The Cyprus Ship Registry

 

ADVANTAGES

Economic benefits:

  • 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.
  • Low registration costs.
  • Favourable tonnage tax scheme based on ship net tonnage.
  • No stamp duty on ship mortgage deeds or other security documents.
  • Double tax treaties with 43 countries.
  • No exchange control and freedom of movement of foreign currency
  • Full protection for financiers and mortgagees.
  • Low set up and operating costs for companies.

Other advantages:

  • EU flag
  • Classification of Cyprus flag in the White List of the Paris and Tokyo MOUs and exclusion from the “List of Targeted Flag States” of the US Coast Guard resulting in fewer inspections of the ships and less delays at the ports of both MOUs and of the US.
  • Maritime offices in New York, London, Rotterdam, Piraeus, Brussels and Hamburg offering services to Cyprus ships.
  • A network of local inspectors of Cyprus ships, covering important ports worldwide in order to ensure efficient and effective control of Cypriot vessels and to avoid detentions by port state control.
  • Signatory to all international maritime conventions on safety and pollution prevention.
  • Bilateral agreements with 26 countries, through which Cypriot ships receive either national or favoured nation treatment in the ports of other countries. Those agreements with labour supplying countries provide for specific terms of employment which are beneficial to both the shipowners and the seafarers.
  • Efficient and qualitative provision of services by the Department of Merchant Shipping

OWNERSHIP REQUIREMENTS

  1. More than half of the shares (50%) of the ship must be owned by Cypriot citizens or by citizens of Member States of the EU or of the European Economic Area who in the instance of not being permanent residents of the Republic will have to appoint an authorised representative in the Republic of Cyprus, or
  2. The total (100%) of the shares of the ship must be owned by corporations, which operate in accordance with the laws of the Republic and have their registered office in the Republic of Cyprus, or they operate in accordance with the laws of any other EU or EEA Member State and have their registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the European Economic Area or by corporations registered outside the EU or the EEA but controlled by Cypriot citizens or citizens of a Member State. In both the latter cases they must have either appointed an authorised representative in Cyprus or the management of the ship must be entrusted in full to a Cypriot or Community shipmanagement company in Cyprus.

Applications for registration of ships must be made through law firms in Cyprus. At the time of its registration, the ship must be surveyed by an approved classification society.

 

TYPES OF REGISTRATION

Provisional registration of a ship may remain in force for six months. Thereafter, it may be renewed once, for a further three months.

Permanent registration. The permanent registration of a provisionally registered vessel must be effected within 6 months (or 9 months if the 3 month extension has been obtained) from the date on which she was provisionally registered.

Parallel (Bareboat) Registration: The Cyprus legislation provides for the two forms or bareboat registration internationally accepted e.g. the “Parallel-in” registration and the “Parallel-out” registration of vessels, provided certain prerequisites are fulfilled.

The Parallel-in registration offers the possibility to a foreign flag vessel on bareboat charter to a Cyprus Shipping company to be registered in parallel under the Cyprus flag for a period, usually of 2 years.

The Parallel-out registration offers the possibility to owners of Cyprus ships to bareboat charter them to a foreign person or company and to effect a “Parallel” registration in a foreign register for the duration of the charter party.

REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

  • Application for registration;
  • Company Memorandum and Articles of Association and corporate certificates; if owner is a physical person then passport copy/i.d.
  • Appointment of Authorised Representative in the case of a Company established outside the Republic of Cyprus or in the case of a non-Cypriot citizen;
  • Resolutions of the Directors of the Company/ Power of Attorney for the purchase of the vessel and its registration in the Register of Cyprus Ships, duly certified;
  • Bill of Sale/ Builder’s Certificate, duly certified;
  • Deletion Certificate from the previous registry (where applicable);
  • Forms ISPS (where applicable);
  • Continuous Synopsis Record (C.S.R.) (where applicable);
  • Declaration of Ownership;
  • Form for the Registration Form of a Mobile Maritime Radio Station/ copy of Shore Based Maintenance Agreement;
  • Form for the Registration of SAR Particulars (where applicable);
  • Confirmation of Radio Traffic Accounting Authority (where applicable);
  • Confirmation of Classification Society (where applicable);
  • ISM forms (where applicable);
  • Declaration of Owner of a Cyprus Ship in the case of a qualifying ship engaged in a qualifying shipping activity;
  • Certificate of Insurance for Maritime Claims, e.g. Certificate of Entry issued by the vessel´s P&I Club for vessels of a gross tonnage of 300 and above;
  • Application and certificate of insurance (Blue Card) for the issuing of a Certificate under the 2001 Bunkers Convention for vessels of a gross tonnage of 1000 and above;
  • Application and certificate of insurance (Blue Card) for the issuing of a Certificate under the 1992 CLC Convention for tankers with a carrying capacity above 2000 tons ;
  • Certificate of Survey;
  • International Tonnage Certificate;
  • Safety Management Certificate (SMC) (where applicable);
  • Entry Inspection Report (where applicable)

MORTGAGES

A mortgage once created must be deposited with the Registrar of Cyprus Ships or with a consular officer on the instructions of the Registrar. The mortgage is recorded in the Register as from the date and hour of its deposit and remains an encumbrance on the vessel until discharged. A mortgage may be created independently of whether the ship is provisionally or permanently registered. If the ship on which a mortgage was created belongs to a Cypriot company, the mortgage will also have to be registered with the Registrar of Companies. The mortgagee’s security is protected in the case of liquidation of the shipowning company.

AGE LIMIT

Vessels of any size and type may be registered in the Cyprus Register of Ships or the Special Book of Parallel Registration as long as they comply with the provisions contained in the merchant shipping legislation and the circulars of the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS) and satisfy certain conditions according to their age and type.

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS ADOPTED

Cyprus is a member of the IMO and the ILO, and has ratified or adopted all international maritime conventions:

APPROVED CLASSIFICATION SOCIETIES

ABS, LRS, DNV, BV, GL, RINA, NKK, KRS, CCS, RS, PRS.