Given the unique characteristics of the island, Cyprus will always have a prominent place in the global maritime issues. Cyprus maritime tax system, registration procedures and other maritime policies, attract numerous ship owners yearly, making the fleet of ships registered under the Cyprus flag, one of the largest fleets in the world.

It is worth mentioning that the Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry to the President (SDM), which is currently responsible for the maritime/ shipping matters was established on 1st of March 2018, replacing the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS). Prior to this formation, the DMS was a distinct entity in the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, since 1977.

Our Law Firm, having a long experience in Maritime Law, is able to offer its clients any kind of services related to the legal aspects of maritime affairs such as:

  • Vessels’ registration under Cyprus flag
  • Vessel’s registration in foreign jurisdictions
  • Claims for loss or damaged cargo
  • Collisions damages
  • Financing, security and the enforcement of mortgages
  • Freight and off-hire disputes
  • General average
  • Personal injury claims
  • Pollution casualties
  • Problems relating to the employment of officers and crew
  • Salvage and damage limitation
  • Shipping company law and tax issues
  • Legal advice concerning maritime issues

Our Law Firm, has for the time being, registered ships in a plethora of foreign jurisdictions such as:

  • Jamaica
  • Liberia
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Bahamas
  • Gibraltar
  • Seychelles
  • Isle of Man
  • Sierra Leone
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Marshall Islands
  • Panama
  • Belize
  • Malta
  • The United Kingdom
  • Greece
  • Delaware (Yacht Registration)

Why Cyprus maritime legal status

Leading ship-owners prefer to register their vessels in Cyprus for the following reasons: 

  • Member of the European Union & the Eurozone.
  • The 3rd largest merchant fleet in Europe and the 11th largest fleet globally.
  • First third-party ship management centre in the European Union and amongst the top 3 wordlwide.
  • Over 200 shipping related companies based in Cyprus.
  • Classification of Cyprus flag among the flags listed in the white list of the Paris & Tokyo MOUs.
  • Maritime Offices in Piraeus, London, Hamburg, Rotterdam, New York and Brussels.
  • Democratic country with a free market economy, in a strategic location at the crossroads of three continents.
  • Modern and efficient legal, accounting and banking services based on English practices, and a liberal Foreign Direct Investment regime allowing up to 100% foreign participation in most sectors of the economy.
  • National legislation according to the acquis communautaire.
  • Signatory to all International Maritime Conventions on Safety and Pollution prevention.
  • Member of the International Maritime (IMO) and Labour (ILO) Organisations.
  • No exchange control and thus there is freedom of movement of foreign currency.
  • Double tax treaties with more than 60 countries.
  • No tax on profits from the operation or management of a Cypriot registered vessel or on dividends received from a ship-owning company.
  • No capital gains tax on the sale or transfer of a Cypriot registered vessel or the shares of a ship-owning company.
  • No estate duty on the inheritance of shares in a ship-owning company.
  • No income tax on the earnings of officers and crew.
  • No stamp duty on ship mortgage deeds or other security documents. Cyprus is a signatory to numerous international maritime conventions.
  • Bilateral agreements with 27 countries, through which Cypriot ships receive either national or favoured nation treatment in the ports of other countries.
  • Ship registration costs and annual tonnage taxes are competitive.
  • Tonnage tax system approved by the European Union.
  • Full protection for financiers and mortgagees.
  • Favourable tax regime for ship management.
  • Appealing Yacht VAT Scheme.
  • Low set up and operating costs for companies. Excellent telecommunications and easy access by air and sea.
  • Highly qualified managerial, clerical and technical staff available by the Shipping Deputy Ministry to the President.