Federal Law on Registration of Persons Sailing on Board Passenger Ships

Ata Atun, Clelia Theodolou, Other Committee Members

 

 

Foundation Agreement

Annex III, Attachment 11, Law 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Law on Merchant Shipping (Registration of Persons Sailing on Board Passenger Ships)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


For the purposes of harmonisation with the Community Act referred to as:

«Council Directive 98/41/EC of 18 June 1998 concerning the registration of persons sailing on board passenger ships operating to or from ports of Member States of the Community» (OJL 188 of 2.7.1998, p. 35).

 

It is hereby provided as follows:

 

Short title

1. This Law may be cited as the Federal Law on Merchant Shipping (Registration of Persons Sailing on Board Passenger Ships).

 

Interpretation

2. In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires-

 

«Commission» means the Commission of the European Union;

 

«Competent Authority» means the Competent Authority for the implementation of the provisions of this Law and of the Regulations made there under and shall be the Directorate;

 

«Court» means a court of competent jurisdiction;

 

“Cyprus” means the United Cyprus Republic;

 

«Cyprus ship» has the meaning assigned to it by the Federal Law on Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages);

 

«Department means the Department having the responsibility for maritime affairs;

 

«Directorate» means the Directorate of Maritime Affairs of the Department;

 

«Gazette» means the federal Official Gazette

 

«high-speed craft» means a high-speed craft as defined in Regulation 1 of Chapter X of the SOLAS Convention;

 

«ISM Code» means the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) through Assembly Resolution A. 741(18) of 4 November 1993 and obligatory under the SOLAS Convention, the text of which is deposited with the department of merchant shipping and to which the public has access;

 

«master» means the person having the command or charge of the ship;

 

«member state» means a member state of the European Union;

 

«mile» means a nautical mile, that is, a unit of length of 1852 metres;

 

“Member” means the member of the Presidential Council heading the Department;

 

«operator of the passenger ship» means the owner or any other person, such as the manager or the bareboat charterer, who has assumed the responsibility for operating the passenger ship from the owner and who, by assuming such responsibility, has agreed to undertake all the duties and responsibilities which are imposed for the purposes of this Law;

 

«owner» means the person who owns the ship or a share therein and is registered as such in the Register of Ships of the flag state;

 

«passenger registrar» means the responsible shore-based person designated by the operator of the passenger ship to fulfil the ISM Code obligations or a shore-based person designated by the operator of the passenger ship  as responsible for the keeping of information on persons who have embarked on a passenger ship of the operator of that passenger ship;

 

«passenger ship» means a sea-going ship or a sea-going high-speed craft which carries more than twelve passengers;

«person» means any person on board irrespective of their age;

 

«protected sea area» means a sea area sheltered from open sea effects, where a ship is at no time more than six miles from a place of refuge, where shipwrecked persons can land and in which the proximity of search and rescue facilities is ensured;

 

«regular service» means a series of ship crossings operated so as to serve traffic between the same two or more ports, either  according to a published timetable, or with crossings so regular or frequent that they constitute a recognisable systematic series;

 

«SOLAS Convention» means the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS), as is in force at any time in Cyprus;

 

«third country» means any country which is not a member state;

 

Purpose

3. The purpose of this Law shall be to enhance the safety in marine transport and the possibilities of rescue of passengers and crew on board passenger ships operating to or from ports of Cyprus and, in particular, to ensure that search and rescue and the aftermath of any accident which may occur can be dealt with more effectively.

 

Scope of application

4. Subject to the provisions of section 5, this Law shall apply to any –

a)    Cyprus passenger ship,

b)    foreign passenger ship while it is within ports of Cyprus.

 

Exemptions

5. This Law shall not apply to any –

a)    Cyprus passenger ship, while operating between ports of third countries,

b)    ship of war and troop ship, or

c)    recreational craft unless it is or will be crewed and carry more than twelve passengers for commercial purposes.

 

Passenger counting

6.–(1) The operator of the passenger ship shall be responsible for ensuring that all persons on board any passenger ship which departs from a port located in Cyprus will be counted before that passenger ship departs.

 

(2) Before the passenger ship departs, the number of persons on board shall be communicated to the master of the passenger ship and to the passenger registrar or to a shore-based system that the operator of the passenger ship maintains so as to perform the same function.

 

Recording of information

7. – (1) The following information shall be recorded in relation to each person on board a passenger ship that departs from a port located in Cyprus and undertakes a voyage of more than ten miles from the point of departure:

a)    Family name.

b)    Forenames or initials.

c)    Gender.

d)    An indication of the category of age (such category being either adult, child or infant) to which the person belongs or the age or the year of birth of the person.

e)    If volunteered by a person, any information concerning the need for special care or assistance in emergency situations.

 

(2) The information specified in subsection (1) shall be collected before the passenger ship departs and communicated not later than thirty minutes after the ship’s departure to the passenger registrar or to a shore-based system that the operator of the passenger ship maintains so as to perform the same function.

