Federal Law on Minimum Safety and Health Requirements for Work on Board

Ata Atun, Clelia Theodolou, Other Committee Members

 

 

Foundation Agreement

Annex III, Attachment 11, Law 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Law on Merchant Shipping (Minimum Safety and Health Requirements for Work on Board Cyprus Fishing Vessels)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the purposes of harmonisation with the Community Act referred to as «Council Directive 93/103/EC of 23rd November 1993 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for work on board fishing vessels» (OJ L 307 of 13.12.1993, p. 1),

 

It is hereby provided as follows:

 

Short title

1. This Law may be cited as the Federal Law on Merchant Shipping (Minimum Safety and Health Requirements for Work on Board Cyprus Fishing Vessels).

 

PART I  INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

 

Interpretation

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

 

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

 

«Court» means a court of competent jurisdiction;

 

«Cyprus vessel» means a fishing vessel which is registered in the Register of Cyprus ships and flies the flag of Cyprus, pursuant to the provisions of 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;

 

«existing fishing vessel» means any fishing vessel with a length between perpendiculars of 18 meters or over and which is not a new fishing vessel;

 

«fishing vessel» or «vessel» means any Cyprus vessel used for commercial purposes either for catching or catching and processing fish or other living resources from the sea and does not include recreational crafts engaged in non-commercial fishing;

 

«Gazette» means the federal Official Gazette ;

 

«inspection» means a visit on board the vessel by the Competent Authority for the carrying out of checks of the minimum safety and health requirements of persons at work;

 

«master» means any person who has command of a vessel;

 

«Member» means the member of the Presidential Council heading the Department;

 

«new fishing vessel» means any fishing vessel with a length between perpendiculars of 15 meters or over and for which-

a)    the building or major conversion contract is placed on or after the date of the entry into force of Council Directive 93/103/ECof 23 November 1993; or

b)    although the building or major conversion contract, has been placed before the date of the entry into force of Council Directive 93/103/ECof 23 November 1993, the fishing vessel is delivered at least three years after this date; or

c)    in the absence of a building contract on or after the date of the entry into force of Council Directive 93/103/ECof 23 November 1993, any fishing vessel for which-

(i)        the keel is laid; or

(ii)       construction identifiable with a specific vessel has begun; or

(iii)      assembly has commenced, comprising at least 50 tonnes of the estimated total of structural material, or 1% of the mass of this material, whichever price is the lesser;

 

«operator of the vessel» means the owner or any other person, such as the manager or the bareboat charterer, who has assumed responsibility for operating the vessel from the owner and who, by assuming such responsibility, has agreed to undertake all the duties and obligations 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; 

 

«prohibition of sailing» means explicit prohibition of sailing imposed upon any vessel by the Competent Authority pursuant to section 14;

 

«representatives of workers» has the meaning attributed to this term by the law of either constituent state regulating the health and safety at work;

 

«worker» has the meaning attributed to this term by the law of either constituent state regulating the safety and health at work and includes any person carrying out an occupation on board a vessel, including trainees and apprentices, but excluding port pilots and shore personnel carrying out work on board a  vessel at the quayside.

 

 

 

Object and scope of application

3.-(1) This Law lays down the minimum safety and health requirements of persons at work concerning work on board fishing vessel.

 

(2) Without prejudice to more stringent and/or specific provisions contained in this Law, the provisions of the law of either constituent state regulating the safety and health at work or of any Regulations issued thereunder shall fully apply to the field referred to in subsection (1) of this section:

 

Provided that, these provisions shall apply where they are more favorable to the safety and health of persons at work, when compared to the provisions of this Law.

 

 

PART II OBLIGATIONS OF THE OPERATORS OF FISHING VESSELS AND THEIR MASTERS

 

General provisions

4. The operator of the vessel, so far as to secure the safety and health of persons at work, must -

a)    ensure that his vessel is used without endangering the  safety and health of persons at work, in particular in foreseeable meteorological conditions, without prejudice to the master's responsibility;

b)    take into account any hazards faced by persons at work when applying regulations of either constituent state relating to the administration of issues of safety and health at work;

c)    ensure that, regarding any occurrences at sea which affect or could affect the safety and health of persons at work on board, a detailed report is drafted and forwarded to the Directorate, and that they are recorded regularly and in detail in the official vessel’s Log Book.

 

New fishing vessels.  (First Schedule)

5. The operators of the vessel must ensure that new fishing vessels comply with the minimum safety and health requirements laid down in the First Schedule of this Law.

 

Existing fishing vessels.  (Second Schedule)

6. The operators of the vessel must ensure that existing fishing vessels have been adjusted so as to comply with the minimum safety and health requirements laid down in the Second Schedule of this Law.

 

Extensive Repairs, conversions and alterations.  (First Schedule)

7. Where vessels undergo extensive repairs, conversions and alterations, the operators of the vessel must ensure that they comply with the relevant minimum requirements laid down in the First Schedule.

