Vasileios Psyrras, Advocate – Shipping Department, Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC, provides an update outlining the main provisions of a new agreement on merchant shipping signed between Cyprus and Georgia earlier this year.
Mr Psyrras delineates the following:
Each of the contracting parties will treat vessels of the other contracting party in the same way as it treats its own vessels engaged in international voyages in respect of free access to ports, use of ports for loading and unloading of cargoes and for embarking and disembarking passengers, payment of dues and taxes based on the tonnage or otherwise, in accordance with the national legislation, exercising normal commercial operations and use of services related to navigation.
Vessels of a contracting party may be registered in parallel for a specified period in the register of ships of the other contracting party and fly that country's flag, provided that the vessel is bareboat chartered by a national of the second contracting party or by a corporation registered there, which is qualified to own a vessel flying its flag.
Each of the contracting parties will recognise the identity documents issued by the competent authorities of the other contracting party to members of the crew who are its nationals.
Crew members holding the seafarer's identity documents specified in Article 9 of the agreement, together with any members of their families embarked on the same vessel, are permitted to stay for temporary shore leave during the stay of the vessel in a port of the other contracting party, without any requirement for a visa, provided that the master of the vessel has submitted the list of persons on board the vessel to the appropriate authorities, in accordance with the national legislation in force in that port.
For the safe manning of merchant vessels of a contracting party with qualified personnel, its shipowners may engage, in accordance with its relevant legislation in force, qualified nationals of the other contracting party.
Shipwrecks and accidents
If a vessel of a contracting party is shipwrecked, runs aground, is cast ashore or suffers any other accident off the coast in the territorial sea of the other contracting party, the vessel and the cargo shall enjoy in the territory of the latter party the same benefits and privileges, and be subject to the same liabilities, as a vessel of the second contracting party and its cargo.
Remittance of income
Shipping companies of either contracting party may use income and other revenue obtained in freely convertible currency within the territory of the other contracting party and deriving from maritime transport operations for the purpose of making payments in the territory of that contracting party. Any surpluses, after settlement of all amounts due locally – including tax, if any – are freely transferable abroad.
The new agreement on merchant shipping between Cyprus and Georgia was signed on February 5, 2014, and entered into force on May 24, 2014.
Source: Gold News