‘Cyprus a flag of progress and quality. Ship Registration procedures and the benefits of Cyprus flag’.

I. Cyprus shipping cluster

Shipping has been one of the most important pillars of the Cypriot economy for decades, with the sector contributing around EUR1.034 billion to the island’s GDP per annum. With the 11th-largest ship registry in the world and the third in the EU, Cyprus has a large resident shipping industry, with over 220 shipping-related companies based in the country. The Cypriot maritime transport cluster represents around 7% of the GDP and employs around 9,000 persons  onshore (3% of the total gainfully employed population) and around 100,000 seafarers aboard Cyprus-flagged ships.

Cyprus, is considered to be the largest third-party ship management centre in the EU, and one of the top five in the world, providing ship management services to around 3,300 ships under various flags, with a net tonnage of 47 million. Over 20% of the world’s third-party managed fleet and around 5% of the world fleet are managed from Cyprus.

Currently, the Cyprus merchant fleet has reached an impressive 1,750 vessels with a total GT exceeding 25 million. Of these, 1100 vessels are taxed under the Cyprus Tonnage Tax System.

a. Cyprus, a modern maritime centre

When Cyprus gained its independence in 1960, it heralded a new era of prosperity that witnessed an upsurge in the economy and modernisation of the business and commercial sectors. The development of the shipping industry in Cyprus began in 1963 with the introduction of legislation concerning the registration of ships, the terms of employment of sailors and the relevant taxation.

Cyprus has concluded 27 bilateral agreements on merchant shipping, through which Cyprus flagged ships receive either national or most favoured nation treatment in the ports of other states. Those agreements with labour-supplying countries provide for specific terms of employment that are beneficial to both shipowners and seafarers.

Cyprus is a modern, efficient and integrated maritime centre ranked amongst the leading in the world. It is amongst the countries having a prominent role in forming global shipping policies with a strong presence and a powerful voice in all maritime fora and international organizations such as the IMO, the ILO and the European Union.

To that end, Cyprus was one of the first countries that recognised seafarers as key workers and implemented a formal crew change process during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as it was the first country that formally proposed a practical approach for a global seafarers’ vaccination programme. These measures resulted in more than 20,000 seafarers being repatriated or able to return to work since May 2020 and a resolution for a global seafarers vaccination programme proposed by the Cyprus flag was officially adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in April 2021.

Internationally, Cyprus takes pride in its re-election to the International Maritime Organization Council for the two-year period 2020–21, ranking fourth in Category C, with a higher number of votes than ever before, strengthening its role in the European and international decision-making process. Additionally, in October 2020, Cyprus was elected for the first time to the Presidency of the Executive Committee of the Mediterranean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control, of which it is a member state.

The recent discovery of hydrocarbons in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus widens the horizons of the Cypriot shipping industry, creating synergies and new prospects. Offshore exploration and production of oil and gas, as well as their transportation ashore, require specialised ships and equipment, and specialised supporting services. A new industry is emerging in Cyprus to meet the needs of the offshore activities. Many Cypriot-based shipping companies are very keen to be involved in the industry and some have taken this step by broadening their activities. It is also anticipated that additional shipping companies operating in non-EU jurisdictions will relocate their offices and operations to Cyprus to explore the benefits of the emerging Eastern Mediterranean offshore market. On the basis of the above, Cyprus can develop into an important energy centre in the Mediterranean region, with new shipping and energy projects, and the policy of its government includes Cyprus’s future maritime transport needs for the exploitation of hydrocarbons.

b. The Establishment of the Shipping Deputy Ministry

The Shipping Deputy Ministry (‘SDM’), which is responsible for mari­time and shipping matters in Cyprus, was established on 1 March 2018, replacing the Department of Merchant Shipping. The day is marked as historic because the SDM is an autonomous deputy ministry, dedicated entirely to Cyprus’s maritime industry, with strategically located overseas maritime offices – in Piraeus, Brussels, Rotterdam, Hamburg, London and New York City – offering services to seafarers and Cypriot ships.

Its mission is based on the safeguarding and further develop­ment of Cypriot shipping as a safe, socially responsible and sus­tainable industry; the enhancement of the national economy; and the creation of jobs, specialisation and expertise in the sec­tor. At the same time, the Shipping Deputy Ministry has been implementing a comprehensive “Blue Growth” strategy that not only includes enhancement and updating of the shipping regu­latory framework and processes, but also focuses on digitalisa­tion, the promotion of blue careers and shipping education, and a focus on maritime innovation and contribution to the devel­opment of responsible environmental policies and solutions.