 

Departure from a port of Cyprus

8. –(1) For purposes of satisfying the provisions of sections 6 and 7, the operator of a passenger ship that departs from a port of Cyprus shall-

a)    set up a system for the registration of passenger information which is in accordance with the criteria laid down in section 11,

b)    appoint a passenger registrar who shall be responsible for holding that information and for its transmission in the event of an emergency or in the aftermath of an accident involving the ship.

 

(2) The operator of the passenger ship or the master shall ensure that the information required by this Law is at all times readily available for transmission to the responsible authority for search and rescue purposes for use in the event of an emergency or in the aftermath of an accident involving the ship.

 

(3) Any personal data which is collected in accordance with the provisions of section 7, shall be kept only for as long as is necessary for the purposes of this Law.

 

(4) The operator of the passenger ship shall ensure that information concerning persons who have declared a need for special care or assistance in emergency situations is properly recorded and communicated to the master of the passenger ship before it departs.

 

(5) When applying the provisions of this section, the provisions of the law in force regarding the protection of personal information shall be additionally observed.

 

Departure from a port of a third country

9. – (1) The operator of a Cyprus passenger ship that departs from a port of a third country and is bound for a port of Cyprus, shall ensure the observance of the obligations specified in sections 6 and 7.

 

(2) The operator of a passenger ship that flies the flag of a third country and departs from a port of a third country and is bound for a port of Cyprus, shall ensure that the information specified in sections 6 and 7 is collected and maintained in such a way that it is available to the authority which is responsible in Cyprus for search and rescue or in the aftermath of an accident involving the ship, when needed for these purposes.

 

Approval and checks of the registration systems

10.-(1) The registration systems set up in accordance with section 8 shall be approved by the Competent Authority.

 

(2) The Competent Authority shall carry out random checks on the proper functioning of the registration systems set up pursuant to this Law.

 

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (5) of the section 8, the operator of the passenger ship referred to in that section shall communicate to the Competent Authority the information required by this Law.

 

Functional criteria of registration systems

11. –(1) For the purposes of this Law, the registration systems shall meet the following functional criteria:

a)    Readability, that is the required data must be in a format that is easy to read.

b)    Availability, that is the required data must be easily available to the authorities for which the information contained in the system is relevant.

c)    Facilitation, that is the system must be designed in such a way that no undue delay is caused for passengers embarking and/or disembarking the ship.

d)    Security, that is the data must be appropriately protected against accidental or unlawful destruction or loss and unauthorised alteration, disclosure or access.  

 

(2) A multiplicity of systems on the same or similar routes shall be avoided.

 

Obligations of masters

12. Before a passenger ship, bound for a port of Cyprus, departs from a port of Cyprus, or of another member state, or of a third country, her master shall ensure that the number of persons on board such ship does not exceed the number the passenger ship is permitted to carry.

 

Exemptions and derogations

13.– (1) When a passenger ship departs from a port of Cyprus, the Competent Authority may exempt a passenger ship sailing, exclusively in protected sea areas, between two ports or from and to the same port without intermediate calls, from the obligations laid down in section 7.

 

(2) In the circumstances set out in subsection (1), the following procedure shall apply:

a)    the Competent Authority shall without delay inform the Commission of its decision to grant an exemption or a derogation from the relevant provisions of section 7, giving substantive reasons therefor;

b)    if, within six months of such notification, the Commission considers that such decision is not justified or could have adverse effects on competition, it may, acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 13 of Directive 98/41/EC as referred to in the preamble to this Law, require the Competent Authority  to amend or withdraw its decision.

 

(3) Where, under the relevant SOLAS provisions, the Competent Authority grants an exemption or derogation relating to the information concerning passengers to a Cyprus ship arriving at a port of Cyprus from a port of a third country, it may do so only under the conditions laid down for exemptions or derogations in this Law.

 

(4) The Competent Authority shall not, under the provisions of this Law, exempt or grant derogations to any passenger ship sailing from the ports of Cyprus and flying the flag of a third country which is a contracting party to the SOLAS Convention and which country under the relevant SOLAS provisions does not agree to the application of such exemptions.

 

Prohibition of sailing

14.(1) The sailing of ships, which are subject to the provisions of this Law, is prohibited for as long as they do not comply with the requirements of sections 6, 7, 9 and 12 of this Law and the Regulations made thereunder.

 

(2)       If during, the exercise of inspection the Competent Authority ascertains any contravention of this Law and the Regulations made thereunder, the Competent Authority shall confirm to the master the particular deficiency or irregularity in writing, call the master to explain the situation in writing and issue an order prohibiting the ship from sailing until the Competent Authority is satisfied that-

 

(a)     the deficiencies and irregularities have been rectified and/or the ship is considered safe to sail; and

(b)     the charges for the inspection of the ship, in order to confirm the rectification of the above deficiencies and irregularities and/or ascertainment of the ability of the ship for safe sailing, have been paid by or on behalf of the ship; and.

(c)   in case of an administrative fine being imposed in accordance with the provisions of this Law, such fine has been paid.

 

(3)       An order prohibiting the ship from sailing under sub-section (2) shall also include information about the right to hierarchical recourse under this Law.

 

Administrative fine

15.(1) Contravention of the provisions of this Law and the Regulations made thereunder, shall be punishable, notwithstanding whether a case of criminal or disciplinary liability arises under any other legal provision, with an administrative fine not exceeding five thousand pounds, depending on the seriousness of the contravention.

