Federal Law on the Minimum Standards in Merchant Ships
Ata Atun, Clelia Theodolou, Other Committee Members
Federal Law on the Implementation of the Convention Concerning Minimum Standards in Merchant Ships
It is hereby provided as follows:
1. This Law may be cited as the Federal Law on the Implementation of the Convention on Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards), of 1976 (ILO No. 147).
PART I – INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS
2. -(1) In this Law unless the context otherwise requires -
"Convention" means the Convention No. 147 of the International Labour Organisation concerning Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards), which was signed in Geneva on 29th October 1976;
“Competent Authority” means the competent authority provided for in section 3;
"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;
"Minister" means the member of the Presidential Council heading the Department;
"Regulations" means the Regulations made under section 28;
“ship” includes every description of vessel used in navigation not propelled by oars;
"shipowner" means the registered owner and the bareboat charterer of the ship in accordance with the Federal Law on Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages), and includes the employer of the seafarer if other than the registered owner or bareboat charterer of the ship;
"sea-going ship" means a ship used in international navigation, except ships to which the Convention does not apply.
(2) Words and phrases used in this Law and not otherwise defined herein, have the same meaning as in the Convention.
PART II – APPLICATION OF THE LAW AND THE CONVENTION
3. The Competent Authority for the application of the provisions of the Convention, this Law and the Regulations made there under shall be the Directorate.
Extent of application
4. Unless it is expressly provided otherwise in this law, the provisions of the Convention, this Law and the Regulations made there under, shall apply to all Cyprus sea-going ships wherever they may be and to all foreign sea-going ships calling at Cyprus ports.
PART III – RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SHIPOWNER IN CASE OF SICKNESS, INJURYOR DEATH OF SEAFARERS
5. The provisions of this Law shall not apply to –
a) persons employed on board-
(i) ships belonging either to the federal government> or either of the constituent states, or to ships owned by legal persons governed by the public law of either the federal government or either of the constituent states, when such ships are not engaged for commercial purposes;
(ii) coastal fishing boats;
(iii) small boats of less than twenty-five tons gross tonnage;
(iv) wooden ships of primitive build such as dhows and junks,
b) persons employed on board ships by an employer other than the shipowner,
c) persons employed in ports solely for the repair, cleaning, loading or unloading of ships,
d) members of the shipowner´s family,
Obligation for the provision of medical care
6. - (1) In case of sickness or injury of a seafarer occurring during his service on the ship, the shipowner is liable to defray the expenses of medical care until the seafarer has been cured, or until the sickness or the resulting incapacity has been declared of a permanent character:
Provided that, the shipowner may contractually limit his liability to a period which shall not be less than sixteen weeks from the day of injury or commencement of the seafarer's sickness, as the case may be.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), the shipowner ceases to be liable for the provision of medical care from the moment the sick or injured seafarer-
a) becomes entitled to medical care under any governmental or semi-governmental compulsory sickness or accident insurance scheme or industrial accidents compensation scheme in force in Cyprus or a foreign country, or
b) becomes entitled to medical care offered or defrayed by a recognised private insurance organisation, or
c) would become entitled to medical care under any governmental or semi-governmental or private sickness insurance scheme, but, due to his own negligence or failure, the seafarer did not become entitled, when by his contract of employment he agreed that an amount should be included in his salary with which he undertook to insure himself under any of the above sickness insurance schemes.
Obligation for the payment of wages
7. - (1) Where the sickness or injury of the seafarer results in incapacity for work, the shipowner shall be liable to pay -
a) full wages for the whole period the sick or injured seafarer remains on board the ship;
b) his wages in whole or in part, as prescribed by his contract of employment, from the moment the sick or injured seafarer is landed, until he has been cured or the sickness or the resulting incapacity has been declared of a permanent character:
Provided that the shipowner may contractually limit his liability to a period which shall not be less than sixteen weeks from the day of the injury or the commencement of the sickness, as the case may be.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), the liability of the shipowner for the payment of wages is reduced proportionally to the amount and from the moment the sick or injured seafarer –
a) becomes entitled to cash benefits or allowances under any existing in Cyprus or in a foreign country, governmental or semi-governmental compulsory sickness or accident insurance scheme or industrial accidents compensation scheme, or
b) becomes entitled to cash benefits or allowances under a recognised private insurance scheme, or
c) would become entitled to cash benefits or allowances under any governmental or semi-governmental or private sickness insurance scheme, but, due to his own negligence or failure, he did not become entitled when, in his contract of employment he agreed for an amount to be included in his salary with which he undertook to insure himself under any of the above sickness insurance schemes.