The SDM strongly encourages and sup­ports research and innovation initiatives. Examples such as the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI) and the Cyprus Foundation of the Sea promote technological innova­tion, bringing together the academic world with the public and private sector to develop innovative systems providing solutions to respond to the green and digital transformation of the sec­tor. At the same time, the steady growth of the three maritime academies operating across the country, the introduction of a maritime direction in secondary education and the extension of the SDM’s grants and scholarships aim to ensure the continuous supply of high-calibre human talent into the Cypriot shipping market.

c. The prolongation of the Cyprus Tonnage Tax System

In December 2019, Cyprus successfully prolonged its Tonnage Tax and Seafarer Scheme for the next 10 years (until 31 December 2029), following extensive negotiation and discussion between the SDM and the European Commission, securing the viability of Cyprus’ registry and shipping industry, at the same time maintaining its prominent position in the global shipping arena. The scheme provides competitive advantages, including, among others, a wider list of eligible vessels and ancillary activities and discount rates for environmentally friendly vessels. Cyprus had the first ever open registry within the European Union (EU), with a comprehensive, transparent Tonnage Tax System approved by the EU.

The Cyprus Tonnage Tax System applies to ship ownership, ship management and ship-chartering activities.  It is a tax system whereby beneficiary companies can choose to be taxed on the basis of their net tonnage (tonnage tax) rather than on their actual profits from maritime transport activities.  The tonnage tax is considered as one of the key assets of the Cypriot shipping industry in efforts to attract more ships and companies to the Cypriot maritime cluster.

The attractive and transparent Cyprus Tonnage Tax System, among other things, provides exemptions to beneficiaries (owners of Cyprus ships, owners of foreign ships, charterers and ship managers) from income tax. The tonnage tax for companies owning foreign vessels is payable by 28 February of each calendar year, while the tonnage tax for Cypriot vessels is payable by 31 March of each calendar year.

It is of great importance to mention that before the establishment of the SDM in March 2018, 168 shipping-related companies were registered under the Tonnage Tax Syxtem, while 277 companies (45 ship managers, 40 charterers and 192 owners of foreign 24 ships) are currently registered under it, with approximately 4,500 employees. Of those companies, 90% are controlled by EU interests.

d. Financial incentives of Cyprus flag for environmental preservation

As a leading maritime nation, Cyprus recognises the need to encourage and reward those realising emissions reductions. To this extent, the SDM has announced a new range of green incentives to reward vessels that demonstrate effective emissions reductions. The green incentives programme of the SDM supports shipowners in making sustainable choices and investing in new green technologies and cleaner operations.

i. State aid scheme for coastal vessels (de minimis)

Since September 2019, the SDM has been implementing the state aid scheme for coastal vessels (de minimis), beneficiaries of which are the owners of coastal passenger vessels (registered under the Cyprus flag) engaged in the coastal passenger industry. The scheme will be valid for the period 2019–22 with a EUR3 million allocated budget (EUR1 million per year), provided that the minimum investment of the beneficiaries is at least EUR20,000. Among the scheme’s aims are:

  • the enhancement of the protection of the marine environment;
  • the upgrading of coastal vessels;
  • further improvement of health and safety conditions for crew and passengers; and
  • the advancement of accessibility for people with disabilities.

Currently, more than 120 coastal passenger vessels of around 8,000 gross tonnage (GT) are registered under Cyprus flag.

ii. Reduction of the Cyprus tonnage tax for environmentally friendly vessels

From fiscal year 2021, a reduction of up to 30% of the annual tonnage tax is possible in the case of a Cypriot ship or EU/EEA ship using mechanisms for the environmental preservation of the marine environment and the reduction of the effects of climate change. The SDM gives particular importance to the environmental protection, internationally and locally, with the re-approval of the Cyprus tonnage tax, introducing discounted rates for environmentally friendly vessels.

