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Permits to Search Shipwrecks: Recent Amendment to the Act Concerning the Maritime Areas of the Polish Republic and the Marine Administration of 21st March 1991

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The purpose of these short comments is to shed some light on Polish new regulations concerning permits to search shipwrecks. Comments first provide brief description of the regulations and their enabling act, and second argue that the regulations lack the precision in determining their scope of application. As a result, this lack of precision leads to the inconsistency of the new regulations with the international law of the sea. Regulations provide jurisdiction to issue permits to search shipwreck, over all persons in Polish Maritime Areas, including exclusive economic zone, which is contrary to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, ratified by Poland. In that case, and in accordance with Polish law, international obligations prevail over national rule, and in consequence, the maritime administration cannot issue permits for search of shipwreck for aliens within Polish EEZ.


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