Safety rules and standards for passenger ships
Marine equipment
Port state control

The Department of Merchant Shipping has announced a number of legislative changes in order to update Cyprus law in line with the latest EU directives.

Safety rules and standards for passenger ships

The Merchant Shipping (Safety Rules and Standards for Passenger Ships) Order 2011(1) entered into force on June 29 2011. The order transposes EU Directive 2010/36/EC into Cyprus law and amends EU Directive 2009/45/EC on safety rules and standards for passenger ships.

The Merchant Shipping (Safety and Standards for Passenger Ships) Laws of 2002 to 2004,(2) also known as the Harmonisation Law, originally transposed EU Directive 98/18/EC into Cyprus law. This directive has since been reissued as EU Directive 2009/45/EC and the Harmonisation Law has therefore been amended to reflect the new directive.

EU Directive 2010/36/EC introduced new and overriding annexes and amendments as a result of the changes to the relevant International Maritime Organisation international instruments (principally the High Speed Craft Code). As a result, Annexes A, B and C of the Harmonisation Law have been repealed and replaced with Annexes I, II and III of the directive. Certain terms in the Harmonisation Law have further been redefined to align it with the latest directive.

The government intends to enact a new Merchant Shipping (Safety and Standards for Passenger Ships) (Amendment) Law before the end of 2011 in order formally to incorporate the amendments into the Harmonisation Law.

Marine equipment

The Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Order 2011(3) transposes EU Directive 2010/68/EC(4) into the Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Laws 2002 to 2006.(5) Published in the Official Gazette on July 15 2011, the order replaces Schedule A of the Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Laws with a new Schedule A identical in text to Annex A of the directive. The order will be implemented by the Department of Merchant Shipping with effect from December 10 2011, concurrently with the implementation of the directive.

Port state control

The Merchant Shipping (Port State Control) Law 2011(6) transposes EU Directive 2009/16/EC into Cyprus law. The new law repeals the Merchant Shipping (Port State Control) Laws of 2001 to 2009 and any notifications issued thereunder.

The new law regulates the power of the Department of Merchant Shipping to inspect and detain foreign ships that call at ports in Cyprus and substantially reinforces the port state control exercised by Cyprus. It is intended to promote the protection of human life, property and the marine environment, and to prevent unfair competition in the shipping industry by eliminating substandard ships. It also facilitates the consistent enforcement of certain provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 and the other international maritime conventions for safety and security at sea to which Cyprus is a party.

For further information on this topic please contact Costas Stamatiou at Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC by telephone (+357 25 110 000), fax (+357 25 110 001) or email ([email protected]).


(1) PI 247/2011.

(2) Law 58(I)/2002, as amended by Law 47(I)/2004.

(3) PI 274/2011.

(4) Dated October 22 2010, amending EU Directive 96/98/EC on marine equipment.

(5) Law 55(I)/2002, as amended.

(6) Law 95(Ι)/2011.