The Deputy Ministry of Shipping recently issued a circular informing recognised organisations, security organisations, registered owners, bareboat charterers, managers and representatives of ships flying the Cyprus flag that it now accepts statutory certificates issued to Cyprus-flagged vessels by recognised organisations in electronic form, provided that they satisfy the International Maritime Organisation requirements set out in its Guidelines for the Use of Electronic Certificates (FAL5/Circ 39/Rev 2).

Documents with electronic signatures that comply with the guidelines can be shared with charterers, ports, flag administrations, insurers and others. These electronic signatures are tamper-proof and their validity can be verified through an online authentication service.

The Deputy Ministry of Shipping encourages all recognised organisations acting on behalf of Cyprus to develop the necessary capabilities to enable the issuance of electronic statutory certificates in order to reduce administrative requirements and enhance efficiency and security.

Nevertheless, the circular makes clear that the existing practice of issuing physical certificates is still acceptable.

For further information on this topic please contact Costas Stamatiou at Elias Neocleous & Co LLC by telephone (+357 25 110 110) or email (costas.stamatiou@neo.law). The Elias Neocleous & Co LLC website can be accessed at www.neo.law.

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