Claims for Damage Arising out of Wreck Removal
The Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks (WRC) provides international rules on the rights and obligations of States and shipowners in dealing with wrecks and drifting or sunken cargo which may pose a hazard to navigation and/or pose a threat to the marine environment. The Convention clarifies rights and obligations regarding the identification, reporting, locating and removal of hazardous wrecks.
The WRC requires shipowners to be insured up to the limits set out in the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims to cover the cost of the removal of a wreck. However, the WRC does not limit the liability of the shipowner except where there is an applicable “national or international regime”. In Australia, there is no applicable regime so, even if Australia becomes a Party to the WRC, shipowners will still be required to meet all the costs of wreck removal.
The WRC was adopted by IMO on 18 May 2007. As at 1 August 2011, three countries had become Party to it.
A description of the WRC is available on the IMO’s website.