 

Equipment and maintenance

8.-(1) Without prejudice to the master's responsibility, the operator of the vessel, in order to ensure the safety and health of persons at work, must-

a)    ensure that the vessel and its fitting and equipment, particularly those referred to in the First and Second Schedule of this Law, are technically maintained, and that any damages or defects which are likely to affect the safety and health of persons at work are rectified as quickly as possible;

b)    take measures to ensure that the vessel and all fittings and equipment are cleaned regularly  in order to maintain an appropriate standard of hygiene;

c)    keep on board the vessel an adequate quantity of suitable emergency and survival equipment in good working condition;

Third Schedule

d)    comply with of the minimum safety and health requirements concerning life saving and survival equipment contained in the Third Schedule of this Law;

Fourth Schedule

e)    without prejudice to the provisions of the regulations of either constituent state relating to the minimum safety and health requirements for use by workers of personal protective equipment at the workplace, comply with the specifications concerning personal protective equipment that should be kept on board contained in the Fourth Schedule of this Law.

 

(2) For the protection of safety and health of workers, the operator of the vessel must supply to the master the means needed to enable him to fulfill the obligations imposed on him by the provisions of this Law.

 

Information for workers

9.-(1) Without prejudice to the provisions of the regulations of either constituent state relating to the administration of issues of safety and health at work, the workers and/or their representatives, shall be informed of all  the measures to be taken regarding  safety and health on board vessels, care of the master.

 

(2) The information provided in accordance with subsection (1) of this section, must be precise and in a language which is understood by the workers concerned.

 

Training of workers

10.-(1) Without prejudice to the provisions of the regulations of either constituent state relating to the administration of issues of safety and health at work, the workers shall be given suitable training by the operator of the vessel, in particular in the form of precise instructions and in a language which they understand, regarding safety and health on board vessels and in particular accident prevention.

 

(2)

a)    The training referred to in subsection (1) shall cover, in particular, fire-fighting, the use of life-saving and survival equipment and, for the workers concerned, the use of fishing gear and hauling equipment and the use of various types of signs, especially hand and arms signals.

b)    The relevant training shall be updated when this is required by changes in the activities on board.

 

Training of persons likely to command a vessel

11. Without prejudice to the provisions of the legislation in force from time to time on the minimum safety and health requirements for the advancement of better medical care on board vessels, any person likely to command a fishing vessel shall be given detailed training on -

a)    prevention of occupational illnesses and accidents on board and  steps to be taken in the event of accident;

b)    stability and maintenance of the vessel under all foreseeable conditions of loading and during fishing operations;

c)    radio navigation and communication including the relevant procedures.

 

Consultation and participation of workers

12. The consultation and participation of workers and/or their representatives shall take place in accordance with the regulations of either constituent state relating to the administration of issues of safety and health at work, concerning matters covered by this Law.

 

 

PART III CONTROL MECHANISMS –SUPERVISION

 

Inspections

13.-(1) For the purposes of observing this Law, fishing vessels shall be subject to periodical, ad-hoc or supplementary inspections by the Competent Authority.

 

(2) Certain inspections regarding the observance of this Law may be performed during the voyage.

 

Prohibition of sailing

14.-(1) The sailing of fishing vessels, which are subject to the provisions of this Law, is prohibited for as long as they do not comply with the requirements of sections 5 to 8 of this Law and of the Regulations made under this Law.

 

(2)       If the Competent Authority ascertains any contravention of the provisions laid down in subsection (1) of this section, 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 fishing vessel from sailing until the Competent Authority is satisfied that-

 

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

(b)       the charges for the inspection of the fishing vessel, in order to confirm the rectification of the above deficiencies and irregularities and/or ascertainment of the ability of the fishing vessel for safe sailing, have been paid by or on behalf of the fishing vessel; 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 fishing vessel from sailing under sub-section

 

(2) shall also include information about the right to hierarchical recourse under this Law.

 

(4) While carrying out of the inspection, in accordance with the provisions of this Law, every possible effort shall be made so that any unjustified prohibition of sail or delay of a fishing vessel shall be avoided.

 

(5) In case of unjustified prohibition of sail or delay, the operator of the fishing vessel shall be entitled to compensation for any loss or damage suffered as a result:

 

Provided that, where an allegation of unjustified prohibition of sail or delay is made, the burden of proof shall lie on the operator of the fishing vessel.

 

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,

 

(2)       An administrative fine under sub-section (1) shall be imposed on the operator  of the fishing vessel or on 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 fishing vessel has been prohibited under this Law, it shall not allow lifting of the order prohibiting the fishing vessel 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)       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 fishing vessel 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 fishing vessel;

(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 fishing vessel 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 the fishing vessel, 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)  The Competent Authority shall duly inform the master of the fishing vessel about the right to recourse pursuant to subsection 1 of this section.

 

(7)       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.

 

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

 

(9)       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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV  MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

 

Offences and penalties

19.-(1) Subject to the provisions of subsections (2) and (3) of this section, any person, upon whom the obligations pursuant to sections 9, 10, 11 and 13 of this Law are imposed, and who fails to comply with them, 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 ten thousand pounds or to both such sentences.

 

(2)       A master, who attempts to sail in contravention of the prohibition of sailing imposed on the fishing vessel 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.

 

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

 

(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 out of the provisions of this Law.