The Cyprus flag will provide a “discount” on its TTS by comparing what emissions reductions are required of a vessel with what it achieves. For example:

  • the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) – vessels that have achieved further reduction of their attained EEDI compared to the required EEDI (Regulation 20/MARPOL ANNEX VI) will obtain a respective annual tonnage tax rebate of between 5 and 25%;
  • the IMO data collection system (DCS) – the environmental incentive relating to the IMO DCS applies to ships of 5,000 GT and above that comply with Regulation 22A of MARPOL ANNEX VI, and ships that demonstrate reduction of the total fuel oil consumption in relation to the distance travelled, compared to the immediately previous reporting period, will obtain an annual tonnage tax rebate of between 10 and 20%; and
  • alternative fuels – vessels using an alternative fuel and achieving CO₂ emissions reductions of at least 20% in comparison with traditional fuels will receive a rebate on annual tonnage tax of between 15 and 30%, which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, following a review of the documents submitted from a class society.

However, any vessel detained for any reason during a PSC inspection – that violates any European Commission regulation related to environmental protection, or in laid-up condition (warm or cold) during the calendar year – will not be eligible for the incentive.

II. Ship registration procedures

a. Cyprus’ registry

Cyprus has an EU-approved open registry. The ship registry unit of the SDM is responsible for the registration of ships in the Register of Cyprus Ships and in the Special Book of Parallel Registration. In addition, it carries out all other transactions related to Cyprus ships, such as the transfer of ownership and the deregistration of ships, the registration of mortgages on Cyprus ships and other transactions related to such mortgages.

Under the Advocates Laws, Chapter 2, only lawyers registered as practising advocates in Cyprus are entitled to carry out registry transactions, acting on behalf of the owner and, therefore, the first step to be taken by persons interested in registering a ship under the Cyprus flag is to engage the services of a locally registered advocate.

b. Types of registration

According to the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Laws of 1963, as amended, which are the main statutes for all matters relating to the registration of ships and related transactions in the Register of Cyprus Ships, prima facie any ship used in navigation and not propelled by oars is eligible to be registered provisionally, permanently or in parallel (parallel-in and parallel-out) in Cyprus, given that she meets the age-related and type-related requirements, along with the ownership prerequisites.

The aforementioned Laws allow the provisional registration of a ship for a period of six months, provided she is out of the territorial waters of the Republic at the time of her registration and that she is not already a Cypriot ship. The provisional registration may be extended for another three months under special circumstances. Conversely, when a ship is in the territorial waters of the Republic, there is no option other than to ‘permanently’ register her directly.

c. Government policy on the registration of ships

The Registrar of Cyprus Ships does not consider applications for registering ships in either the Register of Cyprus Ships or in the Special Book of Parallel Registration if the ship:

  • at the time of the registration application, is banned (on PSC grounds) from entering ports of any States party to a PSC MOU or is banned by a State from entering its ports;
  • has been detained on PSC grounds on three or more occasions during the two-year period prior to the date of application by States of the Paris, Tokyo or Mediterranean MOU or by the USCG;
  • has been constructed for exclusive use on inland navigation or to be used exclusively on inland navigation (e.g., in internal waters, rivers, inland waterways, canals, natural or artificial lakes, water reservoirs or dams); or
  • at the time of filing the registration application, does not satisfy the conditions related to its age.

d. Condition of ownership

According to the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Laws of 1963, as amended, a ship is eligible for registration under the Cyprus flag if:

  • more than 50 per cent of the shares of the ship are owned by Cypriot citizens or by citizens of other EU or EEA Member States who, if not permanent residents of Cyprus, have appointed an authorised representative in Cyprus; or
  • 100 per cent of the shares are owned by one or more corporations that have been established and operate:
  1. in accordance with the laws of Cyprus and have their registered office in the Republic;
  2. in accordance with the laws of any EU or EEA Member State and have their registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the EU or EEA and that have either (1) appointed and maintained an authorised representative in Cyprus; or (2) ensured that the management of the ship is entrusted in full to a Cypriot or a Community ship management company with its place of business in Cyprus; or
  3. outside Cyprus or outside any other EU or EEA Member State but controlled by Cypriot citizens or citizens of Member States and have either appointed an authorised representative in Cyprus or ensured that 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 State when more than 50 per cent 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.

e. Appointment of authorised representative

According to the relevant provisions of the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Laws of 1963, as amended, an authorised representative may be:

  • a Cypriot citizen or a citizen of any other EU Member State (including Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein as parties to the European Economic Area) who is resident in the Republic within the meaning of the income tax laws of the Republic;
  • a partnership that has been established and registered in accordance with the provisions of the Partnerships and Business Trade Law, having its place of business in the Republic and employing permanent staff in the Republic;
  • a corporation that has been established and registered in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Law, having its place of business in the Republic and employing permanent staff in the Republic; or
  • a branch of any foreign company that has been established and registered in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Law, having its place of business in the Republic.

