Jurisdiction - Hong Kong
Reports and Analysis
Hong Kong – Shipping & International Trade Law: Salvage.

3 March, 2015


1. Has your country enacted any salvage conventions? If so, which one?

Section 9 of the CDLSO gives the International Convention on Salvage 1989 (the ‘Salvage Convention 1989’) the force of law in Hong Kong.

2.  In any event, what are the principal rules for obtaining non-contractual salvage? In the event that a salvage contract is signed, will this clearly displace any general law on salvage liabilities?

Given the commonalities between Hong Kong and the UK in respect of:


  • non-contractual/common law salvage (both jurisdictions apply the Salvage Convention 1989; and
  • contractual salvage (usually pursuant to the Lloyd’s Open Form), the Hong Kong courts are likely to follow the principal rules established by the courts of England & Wales. See section 3.2 of the chapter on England & Wales in this work.


3. What is the limitation period for enforcing salvage claims in your jurisdiction?

Pursuant to Article 23(1) of the Salvage Convention 1989, which has the force of law in Hong Kong (see section 1. supra), the limitation period for enforcing salvage claims is two years, with time accruing from the day on which the salvage operations are terminated.

4. To what extent can the salvor enforce its lien prior to the redelivery of ship/cargo?

At both Common Law and under the Lloyd’s Open Form, no maritime lien for salvage arises in favour of the salvor prior to redelivery because there has been no ‘cure’ at that stage.

Furthermore, the salvor may not enforce his/her maritime lien when satisfactory security for his claim, including interest and costs, has been tendered or provided under Article 20(2) of the Salvage Convention 1989 (again, see section 1. supra).

The observations regarding the LOF 2000 and the requirement that the ship owner use best endeavours to ensure that the cargo interests provide security at section 3.2 of the chapter on England & Wales of this work are likely to be adopted in Hong Kong should the issue ever come up for determination before the Hong Kong courts.

This material was first published by Sweet & Maxwell in 2014 in “Shipping and International Trade Law – International Comparisons” (and is reproduced here by agreement with the Publishers)


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For further information, please contact:


Damien Laracy, Partner, Laracy & Co in association with Hill Dickinson Hong Kong LLP

[email protected]


Mike Mallin, Partner, Hill Dickinson Hong Kong LLP in association with Laracy & Co

[email protected]


Michael Ng, Solicitor, Laracy & Co in association with Hill Dickinson Hong Kong LLP

[email protected]


Hill Dickinson Hong Kong LLP In Association With Laracy & Co Shipping Maritime & Aviation Practice Profile in Hong Kong



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