International Convention on Salvage

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The International Convention on Salvage is a treaty that was concluded in London on 28 April 1989 that replaced the Brussels Convention on Assistance and Salvage at Sea as the principal multilateral document governing marine salvage. It entered into force on 14 July 1996 and as of 2014 had been ratified by 64 states representing just over 50 per cent of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant fleet.

The Brussels Convention established the principle that a salvor is only rewarded if the salvage operation successfully rescues the ship or its cargo. The International Convention on Salvage expanded on this principle by introducing the concept of an "enhanced salvage award", which may be awarded by an arbitrator or a tribunal if the salvor took effective action to prevent or minimize environmental damage but nevertheless failed to salvage the ship or its cargo.

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