In practice, the authorised representative’s main responsibility is to be the contact link between the Registrar and the shipowner.

Any document that is required to be served to the shipowner, is deemed to be duly served if it is delivered to his or her representative. The authorised representative is then obliged to contact and inform them accordingly. On the other hand, however, authorised representatives shall not be responsible for any action or omission made by the shipowner. Therefore, a shipowner has to select his or her representative carefully.

f. Age-related requirements

The entry inspection and additional inspections specified in the table below are required to be carried out if the age of the ship is equal to or greater than the number of years indicated under the related conditions corresponding to the type of the ship.

Type of shipEntry inspection?Additional inspection required?
Cargo shipsYes, if ≥ 15 yearsNo
Passenger ships engaged in international or short international voyages or engaged in domestic voyages within the territory of a state other than CyprusYes, if ≥ 20 yearsYes, if ≥ 20 years, biennially
Fishing vessels under 25 years of ageYesYes, annually
Ships of types other than those listed aboveYes, if ≥ 15 years*No
*  Pleasure yachts, non-propelled craft and other vessels with a GT of less than 500 may be excluded from this condition.

All ships (except passenger ships and fishing vessels) of an age exceeding 25 years are required to comply with the following requirements:

  • entry inspection with satisfactory results that must be completed prior to the registration of the vessel in the Register of Cyprus Ships; and
  • provision of the ship’s records, age and detention history to justify such registration.

g. Timescale of entry inspection and additional inspections

The entry inspection shall be carried out within six months of the date of provisional, parallel-in or direct permanent registration of the ship. If a ship that is required to undergo an entry or additional inspection (or both) is laid up or is to be laid up within three months of the date of provisional, parallel-in or direct permanent registration, the entry inspection and, where required, the additional inspection will be postponed for the duration of the lay-up period and should be carried out no later than six months after the lay-up period ends.

If the parallel-out registration of a ship that is required to undergo an entry or additional inspection (or both), is effected within three months of the date of the provisional or direct permanent registration, the entry inspection and, where required, the additional inspection are postponed while the ship is registered in parallel in a foreign registry and should be carried out no later than six months after the date of expiry or termination of the period of parallel-out registration.

h. Technical Standards for certain categories of vessels issued under the Government Policy on the Registration of Vessels in the Cyprus Register of Ships

The SDM on 13 April 2021 established technical requirements for certain categories of vessels with respect to their registration in the Registry of Cyprus Ships. The purpose of the Standards is to specify technical requirements on areas not currently covered by National, European Union, or International Legislation, as well as to inform parties interested in the registration of vessels to whom the Standards apply in the Registry of Cyprus ships, of the available options offered by the SDM.

In particular, and in accordance with the categorization established within the Standards, these are applicable to the following categories of vessels:

  • ( Category A – Cargo ships of more than 24 metres in load line length and below 500GT.
  • ( Category B – Motor or sailing vessels used for pleasure and engaged in trade, of more than 24 metres in load line length and below 500GT carrying up to 12 passengers. Sail training vessels are also included in this category.
  • ( Category C – Motor or sailing vessels of more than 24 metres in load line length and below 500GT carrying up to 12 passengers, which at the time, are considered to be pleasure vessels not engaged in trade.
  • ( Category D – Vessels used for pleasure and engaged in trade carrying from 13 up to 36 passengers.

It is highlighted that the said technical Standards apply to Yachts and Mega Yachts.

i. Parallel registration

The Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Laws of 1963, as amended allow the parallel registration of vessels that are used in navigation and not propelled by oars in the Special Book of Parallel Registration. By parallel registration, a foreign vessel can be registered, for a certain period of time, under the Cyprus flag while at the same time continuing to be registered, in parallel, in the foreign registry and
Parallel-in registration

Parallel-in registration is used for cases of bareboat chartering where a bareboat charterer of a foreign ship wishes to register the ship in parallel under the Cyprus flag. The deletion of the ship from the registry of the state in which its ownership is registered is not required. However, its right to fly the flag of the state of registry and to have its nationality is suspended and the foreign registry remains operative only with respect to the ownership and encumbrance’s status of the ship. The period of parallel-in registration is usually two years and is renewable.

ii. Parallel-out registration

Parallel-out registration is used when a bareboat charterer wishes to register, in-parallel, a vessel that is already registered provisionally or permanently under the Cyprus flag, to a foreign registry. The deletion of the ship from the Register of Cyprus Ships where its ownership and mortgages are registered is neither required nor allowed. However, its right to fly the Cyprus flag and to have the Cypriot nationality is suspended. The period of parallel-out registration may be up to three years and is renewable.

j. Registration of mortgages

A mortgage against a ship can be registered at any time after the completion of the vessel’s registration (provisional, permanent or parallel-out) under the Cyprus flag.

