Salvage Services        

Salvage Services

(from AMSA Report 2009)


The availability of salvage services can be expected to be vital for the future of commercial shipping in the Arctic. The 1989 International Convention on Salvage establishes the general legal principles for salvors and salvage operations. All Arctic Council states are parties to the convention. Salvage refers to the actual service provided to a ship in need of assistance, the body of law that exists to govern this maritime institution, and the reward due to the salvors for their services. Essentially, salvors are entitled to a reward (a percentage of the value of the salved property) for successful salving of the vessel or cargo, such as, “no cure, no pay”. Most commonly, private firms of professional salvors respond to shipping casualties, although the Russian Federation has a fleet of polar vessels that provide salvage services. In general, the rights and obligations of the parties to a salvage operation are legislated and subject to industry standard form agreements, the best known being the Lloyd’s Open Form of Salvage Agreement. If there is no contract, the parties will turn to domestic courts to obtain a salvage award. The convention provides for an enhanced salvage award for salvors preventing or minimizing damage to the marine environment.

Generally, there is limited infrastructure for ship repair and/or salvage and pollution countermeasures capability in the Arctic basin or companies with significant Arctic salvage experience. This lack of salvage capability is a concern to marine insurers.


  •  1. Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Report 2009

Arctic Council, 2009, Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA), Arctic Council.©

Search Guide [toggle]

Last-Visited Pages [toggle]