Tag Archives: Madeira International Business Center

Madeira International Yacht Registry

Armed Security on Board Made Legal

The Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Portuguese Republic has approved armed private security on board of Portuguese registered ships, including those registered in the International Shipping Registry of Madeira (MAR), through Decree-Law 159/2019 of October 24th.

Private armed security teams on board of Portuguese registered ships is limited to those ships that navigate through high-risk areas for piracy, as defined by the Portuguese Government.

Private armed security providers and their employees must obtain license and a hold a professional card, respectively, to be issued by the Portuguese Public Security Police (PSP) in accordance with the rules set by Decree-Law 159/2019. Furthermore, the use and carrying of weapons is only permitted to the security team members in the areas classified as high-risk areas for piracy.

Portuguese registered ships can hire private armed security companies that are duly registered in accordance with the laws and regulations of a EU Member-State o a country member of the European Economic Area. These companies must have a sole corporate object, private armed security providers, and a minimum share capital of EUR 250 000.

Companies providing private armed security services to Portuguese registered ships must have a Security Director who is responsible for choosing the Security Team Coordinator, for making and proposing the anti-piracy plan (in accordance with the Law and to be approved by DGRM and upon issuance of binding opinion be PSP the National Maritime Authority), for making and proposing the trip plan and for making and proposing the terrestrial transportation plan regarding the arms and ammunitions.

The Security Team Coordinator is responsible for managing the security team, for evaluating the security on board and following the ship’s captain inspection and for coordinating the team’s intervention without jeopardizing the ship’s captain maximum authority on board.

In accordance with the law private armed security on board cannot use a military or a military inspired uniform. When reaching high-risk areas for piracy and overall vestment stating “On Board Security” must be used.

Allowed weapons for security on board include: semi-automatic long firearms with automatic configuration for military use; semi-automatic pistols with calibers 6.5mm Browning; pepper sprays; and electric weapons which shape cannot be mistaken by another other class of weapon.

Further to the above, the ship must contain: anti-fire closets to store, separately, arms and ammunitions; CCTV (with audio) system; and voice communications systems.

These new measures greatly benefit the Portuguese merchant navy in registered in the International Shipping Registry of Madeira (MAR) and reinforce its position as one of the most competitive shipping registries in Europe.

For more information on this matter please do not hesitate to contact us.

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mar

MAR introduces Electronic Certificates

The International Shipping Register of Madeira (MAR) is now issuing ships’ electronic certificates and documents.

In line with national policies concerning digitalization within public services and administration, the Portuguese maritime administration has also taken the task to develop and implement systems and procedures to issue electronic certificates and documents to ships and seafarers.

These procedures and systems take in due consideration the IMO Guidelines for the use of electronic certificates (FAL.5/Circ.39), thus, means for authorities and other parties to promptly verify the validity of the electronic statutory certificates and documents issued by Portuguese authorities were also implemented. In the scope of this development Portugal has communicated the decision to IMO, which circulated the information to all member States through the Circular Letter No. 3822 dated 06/03/2018.

Seafarers’ electronic documentation, namely documents of recognition of certificates of competence in accordance with STCW/I/10 (endorsements and proof of application), have already been implemented with success by the relevant organization within the Portuguese maritime administration (DGRM).

Document’s Authentication

Electronic certificates and documents issued by MAR will be signed electronically in compliance with relevant Portuguese legislation by means of a qualified digital certificate, which serves as method of authentication of the authorized issuer and of the integrity of the contents of the documents.

The digital certificate used to sign the documents electronically is issued by a certifying entity accredited in accordance with national and EU relevant regulations. The documents are issued in PDF format and the signature and the respective status of validity can be checked within the software used to open the file.

Following the IMO guidelines for the facilitation of the use and acceptance of electronic certificates, MAR issued documents also include information and elements, which are harmonized in all electronic documents issued by the authorities within the Portuguese maritime administration, to provide for the verification of their validity at a national dedicated website.

The electronic documents verification dedicated website can be found at the following address: www.portugueseflagcontrol.pt. For the verification purpose, the electronic documents include an “unique tracking number” (UTN), as per IMO guidelines AL.5/Circ.39, and a QR code.The documents issued electronically by MAR are:

  • Registry certificates:
    • Ownership Registration Certificate;
    • Provisional Ownership Registration Certificate;
    • Bareboat Charter Registration Certificate.
  • Liability certificates:
    • Certificate of Insurance or Other Financial Security in respect of Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC);
    • Certificate of Insurance or Other Financial Security in respect of Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (BCLC);
    • Certificate of Insurance or Other Financial Security in respect of Liability for the Death of and Personal Injury to Passengers (PLR);
    • Certificate of Insurance or Other Financial Security in respect of Civil Liability for Removal of Wrecks (WRC).
  • Minimum Safe Manning Document;
  • Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance – Part I;
  • Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR).

In the near future MAR intends to also issue other electronic documents, such as statements and declarations. The same method of authentication will be used – electronic signature by means of a qualified digital certificate – equivalent, from the legal point of view, to the annual signature in a paper document.

Fore more information on this matter please contact us at www.mcs.pt or send us an e-mail to management@mcs.pt.

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Madeira International Business Center

Investing in Madeira remains an attractive solution for those looking to operate in Portugal and abroad.

The International Business Center of Madeira (MIBC, also known as Madeira Free Trade Zone) remains attractive for foreign and Portuguese investors, representing the single Portuguese fiscal incentive created to directly support the internationalization of worldwide companies.

Duly licensed companies benefit from one of the lowest corporate income tax (CIT) rates in the EU, 5%, to which 0% withholding tax on interest, capital gains, services, royalties and dividends is added (provided that certain requirements are met).

The MIBC is a real European incentive for the internationalization of exporting companies or international services providers.

Most service providers can benefit from the MIBC, including those engaged in trading, e-business and telecommunications, consultancy and marketing services, as well as intellectual property management, real estate project development or holding-related services.

Another important feature of the MIBC related benefits is that once the licensing process is done, the tax benefits become immediately effective. Unlike European funds there is no waiting period between the approval of the incentive and its implementation.

The MIBC is a tax benefit scheme granted under the Portuguese Tax Benefits Statute and duly approved by the European Commission.

Since the MIBC is governed by Portuguese and European Law, it offers the required legal certainty to its investors. All companies duly licensed to operate within the MIBC comply with all legal requirements to operate in Portugal, and therefore in the EU.

Given the above, all e-commerce directives have been duly transposed into Portuguese law, including those relating to electronic billing, digital signatures and data protection.

Such facts make it clear that, in addition to being a completely transparent tax incentive, the MIBC also allows a for an effective tax saving that can be used in the internationalization of the licensed company.

In addition to all the above-mentioned benefits, companies that are duly licensed in the MIBC may cumulatively apply for European funding under the Madeira 14-20 program and other financial instruments available to companies based in the Autonomous Region of Madeira.

Last, but not least, Madeira has all kinds of high quality support services, such as a broad network of information technology companies, consulting firms, financial services and administrative support, thus making operational costs low when compared to other European markets.

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