Maritime Security

  • Certification of Private Ship Security Companies
  • Assisting ship owners and ship managers to obtain permission for the use of PSSCs
  • Services of authorised representative
  • Advice on International Maritime Law related to piracy and other unlawful acts at sea
  • Drafting security services employment agreements

The Law

In 2012 the Cyprus Government enacted pioneering legislation (The Protection of Cyprus Ships Against Acts of Piracy and Other Unlawful Acts Law of 2012 (Law 77(I) of 2012) (“the Law”) on the protection of Cyprus ships from acts of piracy and other unlawful acts. This law established the legislative framework for the use of armed and unarmed security personnel aboard Cyprus flagged vessels transiting through High Risk Areas which are set out by Schedule 1 of the Law as East Africa, Northwest Indian Ocean, Western Africa and the Gulf of Guinea. This is a significant achievement in light of the ongoing threat of piracy, which cost the global economy between $5.7 and $6.1 billion in 2012.

The Law defines an “unlawful act” as an act or suspicious act or circumstance which, by its nature or context, threatens the security of the ship or may cause damage to the ship or to the persons on board or to the cargo and includes the commissioning and attempted commissioning of following acts:

  1. the seizure of the control of the ship, its capture, its immobilization, its detention, its looting, its kidnapping or its hostage-taking and includes acts of piracy; or
  2. committing an act of violence against any one of the persons on board the ship or causing injury or death to them; or
  3. the destruction of the ship or causing damage to the ship or to the cargo; or
  4. the placement on board, in any way and by any means, of a device or substance which may destroy the ship or cause damage to it or to the cargo or cause bodily harm or death to any one of the persons on board; or
  5. the abduction, detention or hostage-taking of one, some or all of the persons on board; or
  6. the theft or the transportation out of the ship without prior permission of permanently installed or portable equipment or outfitting, documents, supplies, tools or of parts of the ship or of personal property or money belonging to those on board; or
  7. the exercise, or the threat, of violence or any other form of blackmail or intimidation for the commissioning or attempted commissioning of any of the acts referred to in (a) to (f) above; or
  8. the transmission of information that can assist in the commissioning or attempted commissioning of anyone of the acts referred to in (a) to (g) above.

The Law provides that Cyprus ships are required to implement, in addition to the special measures to enhance maritime security as set out in SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code, compulsory security measures when navigating through HRAs. These can be developed and implemented taking into account the related recommendations and guidelines published by International Maritime Organization (IMO) and/or the shipping industry.