Shipping in Cyprus

Cyprus is an internationally renowned shipping centre, which is home to some of the world’s leading names of the global shipping industry. The accession of Cyprus to the European Union in 2004, the tax reform and the government policy, further boosted the reputation and overall image of the Cyprus Flag and the infrastructure of Cyprus Shipping in general.


Cyprus Shipping Sector makes a substantial contribution to the Cypriot economy, with recent figures indicating that shipping accounts to approximately 7% of the country’s GDP. The country’s unique geographical position at the crossroads of three continents, the advanced infrastructure and services, its very attractive shipping taxation system, as well as other competitive advantages make Cyprus the ideal location for ship-owning, ship management, crew management, ship chartering and ancillary shipping related services.

Cyprus’ Shipping Sector present facts are:
  • Over 150 ship-owning, ship management, chartering and shipping related companies controlling a merchant fleet of 2,300 vessels with 50 million gross tonnage, while employing approximately 4,500 employees and 55,000 seafarers. More than 1,000 registered vessels with 21 million gross tonnage are registered under the Cyprus flag.
  • 10th largest merchant fleet in the world
  • 3rd largest merchant fleet in the EU
  • Ship management Centre amongst top three in the world
  • the largest third party Ship management Centre in the EU Cyprus has an EU-approved “Open Registry” regime with a very wide and legally endorsed Tonnage Tax System (TTS), which has been introduced with the Merchant Shipping Law in 2010, and covers the three main “maritime transport” activities, namely, ship-owning, ship-management (crew and technical management) and chartering.

Ship with Cyprus flag owners fall automatically under the new tonnage tax regime, whereas ship owners of foreign flag ships, charterers and ship managers may opt to be taxed under the tonnage tax system (TTS) under certain conditions.

Advantages of Cyprus Shipping

In addition to the country’s strategic geographical location, Cyprus maintains a wide range of competitive advantages through a high quality maritime cluster, offering efficient and quality services, including:

  • The latest EU-approved Tonnage Tax System (TTS) with no direct link to corporate tax;
  • Cyprus ship registration competitive costs and fees;
  • No crew/officers nationality restrictions;
  • 28 Merchant Shipping Bilateral Agreements;
  • Signatory to all international maritime conventions on safety, security and pollution prevention;
  • Full protection for financiers and mortgagees;
  • White List of Paris and Tokyo MOUs. Advantages of the Cyprus Tonnage Tax System (TTS):
  • No tax on qualifying shipping activities other than “Tonnage Tax”;
  • No tax on shipping profits made from qualifying shipping activities including profits from the sale of qualifying ships;
  • No tax on dividends paid out of profits made from qualifying shipping activities;
  • No tax on wages or benefits of seafarers on qualifying Cyprus flag ships. Cyprus’ Shipping Sector offers wider industry benefits, which include:
  • Approximately 50 Double Tax Avoidance Treaties;
  • No estate duty on the inheritance of shares in a ship owning company;
  • No stamp duty on ship mortgage deeds or other security documents;
  • Efficient, qualitative and reliable services to the shipping industry;
  • Strong involvement in international shipping fora (IMO, ILO) and the E.U.

Cyprus Maritime

All the above reiterate the enormous potential that the industry enjoys while also highlighting its importance within the Cyprus Economy. To add to these, the existence of word-class deep water natural gas reserves in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is bringing new and exciting opportunities, which naturally the Shipping Sector activities will be closely connected to. In addition, with the ongoing energy developments in the neighbouring countries, prospects may be there for Cyprus to become an energy hub in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In any case, Cyprus with its attractive shipping tax regime, competitive registration fees, well-regarded shipping legislation, reputation of safety and maritime expertise, is likely to remain one of the most important and high quality shipping industry clusters worldwide.

Cyprus Ship Registration

Cyprus vessel Registration

Cyprus Flag ship and vessels

A ship may be registered in Cyprus once it fulfils one of the following criteria A) More than half (50%) of the shares 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 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 of 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.

Cyprus Yachts and other pleasure crafts may also be registered in Cyprus. Cyprus 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. Furthermore Cyprus enacted an Anti-Piracy Law; a comprehensive and pioneer legislation for the protection of Cyprus ships from piracy and other unlawful acts, including a legal framework allowing and regulating the use of private armed security personnel in high-risk areas.

Register a Cyprus Shipping Company or Register a Ship with Cyprus Flag, Cyprus Yachts registration.

 P. KALOPETRIDES & CO is having a specialized and long experience in the field.  OUR SERVICES include…

Contact us for further information.

Tel: +357 22 669017 or use the email form : P.Kalopetrides & Co.

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Head office

2 Christ. Sozos Str. Eiffel Tower, 1096 Nicosia, Cyprus
P.O.Box 21855, 1514 Nicosia, Cyprus

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Limassol / Lemesos
Paphos / Pafos