The Department of Merchant Shipping has announced a number of changes to the format of the Seafarers' Identification and Sea Service Record Book (SISSRB), which is issued to seafarers serving on board Cyprus-flagged ships. The most important of these is the removal of any reference to the seafarer's certificate of maritime competency to avoid misinterpretation during port state control inspections. Previously there had been confusion when an individual was promoted, but the SISSRB was not updated. This resulted in inconsistency between an individual's SISSRB and his or her certificate of competency.
In its communication regarding the changes, the department emphasised that the SISSRB's main aim is to act as a record of the seafarer's service. It is not a passport, a travel document or a certificate of competency. Further, the requirement for a Cyprus SISSRB is a domestic matter, not an international requirement, and port state control authorities and any other foreign authorities are not entitled to interfere, delay or detain Cyprus-registered ships on account of any discrepancies related to Cyprus SISSRBs or the absence thereof.