Wreck-Removal Convention to Enter into Force

Posted by Eric Haun
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Photo courtesy IMO

Shipowner liability on the horizon as Denmark ratifies international instrument

The Nairobi International Convention on the Removal Wrecks will enter into force on April 14, 2015 following the deposit, on April 14, 2014, of an instrument of ratification by Denmark, with the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Among several provisions, the convention will place financial responsibility for the removal of certain hazardous wrecks on shipowners, making insurance, or some other form of financial security, compulsory.

Denmark became the 10th country to ratify the convention, thereby triggering its entry into force exactly 12 months later.

The Convention will fill a gap in the existing international legal framework by providing the first set of uniform international rules aimed at ensuring the prompt and effective removal of wrecks located beyond a country’s territorial sea. The Convention also contains a clause that enables States Parties to opt in to apply certain provisions to their territory, including their territorial sea.

The Convention will provide a sound legal basis for States to remove, or have removed, shipwrecks that may have the potential to affect adversely the safety of lives, goods and property at sea, as well as the marine and coastal environment. It will make shipowners financially liable and require them to take out insurance or provide other financial security to cover the costs of wreck removal. It will also provide States with a right of direct action against insurers.

Articles in the Convention cover:

  • reporting and locating ships and wrecks - covering the reporting of casualties to the nearest coastal State; warnings to mariners and coastal States about the wreck; and action by the coastal State to locate the ship or wreck;
  • criteria for determining the hazard posed by wrecks, including depth of water above the wreck, proximity of shipping routes, traffic density and frequency, type of traffic and vulnerability of port facilities. Environmental criteria such as damage likely to result from the release into the marine environment of cargo or oil are also included;
  • measures to facilitate the removal of wrecks, including rights and obligations to remove hazardous ships and wrecks - which sets out when the shipowner is responsible for removing the wreck and when a State may intervene;
  • liability of the owner for the costs of locating, marking and removing ships and wrecks - the registered shipowner is required to maintain compulsory insurance or other financial security to cover liability under the convention; and settlement of disputes.


Although the incidence of marine casualties has decreased in recent years, mainly thanks to the work of IMO and the persistent efforts of Governments and industry to enhance safety in shipping operations, the number of abandoned wrecks has reportedly increased and, as a result, the problems they cause to coastal States and shipping in general have become more acute.

There are a number of problems: first, and depending on its location, a wreck may constitute a hazard to navigation, potentially endangering other vessels and their crews; second, and of equal concern, depending on the nature of the cargo, is the potential for a wreck to cause substantial damage to the marine and coastal environments; third, in an age where goods and services are becoming increasingly expensive, is the issue of the costs involved in the marking and removal of hazardous wrecks; and fourth, most of the dangerous wrecks lie in shallow coastal waters, within the territorial sea, where coastal States have unrestricted rights to remove them, without engagement of the shipowner. The convention attempts to resolve all of these and other, related, issues.

The Convention was adopted by a five-day Diplomatic Conference at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), Kenya, in 2007.

imo.org
 


Environmental

Lucas Marine, Harbor Breeze Cruises Partner to Cut Fuel Costs

Lucas Marine is partnering with Harbor Breeze Corporation to help reduce the yacht charter and cruise company's fuel costs, maintenance and environmental impact in Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors.

Fednav Welcomes Innovative Ballast System at Indiana Port

Fednav Limited, the largest international bulk shipowner in Canada, welcomed to the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, the Federal Caribou, one of seven new oceangoing

2015 Congestion Affected Long Beach Port's Air Quality

Pollution around the Port of Long Beach has been dramatically cut over the last decade, however, according to the latest study, lingering effects from ships at

News

US Navy Ships Conduct Astern Replenishment-at-sea

“While replenishments-at-sea are routine, astern refueling is unique and requires precise navigation and coordination,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Ileto, fleet replenishment scheduler for Commander,

US Offshore Lease Sale Yields $18 Mln in High Bids

Today’s U.S. oil and gas Lease Sale 248 garnered $18,067,020 in high bids for 24 tracts covering 138,240 acres in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area, announced

Another Hurdle for The Ocean Alliance

Commissioner William P. Doyle of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission today voted in favor of requesting additional information from The Ocean Alliance parties.

Maritime Safety

The Economics of Ship Breaking & Scrapping

Sometimes being an industry supplier offers interesting insights – your business is touched by the ups and downs of the charter market, but you are never so involved

Extreme Boat Lifts Installed in the Panama Canal

When the Republic of Panama needed lifts for a pair of its service boats, it turned to Golden Boat Lifts for the supply of two custom-designed 7,000 lb. capacity

Philippines: Sea Dispute Won't Shift Ties with China, U.S.

The Philippines' territorial dispute with China over the South China Sea has not caused Manila to rebalance diplomatic ties with either its ally, the United States,

Subsea Salvage

Researchers to Visit ‘Battle of the Atlantic’ Wreckage

Researchers from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its partners are set to visit what remains of two ships—a German U-boat and

Submarine Found in North Sea

The Danish Maritime Authority confirms having received a report on the finding of a wreck off the west coast of Jutland. The report also states that there are

Salvors Assessing Grounded Transocean Drilling Rig

A team of eight salvors is now making its way on board the drilling rig Transocean Winner which is currently grounded off the Isle of Lewis. They’ll now be carrying

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1152 sec (9 req/sec)