The Protection of Cyprus Ships against Acts of Piracy and Other Unlawful Acts Law of 2012 (Law 77(I) of 2012)

According to the Department of Merchant Shipping of Cyprus:

“The Cyprus registry today, ranking tenth among international fleets – with 1,857 ocean going vessels of a gross tonnage exceeding 21 million- is continuously upgrading its services in order to offer a high standard of support to international shipping and a reputation of a “Flag of Progress”.

Cyprus is a major shipmanagement centre worldwide with a total of around 60 shipmanagement companies operating in its territory. Several of these companies rank among the largest of their kind in the world. Cyprus appears to be among the top five countries and territories in the world with the largest number of third party shipmanagement companies on its territory.

Among the shipmanagement companies established and operating from the Republic of Cyprus, 87% are controlled by Cypriot and EU interests. Such companies employ almost 40.000 seafarers out of whom 5.000 are EU nationals. The share occupied by the fleet managed from Cyprus in the world shipmanagement market constitutes another interesting aspect. According to recent governmental estimates, the total fleet managed from Cyprus represents 20% of the world third–party shipmanagement market (out of 10.000 ships in the world shipmanagement market under a wide approach).”

Thus, a fleet of that size surely needs an extra protection from acts of piracy and other unlawful acts which have huge economic and trade damage as result every year. Specifically, several public and private maritime bodies globally estimate that the international trade suffers more than $12 billion American dollars in damages every year. The mentioned estimation concerns only the direct costs from maritime piracy without taking into account any other secondary costs (macroeconomic costs).

Accordingly, Cyprus has published the relevant legal framework in order to authorize all ship owners and/or managers of ships under Cyprus flag to take any measure being necessary (within the scope of the Law) in order to protect their ships, personnel and cargo legally. More specific, the Law is now allowing the interested Shipping Company to hire a private security company which will provide an extra security (armed or not) to its ship while the latter is sailing through high-risk zones.

Additionally, the Act states the relevant procedure needed to be followed, by a private security company, to obtain the authorization by the Cyprus Government which is required in order to guard (armed or unarmed) Cyprus registered vessels.

A. Karitzis & Associates LLC can provide you any further information and/or clarification related to the above law and any assistance concerning its aspects.

Specifically we can provide you with:

  • Information about Obligations and Rights derived from the Law,
  • Assistance in formation and/or legal consultation for a private security company.