2007 Wreck Removal Convention
The 2007 Wreck Removal Convention came into effect on 14 April 2015, after the 12 month entry into force provision in the Convention was triggered by ratification by Denmark.
Please click here, to see the list of the ratifications of the maritime convention.
With the Convention in force, ships of 300 GT or more which fly the flag of a Member State or use a port or offshore facility in the territory of a Member State will be required to have insurance or other financial security in place to meet the liabilities arising under the Convention.
The outline of the Convention, including the compulsory insurance requirements, is as follows;
- Convention liabilities
- The registered owner is liable for the costs of locating, marking and removing a wreck which constitutes a hazard which poses a danger to navigation or may reasonably be expected to have major harmful consequences for the marine environment or damage to the coastline or related interests. Whether a wreck is a hazard for the purposes of the Convention is determined by reference to a list of 15 criteria.
- The Convention lists a number of criteria which must be considered in determining whether a wreck constitutes a hazard which requires removal, and the measures taken by States must be proportionate to the hazard posed.
- Liability is strict and subject only to the same three limited defenses applicable to other IMO Conventions, namely that the casualty
- resulted from act of war, hostilities, civil war, insurrection, or a natural phenomenon of an exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character;
- was wholly caused by an act or omission by a third party done with intent to cause damage; 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.
“Wreck” includes any object which is or has been on board the ship.
- The Convention applies only to the Members States’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is referred to as the Convention area. However, States may extend the scope of the Convention to its own territory, including its territorial sea.
- Compulsory Insurance
- A vessel flying the flag of a State Party or entering or leaving a port in its territory, or arriving at or leaving from an offshore facility in its territorial sea will be required to meet the compulsory insurance requirements of the Convention. A Certificate attesting that insurance is in place must be carried on board.
- Measures taken by the Club
- The Certificate will be issued by the flag state or, if the flag state is not party to the Convention, by a State Party once it is satisfied that there is insurance or other financial security in place which meets the requirements of the Convention. When the flag state or a State Party issues the Certificate, they require the owner to submit the blue card issued by an insurer. Following decisions taken by all Club Boards in the International Group, it has been agreed that Clubs will issue the required Wreck Removal Convention “Blue Cards”, to enable Members to obtain Certificates from State Parties. The Club provides the blue card. Please contact the Club for further information on the application process for blue cards.
2002 Athens Convention (The Athens Convention and the Protocol of 2002)/ PLR (Regulation No.392/2009 on the liability of carriers of passengers by sea )
The 2002 Athens Protocol came into effect on 23 April 2014 when the 12 month entry into force provision in the Convention was triggered with ratification by Belgium.
The 2002 Protocol applies to any international trade if;
- the ship is registered in a State Party
- the contract of carriage was made in a State Party
- the place of departure or destination, according to the contract of carriage, is in a State Party.
The 2002 Protocol substantially raises the carrier’s limits of liability for damage suffered by a passenger resulting from death, personal injury or damage to luggage. Ships covered by the 2002 Protocol are required to maintain insurance which meets the requirements of the 2002 Protocol and will need to obtain a certificate issued by a State Party attesting that such insurance is in force.
The liabilities in the 2002 Protocol is in general terms already covered under existing Club Rules, so shipowners do not need to arrange for additional insurance cover. However, the IG Clubs are not able to issue War Blue Cards covered by the Group’s Pooling and reinsurance programme. Shipowners must therefore obtain War Blue Cards from another insurer or provider of financial security who will in effect guarantee the shipowners’ liability to passengers for injury and death arising out of acts of war and terrorism. Information on getting War Blue Cards can be obtained from the Club.
EU Passenger Liability Regulation No.329/2009 (PLR), which largely adopts the 2002 Athens Convention verbatim, came into effect on 31 December 2012. The PLR provides a liability, compensation and compulsory insurance system for death of and personal injury to passengers and loss of or damage to luggage and vehicles. Ships covered by the PLR are required to maintain insurance which meets the requirements of the PLR and will need to obtain a certificate issued by an EU/EEA Member State attesting that such insurance is in force.
The Clubs in the IG agreed to issue the required Non War Blue Cards to enable shipowners to apply to an EU/EEA Member State for their PLR certificates. However, the IG Clubs are not able to issue War Blue Cards covered by the Group’s Pooling and reinsurance programme. Therefore, shipowners have to obtain War Blue Cards which will be issued by an insurer or other provider of financial security who will in effect guarantee the shipowners’ liability to passengers for injury and death arising out of acts of war and terrorism. Information on getting War Blue Cards can be obtained from the Club.
2006 MLC (The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006)
The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 as amended (MLC) – Financial Security Requirements
Amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 came into force on 18 January 2017. Since that date, ships that are subject to the MLC (500 gross tons or over flagged by a ratifying state and engaged in international voyages) are required to display certificates issued by an insurer or other financial security provider confirming that insurance or other financial security is in place for liabilities in respect of
- outstanding wages and repatriation of seafarers together with incidental costs and expenses in accordance with MLC Regulation 2.5, Standard A2.5.2 and Guideline B2.5 and
- compensation for death or long-term disability in accordance with Regulation 4.2, Standard A4.2 and Guideline B4.2
The Boards of all Clubs in the International Group (IG) have decided that Clubs should provide the necessary certification.
The FAQs of the amended MLC about Financial Security Requirements can be found as below.
About the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006
The 2006 MLC came into effect on 20 August 2013 as the 12 month entry into force provision in the Convention was triggered with ratification by the Philippines. The outline and text of the Convention can be found on the Website of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Under the 2006 MLC, amongst other things, Member States shall be required to ensure that seafarers on vessels flying their flag are entitled to:
- repatriation, including repatriation in case of a shipowner’s insolvency (effectively abandonment) (Regulation 2.5.2, Standard A2.5.1 (b) and Guideline B2.5.1 (b) of the 2006 MLC) and for which financial security should be in place;
- unemployment compensation resulting from a ship’s loss or foundering, limited to two months wages, for each day the seafarer remains unemployed (Regulation 2.6, Standard A2.6 and Guideline B2.6.1); and
- compensation in the event of death or long term disability due to an occupational injury, illness or hazard as set out in national law, the seafarer’s employment agreement or collective agreement (Regulation 4.2, Standard A4.2 (b) and Guideline B4.2) and for which the shipowner must provide financial security.
Claims under the above (a) repatriation in case of insolvency had been excluded from the standard Club cover in the past. It was decided, however, that the Club cover should be extended to include repatriation costs arising out of the shipowner’s insolvency. Therefore, the Club changed the rule in accordance with the decision before the 2006 MLC’s entry into force.
96LLMC (The 1996 Protocol to the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims)
On 19 April 2012, the Legal Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted amendments to the 1996 Protocol to the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (LLMC), which increased the limits of liability applicable under the Convention.
The increased limits entered into force on 8 June 2015. As to the amount of the increased limits, please refer to the Circular No. 12-004 dated 21 May 2012.
We recommend that Naiko Class Members whose vessels have been entered with a fixed sum insured as being the maximum limit of insurance money should check whether their insured amount is sufficient to cover the increased limits of liability.
The below graph shows limitation amounts before and after 8 June 2015.