BUSI­NESS Ship own­ers to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for wreck-re­moval on sea

Daily Trust - - MARTIME - By Hamisu Muham­mad

The Nairobi In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion on the re­moval of wrecks will be­come ef­fec­tive on 14 April 2015 fol­low­ing the de­posit, on 14 April 2014, of an in­stru­ment of rat­i­fi­ca­tion by Den­mark, with the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Or­ga­ni­za­tion (IMO).

A state­ment from the IMO said among sev­eral pro­vi­sions, the con­ven­tion will place fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity for the re­moval of cer­tain haz­ardous wrecks on ship own­ers, mak­ing in­sur­ance or some other forms 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 ship own­ers 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.”

The IMO said 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 ship owner. The con­ven­tion at­tempts to re­solve all of these and other, re­lated, is­sues,” the state­ment added.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.