Salvage is an ancient right and can be traced back SOME 3000 years to the laws of ancient Greek and Rhodian maritime law.
“In English Law the right to salvage arises when a person, acting as a volunteer, preserve or contribute to preserving at sea any vessel, cargo, freight or other recognized subject of salvage in danger” – Geoffrey Brice QC
The Salvage Convention, Article 1 (a) – “The act or activity undertaken to assist a vessel or any other property in danger in navigable waters or any other waters whatsoever.”
Notwithstanding various forms of salvage contracts, Lloyd’s Open Form (LOF) remains the contract form of choice. LOF has undergone several changes in order to cater for both legal and practical development within the shipping industry, latest version is LOF 2000 which is a simplified two page form. Revision and changes to LOF are in line with the industry’s needs as evidenced below;
LOF 80 moved away from “no cure no pay” and provided a safety net for the salvors.
LOF 90 reflected the principal provisions of the Salvage Convention, 1989.
LOF 95 incorporated 1989 Salvage Convention in its entirety.
LOF 2000 & revised SCOPIC – As concerns shifted from recovery of property to protection of environment and environmental liabilities, came in SCOPIC remedy, though a voluntary addition.
LOF 2011, SCOPIC 2011 – further revision of SCOPIC clause comprising of 16 sub-clauses and 3 appendices as well as Lloyd’s Standard Salvage and Arbitration Clauses (LSSA Clauses) and Lloyd’s Procedural Rules.
SCOPIC is designed to be an addendum to LOF and will only be included as part of the contract if specifically agreed in writing. Box 7 of LOF 2011 requires parties to record whether SCOPIC is part of the contract.