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1. The investigation of marine accidents and incidents of Cyprus flagged ships all over the world and accidents and incidents of foreign flagged ships in the territorial waters of Cyprus is the duty of the independent Marine Accident Investigation Committee. The Marine Accident and Incident Investigation Committee (“MAIC”) has been established by virtue of the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents Law of 2012, Law 94(I)/2012 (transposing EU Directive 2009/18/EC).

Circular No. 1/2014 of MAIC is the first Circular issued by said Committee and it is obtainable from its recently launched website

2. All marine accidents (casualties and incidents) involving Cyprus flagged ships occurring anywhere around the globe, or, irrespective of flag occurring, within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus should be notified, without delay, to the MAIC which constitutes the new national independent body for the holding of safety investigations and for carrying out proper analysis of marine casualties and incidents in order to determine their causes.

Notifications to the MAIC should be done in accordance with the Accident Notification Report developed by MAIC which is appended to its Circular No. 1/2014.

3. The Department of Merchant Shipping continues to be responsible for investigating marine accidents concerning certain types of ships which are excluded from the scope of Directive 2009/18/EC (Article 2.2 and corresponding section 3(2) of Law 94(I)/2012) i.e. accidents involving only:
  1. ships not propelled by mechanical means, wooden ships of primitive build, pleasure yachts and pleasure craft not engaged in trade, unless they are or will be crewed and carrying more than 12 passengers for commercial purposes;
  2. fishing vessels with a length of less than 15 metres;

The main legal basis for the carrying out of such a residual competence by the DMS continues to be:
  • Sections 4 to 7 of the Wrecks Law Cap. 298
  • Decision of the Council of Ministers under section 4 of the Convention on the International Maritime Organization (Ratification) and for Matters Connected Therewith Laws 1973- 1996 regarding the adoption of the IMO 1997 and 2008 Codes for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents (Α.849(20), Α.884(21), MSC 255(84)) (P.I. No. 245/ 2010).

4. Relevant DMS Circulars
  • DMS Circular No. 17/2014;
  • DMS Circular No. 19/2005, insofar as it concerns the investigation of accidents excluded from the scope of Directive 2009/18/EC and the respective national Law. This Circular has, by virtue of Circular No. 17/2014, been repealed with respect to accidents falling within the competence of the Marine Accident Investigation Committee.

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