Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine (Edition of July 04, 2013)


Chapter 6. Property Sunk at Sea.

Clause 120. Definition of Property Sunk at Sea and Scope of Its Application.

When used in this Code, the sunk property means vessels or other floating craft that sustained an incident/emergency, any other facilities and means suitable for sailing, flying apparatuses, their remnants, equipment, cargoes and any other objects irrespective of the fact whether they are afloat or underwater, sunk to the bottom or thrown out to shoal or shore.

The rules of this Clause shall apply to raising, removal or demolish- ion of property sunk within territorial waters or territorial sea of Ukraine.

Vessels sunk in the open sea as well as cargoes and objects located therin shall be subject to the legislation of the flag state.

The rules of this Clause shall not apply to:

  • raising, removal or demolition of military property;
  • raising a property of cultural nature, archaeological or historic significance.

Raising, removal or demolish- ion of military property listed in sub items a) and b) of the fourth part of this Clause, shall be in accordance with acting legislation of Ukraine.

In case said property sunk within sea port water area, the organization responsible for raising, removal or demolition of said property by acting legislation of Ukraine, shall coordinate its actions with port authorities.

Clause 121. Title to (Right of) Sunk Property.

A title to (right of) property sunk in territorial waters or in the territorial sea of Ukraine as well relations connected therewith, shall be subject to acting legislation of Ukraine.

Clause 122. Raising (Salving) of Property by its Owner.

In case the owner of property intends to raise it he shall inform the nearest Ukrainian port thereof within a year since the date said property sunk.

The port, in agreement with the interested state bodies, shall set an adequate, in the circumstances, term for raising said property and the procedure thereof, and inform property owners to this effect.

Clause 123. Procedure of Raising (Salving) Dangerous Sunk Property.

In cases when sunk property presents an obstacle to merchant shipping, marine works, hydromechanics or other works, or a threat to human life or health or environment, the property owner shall immediately notify of the incident the nearest port and, upon the latter's demand, shall raise or demolish said property in the term indicated by the port. The port shall inform thereof the State Inspection of Black (Azov) sea conservation, the Ministry of environment control and nuclear safety of Ukraine.

In case said sunk property presents an immediate threat to the shipping safety, human life or health, or environment and the owner of said sunk property has not raised it in the term indicated by the port in accordance with this Clause, the port shall have the right to take, at the expense of said owner, all necessary measures for immediate raising thereof and, if necessary - its demolition or removal by other means.

In case said sunken property owner is unknown, the port shall make public the term set thereby for raising said property, in the Notices to Mariners.

In case the sunken vessel flag is known, the port shall send an appropriate message to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

Clause 124. Right of Port to Choose Ship-Raising Enterprise.

Upon sufficient grounds, the port shall have the right to forbid the owner of sunken property raise said property by his own means or by an organization selected thereby. In said case the port shall arrange raising said property at the expense of its owner.

Clause 125. Loss of Title to Sunken Property.

The owner of sunk property shall lose the title thereto in case he fails to make a declaration or raise said property in the term indicated in Clauses 122, 123 of this Code, thereupon said property shall become a state property.

Clause 126. Demand of Property Raised (Salved) by Port.

The property raised by the port in accordance with Clause 124 of this Code as well as the property raised by the port because it presented an immediate threat to a sailing safety, human life and health, or environment pollution (Clause 123 of this Code) may be demanded by its owner within two years since the date of actual raising of said property. In so doing, the port shall be reimbursed a cost of rising and other expenditures and losses incurred therewith.

In case raised property has been sold by the port because it was deemed impossible or inexpedient to store it, the property owner shall receive the amount earned less all expenses incurred by the port in connection with raising, storage and sale of said property. Thereat, should the sum received from sale of raised property not cover all the expenses and losses, the property owner shall reimburse them to the port.

A refusal from the sunk or raised property shall not relieve the owner from the obligation to reimburse the port all expenses and losses in cases provided for by Clauses 123 and 124 of this Code and this Clause.

Clause 127. Property Raised (Salved) Accidentally.

The sunken property raised by accident shall be passed over to the nearest Ukrainian port. In this case a person who has brought said property at the disposal of the port shall be paid an award in the amount of one third of the cost of said property.