”The Merchant Shipping (Insurance of Shipowners for Maritime Claims) Law of 2012”
The purpose of this Law is the transposition of EU Directive 2009/20 on the insurance of shipowners into national legislation. More specifically, the Law lays down rules applicable to certain aspects of the obligations on shipowners as regards their insurance for maritime claims. It applies to ships of 300 gross tonnage or more. According to the new provisions, Cyprus (as well as all EU member states) shall require that shipowners of ships flying its flag, have insurance covering such ships. Cyprus shall also require shipowners of ships flying a flag other than its own to have insurance in place when such ships enter a port under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus. The Law provides that the said insurance must cover maritime claims “subject to limitation under the 1996 Convention” [“1996 Convention” means the consolidated text of the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), as amended by the 1996 Protocol]. The amount of the insurance for each and every ship per incident, shall be equal to the relevant maximum amount for the limitation of liability as laid down in the 1996 Convention.
Furthermore, the Law lays down rules regarding the inspection of ships, providing that if a certificate of insurance is not carried on board, the competent authority (Cyprus Merchant Shipping Department) may issue an expulsion order or it may deny access to Cyprus ports, without prejudice to the provisions of the Port State Control Law regarding ship detention. In addition to this, breach of the provisions of the Law is a criminal offence punishable with a maximum imprisonment of two years and/or a €10,000 fine. Also, an administrative fine of €8,500 may be imposed.