Swedish government proposes stricter laws for ship wrecks

The Swedish Government proposes legislative changes which means that responsibility for shipwrecks will be more strict. According to the proposal, ship owners must take care of the wrecks of ships run aground or sunk, if the wreck poses a danger to maritime safety or the environment.

Translated from the Governments press release:

"The Maritime Administration will get a wider authority in a situation where the ship owner does not take his responsibilitiesaccording to the new law. If the owner does not fulfill its obligation and removes the wreck, the Maritime Administration will remove the wreck at the owner's expense. The owner must also have liability insurance to cover the costs.

- Shipwrecks should not be left lying without anyone taking responsibility for them. The new legislation tightens the shipowners' responsibilities, expanding the Maritime Administration's power to intervene against dangerous wrecks and strengthen the protection of the environment, says Morgan Johansson, Minister for Justice and Migration.

The proposal means that Sweden will assume the so-called Wreck Removal Convention in 2007. When the law comes into force, Swedish companies operating international routes will be able to apply for insurance certificate under the convention by contacting the Swedish Transport Agency instead of having to turn to foreign authorities.

The amendments are scheduled to enter into force by year-end."