Cyprus – An internationally renowned shipping center
Cyprus is an internationally renowned shipping center, home to some of the world’s leading names of the global shipping industry. The country’s accession to the European Union, in 2004, further boosted the reputation and overall image of the Cyprus flag and the infrastructure of Cyprus’ shipping.
The country’s unique geographical location at the crossroads of three continents, its advanced infrastructure and services, as well as the very competitive shipping taxation and other strategic advantages, make Cyprus the ideal location for ship-owning, ship-management, ship-chartering and ancillary shipping-related services.
Cyprus has a well-functioning legal system based on common law and other principles established through historical links with the United Kingdom. Shipping legislation, as well as commercial and banking practices are all essentially based on the British model.
The Cyprus shipping sector
More than 140 ship owning, ship management and shipping related companies are controlling a merchant fleet of 2,200 vessels, with 50 million Gross Tonnage.
Cyprus has the 10th largest merchant fleet in the world and the 3rd largest merchant fleet in the EU. Cyprus is considered as the 2nd largest Ship Management Centre in the world, while being the largest third party Ship Management Centre in the EU.
Advantages of Cyprus
Cyprus has the only EU-approved “Open Registry” Regime with a very wide and legally endorsed Tonnage Tax System (TTS), which was introduced with the Merchant Shipping Law in 2010 and covers the three main “maritime transport” activities: ship owning, ship management (crew and technical management), and chartering. Cyprus has adopted a maritime safety policy, which focuses on the effective control of ships and the improvement of the quality of the country’s merchant fleet. Cyprus’ Maritime Offices are located in Limassol (Cyprus), as well as Hamburg (Germany), New York (USA), London (UK), Athens (Greece),
Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Brussels (Belgium). In addition to tax incentives and the country’s excellent geographical location, Cyprus maintains its competitive advantages through a high quality maritime cluster, offering efficient and quality services, as well as:
∂ Competitive ship registration fees
∂ Recognition of Competence Certificates from many countries
∂ Bilateral agreements of cooperation in merchant shipping with 23 countries
∂ Classification of the Cyprus flag on the “White List” of the Paris and Tokyo MoUs
∂ Beneficial owners’ protection through nominee or trustee shareholders
∂ Advanced maritime infrastructure (two deep sea multipurpose ports in Limasol and Larnaca)
∂ No income tax, estate duty or capital gains tax for Cyprus-registered ships
∂ No stamp duty on documents or mortgage deeds
∂ Easy deletion from the Cyprus Shipping Register