Requirements for ships and obligations of shipowners in respect of the application of Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 on ship recycling

A new Circular No. 02/2017 was published by the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS) on the 17th of January 2017 with regards to the Requirements for ships and obligations of shipowners in respect of the application of Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 on ship recycling, making reference to the list of the 18 ship recycling facilities,[1] established on 19th December 2016, which are located in EU Member States.

It is noted that Ships destined for recycling, shall as far as practicable have onboard an Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) from the date of publication of the European List (reference: Article 5.2 – 2nd subparagraph). The Inventory of Hazardous Materials shall identify at least the hazardous materials referred to in Annex II of the Regulation and contained in the structure or equipment of the ship, their location and approximate quantities. Moreover, the IHM must be ship specific, developed in accordance with the relevant IMO guidelines MEPC.269 (68) and shall be verified by a Recognized Organization (RO) authorized by the Republic of Cyprus against compliance with the applicable requirements.

Moreover the Best Practice Guidance on the Inventory of Hazardous Materials for practitioners on the field, ship owners and national authorities,[2] was published in November 2016, with regards to preparation of the IHM.

[1] Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/ships/pdf/list_ship_recycling_facilities.pdf

[2] Available at: http://www.emsa.europa.eu/implementationtasks/environment/ship-recycling/items.html?cid=150&id=2874

International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments 2004

Circular No. 01/2017 was published by the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS) on the 17th of January 2017 with regards to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments 2004 (the “BWM Convention”). The said Convention will enter into force on 18th January 2017 and therefore all ships under the Cyprus flag to which the Convention applies when calling at ports or terminals of State Parties to the BWM Convention, must comply with the provisions of the BWM Convention and will be required to carry on board a “Class Statement of Compliance” issued by the Recognised Organisation (“RO”) which has issued the class certificate.

After accession of the BWM Convention by the Republic of Cyprus (as the said Convention has not yet been ratified by Cyprus) the Republic shall authorize ROs to perform statutory work on Cyprus flagged ships and any Statement of Compliance will be replaced directly with an “International Ballast Water Management Certificate”, without a survey, and with expiry date no later than the one on the existing Statement of Compliance.

IMO Res.1088 (28) provides that existing ships, constructed before 8 September 2017 will need to comply with either regulation D-1 or D-2. Following their first renewal survey, associated with the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP) under MARPOL Annex I, ships will have to comply with the ballast water treatment standard D-2. Moreover, each ship shall have on board a Ballast Water record book in accordance with regulation B-2 containing at least the information listed on Appendix II of the Convention.

In addition, ships subject to the Convention, construed on or after 8th September 2017 must comply with the discharge standard specified in Regulation D-2 of the Convention on delivery.

Ballast water management plans will need to be approved by the ROs as compliant with the “Guidelines for Ballast Water Management and Development of Ballast Water Management Plans” (G4), in accordance with the regulation B-1 of the Annex to the Ballast Water Management Convention.

Following the implementation date, ships using a Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) must have a “Type Approval certificate”, in compliance with the IMO 2016 Guidelines For Approval Of Ballast Water Management Systems (G8) as per resolution MEPC.279(70).

Noteworthy is the fact that ships subject to the Convention could be exempted by a Party or Parties when operating in a same risk area and under the conditions described in regulation A-4 of the Convention.

It is noted that where an owner wishes to complete the IOPP renewal survey earlier, then all other statutory renewal surveys must be completed at the same time, including any associated docking survey. Nonetheless, the DMS is willing to accept, on a case by case basis, the earlier completion of the IOPP renewal survey and the de-harmonisation of the aforesaid survey from other surveys, before the 18 January 2018. In such cases, it is strongly recommended that owners / managers reintegrate the IOPP survey into the HSSC system the soonest possible. (The applications for deharmonisation of the IOPP survey should be submitted in writing to the following e-mail address: environment@dms.mcw.gov.cy)

We are proud to announce that International Advisory Experts has selected us as “IP Lawyer of the year for Cyprus 2017”

Christodoulos G. Vassiliades & Co LLC has been awarded the “IP Lawyer of the year for Cyprus 2017” award by International Advisory Experts Awards.

International Advisory Experts is an international association of well-established and experienced legal, financial and consulting firms that are committed to providing clients with professional solutions for their international business requirements.

