Archive for June, 2016

We are proud to announce that we have been awarded by Acquisition International as the Best Corporate Law Firm- Cyprus & the Best for Cross-Border M&A – Cyprus.

We are proud to announce that Acquisition International a member of the publishing house, Al Global Media has selected Christodoulos G. Vassiliades & Co LLC as winner in two categories: Best Corporate Law Firm- Cyprus and Best for Cross-Border Mergers & Acquisitions – Cyprus.

Acquisition International awards are highly reputable due to the validity of their awards and winners, which is echoed in the demanding and meticulous nomination procedure, also reflected in the judging and selection processes. Every single award is handed solely on merit, no commercial requirements are taken into play, no awards are guaranteed by payment and there are no barriers to entry. Therefore, the only factors that determine the award success are the work a company does and the results it achieves.

m&a award aquisition international award_2016_29.6

The 2016 Acquisition International M&A awards are keen on displaying the hard work, dedication and determination of firms throughout the professional sphere, as voted for by their clients and commercial counterparts. The Acquisition International awards are regularly featured in news and press outlets across the globe.

Throughout this time, and despite many challenges, the M&A industry has remained strong where others have faltered, and, as the global economy continues to strengthen and with a sustained boom looking ever more likely, this year is no exception.Despite the challenging outlook on the global economy, the M&A awards by Acquisition International aim to celebrate the exceptional efforts and remarkable achievements of all those involved in ascertaining, managing and effecting the important deals which take businesses, industries and even entire countries forward.

Our M&A lawyers have a strong and long track record in M&A transactions, having dealt with numerous domestic and cross-border transactions. We offer advice on strategy and optimal structures, carry out due diligence on a target, engage in negotiations and prepare all requisite documentation to complete the deal.

2016 proves to be an extremely successful year for us and we have shown once again excellence not only in our expertise but in service.

We pride ourselves in providing excellent service to all our clients and are particularly pleased when our efforts are recognised and rewarded.

Department of Merchant Shipping Circular No. 18/2016 : Cyprus Seafarer’s Identification and Sea Service Record Book Amendments

As per Circular No.18/2016 of the Department of Merchant Shipping of Cyprus issued on 16th June we note that the format of page 2 of the Seafarers’ Identification and Sea Service Record Book (SISSRB) has been revised. As there were misinterpretations during Port State Control inspections the field Certificate of Maritime Competence has been deleted. Namely misinterpretations occured when the seafarer was promoted and the capacity mentioned on the SISSRB was not the same as on his/her Certificate of Competency.

Further the Cyprus SISSRB serves as an identification document to register the seafarer’s sea service and it is neither a travelling document or a certificate of competency. Finally as the requirements for Cyprus SISSRBs are national requirements any Port State Control Authorities cannot delay or detain Cyprus Ships for reasons concerning SISSRB.

The above circular No.18/2016 compliments the following circulars:

  1. Circular No.14/2001 dated 29th June 2001
  2. Circular No. 02/2005 dated 25th January 2005
  3. Circular No. 25/2007 dated 19th December 2007
  4. Circular No. 11/2009 dated 26th May 2009
  5. Circular No. 44/2011 dated 18th November 2011 and
  6. Circular No. 60/2012 dated 13th November 2012

CYPRUS UKRAINE FORUM “REFORMS AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES”

SPS_0103-1

The Cyprus – Ukraine Business Association organized on June 3rd, 2016 in Hilton Park Nicosia, the ‘Cyprus – Ukraine’ Forum entitled “Reforms and New Opportunities”.

The key note speaker was the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nicos Anastasiades. The President stressed the solid economic relationship which has been long lasting between the two countries. Impressive facts and figures have been presented, as for example an increase in tourism from Ukraine to Cyprus by 23% from 2014 until now. Additionally taking into account the first four months of 2016 the increase in tourist from Ukraine has increased by 16% compared to the same time frame last year – 2015. It was also presented that Direct Investment from Cyprus to Ukraine amounted to 11.8 billion. The importance of nurturing the existing and identifying new joint business opportunities was the core message of the President in closing.

Apart from the President, there were a number of other speakers who discussed various topics related to doing business with Cyprus as well as business opportunities and practical examples.

H.E. Mr. Borys Humeniuk – Ambassador of Ukraine to Cyprus, highlighted Ukraine’s projected increase of GDP by 2% in 2017, in comparison to the 1% increase in 2016 year. This rise is encouraging Ukraine to prioritize promoting its business sector by actively fighting against corruption, gaining public procurement control as well as strengthening the relationships between countries investing in Ukraine. Hence, emphasis is placed on the consolidation of the relationship between two countries, due to Cyprus being the biggest investor in Ukraine. H.E. Humeniuk signified that Mr. Anastasiades’ visit to Ukraine, in December 2015, is an example of such efforts being materialized.

