign governmental officials, consuls, or consulates.
(c) Issue certificates to such foreign governmental officials after verification pursuant to proper investigations through United States Department of State sources and the appropriate foreign government.
(d) Verify entitlement to sales and use tax exemptions pursuant to United States Department of State guidelines and identification methods.
(e) Verify entitlement to issuance of special motor vehicle license plates by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to honorary consuls or such other officials representing foreign governments who are not entitled to issuance of special Consul Corps license plates by the United States Government.
(f) Establish a system of communication to provide all state and local law enforcement agencies with information regarding proper procedures relating to the arrest or incarceration of a foreign citizen.
(g) Request the Department of Law Enforcement to provide transportation and protection services when necessary pursuant to s. 943.68.
(h) Coordinate, when necessary, special activities between foreign governments and Florida state and local governments. These may include Consular Corps Day, Consular Corps conferences, and various other social, cultural, or educational activities.
(i) Notify all newly arrived foreign governmental officials of the services offered by the state protocol officer.
(3) The state protocol officer shall operate the sister city and sister state program and establish such new programs as needed to further global understanding through the interchange of people, ideas, and culture between Florida and the world. To accomplish this purpose, the state protocol officer shall have the power and authority to:
(a) Coordinate and carry out activities designed to encourage the state and its subdivisions to participate in sister city and sister state affiliations with foreign countries and their subdivisions. Such activities may include a State of Florida sister cities conference.
(b) Encourage cooperation with and disseminate information pertaining to the Sister Cities International Program and any other program whose object is to promote linkages with foreign countries and their subdivisions.
(c) Maximize any aid available from all levels of government, public and private agencies, and other entities to facilitate such activities.
(d) Establish a viable system of registration for sister city and sister state affiliations between the state and foreign countries and their subdivisions. Such system shall include a method to determine that sufficient ties are properly established as well as a method to supervise how these ties are maintained.
(e) Maintain a current and accurate listing of all such affiliations. Sister city affiliations shall not be discouraged between the state and any country specified in s. 620(f)(1) of the federal Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, with whom the United States is currently conducting diplomatic relations unless a mandate from the United States Government expressly prohibits such affiliations.
(4) The state protocol officer shall serve as a contact for the state with the Florida Washington Office, the Florida Congressional Delegation, and United States Government agencies with respect to laws or policies which may affect the interests of the state in the area of international relations. All inquiries received regarding international economic trade development or reverse investment opportunities shall be referred to Enterprise Florida, Inc. In addition, the state protocol officer shall serve as liaison with other states with respect to international programs of interest to Florida. The state protocol officer shall also investigate and make suggestions regarding possible areas of joint action or regional cooperation with these states.
(5) The state protocol officer shall have the power and duty to encourage the relocation to Florida of consular offices and multilateral and international agencies and organizations.
(6) The department and Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall help to contribute an international perspective to the state’s development efforts.