Bareboat Chartering Activity for Pleasure Vessels in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus

Bareboat Chartering Activity for Pleasure Vessels in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus

By: Ioannis Ttavas ADVOCATE – LEGAL CONSULTANT @ A. Karitzis & Associates LLC 

Bareboat Chartering by way of definition, is the lease and/or renting of a boat without a crew and skipper.

The Deputy Ministry of Shipping (hereinafter the “DMS”) has introduced Circular 22/2022 (hereinafter the “Circular”), which outlines the regulations and guidelines for bareboat chartering activities within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus (hereinafter the “RoC”), offering a framework that ensures both safety and enjoyment for charterers.

Specifically, the Circular sets out the requirements, conditions, procedures, and responsibilities which both the charterer and the chartering company must follow when engaging in bareboat chartering within the RoC’s maritime jurisdiction. Chartering companies operating in Cyprus must stay well-informed about Circular and ensure their operations align with the stipulated guidelines. This includes maintaining their vessels to the highest standards, providing comprehensive safety briefings, and facilitating compliance with all regulations.

The pleasure vessels which are to operate under bareboat chartering in the RoC – regardless of their flag – must:

  • has suitable accommodation;
  • be available for a fee on the basis of a charterparty agreement;
  • get in line with the customs clearance procedures – as a necessary prerequisite in order to engage in bareboat chartering and;
  • belong to chartering companies, duly complied with TAX and VAT registries.

The vessel must meet the required safety standards and be appropriately insured. A person in charge for the Chartering Operations as well as an Assistant to that person must be assigned and both of them must hold the necessary navigation license for operating a pleasure vessel.

Application for bareboat chartering

Firstly, as per the Circular, the chartering company must submit an application to bareboat charter pleasure vessels to the DMS alongside with the relevant documents and the relevant fee. After the examination of the application, the DMS shall issue an Attestation for the operation of the chartering company with validity up to one year.

Locations permitted for bareboat chartering

The locations that the chartering of pleasure vessels for voyages within the territorial waters of the RoC, are set forth in the Circular. These includes the Marinas, berthing places of pleasure vessels, fishing shelters or ports of the RoC. However, a written Departure note must be submitted to the Marine Police Station before the departure of each vessel.

Safety Measures

The circular emphasizes the importance of ensuring the safety of charterers and the vessels themselves. This includes the presence on board of a quality management system certificate which includes the procedures for the smooth management of the pleasure vessel such as maintenance procedures, emergency procedures, vessel waste management procedures etc. Charterers are required to follow established navigation rules and guidelines, including designated anchorage areas and speed limits.

Maintenance of the pleasure vessel

The Circular prioritizes safety, ensuring that charterers have access to properly maintained vessels and are equipped with the necessary safety information. Regular inspections must be carried out and providing the charterers with proper safety briefings before setting sail. A possession of an Inspection Attestation must be in place on each vessel operate under bareboat chartering activity. However, for the issuance of the Inspection Attestation, the technical requirements for bareboat charter vessels set forth in Annex IV of the Circular must be met. After an inspection by the DMS, the relevant Attestation will be issued.

Skipper and crew under bareboat chartering

In this regard, the Circular sets forth crewing requirements, stipulating the designated skipper of a pleasure vessel under bareboat chartering must not belong neither have a direct relation to the chartering company. The skipper must hold the appropriate qualifications and experience for the safe and smooth operation of the voyage. Specifically, the skipper must hold a certificate – depending on the type and length of the pleasure vessel – proving his maritime training as a prerequisite for the smooth operation of the vessel.

Liability and Insurance

Both the pleasure vessel and the chartering company must be insured for liability against death, injury of passengers or third parties which may be caused by any marine accident such as sinking, collision or any other cause. Insurance must also cover liability for marine pollution as a measure to protect and preserve the marine ecosystem.

Benefits for the charterers

The Circular offers several benefits for those interested in bareboat chartering in Cyprus. There are clear guidelines as to the navigation of the bareboat chartering and clear regulations in place to protect the interest and safety of the charterers.

By adhering to waste disposal and environmental protection measures, charterers can contribute to the preservation of Cyprus’ marine ecosystems.

In Conclusion

The Circular marks a significant step in promoting responsible and enjoyable bareboat chartering activities in Cyprus. By fostering safety, environmental protection, and adherence to regulations, this Circular enhances the bareboat chartering experience, allowing charterers to explore the stunning coastline of Cyprus while adhering to the highest standards of maritime practice. As maritime tourism continues to grow, Circular paves the way for a sustainable and exciting journey for all who set sail in Cypriot waters.

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Tags: Shipping and Maritime


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