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
 

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

NZ Report: Human Error to Blame for Rena Grounding

New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) published its final report into the grounding of containership Rena in October 2011. The TAIC’s

Costa Rica Approves APM Terminals Project

Port operator APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, said on Friday Costa Rica's environment agency had approved the construction of its Moin Container Terminal project.

NOAA: US to See More Floods from Sea Level Rise

Most of U.S. coast may see 30 or more days a year of floods up to 2 feet above high tides. By 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened

Salvage

NZ Report: Human Error to Blame for Rena Grounding

New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) published its final report into the grounding of containership Rena in October 2011. The TAIC’s

Workboats: Communications is Key Operational Tech

As we close out yet another year, I am constantly amazed at how much things change on the waterfront and the boats that ply the adjacent waters. Similarly, I like

Report: Dire Conditions in Indian Shipbreaking Yards

Report by Indian research institute reveals poor enforcement of occupational health and safety provisions   The working and living conditions at the shipbreaking yards of Alang,

News

Port Workers in Argentine Grain Hub End Strike

Port workers in part of the Argentine grains hub of Rosario lifted a work stoppage on Friday, only a day after they went on strike over demands for higher year-end bonuses, a union official said.

Madsen to Chair Norway’s Research Council Executive Board

Henrik O. Madsen appointed chairman of the executive board of the Research Council of Norway   DNV GL president and CEO Henrik O. Madsen was appointed as chairman

Larger Tankers May Offer Better Return Chances

Investors looking for returns in the tanker markets can invest their capital in a variety of ways. Should an owner invest in a VLCC or an Aframax? How about an

Maritime Safety

NZ Report: Human Error to Blame for Rena Grounding

New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) published its final report into the grounding of containership Rena in October 2011. The TAIC’s

DNV GL Targets Safer Approach to Subsea Lifting

The completion of a joint industry project (JIP) to improve existing standards and regulations around subsea lifting operations has resulted in a new recommended practice (RP).

NOAA: US to See More Floods from Sea Level Rise

Most of U.S. coast may see 30 or more days a year of floods up to 2 feet above high tides. By 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened

Subsea Salvage

Wrecked Bulker’s Bow Refloated, Scuttled off S.Africa

TITAN Salvage, Crowley Maritime Corp.'s Houston-based marine salvage, emergency response and wreck removal company, has refloated and scuttled the largest section of the wrecked bulk carrier, Smart.

Mermaid Wins Subsea Contract in Gulf of Thailand

Mermaid has secured a 2-year contract for its dive support vessel, ‘Mermaid Commander’, to provide subsea construction support in the Gulf of Thailand for a

Lifting Costa Concordia

Ropes made with Dyneema help Titan Salvage, Micoperi on historic salvage operation   The largest and most complex maritime salvage operation ever carried out was concluded this summer.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1705 sec (6 req/sec)