 

(2)       An administrative fine under sub-section (1) shall be imposed on the owner or the Company or the master, by a reasoned decision of the Competent Authority confirming the contravention.

(3)       The amount of any fine imposed under sub-sections (1) and (2), shall be calculated in each case on the basis of directions issued by the Member under this Law.

 

(4)       The Competent Authority shall notify in writing the person, on whom an administrative fine has been imposed under sub-sections (1) and (2), of its decision imposing the administrative fine and, in case the sailing of the ship has been prohibited under this Law, it shall not allow lifting of the order prohibiting the ship from sailing under this Law, until the administrative fine has been paid, or a bank guarantee issued by a recognized bank of equal amount for the benefit of and with terms satisfying the Competent Authority has been deposited.

 

(5)       A notification under sub-section (4) shall also include information about the right to hierarchical recourse under this Law.

 

(6)       Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (4), the sailing of a detained ship which calls regularly in Cyprus may be exceptionally allowed, for only one single return voyage, without the previous payment of the administrative fine imposed or the deposit of a bank guarantee as provided above is effected, so as not to disrupt regular transport services or for any other exceptional reasons, or if the prompt production of a bank guarantee has proved practically impossible-

 

(a)          if the Member approves the sailing of the ship; or

(b)          a personal guarantee for the benefit of and with terms satisfying the Competent Authority has been deposited on behalf of the ship.

 

(7)       Administrative fines and bank guarantees shall be paid to the Federal Government.

 

Hierarchical recourse

16.(1) A recourse may be filed with the Member against-

 

(a)          an order of the Competent Authority prohibiting the sailing of a ship under this Law; or

(b)          a decision of the Competent Authority imposing an administrative fine under this Law.

 

(2)       A recourse under sub-section (1) shall be filed-

 

(a)          within seventy two hours from the time of issue of the order prohibiting the sailing of the ship;

(b)          within thirty days from the date of notification of the decision to impose an administrative fine in the case of a contravention confirmed in a port of Cyprus; or

(c)          within sixty days from the date of notification of the decision to impose an administrative fine of a contravention confirmed in a foreign port.

 

(3)       A recourse under sub-section (1) shall not suspend the execution of an order prohibiting the sailing of the ship or of a decision imposing an administrative fine.

 

(4)       The Member shall examine the hierarchical recourse and shall, after having heard the interested parties or having given them an opportunity to express their views in writing, issue a decision on the recourse pursuant to sub-section (5)-

 

(a)          in case the recourse relates to an order prohibiting the sailing of a ship, not later than twenty-four hours ; or

(b)          in case the recourse relates to a decision imposing an administrative fine, not later than ten days;

 

from the time of the last hearing or of the receipt of the written submissions of the interested parties.

 

(5)       The Member may decide-

 

(a)          to confirm the challenged order or decision;

(b)          to declare the challenged order or decision null and void;

(c)          to amend the challenged decision; or

(d)          to issue a new decision in substitution for the challenged decision.

 

(6)       A decision under sub-section (5) shall also include information about the right to a recourse to the Supreme Court of Cyprus in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Law on the Administration of Justice.

 

(7)       A recourse under sub-section (6) shall not suspend the execution of a decision under sub-section (5).

 

(8)       The Competent Authority shall collect any amounts due under a bank guarantee in relation to an administrative fine imposed under this Law-

 

(a)          if no recourse to the Member is filed under subsection (1), after the lapse of the time limits specified in sub-sections (2)(b) or (c);

(b)          if no recourse to the Supreme Court of Cyprus is filed against a decision made by the Member under sub-section (5), after the lapse of seventy five days from the date of the notification of the decision of the Member.

 

Court action for collection of the Administrative Fines

17. In case of failure to pay an administrative fine imposed under this Law, the Competent Authority may take steps for the collection of the amount due as a civil debt.

 

Fines and costs to be a charge on the ship

18. Fines or administrative fines imposed under this Law, as well as any  charges for the inspection of the ship after it’s sailing has been prohibited under this Law, constitute a charge on the ship and shall be satisfied in priority against any other creditors, subject to their ranking after the last mortgage.

 

Criminal offences

19.(1) A master, who attempts to sail in contravention of the prohibition of sailing imposed on the ship under the provisions of this Law, shall be guilty of an offence, and upon conviction, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine not exceeding five thousand pounds, or to both such sentences.

 

(2)       The owner, the operator, the agent of the ship or any other person who knowingly aids and/or assists in the commission of an offence under sub-section (1) commits the same offence.

 

(3) An operator of a passenger ship, who provides the Competent Authority with inaccurate or false statements in relation to the number of persons on board the ship, or falsifies the existing documents, shall be guilty of an offence and, in case of conviction, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding five thousand pounds or to both such sentences

 

(4)       Notwithstanding the provisions of any other Law, a fine imposed under this section constitutes a charge on the ship in respect of which the offence was committed.

 

Regulations

20. The Presidential Council may make Regulations published in the Gazette for the better carrying into effect of the provisions of this Law.