Cyprus: ICLG: Shipping Law 2019

Last Updated: 28 August 2019
Article by Zacharias Kapsis and Antonis Karitzis

1 Marine Casualty

1.1 In the event of a collision, grounding or other major casualty, what are the key provisions that will impact upon the liability and response of interested parties? In particular, the relevant law / conventions in force in relation to:


Cyprus has adopted the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law with Respect to Collision between Vessels and Protocol of Signature, Brussels 23 September 1910 (extended to Cyprus on 1 February 1913). Also, the Maritime Convention Act of 1911, derived from the Law of the United Kingdom applies to Cyprus (this was seen in (1990) 1 C.L.R. 850).

Moreover, the Convention on International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 and for Matters Connected Therewith Law of 1980 and its subsequent amendments apply both to all Cypriot ships and foreign ships within the territorial sea of Cyprus (this was seen in (1994) 1 C.L.R. 54 and in (1999) 1B C.L.R. 1079).

In addition, the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Concerning Civil Jurisdiction in Matters of Collision, 1952, Law of 1993 (Law 31(III)/93) and the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to Penal Jurisdiction in Matters of Collision or other Incidents of Navigation, 1952, Law of 1993 (Law 32(III)/93) have also been ratified in Cyprus.


The following conventions, directives, agreements and domestic laws are applicable in Cyprus:

  • The International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of 1969 and its Protocols of 1976 and 1992 ("CLC") and Amendments of 2000.
  • The International Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols and amendments ("Barcelona Convention").
  • The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978 ("MARPOL 73/78") and its amendments.
  • The Protocol of 1992 Amending the International Convention for the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage of 1971 and Matters Connected Therewith (Amendment) Law of 1997 (Law 15(III)/97).
  • The International Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matters of 1972, as amended ("LDC 1972").
  • The International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage of 2001 ("BUNKERS").
  • The International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships of 2001 ("AFS").
  • The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments 2004.
  • 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) and for Matters Connected Therewith Law of 2004 (Law 21(III)/2004) (Not yet in force).
  • The Environmental Liability Directive ("ELD") 2004/35 (EC).
  • The Waste Directive 75/442 (EC).
  • Agreement on Merchant Shipping with the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt signed on 26 November 2006. The Memorandum of Understanding Between the Republic of Cyprus and the Arab Republic of Egypt on Co-operation in the Field of Environmental Protection signed on 26.11.2006.
  • The Agreement Between Cyprus, Israel and Egypt for Cooperation in Combating Major Marine Pollution Incidents in the Mediterranean Law of 2001 (Law 21(III)/ 2001).
  • The Merchant Shipping (Ship Source Pollution) Law of 2008 (Law 45(I)/2008) and its subsequent amendments.
  • The Environmental Liability with regard to the Prevention and Remedying of Environmental Damage Law 189(I)/2007.
  • The Solid and Dangerous Waste Law of 2002 215 (I)/2002.

It would of course be beyond the scope of this question and unnecessary to discuss this in great detail. However, a brief overview regarding the importance, the mission and the role of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research on the protection of the Marine Environment in Cyprus could prove to be useful.

It is worth mentioning that the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research (''DFMR'') which was founded in 1964 within the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the Republic of Cyprus, it is among others responsible for the protection and preservation of the Marine Environment through an integrated scientific approach. The Marine Environment Division (''MED'') of the DFMR has as primary priority the maintenance of the Good Environmental Status (''GES'') of the Marine Environment of Cyprus for future generations.

Moreover, in July 2008, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) (''MSFD'') entered into force, establishing a legal framework for the protection and management of European seas and ensures their long-term sustainable use. The main objective of the Directive is to achieve and/or maintain Good Environmental Status (''GES'') by 2020.

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