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The 1989 Salvage Convention and the protection of the environment – should the actual compromise continue?

Oana Adascalitei ()
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Oana Adascalitei: Constanta Maritime University, Romania

Juridical Tribune (Tribuna Juridica), 2018, vol. 8, issue Special, 64-73

Abstract: The salvage law regime is mainly set forth in the 1989 Salvage Convention that is complemented by a series of private initiatives of the salvage industry. The most discussed issue from the point of view of amending the actual international regulation is whether the salvage operations are in fact able to protect the environment. The salvage industry has initiated proposals in order to amend the 1989 Salvage Convention. In this context, it is important to bear in mind that no other international maritime salvage convention has previously taken into consideration the problem of the protection of the environment. From this perspective the actual regulation represents a fundamental change. Alongside with traditional subjects of salvage, protection of the environment was recognized by the 1989 Salvage Convention not as an independent subject but related to the salvage of the ship and its cargoes. Two articles, namely Article 13 (b) which refers to an “enhanced award for the salvor” and respectively, Article 14 deemed as “a safety net” were special designed to encourage the salvor to intervene in circumstances where damages to environment occurs. The Salvage Industry has advanced a proposal for the Convention’s revision meant to reflect in a more adequate way the importance of the salvage services’ contribution to the environmental protection. It is often reminded that this Convention is a result of the so called “Montreal Compromise” agreed by the Comite Maritime International in 1981, which has balanced the interests of all actors involved in the maritime salvage. Starting from this aspect, the purpose of the hereby paper is to analyze the Convention’s text parallel to proposals for its revision.

Keywords: envinronmental salvage; damage to the environment; the safety net; SCOPIC clause; the 1989 salvage convention. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K32 K33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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