2020 July 30 16:04

Russia should join the Nairobi Convention – Transport Ministry

The Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation considers it expedient to get back to the issue of Russia's ratification of The Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, which was adopted in 2007 in Nairobi and entered into force on April 14, 2015.

The Convention ratification proposal is expected to be submitted to Russian Government, pursuant to the instructions of the Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev, a source in the Ministry of Transport told PortNews.

According to the minutes of the meeting held by Yuri Trutnev, the Ministry of Transport was tasked to submit the proposals on the problem of wreck removal by July 30, 2020.

The Russian Ministry of Transport believes that most of the issues related to the lifting of sunken ships can be resolved through Russia's accession to the relevant international convention. It has not yet been ratified by the Russian Federation.

The shipwreck removal and further recycling is quite an expensive operation. The Nairobi Convention provides for additional compulsory insurance payments by shipowners who will have to pay for lifting their sunken vessels. However, the Convention is applicable to territorial sea areas. In Russia, the sea water area regime is extended to a number of estuarine harbours, such as Port of Rostov-on-Don, Port of Astrakhan. If the Convention is ratified, the owners of river vessels will receive an additional financial burden, as they will have to pay additional compulsory insurance.

Before accession to the Nairobi International Convention some serious research is required, mainly in order to clarify the economic feasibility of the accession, since the Convention provides for a number of mutual obligations with the participating countries, PhD Vladimir Vasilyev, Deputy Director General, CNIIMF for Research, Safety of Navigation and Maritime Law told PortNews commenting on the issue. He added that there are some ships and other floating objects that sank long ago in water basins, where it is not possible to establish their owners after so many years.

In the Russian Federation, the designated shipping routes have been cleared of such wrecks. A more complete wrecks removal requires significant costs and can be solved within the framework of the FTP, which has not been approved as of now.