Federal Law on the Implementation of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for Seafarers
It is hereby provided as follows:
1. This Law may be cited as the Federal Law on the Implementation of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978.
2.-(1) In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires -
"Code" means the Code on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, referred to in regulation I/1.21 of the Convention
"Convention" means the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended as may be in force from time to time in Cyprus;
“Cyprus” means the United Cyprus Republic;
“Directorate” means the Directorate of Maritime Affairs of the Department;
“Gazette” means the federal Official Gazette
"Member" means the member of the Presidential Council heading the Department having the responsibility for maritime affairs;
(2) Unless the context of this Law otherwise requires, words and phrases used in this Law and not defined herein have the same meaning as in the Convention and in the Code.
3. The application of this Law shall be extended to:
a) ships which are subject to the provisions of the Convention, and the Regulations made under section 13,
b) Cyprus ships irrespective of where they may be, and
c) foreign ships irrespective of the flag they are entitled to fly whilst in Cyprus.
4. Competent Authority for the application in general of the provisions of this Law, the Convention, and the Regulations made for its implementation and, in particular, for granting exemptions in accordance with the provisions of article VIII of the Convention, for the confirmation of contraventions and for the imposition of sanctions in accordance with section 8, shall be the Directorate.
5. The Competent Authority by a decision published in the Gazette shall approve the retention or adoption of equivalents as provided by article IX(1) of the Convention.
6.-(1) If during the exercise of control, in accordance with article X of the Convention, the existence of any deficiency or irregularity of those set out in paragraph (3) of Regulation 1/4 of the Convention is being ascertained, the Competent Authority shall confirm the particular deficiency or irregularity, draft a relevant report and prohibit the sailing of the ship until the ascertained deficiencies and irregularities are rectified and it is considered that the ship is safe to sail.
(2) The costs of the inspection of the ship, in order to confirm the rectification of the above deficiencies and irregularities, shall be borne by the ship and shall be paid prior to the lifting of the prohibition of sail.
7.-(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, will be liable to imprisonment up to two years, or to a fine not exceeding five thousand pounds, or to both such sentences. The owner, the Company, the agent of the ship or any other person who knowingly aids and/or assists in the commission of the offence under this section commit the same offence.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other Law, the fine, if any, imposed under this section constitutes a charge on the ship in respect of which the offence was committed.
8. The Company must comply with the provisions of Regulation I/14 of the Convention. Contravention of this obligation shall be punishable in accordance with section 9 of this Law.
9.-(1) Contravention of the provisions of this Law, the Convention, and the Regulations made for their implementation, 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) The administrative fine shall be imposed on the owner or the Company or the master, by a reasoned decision of the Competent Authority confirming the contravention. The amount of the fine imposed on a case by case basis shall be indicated in directions given by the Member, in which there shall be set out the basic contraventions together with the corresponding fines, without such indication restricting the Competent Authority which is responsible for confirming the specific contravention, from deciding freely on the basis of the facts of each particular case, in exercise of its discretionary power so long as such discretion is exercised within the framework of the directions.
(3) The Competent Authority shall notify the master of its decision imposing the administrative fine and shall not allow lifting the prohibition of sail imposed under section 6, until the administrative fine has been paid, or a bank guarantee of equal amount by a recognised bank and with terms satisfying the Competent Authority has been deposited.
(4) By way of derogation, in the case of ships calling regularly at Cyprus ports, sailing may be allowed, for only a single return voyage, without previous payment of the administrative fine imposed or deposit of a letter of guarantee as provided above, subject to the approval of the Member if prevailing transport, or other exceptional reasons justify this, and under the circumstances the prompt production of a bank guarantee has proved impossible.
10.-(1) There shall be recourse to the Member against the decision imposing a fine. Such recourse to the Member shall be filed within thirty days of notification of the decision in the case of a contravention confirmed in a port of Cyprus, or within sixty days in the case of a contravention confirmed in a foreign port.
(2) The recourse provided for in subsection (1) shall not suspend the execution of the decision.
(3) 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 subsection (4) of this section, at the latest within ten days.
(4) The Member may decide:
a) to confirm the challenged decision;
b) to declare the challenged decision null and void;
c) to amend the challenged decision; or
d) to issue a new decision in substitution for the challenged decision.
