Wreck and Salvage Act, 2004
Act 5 of 2004
- Published in Government Gazette 3244 on 23 July 2004
- Assented to on 13 July 2004
- Commenced on 1 November 2004 by Commencement of Wreck and Salvage Act, 2004
- [This is the version of this document from 23 July 2004 and includes any amendments published up to 1 September 2023.]
1. DefinitionsIn this Act, unless the context indicates otherwise -“damage to the environment” means substantial or significant physical damage to human health or to marine life or resources in -(a)coastal or inland waters or areas adjacent thereto; or(b)any other place where such damage may occur,caused by pollution, contamination, fire, explosion or similar major incidents;“master”, in relation to a ship, means any person, other than a pilot, having charge or command of the ship;“Minister” means the Minister responsible for transport;“Namibian ship” means a ship registered in Namibia in terms of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1951 (Act No. 57 of 1951), or deemed to be so registered;“owner of a ship” means any person to whom a ship or a share in a ship belongs;“payment” means any salvage, reward, remuneration or compensation due and payable under this Act;“port”, in relation to -(a)a port in a country other than Namibia, means a place, whether proclaimed a public harbour or not, and whether natural or artificial, to which ships may resort for shelter or to load or discharge goods or persons; or(b)a port in Namibia, means the Walvis Bay port or the Lüderitz port as described in Schedule 1 to the Namibian Ports Authority Act, 1994 (Act No. 2 of 1994);“prescribe” means prescribe by regulation under section 36;“property” means any property not permanently and intentionally attached to the shoreline, and includes freight at risk;“public authority” includes the Namibian Ports Authority established in terms of section 2 of the Namibian Ports Authority Act, 1994 (Act No. 2 of 1994);“salvage claim” means -(a)any claim for, arising out of or relating to salvage, including salvage relating to any aircraft and the sharing or apportionment of salvage and any right in respect of property salved or which would, but for the negligence or default of the salvor or a person who attempted to salve it, have been salved; or(b)any claim arising out of this Act;“salvage officer” means a salvage officer appointed under section 10;“salvage operation” means any act or activity undertaken to assist a ship or any other property in danger in navigable or any other waters;“salvor” means any person undertaking a salvage operation;“seaman” means any person, except a master or a pilot, employed or engaged in any capacity on a ship;“ship” means any vessel used or capable of being used on any waters, and includes -(a)any hovercraft, power boat, yacht, fishing boat, submarine vessel, barge, crane barge, crane, dock, oil or other rig, mooring installation or similar installation, whether floating or fixed to the sea-bed and whether self-propelled or not; and(b)any fixed or floating platform or any mobile offshore drilling unit, whether or not it is engaged in the exploration, exploitation or production of sea-bed mineral resources;“state owner”, in relation to non-commercial cargo, means such cargo as is owned by any state;“this Act” includes any regulation made under section 36;“wreck” includes any flotsam, jetsam, lagan or derelict, any portion of a ship or aircraft lost, abandoned, stranded or in distress, any portion of the cargo, stores or equipment of any such ship or aircraft and any portion of the personal property on board such ship or aircraft when it was lost, abandoned, stranded or in distress.
2. Application of Act
3. Application to aircraftThe provisions of this Act relating to wreck and to salvage of life or property and to the duty to render assistance to ships in distress apply to aircraft as they apply to ships, and the owner of an aircraft is -
4. Jurisdiction of High Court in actions for salvage
5. Court trying salvage claim may be assisted by assessors
6. Court may order payment in foreign currencyThe court hearing a salvage claim may, subject to any law relating to exchange control, order payment in respect of such claim to be made in such currency other than the currency of Namibia as in the circumstances of the case appears appropriate, and make such order as seems just as to the date upon which the calculation of the conversion from any currency to any other currency should be based.
7. Obligation to assist ships in distress
8. Duty to render assistance to persons in danger at sea
9. Duty of masters of ships in collision to render assistance
10. Salvage officers
11. Remuneration and expenses payable to salvage officersAny person appointed under section 10 as a salvage officer and who is not in the employment of the State -
12. Exercise of powers in absence of salvage officer
13. Investigation concerning ships wrecked, stranded or in distressIf a ship is wrecked, stranded or in distress, a salvage officer or person authorised by him or her, may conduct an investigation into any or all of the following matters:
14. Power to pass over adjoining land
15. Power of salvage officer to suppress plunder and disorderNo person may, when a ship is wrecked, stranded or in distress, plunder, create disorder or obstruct the preservation of the ship or shipwrecked persons or of the wreck, and the salvage officer or his or her authorised representative may cause any person contravening this section to be detained.
16. Interfering with wrecked ship or aircraft
17. Salvage contracts
18. Duties of salvors and of owners and masters of ships
19. Conditions for reward
20. Criteria for fixing reward for salvage operations
21. Special compensation payable to salvors
22. Salvage payable for saving life
23. Salvage payable by Controller of Customs and ExciseWhen a ship is wrecked, stranded, abandoned or in distress or any wreck is found and services are rendered in saving such ship or wreck, salvage must, subject to section 22(3), be paid to the person who rendered the services by the Controller of Customs and Excise if the ship or wreck is disposed of by him or her in terms of section 122(3) of the Customs and Excise Act, 1998 (Act No. 20 of 1998).
24. Apportionment between salvors and owners and masters of ships
25. Effect of salvor’s misconductA salvor may be deprived of the whole or part of any payment due to him or her under this Act to the extent that the salvage operation in question has become necessary or more difficult because of fault or neglect on his or her part or if the salvor has been guilty of fraud or other dishonest conduct.
26. Salvage services rendered under existing contractsNo payment is due under this Act unless the salvage services rendered exceed what can be reasonably considered as due performance of a contract entered into before the danger arose.
27. Prohibition of salvage operationsSalvage services rendered, notwithstanding the express and reasonable prohibition of the owner or master of a ship in danger or the owner of any other property in danger which is not and has not been on board the ship, does not give rise to any payment under this Act.
28. Detention of ship or wreck until salvage is paid
29. Security for salvage
30. Maritime lien
31. Interim payment
32. Limitation of actions
33. Powers of Minister in respect of certain wrecks and ships
34. Agreement to forfeit right to salvage is void
35. Restrictions on assignment of salvageThe following provisions apply to salvage due or to become due to a seaman of a Namibian ship under this Act:
37. Offences and penaltiesAny person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of section 7(1) or (2), 8(1), 9(1), 15 or 16(1) or (2) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
38. Declaration of wreck to be a monumentThis Act does not derogate from the operation of the National Monuments Act, 1969 (Act No. 28 of 1969).[The National Monuments Act 28 of 1969 has been replaced by the National Heritage Act 27 of 2004.]
39. Act to bind StateThis Act binds the State.
40. Interpretation of Act
41. Amendment of Act No. 57 of 1951The Merchant Shipping Act, 1951 (Act No. 57 of 1951), is amended to the extent indicated in the third column of the Schedule.
42. Short title and commencementThis Act is called the Wreck and Salvage Act, 2004, and comes into operation on a date to be fixed by the Minister by notice in the Gazette.
Cited documents 4
Documents citing this one 4
- Namibia Government Gazette dated 2004-07-23 number 3244
- Namibia Government Gazette dated 2004-11-01 number 3313