International Advisory Experts annual awards pay tribute to firms who have been successful over the past 12 months and have received exceptional praise from their peers.

Int Advisory

Our Intellectual Property Department engages in all forms of Intellectual Property- related agreements. We advise on registration, protection, trademarks, copyright and designs. We also handle passing off actions, trademark litigation and arbitration cases. We undertake the preparation, drafting, negotiation and advising on all types of Intellectual Property- related agreements. Our experience in corporate matters allows us to understand the importance of protecting Intellectual Property Rights and effectively protect our clients with their intangible assets.

2017 is proving to be a successful year for our firm and we are certain we will continue to thrive and grow throughout the coming months.

We pride ourselves in providing excellent services to all of our clients and appreciate when our efforts are recognised.

 

 

We are proud to announce that Corporate INTL has selected us as the winner for International Tax Planning Law Firm of the Year in Cyprus 2017

We are proud to announce that Corporate INTL has selected Christodoulos G. Vassiliades & Co LLC as the Editors’ Choice winner of the 2017 Corporate INTL Magazine Global Award the International Tax Planning Law Firm of the Year in Cyprus.

Corporate INTL magazine is read by business leaders, investors and advisers globally it’s a huge accolade for those firms that are awarded as winners in their specific categories. The readership of Corporate INTL magazine is considerable and is distributed to over 70,000 individuals each month, all of which are either investors in business, leaders of companies or advisers for those businesses on a global level.

The awards commemorate those who have been successful over the past 12 months and who have shown excellence not only in expertise but in service. Corporate INTL has undertaken detailed research for the awards via their independent research and editorial teams. The shortlisted parties have been carefully scrutinized. There is focus on service type, service range, business type, geographical location, how the business operates and the expertise each team can offer to companies that either trade or may want to trade in their chosen jurisdiction. The shortlisted firms are then reviewed by an independent awards panel in each country with the eventual winners chosen by that independent panel.

corporate-intl-global-awards-2017-pic

Our team integrates tax structuring expertise with the highest quality advisory skills to give clients a comprehensive cross-border tax service in the most tax- efficient manner. We have developed extensive expertise in all matters relating to corporate tax, income tax, property tax, trusts and charities, international tax, and are able to address clients’ demands efficiently and effectively.

2017 proves to be an extremely successful year for us and we have shown once again excellence not only in our expertise but in service.

We pride ourselves in providing excellent service to all our clients and are particularly pleased when our efforts are recognised and rewarded.

 

 

Amendment of Article 13 of the Cyprus-Russia Double Tax Treaty

The Government of Cyprus and Russia came to an agreement for postponing the application of the Protocol amending Article 13 of the Double Tax Treaty between Cyprus and Russia for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with respect to taxes on income and on capital.

The Protocol, which was signed on 7th of October 2010, provided for taxation of capital gains upon disposal of shares of companies deriving more than 50% of their value from immovable property, in the country where the immovable property is located.

As per the Ministry’s of Finance announcement a new protocol is to be signed to implement the revised provisions of Article 13 until similar provisions are introduced in other bilateral agreements between Russia and other European countries.

Cyprus and Russia have historically developed strong ties in political, economic, cultural and religious level. Russia is one of the Cyprus’ major economic partners and the abovementioned agreement will strengthen even more their business and economic relations.

 

 

Amendments of 2014 to the Code of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

As per Circular no 37/2016, issued by the Department of Merchant Shipping on the 13 December 2016, reference was made to the adoption of the Amendments of 2014 to the Code of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (the “Amendments”).  These Amendments relate to the Standard A2.5 Repatriation (abandonment of seafarers) and Standard A4.2, Shipowners Liability (claims for compensation in the case of a seafarer´s death or long term disability due to occupational injury or illness). The implementation date for these amendments is the 18thJanuary 2017.

With regards to the Maritime Labour Certificates (MLC) and Declarations of Maritime Labour Compliance (DMLC) issued prior to the 18th January 2017, these will remain valid until the first renewal or intermediate inspection.

Similarly, any DMLC Part I issued before the implementation date (18 January 2017), will remain valid until next vessels MLC renewal or intermediate inspection whichever comes first.  The amended DMLC Part I will be issued to all vessels registered under Cyprus flag on or after the implementation date.