(5) The Competent Authority shall inform the shipowner or the operator of the ship or the master about the right to hierarchical recourse pursuant to subsection (1) of this section.
(6) The amount of the fine or the amount payable under the bank guarantee shall be paid to the federal government>, after the expiration of the time limit of seventy five days for filing a recourse to the Supreme Court, if no such recourse was filed, either from the notification of the decision to impose the fine or, in case of a recourse to the Member pursuant to subsection (1), from the notification of the decision of the Member.
Court action for collection of the fine under section 9
11. In case of failure to pay the administrative fine imposed under section 9, the Competent Authority shall take steps and shall collect the amount due as a civil debt.
12. Fines imposed under sections 7 and 9, as well as any costs that accrue from the inspection of the ship under subsection (2) of section 7, constitute a charge on the ship in relation to which the offence was committed, or the contravention confirmed, as the case may be, and shall be satisfied in priority against any other creditors, subject to their ranking after the last mortgage.
Issue of Regulations
13.-(1) The Presidential Council may make Regulations for the regulation of any matter, which, according to the provisions of this Law and the Convention, needs to, or may, be prescribed.
(2) Without prejudice to the general power of the Presidential Council to make Regulations under subsection (1), the Regulations made under this section may provide for the following matters:
a) for prescribing the near-coastal voyage for the purposes of Regulation I/3 of the Annex;
b) for the requirements, conditions and the procedure of conducting an independent and impartial investigation in respect of a reported case of incompetency, act or failure by holders of certificates of maritime competency issued by the federal government relating to the performance of their duties, which case involved an immediate threat to human life, property or the marine environment, and for prescribing the requirements for imposing sanctions on the responsible persons and for the revocation, suspension or cancellation of certificates in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 1 to 3 of Regulation I/5 of the Annex;
c) for the training and evaluation of the competence of seafarers, and for the qualifications and necessary experience of instructors and persons evaluating seafarers, in accordance with the provisions of Regulations I/6 and I/8 of the Annex and of the corresponding provisions A-I/6 and A-I/8 of the Code;
d) for the standards of medical fitness of seafarers in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 1 to 3 of Regulation I/9 of the Annex;
e) for keeping one or more Registers for the entry of issuance, expiration of the validity, renewal, suspension, cancellation, or loss or destruction of certificates of maritime competence and for the endorsement of certificates of competence of masters and officers, and, where appropriate, of the lower staff, issued or recognized by the federal government and for the grant of exemptions in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, and for the notification of relevant information to other Parties to the Convention or to other interested persons, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 4 of Regulation I/9 of the Annex;
f) for the procedure and necessary measures for the recognition of certificates of maritime competence issued by other Parties to the Convention, in accordance with the provisions of Regulation I/10 of the Annex and for the carrying out of investigation and imposition of sanctions to holders of such certificates, under circumstances analogous to those specified in paragraph (b) of this subsection;
g) for the procedure and requirements for renewal of validity of the certificates of maritime competence in accordance with the provisions of Regulation I/11 of the Annex;
h) for conducting trials by ships in accordance with the provisions of Regulation I/13 of the Annex;
i) for the requirements, conditions and procedure for the issue of certificates of competence to seafarers in accordance with the provisions of Regulations II/1 to II/4 and III/1 to III/4 of the Annex;
j) for the requirements for special training and the required qualifications for seafarers who serve in certain types of ships in accordance with the provisions of Regulations V/I and V/2 of the Annex;
k) for the requirements, conditions and procedure for the issuance of certificates of competence for rescue means operators, fire fighting means and provision of first aid in accordance with the provisions of Regulations VI/2, VI/3 and VI/4 of the Annex;
l) for the issue of alternative certificates of competence in accordance with the provisions of Regulations VII/1 to VII/3 of the Annex;
m) for watchkeeping, in accordance with the provisions of Regulations VIII/1 and VIII/2 of the Annex and of the corresponding articles of the Code;
n) for the syllabus and the method of conducting examinations for each category of certificate for which the Convention and the Resolution require the conduct of examinations, and also for the examination fees payable;
o) for the training of operators in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System;
p) for the promotion of technical knowledge, skills and professionalism of seafarers;
(3) The Regulations issued under this section may provide for a fine of up to five thousand pound for the offences provided for in the Regulations.