Mr. Michalis Michael -the president of the Cyprus-Ukraine Business Association, has emphasised once again that Ukraine is vital to the Cyprus economy as it is the biggest foreign investor. Christodoulos G. Vassiliades & Co LLC was represented by our Associate, Anna Maria Vassiliades. She addressed the plethora of tax benefits which derive from the Cyprus non-domicile.

We were pleased to have been part of this great event and to share our knowledge and experience with the esteemed audience. We shall do our utmost to promote and maintain the excellent relationship between the two countries and its people.

For more information on the Business Forum, please refer to the below link:

http://www.ccci.org.cy/cyprus-ukraine-business-forum-june-3-2016/

SPS_0004-1SPS_0030SPS_0043SPS_0052SPS_0078-2SPS_01151 (3)SPS_0098-2

International Shipping Exhibition Posidonia – Athens 2016

posidonia 1

Posidonia 2016 “ The International Shipping Exhibition” was held from June 6 – 10 in Athens, Greece, by the Greek shipping community and the five major associations representing Greek shipping interests, namely the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy, Municipality of Piraeus, Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, Union of Greek Shipowners, Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee, Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association and Association of Passenger Shipping Companies.

Posidonia’s solid international following of 1,843 exhibitors, among which 322 Greek companies and 19,000 visitors from 93 countries in 2014, makes it the largest gathering in the international shipping calendar. This year the attendees surpassed these numbers with a record of almost 2,000 exhibitors and over 20,000 visitors from around the world, including ship management companies, shipping law firms, propulsion system makers, classification societies, and many more. The exhibition included technical presentations that give the industry’s innovators a platform to display for their latest vessel designs, along with eco-ship technologies, communications, propulsion systems and other vital developments.

Being at the heart of the global shipping industry, the event aims at highlighting key issues for Greek shipping, through conferences and seminars chaired by industry leaders, as well as through dynamic discussions about issues, challenges and opportunities facing the industry like the current unfavourable market conditions, such as the instability of oil prices, and slowing economic growth in big economies, such as China.

Shipowners, shipbrokers, consultants and generally professionals of every field, successfully held conferences, seminars, workshops, covering every aspect of shipping during the Posidonia 2016, which was a great opportunity for interractin and provision of services directly to the Greek and International shipping community.

Christodoulos G. Vassiliades Law Firm has attended the prestigious event along with CHRISTODOULOS G. VASSILIADES & CO. LLC, which , along with tax specialists from Intertax Audit and officials from the Department of Merchant Shipping of Cyprus, held a seminar on 10th June 2016 named ‘Cyprus: sailing to the future… solutions for the shipping industry’.

Amongst the speakers of the seminar were Mr. Christodoulos G. Vassiliades, managing director at CGV & Co LLC, Mrs. Maria G. Hadjivarnava, head of shipping at CGV & Co LLC, Mr. Kyriacos Kenevezos, ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus in Athens, Mr. Alecos Michaelides Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, Mr. Andreas Chrysostomou, ex director of the Department of Merchant Shipping, Mr. Andreas Varianos, director at Intertax Audit Auditors & Consultants, and Mr. Sofoklis Michael, tax manager at Intertax Audit Auditors & Consultants.

The main topics discussed were the historical relationship between Cyprus and shipping, the challenges and prospects of Cyprus Shipping and tax solutions whereby the benefits from the non- domiciled concept were outlined.

Please view the full presentations and speeches in the event.

Introductory Speech by Christodoulos G. Vassiliades

Ambassador’s speech Kyriacos Kenevezos Poseidonia 2016

Cyprus and shipping An unchallenged pair by Andreas Chrysostomou

Permanent Secretary Speech Ministry of Transport by Alecos Michaelides

Cyprus Shipping New Challenges and Prospects by Alecos Michaelides

posidonia 3posidonia 4posidonia 2picture 7 picture 8

 

 

1st ENGLISH- CYPRIOT LAW DAY

English Cyprus Law Day _pic2

CHRISTODOULOS G. VASSILIADES & Co LLC has attended the 1st English – Cypriot Law day conference which took place on Friday 3rd June in Nicosia. This was the first event co-organised by the two Bar Associations with main emphasis at the strengthening and promoting on the longstanding relations between them.

The attendees had the opportunity to listen to interesting speeches and participate in round table discussions covering a variety of topics, all being on the everyday agenda of legal professionals.

