The Schedule referred to in section 1(4) is—
THE STATES PARTIES TO THE PRESENT CONVENTION,
CONSCIOUS of the fact that wrecks, if not removed, may pose a hazard to
navigation or the marine environment,
CONVINCED of the need to adopt uniform international rules and
procedures to ensure the prompt and effective removal of wrecks and
payment of compensation for the costs therein involved,
NOTING that many wrecks may be located in States’ territory, including the
RECOGNIZING the benefits to be gained through uniformity in legal
regimes governing responsibility and liability for removal of hazardous
BEARING IN MIND the importance of the United Nations Convention on
the Law of the Sea, done at Montego Bay on 10 December 1982, and of the
customary international law of the sea, and the consequent need to
implement the present Convention in accordance with such provisions,
For the purposes of this Convention:
1. “Convention area” means the exclusive economic zone of a State Party,
established in accordance with international law or, if a State Party has not
established such a zone, an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea of
that State determined by that State in accordance with international law and
extending not more than 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which
the breadth of its territorial sea is measured.
2. “Ship” means a seagoing vessel of any type whatsoever and includes
hydrofoil boats, air-cushion vehicles, submersibles, floating craft and
floating platforms, except when such platforms are on location engaged in
the exploration, exploitation or production of seabed mineral resources.
3. “Maritime casualty” means a collision of ships, stranding or other incident
of navigation, or other occurrence on board a ship or external to it, resulting
in material damage or imminent threat of material damage to a ship or its
4. “Wreck”, following upon a maritime casualty, means:
a sunken or stranded ship; or
any part of a sunken or stranded ship, including any object that is or
has been on board such a ship; or
any object that is lost at sea from a ship and that is stranded, sunken
a ship that is about, or may reasonably be expected, to sink or to
strand, where effective measures to assist the ship or any property in
danger are not already being taken.
5. “Hazard” means any condition or threat that:
poses a danger or impediment to navigation; or
may reasonably be expected to result in major harmful consequences
to the marine environment, or damage to the coastline or related
interests of one or more States.
6. “Related interests” means the interests of a coastal State directly affected
or threatened by a wreck, such as:
maritime coastal, port and estuarine activities, including fisheries
activities, constituting an essential means of livelihood of the persons
tourist attractions and other economic interests of the area
the health of the coastal population and the wellbeing of the area
concerned, including conservation of marine living resources and of
offshore and underwater infrastructure.
7. “Removal” means any form of prevention, mitigation or elimination of the
hazard created by a wreck. “Remove”, “removed” and “removing” shall be
8. “Registered owner” means the person or persons registered as the owner
of the ship or, in the absence of registration, the person or persons owning
the ship at the time of the maritime casualty. However, in the case of a ship
owned by a State and operated by a company which in that State is
registered as the operator of the ship, “registered owner” shall mean such
9. “Operator of the ship” means the owner of the ship or any other
organization or person such as the manager, or the bareboat charterer, who
has assumed the responsibility for operation of the ship from the owner of
the ship and who, on assuming such responsibility, has agreed to take over
all duties and responsibilities established under the International Safety
Management Code, as amended.
10. “Affected State” means the State in whose Convention area the wreck is
11. “State of the ship’s registry” means, in relation to a registered ship, the
State of registration of the ship and, in relation to an unregistered ship, the
State whose flag the ship is entitled to fly.
12. “Organization” means the International Maritime Organization.
13. “Secretary-General” means the Secretary-General of the Organization.
Objectives and general principles
1. A State Party may take measures in accordance with this Convention in
relation to the removal of a wreck which poses a hazard in the Convention
2. Measures taken by the Affected State in accordance with paragraph 1 shall
be proportionate to the hazard.
3. Such measures shall not go beyond what is reasonably necessary to
remove a wreck which poses a hazard and shall cease as soon as the wreck
has been removed; they shall not unnecessarily interfere with the rights and
interests of other States including the State of the ship’s registry, and of any
person, physical or corporate, concerned.
4. The application of this Convention within the Convention area shall not
entitle a State Party to claim or exercise sovereignty or sovereign rights over
any part of the high seas.
