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As per Shipping Notice 02/2017 (Rev 1), issued by the Cayman Islands Maritime Authority on the 7th February 2017, the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007 (the “Convention”) has been extended to the Cayman Islands, as of the 7th of February 2017. The Convention is implemented through the Merchant Shipping (Wreck Removal Convention) Regulations, 2017 (the Regulations) and is applicable to (a) all Cayman Islands ships, (b) ships visiting Cayman Islands waters, and (c) ships which have become a wreck in the Cayman convention area.[1]

In accordance with the Regulations, the owner or master of every ship that falls under any of the three categories mentioned above is under an obligation to report any accident that results in wreck to either the Cayman Islands Government, if the wreck is in the Cayman convention area or the government of any other State or territory in whose convention area the wreck is in. Failure to report is considered an offence under the Regulations.

Moreover, in the case that a wreck occurs in the Cayman convention area, the owner shall be liable for its removal and shall do so if directed by the Cayman Islands Government by serving on the owner a “removal notice”. Failure to comply with the conditions of any removal notice constitutes an offence and the wreck may be removed by the Cayman Islands government in which case, all costs incurred shall be covered by the owner.

 

The Notice also makes reference to the Insurance Requirements which shall be applicable as of 20 February 2017. Accordingly, owners of all Cayman Islands ships (including yachts) of 300 GT and above are required to maintain insurance or other financial security to cover the liability of the owner for any costs of wreck removal. All such ships will require certification under the Convention regardless of their geographical location. On the other hand, all non-Cayman Islands ships of 300 GT and above to which the Regulations apply must have wreck removal insurance in place which meets the requirements set out in the Convention. These ships must also hold a certificate issued by a State Party to the Convention confirming that the ship has wreck removal insurance that is deemed to meet the Convention requirements.

The procedure to obtain the relevant Certificate attesting the insurance or other financial security is as follows: the Certificate must be issued by the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry upon application from the shipowner of a Cayman Islands ship. Any similar certificates issued from other Governments for Cayman Islands ships will not be acceptable following the implementation of the Convention in the Cayman Islands. However, the already existing certificates issued by other Governments will remain valid until their date of expiry and shall not need to be replaced. Instead, the certificates will be re-issued automatically by MACI upon their expiry.

It is noted that marine Insures and P&I clubs are able to arrange the required insurance and necessary evidence required to enable the Cayman Islands Registry to issue the necessary Certificate. In order to apply for the issuance of the certificate, the applicants should send the original evidence of insurance (or “Blue Card”) issued by the insurer or other financial institution to either the George Town or European Regional Offices of the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry. The “Electronic Blue Cards”, issued directly by the P&I Club, will be accepted as “original”. “Blue Cards” issued by P&I Clubs or insurers which are not members of the “International Group of P&I Clubs” (www.igpandi.org) may be subject to detailed investigations in order to ensure the provider of financial security is approved by the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority (FSA). Lastly, it is noted that the applicant shall also pay for an administration fee for the issuance of the certificate.

[1] Cayman convention area” is defined as “Cayman Islands ports, Cayman Islands waters and the area up to 25 nautical miles seaward from the baselines under the Cayman Islands (Territorial Sea) Order 1989
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