Federal Law regarding the Continental Shelf of Cyprus
Ata Atun, Clelia Theodolou, Other Committee Members
Federal Law regarding the Continental Shelf of Cyprus
It is hereby provided as follows:
1. Τhis Law may be cited as the Federal Law on Continental Shelf of Cyprus
2. (1) In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires -
“continental shelf” has the meaning assigned to it in the Convention;
"Convention" means the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea done at Montego Bay on 10 December 1982;
"Court" means the Supreme Court of Cyprus;
"Cyprus" means the United Cyprus Republic;
"Gazette" means the federal official Gazette;
“natural resources” means –
a) the mineral and other non-living resources of the seabed and subsoil, and
b) living organisms belonging to sedentary species, that is to say, organisms which, at the harvestable stage, either are immobile on or under the seabed or are unable to move except in constant physical contact with the seabed or the subsoil;
“territorial sea” is as defined in section 3 of the Federal Law on the Maritime Areas of Cyprus.
(2) Terms not otherwise defined in this section shall be construed in accordance with the Convention, and in the case of any conflict between this Law and the Convention, the Convention shall prevail.
3. Cyprus, as the coastal State, exercises over the continental shelf sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting its natural resources.
3.1 The provisions of this law are applicable only on submarine areas where the continental shelf of Cyprus is delimited by agreement or those uncontested areas adjacent to the coast of Cyprus beyond the territorial waters on the basis of depth of exploitability.
Application of Federal Laws to Artificial islands, installations and structures.
4. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Law;
(a) any act or omission which
takes place on, under or above, the sea within five hundred metres of any
artificial island, installation or
structure (whether permanent or temporary) constructed, placed or used
in, on or above the continental shelf, shall be deemed to have taken place in
(b) any such artificial island, installation or structure shall, for purposes of civil and criminal jurisdiction, be deemed to be situated in the district of Nicosia;
(c) any such artificial island, installation or structure and any materials used in the construction thereof, which are brought into the waters above the continental shelf from beyond the high seas, excluding Cyprus, shall be deemed to have been imported from the time when the artificial island, installation or device has been constructed or placed in, on or above the continental shelf, and similarly the artificial island installation, device or materials and any matter of any description whatsoever shall, when taken away from the waters above the continental shelf and not brought into Cyprus, be deemed to have been exported from Cyprus.
(2) The provisions of any federal law in force in Cyprus shall apply to the continental shelf or any part thereof, subject to such modifications and exceptions as the Presidential Council may provide by order published in the Gazette.
5. Subject to the provisions of section 6, all States have in respect of the continental shelf the rights and duties of States as specified in the Convention with respect to the freedom of navigation and overflight and of the laying of submarine cables and pipelines and other internationally lawful uses of the sea related to such freedoms.
6. (1 ) No person shall, without the written authorization of the Presidential Council or in contravention of any requirement or condition specified in the authorization and designed to prevent any interference with the reasonable exploration of the continental shelf and exploitation of the natural resources thereof, lay or maintain any submarine cables or pipelines on the continental shelf.
(2) Any person acting in contravention of the provisions of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding 1.000 pounds1 for each day on which the offence takes place or continues, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both such penalties, and the Court may order that the cable or pipeline in relation to which the offence may have been committed shall be removed within such time as may be fixed in the Order.
7. In case any of the criminal offences mentioned in this Law and /or regulations, is committed by a legal person, any member of the board of Directors of the said person shall be criminally liable for the said offence, unless he proves that he has not consented to or participated in the commission of the offence.
8. The Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to try all offences under this Law.
9. (1) The Presidential Council may make Regulations to be published in the Gazette for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Law.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the Presidential Council may make regulations in accordance with the Convention for all or any of the following matters –
a) for regulating the construction, assemblage or use of any artificial island, installation or structure on the continental shelf;
b) for prohibiting the construction, erection or placing of any artificial island, installation or structure on the continental shelf at places where they are likely to cause interference with the use of recognized sea lanes essential to coastal or international navigation;
for establishing safety zones
d) for prescribing such measures as may appear to the Presidential Council to be necessary for the protection of the artificial island, installation or structure in respect of which the safety zone is established;
e) for regulating or prohibiting the entry of ships and aircraft into any safety zone;
f) for prescribing such measures as appear to the Presidential Council to be necessary in the safety zone for the protection of the living and natural resources of the continental shelf from harmful effects;
g) for prescribing –
(i) the notice to be given of the construction, erection or placing of any artificial island, installation or structure on the continental shelf; and
(ii) the permanent means or methods of giving warning to ships and aircraft of the presence of the artificial island, installation or structure.
h) for providing for the removal of any artificial island, installation or structure, constructed, erected or placed on the continental shelf, which has been abandoned or disused -
(i) for prohibiting or restricting any exploration or exploitation of the continental shelf or any part thereof which may appear to the Presidential Council to be likely to result in any unjustifiable interference with navigation, fishing or the conservation of the living resources of the sea or to be likely to interfere with national defence or security or with oceanographic or other scientific research.
(3) Regulations made under this section may provide for punishment on conviction by a fine not exceeding 500.000 pounds or imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or to both such penalties.