The ISU is an association of professional salvors. It is managed by an Executive Committee consisting of the President, Vice-President and up to ten individuals drawn from member companies. The membership and Executive Committee are supported by a General Manager, Legal Adviser and Communications/Public Relations Adviser.
A General Meeting takes place each year, to which all full members are invited. The ISU Executive Committee meets on a quarterly basis.
The ISU’s primary role is to represent, promote and safeguard the interests of member salvors in legal, political and commercial arenas. Beyond acting as an effective lobbying organisation for the salvage industry, the ISU also works to foster co-operation between members. In addition, it maintains regular contact and positive relations with regional and national salvage and tug-owning associations.
The ISU has an important role as the prime mover in many legal and commercial developments concerning marine salvage. It is a member of the Lloyd’s Salvage Group and also has observer status at the International Maritime Organization and the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund.
The ISU liaises with many organisations, including INTERTANKO and BIMCO (affiliated organisations), the Comite Maritime International, the International Group of P&I Clubs, the International Union of Marine Insurers, the International Chamber of Shipping, The European Tugowners’ Association, the London Admiralty Solicitors’ Group, the United States Coast Guard, UNESCO and the European Community.
The ISU was a founder member of the Lloyd’s Form Working Party. The ISU continues to play an active role in the periodic review and drafting of the Lloyd’s Standard Form of Salvage Agreement (no cure – no pay), up to and including the latest LOF 2011 edition.
The ISU has been responsible, in co-operation with the European Tugowners’ Association and the International Group of P&I Clubs (and via the good offices of BIMCO), for the introduction of the TOWCON and TOWHIRE standard international towage agreements. Similar work, carried out in consultation with the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Group of P&I Clubs, led to the publication by BIMCO of the WRECKFIXED, WRECKSTAGE and WRECKCON standard wreck removal agreements and revisions leading to the latest 2010 versions.
The ISU, working in association with the International Group of P&I Clubs, property insurers and the International Chamber of Shipping, made a very significant contribution to the development of SCOPIC, the joint industry Special Compensation P&I Club clause.
The ISU has also drawn up a standard Award-Sharing Agreement, for use in situations where more than one salvor is involved in the response to a casualty. In addition, the ISU encourages, in appropriate cases, the acceptance of standard forms of guarantee which save time and expense in respect of salvage security.
Communications is an important dimension of the ISU’s activities. The ISU publishes a quarterly magazine, Salvage World. Salvage World has a very large external readership and is distributed on a worldwide basis. Regular features include a review of the pollution prevention services provided by members, together with an overview of notable salvage operations and the presentation of an annual statistical assessment.
Currently, the ISU has 58 Full Members worldwide. The ISU represents the vast majority of professional marine salvors. Membership is open to any company actively involved in the business of salvage and with a commitment to this activity. Applicants for membership must be supported by at least two existing ISU Full Members.
The collective voice of the salvors is heard in all spheres of shipping activity. The ISU is an internationally recognised and highly respected organisation. It takes a disciplined, responsible attitude towards many of the most difficult and complex issues facing the global shipping community, including casualty response and pollution prevention.
The ISU represents the salvage industry in a global context and, in doing so, has access to the highest levels in political and commercial organisations with a direct interest in marine salvage activities. No single salvage company could expect to command the attention given to the ISU, as the industry’s collective voice. No single salvage company could expect to influence decisions which are regularly considered by a wide variety of governmental and commercial parties. It is the range and geographical spread of the membership that allow the ISU to speak, and be heard, on behalf of the world’s salvors.
For these reasons, it is important that the ISU maintains its position as the international focus for all issues concerned with marine salvage. In turn, this depends upon the ISU enjoying the support, by membership, of all companies with a commitment to the business of salvage.
The ISU is also open to Associate Membership. Associate Membership applications are welcomed from P&I Clubs, other insurers, law firms, ports, national response organisations, shipowners and managers, coastal local authorities, environmental organisations and others with an interest in salvage, pollution prevention and wreck removal services. Seventy one organisations are now Associate or Affiliate Members of the ISU.
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