Law of Wreck, The

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Wreck Removal Convention 2007: States' rights and duties

9.1 Flag State obligations

The WRC 2007 is essentially a regime that applies between an Affected State and a ship’s owner, operator and insurer. As an international convention, however, it requires agreement between coastal States, whose interests are affected by a wreck, and flag States that regulates the conduct of the shipowner and/or ship operators. As seen in Chapter 7, the granting of wreck removal powers to a coastal State in a maritime zone (the EEZ) in which freedom of navigation prevails required a delicate balancing of the obligations and powers of coastal States with those of flag States. Naturally, flag States that become parties to the WRC 2007 will need to ensure that the convention is implemented domestically to impose on shipowners and ship operators the obligations embodied in it. To that end, the obligations discussed below that apply to the shipowners and operators are derived from the obligations of the flag State. Flag States are, however, also directly involved in the wreck removal regime. The regime that applies when a wreck occurs thus involves, at various stages, both flag and coastal (Affected) States.

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