Cook Islands assists owners with Wreck Removal Certification

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Paper boatsThe Cook Islands has acceded to the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007 (“The Nairobi Convention”). As a State Party, Cook Islands will issue Wreck Removal Certificates to its own ships and also to ships flying the flags of states that have not yet become party to the Nairobi Convention.
The Nairobi Convention, which will come  into force on 14th April 2015, requires all ships over 300gt (including fishing vessels and commercial yachts) to have insurance in place to cover the location, marking and removal of a wreck, deemed to be a hazard in a State party’s Convention area.
Glenn Armstrong, Managing Director of Maritime Cook Islands, the Cook Islands registry administrator, said today: “We are proud the Cook Islands has acceded to The Nairobi Convention and since our accession in December 2014, we have received a steady flow of enquires from interested owners.  There is real interest from responsible owners who are taking the first step to find out how they can have the necessary certifications in place before the deadline demands it.”
The Convention provides that for compulsory insurance purposes, liability under the Nairobi Convention shall not exceed the limits calculated in accordance with the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 (LLMC 1976), as amended by the 1996 Protocol.
A Blue Card issued by a recognised P&I Insurer, which can be verified, will be evidence of insurance cover being in place and will be used as the basis for the issuance of the Nairobi Convention Certificate.
In addition to being able to issue certificates to owners on the Cook Islands’ registry, Cook Islands is also prepared to issue certificates to owners of vessels registered in States who are not party to the Nairobi Convention.
“To this end, our Ambassador to IMO, Capt Ian Finley, has advised the secretariat of the International Group of P&I Clubs that Cook Islands will issue Wreck Removal Certificates to ships flying the flags of non-State parties.   MCI has also written to all of the approved P&I Insurers (from the Bunkers Convention) advising them the same.  The International Group of P&I Insurers are offering to include Wreck Removal Insurance with the renewals of policies which came into effect on 20th February 2015.
“This means that the majority of world shipping will have the necessary insurance in place when the Convention comes into force in April,” added Mr Armstrong.