International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR)

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Hamburg, Germany
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 22/06/1985

Category

Transport and telecommunications

Sub category

Maritime shipping and load lines

Groups

IMO

What is it about?

This Convention establishes an international search and rescue (SAR) plan through the adoption of technical requirements, the division of SAR regions, operating procedures to be followed in the event of emergencies or alerts, the pooling of facilities amongst the Governments, establishment of common procedures, and training. It also establishes preparatory measures that should be taken, including the establishment of rescue coordination centres and subcentres.

Why is it relevant?

This instrument represents the only international agreement covering search and rescue operations at sea. It attempts to assure that no matter where an accident occurs, the rescue of persons in distress at the sea will be coordinated by a SAR organization and, when necessary, by cooperation between Governments.

Additional Information

After the SAR Convention, the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee divided the world’s ocean into 13 search and rescue areas. Governments are required to ensure that arrangements are made for the provision of adequate SAR services in their coastal waters, imposing considerable obligations on Governments. Amendments to the SAR Convention enter into force on a specified date unless objections are received from a required number of Governments. The 1998 amendments are the most significant ones, providing for greater emphasis on the regional approach and co-ordination between maritime and aeronautical SAR operations.

  • Convention on the International Maritime Organization (Geneva, 06/03/1948).

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Country ratifications
CountryRatification date
Albania19/06/2003
Algeria05/01/1983
Angola04/10/2001
Antigua and Barbuda20/09/2010
Argentina18/05/1981
Australia07/11/1983
Bahrain02/03/2016
Bangladesh08/08/2011
Barbados25/07/1983
Belgium28/02/1985
Brazil22/09/1982
Bulgaria08/07/1999
Cameroon09/01/1987
Canada18/06/1982
Cape Verde04/07/2003
Chile07/10/1981
China24/06/1985
Colombia10/07/2001
Congo07/08/2002
Cote d'Ivoire05/10/1987
Croatia12/01/1998
Cuba16/07/1998
Cyprus29/07/1994
Denmark21/06/1984
Djibouti12/10/2015
Dominica31/08/2001
Ecuador17/05/1988
Estonia30/04/2001
Finland06/11/1986
France09/04/1980
Gambia01/11/1991
Georgia25/08/1995
Germany21/01/1982
Ghana13/01/2011
Greece04/09/1989
Honduras23/11/2012
Hungary27/01/2000
Iceland21/03/1995
India17/04/2001
Indonesia24/08/2012
Iran26/09/1995
Ireland01/11/1993
Italy02/06/1989
Jamaica10/06/1998
Japan10/06/1985
Jordan02/06/2006
Kenya15/12/1992
Kiribati05/02/2007
Latvia30/11/1998
Lebanon15/04/2009
Liberia24/02/2009
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya28/04/2005
Lithuania23/01/2001
Luxembourg14/02/1991
Malta24/09/2002
Mauritius04/05/1999
Mexico26/03/1986
Monaco19/11/1991
Montenegro-
Morocco10/05/1999
Mozambique23/12/1996
Namibia12/03/2004
Netherlands08/07/1982
New Zealand26/04/1985
Nigeria24/05/2002
Norway09/12/1981
Oman17/05/1993
Pakistan11/11/1985
Palau29/09/2011
Panama20/06/2013
Papua New Guinea03/08/1992
Peru04/07/1988
Poland26/02/1988
Portugal30/10/1985
Qatar20/10/2009
Republic of Korea04/09/1995
Romania19/03/1999
Russian Federation25/03/1988
Saint Kitts and Nevis07/10/2004
Saint Lucia02/05/2004
Samoa18/05/2004
Saudi Arabia07/03/2006
Senegal24/03/1994
Serbia03/06/2006
Singapore20/01/1997
Slovenia31/05/2001
South Africa25/08/1987
Spain11/02/1993
Sweden27/09/1982
Syrian Arab Republic18/06/2003
Togo23/04/2012
Tonga18/09/2003
Trinidad and Tobago04/05/1989
Tunisia31/07/1998
Turkey21/11/1985
Ukraine05/03/1993
United Arab Emirates04/10/1993
United Kingdom22/05/1980
United Republic of Tanzania16/05/2006
United States of America12/08/1980
Uruguay15/12/1987
Vanuatu14/09/1992
Venezuela08/07/1986
Viet Nam16/03/2007
Yemen23/09/2008
Treaties analysis
YearRatifications
19791
19803
19813
19825
19833
19842
19859
19863
19874
19884
19893
19913
19923
19935
19942
19954
19961
19971
19985
19994
20001
20017
20023
20034
20044
20051
20064
20072
20081
20093
20101
20113
20123
20131
20151
20161
Total108
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