5. States Parties shall endeavour to co-operate when the effects of a maritime
casualty resulting in a wreck involve a State other than the Affected State.
1. Except as otherwise provided in this Convention, this Convention shall
apply to wrecks in the Convention area.
2. A State Party may extend the application of this Convention to wrecks
located within its territory, including the territorial sea, subject to article 4,
paragraph 4. In that case, it shall notify the Secretary-General accordingly, at
the time of expressing its consent to be bound by this Convention or at any
time thereafter. When a State Party has made a notification to apply this
Convention to wrecks located within its territory, including the territorial
sea, this is without prejudice to the rights and obligations of that State to take
measures in relation to wrecks located in its territory, including the
territorial sea, other than locating, marking and removing them in
accordance with this Convention. The provisions of articles 10, 11 and 12 of
this Convention shall not apply to any measures so taken other than those
referred to in articles 7, 8 and 9 of this Convention.
3. When a State Party has made a notification under paragraph 2, the
“Convention area” of the Affected State shall include the territory, including
the territorial sea, of that State Party.
4. A notification made under paragraph 2 above shall take effect for that
State Party, if made before entry into force of this Convention for that State
Party, upon entry into force. If notification is made after entry into force of
this Convention for that State Party, it shall take effect six months after its
receipt by the Secretary-General.
5. A State Party that has made a notification under paragraph 2 may
withdraw it at any time by means of a notification of withdrawal to the
Secretary-General. Such notification of withdrawal shall take effect six
months after its receipt by the Secretary-General, unless the notification
1. This Convention shall not apply to measures taken under the
International Convention relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases
of Oil Pollution Casualties, 1969, as amended, or the Protocol relating to
Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Pollution by Substances other than
2. This Convention shall not apply to any warship or other ship owned or
operated by a State and used, for the time being, only on Government non-
commercial service, unless that State decides otherwise.
3. Where a State Party decides to apply this Convention to its warships or
other ships as described in paragraph 2, it shall notify the Secretary-General,
thereof, specifying the terms and conditions of such application.
4. (a) When a State Party has made a notification under article 3, paragraph
2, the following provisions of this Convention shall not apply in its territory,
including the territorial sea:
Article 2, paragraph 4;
Article 9, paragraphs 1, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10; and
(b) Article 9, paragraph 4, insofar as it applies to the territory, including the
territorial sea of a State Party, shall read:
Subject to the national law of the Affected State, the registered owner may
contract with any salvor or other person to remove the wreck determined to
constitute a hazard on behalf of the owner. Before such removal commences,
the Affected State may lay down conditions for such removal only to the
extent necessary to ensure that the removal proceeds in a manner that is
consistent with considerations of safety and protection of the marine
1. A State Party shall require the master and the operator of a ship flying its
flag to report to the Affected State without delay when that ship has been
involved in a maritime casualty resulting in a wreck. To the extent that the
reporting obligation under this article has been fulfilled either by the master
or the operator of the ship, the other shall not be obliged to report.
2. Such reports shall provide the name and the principal place of business of
the registered owner and all the relevant information necessary for the
Affected State to determine whether the wreck poses a hazard in accordance
with article 6, including:
the precise location of the wreck;
the type, size and construction of the wreck;
the nature of the damage to, and the condition of, the wreck;
the nature and quantity of the cargo, in particular any hazardous and
the amount and types of oil, including bunker oil and lubricating oil,
When determining whether a wreck poses a hazard, the following criteria
should be taken into account by the Affected State:
the type, size and construction of the wreck;
depth of the water in the area;
tidal range and currents in the area;
particularly sensitive sea areas identified and, as appropriate,
designated in accordance with guidelines adopted by the
Organization, or a clearly defined area of the exclusive economic
zone where special mandatory measures have been adopted
pursuant to article 211, paragraph 6, of the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982;
proximity of shipping routes or established traffic lanes;
traffic density and frequency;
nature and quantity of the wreck’s cargo, the amount and types of oil
(such as bunker oil and lubricating oil) on board the wreck and, in
particular, the damage likely to result should the cargo or oil be
released into the marine environment;
vulnerability of port facilities;
prevailing meteorological and hydrographical conditions;
submarine topography of the area;
height of the wreck above or below the surface of the water at lowest
acoustic and magnetic profiles of the wreck;
proximity of offshore installations, pipelines, telecommunications
cables and similar structures; and
any other circumstances that might necessitate the removal of the
1. Upon becoming aware of a wreck, the Affected State shall use all
practicable means, including the good offices of States and organizations, to
warn mariners and the States concerned of the nature and location of the
wreck as a matter of urgency.