For existing vessels, even though DMLC Part I would remain valid, the shipowners shall update their DMLC II, firstly by way of an addendum, in order to reflect the new requirements, and, afterwards, this would be acknowledged in the inspection report produced at the next attendance of the Recognized Organization for MLC, 2006 inspection as will any other consequent changes to MLC documentation, manuals, etc.

Additionally, in respect of existing vessels, shipowners would have to submit a duly completed application for the issuance of the amended DMLC Part I to the DMS/Cyprus-MLC, 2006 Contact Point electronically, approximately 45 days prior next vessels renewal or intermediate inspection.

It is also noted that the abovementioned Amendments will also apply to foreign vessels calling at ports of the Republic of Cyprus

The Merchant Shipping (Compliance with Flag State Requirements) Order of 2016 (P.I 350/2016)

The issuance of P.I 350/2016 repealed and replaced the previous order 190/2012, in order to include in the definition of the relevant International Conventions the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 and the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks of 2007.

As per Circular No. 36/2016 the following relevant international Conventions are the Conventions coming under the Merchant Shipping (Compliance with Flag State Requirements) Law of 2012:

(a) the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea of 1974 (SOLAS 74);

(b) the International Load Lines Convention of 1966 (LL Convention 66);

(c) the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1973 and the 1978 Protocol thereto (MARPOL Convention 73/78);

(d) the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships of 1969 (ITC Convention 69);

(e) the Convention on International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea of 1972 (COLREG Convention 72);

(f) the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers of 1978 (STCW Convention 78);

(g) the Special Trade Passenger Ships Agreement 1971 (STP 71), and the Protocol on Space Requirements for Special Trade Passenger Ships 1973 (SPACE STP 73);

(h) the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships of 2001(ANTI-FOULING Convention);

(i) the International Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and other Matter of 1972 (DUMPING Convention);

(j) the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of 1992 (CLC Convention 92);

(k) the International Convention for the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage of 1971 and of its Protocols of 1976 and 1992 (FUND Convention);

(l) the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage of 2001 (BUNKERS Convention);

(m) the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue of 1979 (SAR Convention);

(n) the International Convention for Safe Containers of 1972 (CSC Convention);

(o) the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic of 1965 and of its Amendments of 1969 to 1996 (FAL Convention);

(p) the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea of 1996 (HNS Convention);

(q) the Maritime Labour Convention of 2006 (MLC 2006); and

(r) the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks of 2007 (Wreck Removal Convention).

The term ‘International Conventions’ includes their relevant Protocols, Codes, Standards, Resolutions, Recommendations or Guidelines in their up-to-date version.

Cyprus Tonnage Tax System (Law 44(I)/2010): Calculation of the Global Share for the Owners of Foreign Ships, Charterers and Ship Managers – applied for the fiscal year 2017

As per Circular No 35/2016 issued by the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS), on the 12th of December 2016, for the purpose of assessment of the Community-flagged Share of each company or group of companies, the Director shall carry out an assessment upon expiry of the third year (on 31st December) as from the date of opting to be taxed under the Tonnage Tax System (TTS)[1] and thereafter a further assessment every three years throughout the duration of validity of the Merchant Shipping (Fees and Taxing Provisions) Law of 2010 (Law 44(I)/2010) (“the Law”).

Moreover, it is provided that with regards to a company or group of companies whose Community-flagged Share at the time of assessment is less than its Reference Share (unless it is over 60%), no additional non-Community ships can enter the TTS until it raises its Community-flagged Share back to its Reference Share as minimum. Nonetheless, further to sections 15(3) (a), 25(3) (a) and 35(2) (a) of the Law and paragraphs 8 and 10 of The Tonnage Tax (Special Provisions for the Calculation of the Community Flagged Share) Notification of 2010 (P.I. 536/2010) (the “Notification”) those companies may benefit from the sectoral Global Share in order to include additional non-Community ships in the TTS. In such case, the owner, charterer or ship manager in question shall be subject to an increase of ten per cent (10%) on the total amount of tonnage tax payable for all the qualifying non-Community ships in his fleet, by virtue of the provisions of sections 15(4), 25(4) and 35(3) of the Law respectively.

