Malta intends to ratify the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks 2007.

For Maltese registered vessel, the Convention is expected to come into force on the 18th April 2015. Ratification by Malta will mean, amongst other things, that Maltese ships of 300 GT will be required to have certification on board to serve as evidence that insurance is in place to cater for wreck removal.

It is understood that the administrative procedure that shall be implemented by the Malta Flag Administration in observance of its obligations under the Nairobi Convention shall mirror the procedure that is currently in place under the Civil Liability Conventions: ship owners of Maltese-flagged vessel will, therefore, be expected to first seek and obtain insurance to cover their potential liability under the Convention.

Once insurance is in place, insurers will issue “Blue Cards” to owners, who then will produce same to the Flag Administration. After confirming that the Blue Card is in order, the Flag Administration will, in turn, issue official certification in terms of the Convention confirming to all and sundry that the vessel concerned is duly insured under the said Convention.