The House of Representatives, the local Government of the Republic of Cyprus, has on the 31st of May 2012, approved an act named The Security of Cyprus Flag Vessels from Acts of Piracy Law 77(I) 2012 (“the Law”). The Law has been imposed towards policing the purpose of security services and prepared guards on board a Cyprus flag vessel (“Cyprus Ship” or “the Ship”) for the aim of efficiently referring the threat of piracy and other unlawful acts.
The Code of ISPS relates to any ship on international sea waters of 500GT or more and ports requiring such ships. The main targets of the ISPS Code are: 1. To expose security threats and implement security measures, 2. To determine roles and duties relating to maritime security for authorities, local administrations, ship, and port industries at the national and international level, 3. To support and promote security related information to related parties, 4. To present a procedure for security evaluations to have in policies and processes to respond to changing defense quantities.
Furthermore, it is important saying that the Law has a worldwide geographical claim and each person on board the ship is bound by the Cypriot laws, even though the vessel might be pass through on international sea waters. For ease of reference the First Schedule of the Law indicates the acquaintances and defines the High-Risk Areas.
At the same time the influence of the Law provides the mandatory legal guidelines for Shipowners, Bareboat charterers, and Ship-managers with regards to measures they need to implement for a route through the High-Risk Areas, how they can absorb the services of a Private Ship Security Company, for a transit through the HRA as well as the practice that a PSSC needs to follow to prior to acquiring a certificate to provide such amenities on board Cyprus flagged boats. The Law also provides that only PSSCs who are licensed to provide security related services on board Cyprus flagged vessels are allowed to embark security guards and weapons for such transits through the HRA.
To be more specific, an Unlawful Act is defined pursuant to section 2 of the Law as meaning the act or assumed act which fundamentally threatens the safety of the Ship or which can harm the Ship or the persons on board or its cargo and includes the declaration or attempt to oblige acts listed under section 2 of the Law which, entail acts of violence, acts connecting to the grasping of control of a Ship, its abduction or looting, acts of piracy and acts which cause the material devastation or breakdown of the Ship.
Moreover, the engagement of a PSSCs is affected through with a written decision between Shipowner/Charterer or Manager and the PSSC. The Master has the responsibility to manage the implementation of the agreement. The storage of weapons must be done in such a way as no other person on board has right to use apart from the PSSC when that is regarded necessary and when in the HRA.
Last but not least, the authorization of the PSSC under the Cypriot flag, can be done for any PSSC which is comprised under the laws of Cyprus or has a legal representative in Cyprus. It is violation for a PSSC to get on guards or weapons on board a Cyprus flagged vessel without being permitted to do so. If the PSSC is a company that has its registered office central administration or principal place of business in another country an authorized representative must be appointed in Cyprus. A legal representative can be a citizen or a resident of Cyprus as per the Income Tax Laws of 2002 to Law of 2011. This encapsulates both partnerships or companies incorporated under Cypriot prefectures provided they operate business functions in Cyprus and use permanent human resources in Cyprus. The authorized representative is only required when the Private Ship Security Company has its listed office, central administration or its major place of trade in another country.