Decree of Government No. 18/2006/ND-CP of February 10, 2006 on the disposal of property sunk in the sea

THE GOVERNMENT
——-

SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence – Freedom – Happiness
———-

No: 18/2006/ND-CP

Hanoi, February 10, 2006

DECREE

ON THE DISPOSAL OF PROPERTY SUNK IN THE SEA

THE GOVERNMENT

Pursuant to the December 25, 2001 Law on Organization of the Government;
Pursuant to the June 14, 2004 Vietnam Maritime Code;
At the proposal of the Minister of Transport,

DECREES:

Chapter I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1.- Governing scope

This Decree provides in detail for the disposal of sunken property, covering from the identification of owners of sunken property, recovery of sunken property, to preservation, delivery and receipt of property sunk in the internal waters or territorial sea of Vietnam or floating on the sea or washed ashore the Vietnamese coast.

Article 2.- Subjects of application

This Decree applies to Vietnamese as well as foreign organizations and individuals related to the disposal of sunken property.

Chapter II

DISPOSAL OF SUNKEN PROPERTY

Section 1. IDENTIFICATION OF OWNERS OF SUNKEN PROPERTY

Article 3.- Notification of sunken property

1. Owners of sunken property, persons who incidentally recover sunken property, and persons who discover, salvage or take part in the salvage of other people’s property floating on the sea or washed ashore shall have to immediately notify the nearest maritime port authority or commune- or district-level People’s Committee of the location and kinds of the sunken property.

Within 07 (seven) days after receiving the notice, maritime port authorities or commune- or district-level People’s Committees shall have to report such to the Vietnam Maritime Administration or provincial-level People’s Committees; where the sunken property is exported or imported goods, they must also report to the nearest custom agency for coordinated handling according to the provision of customs law.

2. For the property sunk in military areas, owners of sunken property, persons who incidentally recover sunken property or persons who discover, salvage or take part in the salvage of other people’s property floating on the sea or washed ashore shall have to immediately notify such to the nearest military agency. Local military agencies shall have to report to their superior military agency within 07 (seven) days after receiving the notice.

3. Owners of sunken property mean owners of sunken property or owners, managers or operators of sunken vessels.

Article 4.- Notification of the identification of owners of sunken property

1. Where sunken property has papers, documents, symbols or codes indicating the names and addresses of its owners, within 07 (seven) days after receiving the notice about the sunken property, maritime port authorities or commune- or district-level People’s Committees shall have to notify the property owners according to such addresses.

2. Where owners of sunken property have not yet been identified, within 07 (seven) days after receiving the notice about the sunken property, the Vietnam Maritime Administration or provincial-level People’s Committees shall have to make 03 (three) consecutive notices on central or local mass media in order to find owners of the sunken property.

3. Within 60 (sixty) days from the date of the last notice as specified in Clause 1 and Clause 2 of this Article, owners of sunken property or their lawful representatives shall have to contact the notifying agency(ies) in order to fill in procedures for receiving back their property or perform their property-recovering obligations.

4. Where owners of sunken property or their lawful representatives fail to notify or recover their sunken property within the prescribed time limit, such property shall belong to the state and be disposed of according to the provisions of this Decree and other relevant provisions of law.

Article 5.- Contents of notices to find owners of sunken property

A notice to find owner of sunken property must have the following principal contents:

1. Description of the characteristics of the property;

2. Time and place of discovery or recovery of sunken property;

3. The deadline and address for owners of sunken property or their lawful representatives to fill in procedures for claiming delivery of their property or perform their property-recovering obligations;

4. Name and address of the notifying agency.

Article 6.- Expenses for identification of owners of sunken property

Expenses for identification of owners of sunken property shall be accounted into expenses for disposal of sunken property.

Article 7.- Establishment of ownership over property sunk in the sea whose owners are unidentifiable

The establishment of ownership over property sunk in the sea whose owners are unidentifiable shall comply with the provisions of Article 187 and Article 240 of the 2005 Civil Code and other relevant provisions of law.

Section 2. RECOVERY OF SUNKEN PROPERTY

Article 8.- Recovery of sunken property

1. Recovery of sunken property means raising, removal or destruction of sunken property.

2. Owners of sunken property or competent agencies defined in Article 9 of this Decree shall have to organize the recovery of sunken property.

