Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly

The value of the salved ship

Francesco Siccardi *

Among the criteria for fixing salvage rewards, the (London) International Convention on Salvage 1989, art 13 lists the salved value of the vessel. This article addresses the problem of how the value should be assessed and in particular whether account should be taken of charterparty commitments, either enhancing or reducing the value, current at the time of salvage. Review of the existing authorities and an analysis of contiguous areas of law (collision and general average) leads the author to conclude that the charter-free approach should be preferred.


The value of the property salved represents the limit within which a salvor may receive his remuneration. Thus, art 2 of the Brussels Salvage Convention 19101 provided: “In no case shall the sum [of salvage reward] to be paid exceed the value of the property salved”. And art 13.3. of the London Salvage Convention2 now states: “The rewards, exclusive of any interest and recoverable legal costs that may be payable thereon, shall not exceed the salved value of the vessel and other property”.
However, assessing the value of the various property salved is not simply putting a cap on the reward; it is something more important, since the values of the property are among the criteria to be taken into account in fixing the amount. In that respect, while the old Convention, in art 8(b), enumerated the value as a secondary factor after the main criteria listed in art 8(a), the new Convention, in art 13, puts the value first in the list. It is common



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