Nairobi Convention gathers pace as Palau reports an increase in application submissions

Flags, Legal, Marine Insurance, Salvage, Towage, Wreck Removals — By on March 19, 2015 at 12:24 PM

Palau International Ship Registry (PISR) has received a high volume of applications from owners looking to have the correct documentation in place prior to the imminent entry into force of the Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention.

Marisabel Arauz Park, Palau International Ship Registry’s technical manager, said: “The high number of applications from owners wanting to be compliant before the convention’s entry into force on 14 April is indicative of the shipowning community’s increasing confidence in Palau as a reliable, responsible flag.

“Although we are a relatively new register, our fleet is expanding rapidly and we now have regional offices in 15 countries, including the USA (Houston),  Panama, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Nigeria, Egypt, Romania, Dubai, India Sri Lanka, Singapore, and China.  PISR is now firmly established as one of the leading ship registries using state-of-the-art techniques and service standards. We certainly have the infrastructure in place to deal with the anticipated volume of WRC applications.”

PISR has set up web site www.palaushipregistry.com/nairobi-wrc-certificate to expedite the application process. Shipowners/managers and/or relevant parties who wish to apply for a certificate need to obtain the relevant ‘blue card’ from a Palau-approved P&I Club.

Similar to the way in which the Bunker Convention operates, PISR will issue a certificate within 24 hours on receipt of an insurer’s ‘blue card’, a valid Certificate of Registry and confirmation of payment. The fee for a PISR WRC certificate is US$270.00 although volume discounts are available.

“The cost of removing a wreck from territorial waters has long been a concern for all parties given that most states have had their own legal framework for dealing with casualties. The Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention establishes an international standard for hitherto complex, national-based rules, ” Park added.

In January, the Panama Maritime Authority issued a ‘Merchant Marine Circular’ informing its members that Palau is one of three PMA-approved Administrations authorised to issue WRC certificates on its behalf.

Background:

The Republic of Palau’s January 2015 ratification of the Convention means that all ships above 300grt registered with the Palau flag will need insurance or other financial means to cover the cost of wreck removal, as will non-Palau flagged vessels entering or leaving a Palau port.

Non-compliance would mean that Palau can legally remove the wreck at the owner’s expense.

Other states party to the Convention, which provides a liability regime for the removal of hazardous wrecks in Exclusive Economic Zones, includes Denmark, Bulgaria, Malta, Congo, Germany, Antigua & Barbuda, Liberia, the Cooks Islands, Marshall Islands and the UK.

These states have notified the IMO that the Convention will apply to their territorial seas and/or that they are willing to assist in issuing certificates to ships registered in a non-party state.

Palau International Ship Registry:

The Palau International Ship Registry, an open registry headquartered in Houston, USA, was established in 2010 and appointed by the Government of the Republic of Palau to carry out the day-to-day management of vessels registered to the flag.

Its goal is to become world-class, White List status registry through innovation and modern technologies.

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