2. If the Affected State has reason to believe that a wreck poses a hazard, it
shall ensure that all practicable steps are taken to establish the precise
1. If the Affected State determines that a wreck constitutes a hazard, that
State shall ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to mark the wreck.
2. In marking the wreck, all practicable steps shall be taken to ensure that the
markings conform to the internationally accepted system of buoyage in use
in the area where the wreck is located.
3. The Affected State shall promulgate the particulars of the marking of the
wreck by use of all appropriate means, including the appropriate nautical
Measures to facilitate the removal of wrecks
1. If the Affected State determines that a wreck constitutes a hazard, that
inform the State of the ship’s registry and the registered owner; and
proceed to consult the State of the ship’s registry and other States
affected by the wreck regarding measures to be taken in relation to
2. The registered owner shall remove a wreck determined to constitute a
3. When a wreck has been determined to constitute a hazard, the registered
owner, or other interested party, shall provide the competent authority of
the Affected State with evidence of insurance or other financial security as
4. The registered owner may contract with any salvor or other person to
remove the wreck determined to constitute a hazard on behalf of the owner.
Before such removal commences, the Affected State may lay down
conditions for such removal only to the extent necessary to ensure that the
removal proceeds in a manner that is consistent with considerations of
safety and protection of the marine environment.
5. When the removal referred to in paragraphs 2 and 4 has commenced, the
Affected State may intervene in the removal only to the extent necessary to
ensure that the removal proceeds effectively in a manner that is consistent
with considerations of safety and protection of the marine environment.
6. The Affected State shall:
set a reasonable deadline within which the registered owner must
remove the wreck, taking into account the nature of the hazard
determined in accordance with article 6;
inform the registered owner in writing of the deadline it has set and
specify that, if the registered owner does not remove the wreck
within that deadline, it may remove the wreck at the registered
inform the registered owner in writing that it intends to intervene
immediately in circumstances where the hazard becomes
7. If the registered owner does not remove the wreck within the deadline set
in accordance with paragraph 6(a), or the registered owner cannot be
contacted, the Affected State may remove the wreck by the most practical
and expeditious means available, consistent with considerations of safety
and protection of the marine environment.
8. In circumstances where immediate action is required and the Affected
State has informed the State of the ship’s registry and the registered owner
accordingly, it may remove the wreck by the most practical and expeditious
means available, consistent with considerations of safety and protection of
9. States Parties shall take appropriate measures under their national law to
ensure that their registered owners comply with paragraphs 2 and 3.
10. States Parties give their consent to the Affected State to act under
paragraphs 4 to 8, where required.
11. The information referred to in this article shall be provided by the
Affected State to the registered owner identified in the reports referred to in
1. Subject to article 11, the registered owner shall be liable for the costs of
locating, marking and removing the wreck under articles 7, 8 and 9,
respectively, unless the registered owner proves that the maritime casualty
resulted from an act of war, hostilities, civil war, insurrection, or a
natural phenomenon of an exceptional, inevitable and irresistible
was wholly caused by an act or omission done with intent to cause
damage by a third party; or
was wholly caused by the negligence or other wrongful act of any
Government or other authority responsible for the maintenance of
lights or other navigational aids in the exercise of that function.
2. Nothing in this Convention shall affect the right of the registered owner to
limit liability under any applicable national or international regime, such as
the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976, as
3. No claim for the costs referred to in paragraph 1 may be made against the
registered owner otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this
Convention. This is without prejudice to the rights and obligations of a State
Party that has made a notification under article 3, paragraph 2, in relation to