Level 3, Defens Haus, Cnr Champion Pde & Hunter St, Port Moresby, PNG
Maritime Emergency (675) 305 4631

NMSA conducts Vessel Wreck Removals - Papua New Guinea National Maritime Safety Authority

The National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) is currently undertaking the removal or disposal of abandoned vessel wrecks by shipowners within port limits of Port Moresby.

In recent years, the reported number of shipwrecks has increased in Port Moresby and in other maritime provinces.

The reports state that incidences of marine causalities of ships and the owners’ abandoning wrecks has caused barriers to safety of navigation, as well as causing damages to marine environments, and other coastal interests.

NMSA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Paul Unas said that it is the responsibility of the wrecked vessel owners and operators to remove their shipwrecks, pay for environmental damages and other related liabilities. Unfortunately, this has not been the case, it has become a norm for vessel wreck owners to have their companies deregistered, change addresses, and eventually disappear without any trace.

Mr Unas added that, “Although, NMSA is not obliged to cover any cost of disposals of shipwrecks, it is in its interest as the national maritime regulatory agency, to implement its regulatory powers to declare the ship wrecks ‘Deregistered’ in its Ship Registry, and ensure safety is maintained if and when the wrecks are disposed of. This is due to the fact it has come to a stage where the ship wrecks are littering our beautiful coastlines, the marine environment posing imminent risks to Safety Navigation facilities, and marine environment protection efforts, apart from hindering other coastal interests. “

Mr Unas added that Salvaging and Removal of shipwrecks is extremely a costly exercise, however NMSA is meeting the costs initially as part of a pilot project within Port Moresby. Depending on its sufficient financial availability, the exercise will extend to the other maritime provinces.

Mr Unas further stated that in order to prevent shipowners from abandoning their vessel causalities and liabilities of removal, NMSA is now in the process of ratifying the Nairobi International Convention on the removal of wrecks and to institute a national legislation to implement the Convention.

The Convention provides sound legal basis for Flag and Coastal State such as PNG to remove, or to have remove from their coastlines, wrecks which pose a hazard to the safety of navigation and to marine and coastal environments, or both. The Convention also makes shipowners financially liable and require them to take out insurance or provide other finance securities to cover costs of wreck removals. It also provides the State of PNG, the right of direct action, against insurers.



Authorised by:

Paul M. Unas

General Manager/CEO

What's New?

About NMSA