The Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Law of 2017 (Law 23(I)/2017) & The Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Order of 2017 (P.I. 135/2017): Harmonisation with the European Union Directive 2014/90/EU.
As per Circular No 08/2017 issued by the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS), on the 28th of April 2017, the Director of the MDS informed the relevant parties of the enactment of the Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Law of 2017 (Law 23(I)/2017) (the “Law”) which transposes the Directive 2014/90/EU of the European Parliament and of Council of 23rd July 2014 on marine equipment into national legislation, repealing Council Directive 96/98/EC .
Main purpose of the Directive and the Law is the enhancement of the safety at sea and the prevention of marine pollution through the uniform application of the relevant international instruments which relate to marine equipment to be placed on board EU ships, and to ensure the free movement of such equipment within the Union.
Specifically, the Law applies to equipment placed or to be placed on board a Cyprus ship and for which the approval of the Competent Authority of the Republic is required by the international instruments, irrespective of whether the ship is situated in the Union at the time it is fitted with the equipment.
The new Circular also makes reference to the issuance of the Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Order of 2017, P.I. 135/2017 (the “Order”) which defines the relevant international conventions coming under the scope of application of the new Law, these being:
- the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea of 1974 (SOLAS 74);
- the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1973 and the 1978 Protocol thereto (MARPOL Convention 73/78); and
- the Convention on International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea of 1972 (COLREG Convention 72).
It is noted that the international conventions include the up-to – date version of the international conventions and Protocols that have been ratified by the Republic as well as the relevant Codes in force in the Republic, which lay down specific requirements for the approval by the Competent Authority of equipment to be placed on board ships.
Further, it is highlighted that the Law repeals the previously enacted Merchant
Shipping (Marine Equipment) Laws 2002-2006 (Law 55(I)/2002 as amended). Nonetheless, the following subsidiary legislation shall continue to be in force until replacement:
- the Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Order of 2016 (P.I. 92/2016)∙
- the Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Notification of 2016 (P.I. 91/2016).