Stelios Americanos & Co LLC Shipping Practice

STELIOS AMERICANOS & CO LLC | View firm profile

Cyprus flag has had unprecedented success in the last few years, rising to a
position of prominence in world shipping.

is dominant in Cyprus due to the country’s excellent geographical position, the
significant number of bilateral treaties for the avoidance of double taxation
concluded by Cyprus and the favourable taxation regime which has been
maintained even after the accession to the European Union. 

A.         Ship Registration

In accordance with the relevant
law in force all registry transactions and/or applications with respect to
ships and ship registration must be effected by a local lawyer.

A vessel may only be registered
in the Registry of Cyprus Ships if:

  1.     More than fifty percent (50%)
    of the shares of the ship are owned: by Cypriot citizens or
    by citizens of other Member States who in the instance of not being permanent
    residents of the Republic will have appointed an authorised representative in
    the Republic of Cyprus, or
  2.   The total (100%) of the shares
    of the ship are owned by one or more corporations, which have been established
    and operate:
    in accordance with the laws of
    the Republic of Cyprus and have their registered office in the Republic, or
    in accordance with the laws of
    any other Member State and have their registered office, central administration
    or principal place of business within the European Economic Area and which will
    have either appointed an authorised representative in Cyprus or the management
    of the ship is entrusted in full to a Cypriot or a Community ship management
    company having its place of business in Cyprus, or
    outside Cyprus or outside any
    other Member State but controlled by Cypriot citizens or citizens of Member
    States and have either appointed an authorised representative in Cyprus or the
    management of the ship is entrusted in full to a Cypriot or a Community ship
    management company having its place of business in Cyprus.  The
    corporation is deemed to be controlled by Cypriots or citizens of any other
    Member States when more than 50% of its shares are owned by Cypriots or
    citizens of any other Member States or when the majority of the Directors of
    the corporation are Cypriot citizens or citizens of any other Member State.

B.         Types of Registration

A. Provisional Registration

B. Permanent Registration

C. Parallel Registration

C.         Formation of a Cyprus Shipping company

The first step to be taken by
all non-European ship owners who wish to register a vessel under the Cyprus
flag is to form a Cyprus Shipping Company which will acquire the vessel in its

The company is registered as a
private company with limited liability (limited by shares) under the provisions
of the Cyprus Companies Law, Chapter 113, as amended.

The filing of the Memorandum
and Articles of association with the Registrar of Companies has to be in
Greek.  The time usually required for such incorporation is about 7 days
from the filing of the incorporation documents.  The Memorandum of
association must contain the objects of the company, set out as widely as
possible.  For a shipping company, the objects usually include the
ownership and operation of vessels, the borrowing of money, mortgaging of the
vessel, etc.

The registered office of such
company is usually situated at the offices of either the lawyers who have
incorporated the company in Cyprus or the accountants who act for the company,
unless the company has a more substantial presence in the island and operates
from fully fledged offices or has a sister management company or affiliate
here. The registers and minute-books are kept with the secretary of the

D.         The economic benefits of a Shipping company:

    No tax on profits from the operation
    or management of a Cyprus registered vessel or on dividends received from a
    vessel owning company.
    No capital gains tax on the
    sale or transfer of a Cyprus-registered vessel or the shares of a vessel owning
    No estate duty on the inheritance
    of shares in a ship-owning company.
    No stamp duty on ship mortgage
    deeds or other security documents.
    Double tax treaties with 42
    No exchange control and freedom
    of movement of foreign currency.
    Full protection for financiers
    and mortgagees.
    Low set up and operating costs
    for companies.

E.         Other advantages when registering a vessel in Cyprus

    EU flag
    of Cyprus flag in the White List of the Paris and Tokyo MOUs resulting in fewer
    inspections of the ships and less delays at the ports of both MOUs.
    offices in New York, London, Rotterdam, Piraeus, Brussels and Hamburg offering
    services to Cyprus ships.
    network of inspectors of Cyprus ships, covering important ports worldwide.
    to all international maritime conventions on safety and pollution prevention.
    agreements with 29 countries in the field of Merchant Shipping.
    and qualitative provision of services by the Department of Merchant Shipping.

F.         Our Services

firm provides a wide spectrum of services in this field advising owners,
managers, charterers, freight forwarders and their respective insurers in
respect of:


    Conducting searches on ships
    files kept with the Department of Merchant Shipping
    Ship registration under the
    Cyprus flag
    Claims for loss or damage to
    Freight disputes
    Collisions and salvage claims
    Disputes under shipbuilding and
    repairing contracts
    Financing, security and the
    enforcement of mortgages
    Problems relating to the
    employment of officers and crew
    Personal injury claims
    Choice of flag and registration
    Aviation matters including
    aircraft registration and finance
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