The Wreck Removal Convention, 2007 intends to 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 the territorial sea. The Convention also includes an optional clause enabling States Parties to apply certain provisions to their territory, including their territorial sea.
Shipowners are financially liable and require taking out insurance or providing other financial security to cover the costs of wreck removal. It also provides States with a right of direct action against insurers.
What the Convention covers?
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.
- settlement of disputes.
To read more please NICRW