Thursday, 30 June 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
209. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the receiver of wreck can insist that a security provision for a wreck is provided by the owner of the wreck which has been in the receiver’s possession if a claim for salvage payment has been lodged; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18082/11]
210. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the receiver of wreck has to put out notice in accordance with the Merchant Shipping (Salvage and Wreck) Act 1993 Section 45 even if the owner is known. [18083/11]
The Merchant Shipping (Salvage and Wreck) Act 1993 governs salvage and wreck issues. The day to day operation and implementation of the provisions in the Act is the responsibility of the relevant Receiver of Wreck, who is an official of the Revenue Commissioners (Customs).
Under Section 34 of the Merchant Shipping (Salvage and Wreck) Act, 1993, the salvor may request that any person liable for payment for salvage operations carried out shall provide satisfactory security to the salvor. The salved vessel shall not be removed, without the consent of the salvor, from the place where it is first kept after completion of salvage operations, until the satisfactory security is provided for the salvor’s claim. If the requested security is not provided, and the salved vessel is in a harbour but not in the possession or control of the salvor, the salvor may request the Receiver of Wreck to detain the vessel or other property salved until either payment is made for the salvage operations, or a warrant for arrest is issued by the High Court.
If the Receiver of Wreck has possession of any wreck the ownership of which was not initially known, and the Receiver has subsequently established the ownership, provision of security for salvage operations will not apply. However, the Receiver has power under Section 46 of the same Act, to require that the owner pay salvage costs to the salvor before releasing the wreck to the owner.
The notice referred to in Section 45 of the Act only applies when the Receiver of Wreck, rather than a salvor or finder, is in possession of any particular wreck, and the Receiver takes possession of any wreck only when ownership is not known. Whatever knowledge a Receiver of Wreck may have concerning ownership of any particular wreck in his or her possession may not be a reason to forego implementation of the notice procedure provided in Section 45.
My Department does not keep details of individual cases. I would ask the Deputy to contact the relevant Receiver of Wreck for any clarification required in relation to any specific case that is of interest to him.
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