Tuesday, 13 January 2015


January 13, 2015. The Circular published on 21 October 2014 informed Members that the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks (“WRC”) enters into force on 14 April 2015.

Article 12 of the WRC provides that “the registered owner of a ship of 300 gross tonnage and above and flying the flag of a State Party shall be required to maintain insurance or other financial security, such as a guarantee of a bank or similar institution, to cover liability under this Convention in an amount equal to the limits of liability under the applicable national or international limitation regime, but in all cases not exceeding an amount calculated in accordance with article 6(1)(b) of the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976, as amended”. It is also a requirement to obtain a certificate from a WRC State Party attesting to such insurance. All International Group Clubs have agreed to issue Blue Cards so that Members may apply for a WRC certificate.

Certificates must be obtained from the State in which a ship is flagged, providing the State is party to the Convention. Ships flagged in countries that are not parties will need to obtain a certificate from a relevant authority in a State Party.

The Association understands that, following consultation with the International Group, the following four WRC States’ maritime authorities have on the date of publication of this circular agreed in principle to facilitate the smooth entry into force of the Convention and assist shipowners by issuing certificates to ships flagged in countries that are not party to the Convention, subject to any conditions the relevant authority may apply.

While web links have been provided below to the websites of the relevant authorities, only Germany has published specific information about applications for WRC Certificates. Members should therefore be aware that these authorities may not yet have finalised their internal procedures.  

United Kingdom - The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency will prioritise CLC, Bunker and Athens Convention certificate renewal applications followed by new WRC certificate applications submitted by UK registered vessels; then existing MCA customers and vessels calling at UK ports; and then vessels flagged in third countries, subject to the MCA’s capacity to process applications. The Agency has advised that due to expected large volumes of applications there may be delays in processing WRC certificates.

Germany - BSH (Germany’s certificate issuing authority) has advised the International Group that they will give priority to certificates required by German flagged ships, ships calling at German Ports and ships operated by German companies. In addition they will prioritise CLC, Bunker and Athens Convention renewal certificates. WRC certificate applications can be submitted at any time between the date of this circular and the convention’s entry into force date of 14 April. The BSH expect a large number of applications and there may be some delay in issuing certificates.

Denmark - The Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) will give priority to certificates required by Danish flagged ships, ships from the Faeroe Islands, ships calling at Danish Ports and ships operated by Danish companies. Other applications will be prioritised according to DMA’s criteria for processing certificates and operational demands. DMA is likely to process certificates for CLC, Bunker and Athens certificates before processing WRC certificate applications. A dedicated email address for electronic applications has not yet been posted on the DMA website, but it is likely to follow the format in place for CLC, Bunkers and Athens.

Marshall Islands – International Registries, Inc. will give priority to certificate applications from Marshall Islands flagged ships. The International Group is aware that the Panama Ship Registry is in negotiation with the Marshall Islands with a view to issuing WRC certificates for Panamanian flagged ships. The club advises owners with ships flagged in Panama to seek further guidance from their contacts in the Panama Ship Register before seeking to obtain certificates from other States.

The current contracting States to the WRC on the date of publication of this circular are:

Contracting States                                                    Entry into force date

Bulgaria* (accession) 18 February 2012                     14 April 2015

Congo (accession) 19 May 2014                                 14 April 2015

Denmark* (ratification) 14 April 2014                        14 April 2015

Germany (ratification) 20 June 2013                           14 April 2015

India (accession) 23 March 2011                                 14 April 2015

Iran (accession) 19 April 2011                                     14 April 2015

Malaysia (accession) 28 November 2013                    14 April 2015

Marshall Islands* 27 October 2014                             14 April 2015

Morocco (accession) 13 June 2013                              14 April 2015

Nigeria (accession) 23 July 2009                                 14 April 2015

Palau (accession) 29 September 2011                          14 April 2015

UK* (accession) 30 November 2012                           14 April 2015

*denotes that the State Party has, pursuant to Article 3.2 of the Convention, extended the application of the Convention to wrecks located within its territory, including the territorial sea.

 All clubs in the International Group have issued similar circulars.



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