8. In case of death of a seafarer, which occurs during his service on the ship, the funeral expenses shall be borne by the shipowner.
Safeguarding personal belongings of sick, injured or deceased seafarers
9. It is the responsibility of the shipowner or his representative to take measures for safeguarding personal belongings and property left on board the ship by sick, injured or deceased seafarers to whom the provisions of this Part apply.
Discharge of shipowner's liability
10. -(1) The shipowner may discharge his liability under the provisions of sections 6, 7 and 8, if he proves that–
a) the injury of the seafarer occurred otherwise than during the seafarer's service on board the ship, or
b) the injury, death or sickness of the seafarer is due to a willful act, or default or misbehaviour of the sick, injured or deceased seafarer, or
c) the sickness or infirmity has been intentionally concealed by the seafarer at the time of his engagement.
(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection (1), in case of engagement of a seafarer, which, according to the Federal Law on Merchant Shipping (Medical Examination of Seafarers and Issue of Medical Certificates) , is effected without the existence of a medical certificate, the shipowner shall not be liable, with regard to sickness or death directly attributable to the sickness of the seafarer in question, which existed at the time of the engagement and was concealed or not mentioned by the seafarer.
Securing seafarers’ rights
11. -(1) The shipowner must whenever requested by the Competent Authority, be in a position to provide sufficient evidence of securing his obligations towards seafarers according to sections 6 and 7.
(2) In cases where the seafarer undertakes to make his own arrangements for his insurance cover according to the provisions of paragraph (c) of subsection (2) section 6 and paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section 7, he shall be obliged to provide the master of the ship on board which he is employed, with the relevant insurance certificate.
Settlement of disputes
12. In the case of any dispute arising from the application of the provisions of this Part, any party to such a dispute shall be entitled to resort, at first instance, to the settlement procedure for industrial disputes prescribed by the Industrial Relations Code of the respective constituent state in case of a Cypriot seafarer or by the most favorable for the seafarer constituent state industrial relations code indicated by the Competent Authority in case of a foreign seafarer.
Reservation of rights
13. The provisions of this Part shall not affect any right or demand for allowance or benefit arising under the laws relating to social insurance contributions in either of the constituent states.
PART IV – PREVENTION OF OCCUPATIONAL ACCIDENTS
Responsibility for taking safety measures
14. It shall be the joint responsibility of the shipowner and the master of every Cyprus sea-going ship to ensure that the necessary protective equipment is available, that protective measures are taken and generally that the necessary actions, in accordance with the provisions of this Law and the Regulations made thereunder, for the prevention of accidents and the protection of the health of the seafarers during sea service on board the ship, shall be taken.
Responsibility of masters
15. The master of every Cyprus sea-going ship shall appoint an officer or officers who, under his supervision, shall be involved with the prevention of accidents on board the ship.
PART V – FOOD FOR THE CREW
Seafarer¢s right for food
16. -(1) Every seafarer employed on a Cyprus ship shall be entitled to food and drinking water for the whole period of his employment on board the ship.
(2) The provision of food and water supplies is the duty of the shipowner, and shall be effected under the supervision and the responsibility of the master.
Standard of food
17. It is the joint responsibility of the shipowner and the master to provide that-
a) the food and water supplies, taking into account the size of the crew, the duration and nature of the voyage, are suitable in respect of quantity, nutritive value, quality and variety:
Provided that the nationality of the crew shall be taken into account as to the kind of food provided,
b) the equipment and the arrangement of the catering department are such that the provision of proper meals to the members of the crew is permitted,
c) during the preparation and serving of the meals the basic rules of cleanness and hygiene are followed.
18. The inspection of the sufficiency and suitability of the supplies shall be carried out by the Competent Authority on its own initiative and any observations and recommendations shall be recorded in the ship's Log book.
PART VI- PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCY OF SEAFARERS
Conditions for the granting of certificate of competency
19. Without prejudice to the provisions of Part II of the Federal Law on Merchant Shipping (Masters and Seamen) , no person shall be granted a certificate of competency unless-
a) he has reached the minimum age prescribed for the issue of the certificate in question;
b) the duration of his professional experience is equal to or longer than the minimum limit prescribed for the issue of the certificate in question; and
c) he has passed the examinations organised and supervised by the Competent Authority for the purpose of checking whether he possesses the qualifications necessary for performing the duties corresponding to the certificate for which he is a candidate.
