International Convention on Salvage, 1989 (SALVAGE, 1989)
- Type: Convention
- Date of signature: 28/04/1989
- Place of signature: London, United Kingdom
- Depositary: International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- Date of entry into force: 14/07/1996
What is it about?
The Convention replaced a convention on the law of salvage adopted in Brussels in 1910 which incorporated the "'no cure, no pay" principle under which a salvor is only rewarded for services if the operation is successful. Although this basic philosophy worked well in most cases, it did not take pollution into account. A salvor who prevented a major pollution incident (for example, by towing a damaged tanker away from an environmentally sensitive area) but did not manage to save the ship or the cargo got nothing. There was therefore little incentive to a salvor to undertake an operation which has only a slim chance of success. The 1989 Convention seeks to remedy this deficiency by making provision for an enhanced salvage award taking into account the skill and efforts of the salvors in preventing or minimizing damage to the environment.
Why is it relevant?
The Convention is relevant for the purposes of encouraging trade as it greatly encourages third parties to intervene and assist when accidents occur.
The 1989 Convention introduced a "special compensation" to be paid to salvors who have failed to earn a reward in the normal way (i.e. by salving the ship and cargo).