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India to sign wreck removal convention

Mumbai: The Indian government has approved amendments to its Merchant Shipping Act to bring the rules in line with the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007, since the country is to sign up to the Convention soon. "The Cabinet has already approved the proposal to accede to the Nairobi Convention, so it has become necessary to amend the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958," said Shipping Secretary K Mohandas. The Convention has been adopted by 64 countries including the US, China and Germany; and establishes uniform rules and procedures to ensure prompt and effective removal of potentially hazardous wrecks from the coastal waters of the respective countries. Aimed at improving navigation safety and maritime security, the Convention also provides a firm jurisdictional basis for dealing with hazardous wrecks. "The amendments will be made to tackle to problems being faced due to the increasing number of wrecks in the navigation channels of many ports," said Mohandas. "They will remove the discrepancies in existing rules and regulations, and bring them in line with developments in international shipping." [10/11/10]

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