By a registered mortgage, the shipowner can secure a loan or other financial benefits, subject to the conditions agreed between the contracting parties, without the need for exchange control permission. The creation of a mortgage under Cypriot law is not allowed on vessels registered parallel-in in the Register of Cyprus Ships. Under the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Laws of 1963, as amended, there is full protection for financiers and mortgagees and there is no stamp duty on ship mortgage deeds or other security documents.

A mortgage can be created independently of whether the ship is provisionally or permanently registered. If the ship against which a mortgage was created belongs to a Cypriot company, the mortgage will also have to be registered with the Registrar of Companies within a maximum period of 42 days after its creation.

In this way, mortgagees’ security is protected in the case of liquidation of the ship-owning company. Transfer of a mortgage may be effected by completing the statutory form of transfer and submitting it to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships or to a consular officer, together with the relevant deed of covenants. Both the statutory mortgage and the deed of covenants must be duly certified or notarised.

For discharging a mortgage, a memorandum of discharge is needed to be duly executed by the mortgagee. The same has to be later attested and delivered to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships or a consular officer on the instructions of the Registrar.

K. Registration achievements in the Register of Cyprus Ships

In July 2021, the shipping lawyer of the firm Mr. Zacharias L. Kapsis who heads the shipping department successfully handled and registered a vessel under Cyprus flag, which owns by an international foundation, proving to the Registrar that the foundation had a commercial nature and operation. According to Cyprus law, an eligible vessel must only be owned either by natural person or by legal entity.

In May 2019, a fishing vessel that was above the age limit set by governmental policy was initially refused registration by the Registrar of Cyprus Ships based on the age limit requirements; however, successful registration of the vessel was achieved also by the shipping lawyer of the firm Mr Zacharias L Kapsis, after proving that it had undergone a major conversion, ensuring the Registrar considered it as a new ship.

Moreover, in January 2019 the biggest ever newly built coastal passenger vessel was registered in the Register of Cyprus Ships, under the name Ocean Vision. The registration was successfully handed by the shipping lawyer of the firm Mr Zacharias L Kapsis. The aforesaid vessel has been characterised as a green ship, due to its environmentally friendly equipment, engines and facilities.

It is important to mention that Mr Zacharias L. Kapsis is the Secretary of the Shipping Committee of the Cyprus Bar Association and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Marine and Maritime Policy Research and Regional Cooperation (CM2PR2C) of the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute, which is the Cypriot Centre of Excellence in Marine and Maritime Research, Innovation and Technology Development, based in Larnaca, Cyprus. He has recently become a Safety Ambassador in both Cyprus and Greece of the project “Enhancing the Understanding of New and Enduring Challenges in Maritime Safety Culture in the Eastern Mediterranean”, which is implemented by the Cyprus and Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Associations (CYMEPA & HELMEPA) with the support of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation. Zacharias has an extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of both shipping and maritime laws and he has published a significant number of legal articles dealing with the shipping sector in Cyprus.

L. Classification societies

As at July 2019, Cyprus had approved all 12 International Association of Classification Societies members with no reservation on their approval. A model agreement has been drafted, governing the relations between the Cypriot government and the Recognised Organisations (classification societies) for statutory certification services. More specifically, the new agreement which was signed between the Republic of Cyprus and the Recognised Organisations, provides survey and certification services to ocean-going Cyprus flag ships on behalf of the Republic.

The conclusion of the new agreement with the 12 specialised and internationally acclaimed organisations was required as a result of legislative developments in shipping and to incorporate more flexible and technologically advanced procedures with the use of electronic services and certificates. In the new agreement the Croatian and Indian Registers of Shipping are included for the first time in the history of Cypriot shipping.

The performance of the classification societies is checked through biannual audits for the SDM or on auditing their performance. Any defect in their performance is discussed at the audits.