It is noted that for 2015, as per the calculations of the Community-flagged Share of the relevant global tonnage eligible for tonnage tax in the Republic of Cyprus (Global Share) on a sectoral basis for 2015 conducted by the DMS:

  • The Global Share for Owners of foreign ships has decreased in comparison to 2014 (from 28.67% to 27.29%),
  • The Global Share for Charterers has decreased in comparison to 2014 (from 70.51% to 62.39%),
  • The Global Share for Ship Managers has decreased in comparison to 2014 (from 54.23% to 51.97%).

Overall, Owners of foreign ships. Charterers and Ship managers whose Community flagged Share is at the time of assessment (i.e. on 31st December 2016) below their Reference Share (unless this is over 60%) shall not include additional non-Community ships in the TTS until they raise their Community-flagged Share back to their Reference Share as minimum. Such ships cannot be considered as qualifying and therefore would be subject to corporate-income tax by the Department of Taxation while the company shall maintain separate books, records and accounts for those ships as provided by section 44 of the Law.

 

We are proud to announce that Acquisition International has awarded Christodoulos G. Vassiliades & Co LLC the 2016 Excellence Award: Most Outstanding Shipping Maritime Law firm

We are proud to announce that Acquisition International has selected Christodoulos G. Vassiliades & Co LLC as winner of the 2016 Excellence Award: Most Outstanding Shipping Maritime Law firm.

Acquisition International awards are highly reputable due to the validity of their awards and winners, which is echoed in the demanding and meticulous nomination procedure, also reflected in the judging and selection processes. Every single award is handed solely on merit, no commercial requirements are taken into play, no awards are guaranteed by payment and there are no barriers to entry. Therefore, the only factors that determine the award success are the work a company does and the results it achieves.

The 2016 Acquisition International awards are keen on displaying the hard work, dedication and determination of firms throughout the professional sphere, as voted for by their clients and commercial counterparts. The Acquisition International awards are regularly featured in news and press outlets across the globe.

acqisition-international_outstanding-marine-awards_29-11-16

Our shipping department offers a full range of legal services to ship owners, charterers, ship managers and ship financing institutions. The majority of the Firm’s ship registrations are under the flags of Cyprus, Malta and Belize. We owe our success to our broad network of international contracts and representative offices, which enables us to provide clients with the services they desire, promptly and effective. We are committed to providing high quality service in the field of Shipping Law, while at the same time promoting the business interests of our clients.

2016 proves to be an extremely successful year for us and we have shown once again excellence not only in our expertise but in service.

We pride ourselves in providing excellent service to all our clients and are particularly pleased when our efforts are recognised and rewarded.

We are proud to announce that we have been awarded by Lawyer Monthly’s Legal Awards 2016 as the Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year – Cyprus 2016

We are proud to announce that Lawyer Monthly has selected Christodoulos G. Vassiliades & Co LLC as winner in the category Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year – Cyprus.

Lawyer Monthly is a news website and monthly legal newspaper with content that is entirely defined by noteworthy legal news from around the world. Their editorial focus tracks legal news from across key practices areas, jurisdictions and sectors. Their editorial reach is prevalent in both the established and emerging markets. Their editorial team constantly follows key legal news and events to provide insights on today’s legal scene.

The Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards acknowledge the accomplishments of legal establishments who have delivered extraordinary results for their clients in the course of the past year whilst working in a challenging business environment. Corporate lawyers and law firms continue to play a crucial role in supporting and advising businesses so that they not only survive but thrive in tough conditions. The close relationship between corporate law firms and their clients has allowed businesses to expand which means creating opportunities that fuel global economic confidence. The 2016 Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards recognises firms, individual lawyers, solicitors and barristers devoted to reinvent their business, built on their depth of expertise, and performed outstandingly over the year.

lawyer

Our Intellectual Property Department is committed in safeguarding all kinds of Intellectual Property Rights whether those are registered as trademarks, designs, patents and trade names or unregistered such as copyrights or reputable marks. We also handle passing off actions, trademark litigation and arbitration cases and assume the preparation, drafting, negotiation and advising on all types of Intellectual Property- related agreements.

2016 proves to be an extremely successful year for us and we have shown once again excellence not only in our expertise but in service.

We pride ourselves in providing excellent service to all our clients and are particularly pleased when our efforts are recognised and rewarded.