Removal of Wrecks

Removal of Wrecks

The Convention was adopted on 18 May 2007. Entry into force:  14 April 2015.

The Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007 was adopted by an international conference held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2007.

The Convention will provide the 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 environment.

The Convention provides the set of uniform international rules aimed at ensuring the prompt and effective removal of wrecks located beyond the territorial sea.

The Convention provides a sound legal basis for coastal States to remove, or have removed, from their coastlines, wrecks which pose a hazard to the safety of navigation or to the marine and coastal environments, or both. It will make ship owners financially liable and require them to take out insurance or provide other financial security (such as a bank guarantee) to cover the costs of wreck removal.

A key provision in the Convention is the requirement for direct action - this would allow a claim for compensation for wreck removal to be brought directly against an insurer.

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 ship owner 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 ship owner is required to maintain compulsory insurance or other financial security to cover liability under the convention; and  
  • settlement of disputes.  

 You can find the general terms for the Nairobi International Convention of the Removal of Wrecks here.



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