III.Benefit of Cyprus flag

a. Reputation of the Cyprus flag

  • A sovereign EU flag with long tradition.
  • Member of the IMO Council since 1987.
  • President of the Executive Committee of the Mediter­ranean MoU since October 2020.
  • Classified in the ‘White List’ of the Paris and Tokyo MoUs on Port State control.
  • Excluded from the ‘List of Targeted Flag States’ of the US Coast Guard.
  • Strong involvement in international shipping fora (IMO, ILO and EU).
  • 27 Merchant Shipping Bilateral Agreement.
  • Signatory to all international maritime conventions.

b. Taxation

CYPRUS TONNAGE TAX SYSTEM (TTS)

  • EU approved simplified Tonnage Tax System (i.e. no connection to corporate tax), extended to December 2029.
  • Taxed on the Net Tonnage of the ships, instead on the actual profits.
  • Available to Owners of Cyprus ships, Owners of Foreign ships, Charterers and Ship managers.
  • Wider list of eligible vessels and ancillary activities.
  • Discounted rates up to 30% on TTS for environmentally friendly vessels.
  • Owners of Cyprus Ships fall automatically within the scope of the TTS (no need to exercise an option).

TAX EXEMPTIONS:

  • NO TAX on income derived from the operation of qualifying ship(s) engaged in qualifying activity.
  • NO TAX on the income or profit made from the sale of a qualifying ship.
  • NO TAX on dividends paid to shareholders out of profits made from the operation or from the sale of qualifying ship(s).
  • NO TAX on income derived from the management of a qualifying ship.
  • NO TAX on dividends paid to shareholders out of profits made from the management of a qualifying ship.
  • NO TAX on bank interest earned on working capital of a qualifying ship.
  • NO TAX on the salary or other benefits of eligible seafarers on board a qualifying EU ship.

c. Economic benefits:

  • Nο Registration and Mortgage fees for ocean-going ships.
  • No cost for the issuance of the initial certificates of ocean-going ships.
  • Competitive yacht registration costs and fees.
  • Full protection for financiers and mortgagees under Cyprus flag.
  • Cyprus does not impose stamp duty on mortgage deeds on a ship or other security documents.
  • No registration duty is payable on the shares of a shipping company.
  • No estate duty on the inheritance of shares in a ship-owning company.
  • Low set-up and operating costs for companies.
  • Double tax relief on income subject to tax both in Cyprus and overseas.
  • Double tax avoidance agreements with more than 65 States.

d. Cyprus Ship Registry

  • An ‘open’ EU-approved Ship Registry.
  • Registration of the vessel within three to five working days.
  • Simplified Registration Procedures.
  • Competitive fees and dues.
  • Comprehensive and pioneering national legislation for the protection of Cyprus ships from piracy and other unlawful acts including a legal framework allowing and regulating the use of private armed security personnel in high-risk areas.

e. Services

  • Competent officers & surveyors available 24/7.
  • Maritime offices in Piraeus, London, Hamburg, Rotterdam, New York and Brussels.
  • A network of local inspectors of Cyprus ships, covering important ports worldwide in order to ensure efficient and effective control of Cyprus ships and to avoid detentions by port state control.

Provision of online services:

  1. E-Registration for ships (online applications).
  2. E-Verification of Cyprus Registry Certificates.
  3. Management of the electronic Tonnage Tax System.
  4. eSAS – Web services for the registration of seafarer and the recognition of certificates of competency.
  5. “Seafarers Career Information System” (SCIS) – A career database to facilitate the employment of seafarers.
  6. E-Deck logbooks and E-Record Books (ERBs) onboard Cyprus-flagged vessels.

f. Seafarers status

  • Formal crew change process during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Vaccination programme for Seafarers onboard Cyprus-flagged and Cyprus-managed vessels.
  • No nationality restrictions for crew and seafarers.
  • Recognition of seafarers’ certificates of competency of 70 countries.
  • Tax exceptions.

g. Green incentives programme 

  • Discounted rates on Tonnage Tax Scheme for environmentally-friendly vessels.
  • State aid scheme for coastal passenger vessels.

h. Recent Developments

  • Establishment of Shipping Deputy Ministry.
  • Development of Cyprus Ports.
  • Newly built marinas.
  • Redevelopment of fishing shelters.
  • Formulation of the national maritime spatial plan.
  • Development of blue growth strategy.

i. Shipping innovations in Cyprus  

Establishment of:

  • Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute
  • Cyprus centre for Land, Open Seas and Port Security
  • Cyprus Foundation of the Sea