PART VII- ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT OF SEAFARERS.
Posting of legislation on the rights and obligations of seafarers
20. A copy of the relevant provisions of the Federal Law on Merchant Shipping (Masters and Seamen), concerning the rights and obligations of seafarers, shall be posted at accessible and visible parts of the crew accommodation on every Cyprus sea-going ship.
PART VIII- ADMINISTRATIVE AND CRIMINAL MEASURES
Submission of complaints to the Competent Authority
21. The crew members of Cyprus sea-going ships, after reporting to the master, and provided that service reasons do not preclude their disembarkation from the ship, shall be entitled to appear before the Competent Authority, or a consular officer of Cyprus, to submit complaints concerning the safety of the ship, the crew accommodation, the food provision and the general living conditions on the ship. If their presence before the Competent Authority is not feasible, they may submit their complaints in writing to it.
Prohibition of sailing
22. - (1) As from the entry into force of this Law, the sailing of Cyprus or foreign sea-going ships, which are subject to the provisions of this Law is prohibited, so long as such ships do not comply with the provisions of the Convention, this Law and the Regulations made there under.
(2) If during the inspection of a ship the Competent Authority ascertains any contravention of the provisions of the Convention, this Law and the Regulations made there under, it shall confirm the contravention, make a report to that effect, call the master of the ship to explain in writing and shall prohibit the sailing of the ship until the cause of the non-compliance is rectified and, if a fine according to the provisions of the following section has been imposed, until such fine has been paid.
(3) The costs of the inspection of the ship to confirm the reinstatement of her ability for safe sail shall be borne by the ship and paid prior to the lifting of the prohibition of sail.
23. (1) Contravention of the provisions of the Convention, this Law and the Regulations made there under, is 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 shipowner, or the master, by a reasoned decision of the Competent Authority confirming the contravention.
(3) 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 fine, without this 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, by exercising its discretionary power so long as this discretion is exercised within the framework of the directions.
(4) The Competent Authority shall notify the master of its decision imposing the administrative fine and shall not allow lifting the prohibition of sail under the preceding section, 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.
24. –(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 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 of Cyprus, 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.
25. - (1) A master who -
a) attempts to sail a ship in contravention of the prohibition of sailing imposed upon the ship pursuant to the provisions of section 22,
b) infringes or tolerates or allows the violation of any obligation imposed on him by the provisions of sections 16 and 17.
shall be guilty of an offence and, in case of conviction, he 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 shipowner, or any other person, who knowingly aids and/or assists in the commission of the offence under this section commit the same offence.
Court actions for the collection of fines
26. In case of failure to pay the fine imposed under section 23, the Competent Authority shall institute court proceedings and shall collect the amount due as a civil debt owed to Cyprus.
Fine, a charge on the ship
27. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, the fine imposed under sections 23 and 25 constitutes a charge on the ship in connection with which the offence has been committed, or the contravention confirmed, as the case may be, and shall be satisfied in priority against any other creditors, subject to its ranking after the last mortgage.
28. -(1) The Presidential Council may make Regulations, to be published in the Gazette for the better carrying into effect of the provisions of this Law and the Convention.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), such Regulations may provide, among others for-
a) the details of the registration certificate of the ship with a private insurance organisation;
b) the general and basic safety provisions with which the ships must comply;
c) the structural features of the ship;
d) the machinery;
e) the special safety measures on and below the ship´s deck;
f) the operation of loading and unloading equipment;
g) fire prevention and fire-fighting;
h) the use of anchors, chains and lines;
i) dangerous cargo and ballast;
j) the personal protective equipment of seafarers;
k) the quality and the type as far as it concerns the nutritive value of the food needed daily by a seafarer;
l) the cleanness and hygiene which must be maintained during the preparation and serving of seafarers´ meals;
m) the minimum age and the minimum period of professional experience to have been attained by the candidates for each grade of a competence certificate;
n) the organisation and the supervision by the Competent Authority of one or more examinations for the purpose of ascertaining whether the candidates for competence certificates possess the qualifications necessary for performing the duties corresponding to the certificates for which they are candidates;
o) the investigation procedure by the Competent Authority of complaints of seafarers serving on board Cyprus sea-going ships and the imposition of fines;
p) the procedure of reporting to the competent authority of a foreign country, complaints concerning the engagement within the territory of Cyprus of Cypriot or foreign seafarers on board ships registered in the foreign country.