Article 9.- Elaboration and approval of plans on, and organization of, the recovery of sunken property

1. For sunken property that causes danger to maritime shipping activities, its owners shall have to make and report recovery plans to maritime port authorities and organize the recovery right after such plans are approved by maritime port authorities. Where owners of sunken property have not yet been identified, maritime port authorities shall have to make and submit recovery plans to the Vietnam Maritime Administration and organize the recovery right after obtaining approval of the Vietnam Maritime Administration. If sunken property that causes danger to maritime shipping activities is a underwater cultural relic or related to defense or security, the recovery plans shall be approved only after the Ministry of Culture and Information or the Ministry of Defense is consulted.

2. For sunken property being underwater cultural relics, the recovery thereof shall comply with the provisions of law on cultural relics.

3. For sunken property related to defense and security and property sunk in military areas, local military agencies shall have to make and submit recovery plans to the Ministry of Defense for approval and decision on the organization of the recovery thereof.

4. For sunken property not specified in Clauses 1, 2 and 3 of this Article, provincial-level People’s Committees shall plan, approve and decide on the recovery thereof.

5. The Ministry of Natural Resources, other ministries and branches shall, based on their functions, tasks and powers, have to coordinate with agencies defined in Clauses 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this Article in organizing the recovery of sunken property.

Article 10.- Contents of plans on the recovery of sunken property

A plan on the recovery of sunken property must have the following principal contents:

1. Name and location of the sunken property;

2. Agency or unit in charge of the recovery;

3. Planned time of commencement and termination;

4. Means and methods of recovery;

5. Methods for assurance of marine navigation safety;

6. Methods for preservation of the property;

7. Methods for prevention of environmental pollution;

8. Methods for fire and explosion prevention and fighting (if necessary);

9. Estimated fund for the recovery.

Article 11.- Rights to recovery of sunken property

1. Vietnamese organizations and individuals shall be prioritized to conduct the recovery of property sunk in Vietnam’s internal waters or territorial sea.

2. Where Vietnamese organizations or individuals are unable to recover the sunken property, based on the kinds of sunken property as defined in Article 9 of this Decree, concerned ministers or presidents of provincial-level People’s Committees shall decide to allow foreign organizations or individuals to recover sunken property according to the provisions of this Decree and other relevant provisions of law.

Article 12.- Expenses for the recovery of sunken property that causes danger to maritime shipping activities

Where the sunken property that causes danger to maritime shipping activities is recovered and put for auction, but proceeds from the auction are not enough to cover expenses and the property owner fails to make payment therefor or is unidentifiable, the deficit amount shall be offset with maritime assurance charges; if expenses for the recovery of sunken property exceed the payment capacity of the maritime assurance charge revenue, the deficit amount shall be additionally offset with the state budget.

Section 3. PRESERVATION, DELIVERY AND RECEIPT OF SUNKEN PROPERTY

Article 13.- Preservation of sunken property

1. Owners of sunken property shall have to preserve their property, except for cases defined in Clause 3 and Clause 4 of this Article.

2. Persons who incidentally recover property, persons who discover, salvage or take part in the salvage of other people’s property floating on the sea or washed ashore the Vietnamese coast shall have to preserve such property until it is delivered to the nearest maritime port authority or commune- or district-level People’s Committee.

Maritime port authorities or commune- or district-level People’s Committees shall have to designate organizations or individuals to preserve the property.

3. If the sunken property is an underwater cultural relic, it shall be preserved under the provisions of law on cultural relics.

4. For sunken property related to national defense and security and property sunk in military areas, concerned military agencies shall have to organize the preservation thereof.

Article 14.- Delivery and receipt of sunken property

1. The delivery and receipt of sunken property between organizations and individuals must be recorded in minutes.

2. A minutes on the delivery and receipt of sunken property must have the following principal contents:

a/ Name and address of the property-delivering organization or individual;

b/ Name and address of the property-receiving organization or individual;

c/ Time and place of discovery or recovery of the property;

d/ Characteristics of the property and other necessary information.

3. A minutes on the delivery and receipt of sunken property must be signed by lawful representatives of the deliverer and the recipient; each party shall keep 01 copy and other copies shall be sent to concerned agencies.

Chapter III

IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS

Article 15.- Implementation effect

This Decree takes effect 15 days after its publication in “CONG BAO” and replaces the Government’s Decree No. 39/1998/ND-CP of June 10, 1998, on the disposal of property sunk in the sea.

Article 16.- Organization of implementation

The Minister of Transport, the Minister of Culture and information, the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, concerned ministers, presidents of provincial/municipal People’s Committees, the director of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, heads of concerned agencies, and organizations and individuals shall have to implement this Decree.

 

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