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National Archives

Public Papers - 1991

Message to the Senate Transmitting the International Convention on Salvage, 1989


To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, the International Convention on Salvage, 1989, done at London April 28, 1989, and signed by the United States on March 29, 1990, subject to ratification. I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to the Convention.

This Convention is designed to promote sound environmental practices by commercial salvors and to strengthen the maritime transportation industries by ensuring that salvors receive adequate compensation. This Convention also incorporates the essential provisions of the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law with Respect to Assistance and Salvage at Sea, done at Brussels September 23, 1910 (27 Stat. 1658, TS 576, 1 Bevans 780), which it will replace for States Party to both Conventions to the extent their provisions are incompatible. The 1910 Convention reflects the traditional international admiralty principles that a salvor may be remunerated for salvage services only if successful, and the salvage reward is limited to the value of the property salved.

The 1989 Salvage Convention offers increased protection for the marine environment by requiring both the vessel owner and the salvor to use due care to protect the marine environment and permits the salvor to be rewarded for preventing or minimizing damage to the environment during salvage operations.

The United States played an active role in the development and negotiation of this Convention. The affected public sectors have been fully consulted. All recommend expeditious ratification of the Convention.

I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the 1989 Salvage Convention, and give its advice and consent to ratification.

George Bush

The White House,

September 11, 1991.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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