The Brussels Regulation recast (REGULATION (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council) and the key improvements made to Brussels Regulation (COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 44/2001) were presented during the first session. Among others, the prevention of the so called “Torpedo actions” was highlighted, as Article 31.2 of the recast gives priority to the court selected by the parties to an agreement, even in case proceedings that have already been brought before another court, ensuring the effectiveness of jurisdiction clauses.

Additionally, the new “compliance era” was examined under the prism of the 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive (DIRECTIVE (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council) and the current requirements of the regulating authorities in the UK and Cyprus, hence highlighting the necessity for keeping updated client records. Issues such as the obligation to report suspicious activity, legal privilege, new systems of sharing information and the balance between human rights and prevention of criminal activities, were raised, as part of the round table discussions.

The next session dealt with the developments in urgent interim relief. Relevant case law was presented in detail, beginning with the Chabra case (TSB Private Bank International v Chabra [1992] 1 WLR 231) where it was established that Courts have jurisdiction to grant freezing orders against not only parties to a cause of action but also third parties. Recent cases were also presented, in which both Cypriot and English Courts addressed the matter under different perspectives (eg Seamark Consultancy Services Ltd και Άλλοι ν. Joseph P Lasala και Άλλων, (2007) 1 Α.Α.Δ. 162, Helington Commodities Ltd και Άλλοι , (2009) 1 Α.Α.Δ. 926, Αποστόλου Μάριος και άλλη ν. Ροδούλας Ιωάννου και άλλου (2012) 1 Α.Α.Δ. 604, EAGLE PROPERTIES (NO 14) LIMITED ν. KM LOTURE AGRO HOLDING LIMITED κ.α., Αρ. Αίτησης: 2418/13, PJSC Vseukrainskyi Aktsionernyi Bank v Maksimov & Ors [2013] EWHC).

In closing, the developments on the registration and enforcement of judgments in the UK and Cyprus as well as various UK and EU issues in a Cypriot context were discussed, on which the attendees had a chance to raise questions and express their views.

Initiatives like this event undeniably bring closer the members of the Cypriot and English Bar Associations, strengthening the ties between them along with building a better legal network. The attendees have witnessed fruitful discussions and insightful remarks. Hopefully this conference is the first of many to follow.

For the event’s presentations, please see : Presentation for English-Cypriot Law Day 2016

Department of Merchant Shipping Circular No. 16/2016 : The implementation of the Provisions of the U.N. Security Council Resolutions or Decisions ( Sanctions) and the E.U. Council Decisions and Regulations ( Restrictive Measures) of 2016 (Law 58(I)/2016)

As per Circular No.16/2016 of the Department of Merchant Shipping of Cyprus issued on 27th May 2016 The implementation of the Provisions of the U.N. Security Council Resolutions or Decisions ( Sanctions) and the E.U. Council Decisions and Regulations ( Restrictive Measures) of 2016 (Law 58(I)/2016) hereinafter referred to as “the Law” has been entered into force.

The Law sets out the obligations of individuals and legal entities in Cyprus to comply with UN Security Council and EU Decisions and Regulations alike.

Furthermore responsibility for compliance of the Law has been given to the relevant Ministries, independent agencies or supervisory bodies in Cyprus which are given the authority to issue instructions to individuals or legal entities under their supervision and report any violations of the Law to the Cyprus Police.

Penalties for violation of the Law range from €100,000 and/or 2 years in jail for individuals and €300,000 for legal entities. The Law also empowers the customs authorities to compound offences under the Customs Code Law mutatis mutandis in respect to the offences under the Law.

The enactment of the Merchant Shipping (Port State Control) (Amendment) Law of 2015 (Law 155(I)/2015) and the Merchant Shipping (Port State Control) Notification of 2015 (P.I.411/2015)

The Amendment Law 155(I)/2015* and Notification P.I. 411/2015* have been adopted to transpose into our national legislation the European Directive 2013/38/EU.

Amendment Law 155(I)/2015 incorporates the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, (MLC) in the implementation list of the conventions which are checked from the Port State Control and urges the Competent Authority to accept the Maritime Labour Certificate and the Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliances as proof of compliance with the MLC requirements and to adopt the onshore seafarer complaint – handling procedures set by the MLC.

Notification P.I 411/2015 transposes into our national legislation the Annexes of EU Directive 2009/16/EU.

*translated text into English of Laws 155(I)/2015, together with a translation of Notification P.I. 411/2015 is available on the Department’s website at http://www.shipping.gov.cy (selecting Legislation/Consolidated Cyprus Shipping Legislation/National Instruments)