Since independence in 1960, Cyprus has recognised the importance and potential of shipping, and government policy has succeeded in attracting shipping entrepreneurs and developing the island into a world-class shipping centre combining both a sovereign flag and a resident shipping industry, as well as one of the world’s largest third-party ship management centres. The Cyprus registry ranks tenth among international fleets, with 1,857 ocean-going vessels with an aggregate gross tonnage of more than 21 million tonnes.
Registering a vessel in Cyprus
Vessels of any size may be registered in the Register of Cyprus Ships or under the Special Book of Parallel Registration as long as the applicable age related and type requirements are complied with. ‘’Age’’ means the age of the ship delivered by deduction the year in which the keel of the ship was late from the year in which the application for its registration was submitted with the Registrar Cyprus Ships.
The registration of a vessel in the Register of Cyprus Ships or the Special Book of Parallel Registration, may be allowed as long as the requirements relating to the type and age of the ship are complied with.
A vessel can only be registered in the Register of Cyprus Ships only if Cypriot citizens owe more than 50% of the shares or by citizens of other EU member states who in case of not receding permanently in the Cyprus Republic, will appointed an authorized representative in the Republic. The above Company must be registered as a limited liability Company under the provision of the Cyprus Companies Law.
There are three types of vessel registration in Cyprus and are as follows:
Low set up and operating costs for companies.
Low registration costs for vessels
No tax on profits from the operation or management of a Cyprus-registered vessel or on dividends received from a vessel-owning company.
No income tax on the wages of officers and crew.
No stamp duty on ship mortgage deeds or other security documents.
Double tax treaties with 43 countries.
Full protection for financiers and mortgagees.
Cyprus has a team of Local inspectors, covering important ports worldwide in order to ensure efficient and effective control of Cypriot vessels and avoid detentions by port state control.
Cyprus flag is listed in the White List of the Paris and Tokyo MOUs and is excluded from the “List of Targeted Flag States” of the US Coast Guard.
Cyprus has Maritime offices in New York, London, Rotterdam, Piraeus, Brussels and Hamburg offering services to Cyprus ships.
Cyprus is a Signatory to all international maritime conventions on safety and pollution prevention.
Cyprus has Bilateral agreements with 26 countries, through which Cypriot ships receive either national or favoured nation treatment in the ports of other countries.
Efficient and qualitative provision of services by the Department of Merchant Shipping
Favourable Tonnage Tax system
The Cyprus Tonnage Tax System offers a competitive advantage and covers all three maritime activities including ship-owning, ship-management (crew and technical management) and chartering.