Cyprus Ship Registration

What are the advantages of a ship registered under a Cyprus Flag?

There is a plethora of significant reasons why someone should register a ship under the Cyprus Flag.

The economic benefits are the following:

  • 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 54 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.

P>What are the ownership requirements in order to be able to register a ship?

There are two ways to qualify to register a ship:

A) The shareholder must own more than half of the shares (50%) of the ship and must be Cypriot citizens or citizens of Member States of the EU or of the European Economic Area.

The EU or EEA citizens who are not permanent residents of the Republic may appoint an authorised representative in the Republic of Cyprus,

OR

B) 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 ship management company in Cyprus.

What are the types of Registration?

  • Provisional registration of a ship may be effected either in Limassol, by the Registrar of Cyprus Ships or at any Diplomatic Mission or Consular post of the Republic of Cyprus abroad who will act on instructions issued by the Registrar of Cyprus Ships. The provisional registration 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.

What are the requirements relevant to the process as to the crew members?

Crew members may be of any nationality provided they are holders of certificates of competency issued by one of the countries, whose certificate of competency Cyprus has recognised. Officers have to apply for endorsement of their certificates of competency in accordance with the STCW 1978 Convention as amended. Cyprus recognises the certificates of competency of 65 countries.

What are the requirements as to the type and age of the ship?

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.

Related conditions
Type of ship Maximum age limit Entry inspection required Additional inspection required
Cargo ships and Cargo High Speed Craft Yes ≤ 25 years Yes if ≥ 15 years Yes if ≥ No
Passenger ships and Passenger High Speed Craft engaged on international or short international voyages No Yes if ≥ 30 years Yes
if 2 years ≤ Age ≤ 10 years
Biennial
if Age > 10 year
Annual
Passenger ships and Passenger High Speed Craft engaged on domestic voyages within the territory of a State, other than Cyprus No Yes if ≥ 25 years Yes
if 2 years ≤ Age ≤ 10 years
Biennial
if Age > 10 year
Annual
Passenger ships and Passenger High Speed Craft engaged on domestic voyages within the territory of Cyprus No Yes if ≥ 20 years No
In order to operate they are required to be inspected and certified annually
Related conditions
Type of ship Maximum age limit Entry inspection required Additional inspection required
Fishing vessel Yes ≤ 25 years Yes if ≥ 20 years No
Floating Production Storage Offloading; Floating Storage Offloading Vessels and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units Yes ≤ 25 years Yes if ≥ 15 years No
Ships of types other than those listed above Yes ≤ 35 years Yes ≤ 20 years Yes
if 2 years ≤ Age ≤ 10 years
Biennial
if Age > 10 year
Annual
Passenger ships and Passenger High Speed Craft engaged on domestic voyages within the territory of Cyprus No Yes if ≥ 20 years Yes if the ship is carrying industrial or special purpose personnel and 2 years ≤ Age ≤ 10 years Biennial Age > 10 years Annual

“Cargo ship” means a ship which has been constructed or adapted for the purpose of carrying cargo in any form.
“Passenger ship” means a ship which has been constructed or adapted for the purpose of carrying fare-paying passengers.

Previous Cyprus Shipping Company

Contact one of our officers to initiate the incorporation of a Cyprus registered company and start reaping the full benefits of an onshore, low-tax, EU jurisdiction. Simply fill in the contact box below or contact us by email on enquiries@fbscyprus.com

Is your message urgent?
YesNo

  • Your Name (required)
  • Your Email (required)
  • Your Mobile
  • Subject
  • Your Message
  • Input this code      captcha