i. Relevant Law
All matters relating to the registration of ships and the related transactions in the Special Book of Parallel Registration are governed by the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Law of 1963, as amended (‘’the Law’’).
Applications for the registration of ships and for the related transactions in the Special Book of Parallel Registration must be submitted to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships.
Under the Advocates Laws Cap 2, only lawyers registered as practising advocates in Cyprus, are entitled to carry out all registry transactions, acting on behalf of the owner(s).
The registration of ships and the related transactions are effected by the Registrar of Cyprus Ships (the Registrar), who is stationed at the Head Office of the Shipping Deputy Ministry in Limassol.
The legislation requires the payment of the prescribed fees and taxes prior to the registration of a ship or other transaction in the Special Book of Parallel Registration
B. Parallel Registration
According to Article 23 of the Law, parallel registration is the registration of a ship in the register of a country for a certain period of time and under specified legal prerequisite conditions, whilst the ship remains registered in the register of another country.
ii. Parallel registration in the Cyprus Register
The Law allows the parallel registration of vessels in the Registry of Cyprus Ships. By parallel registration, a foreign vessel can be registered, for a certain period of time, under the Cyprus flag while at the same time continuing to be registered, in parallel, in the foreign registry and vice versa. Under Cyprus Law, it is provided for the two forms of bareboat (charter) registration, the parallel in and the parallel out registration.
C. Parallel- out Registration
The Parallel-out registration is used when a bareboat charterer wishes to register in parallel a vessel, which is already registered permanently under the Cyprus flag, to a foreign Registry. Thus, the parallel-out registration of a Cyprus ship in a foreign register shall be allowed if the ship is bareboat chartered to a foreign individual or corporation and the law of the country of the foreign registry allows the parallel registration of ships of another registry, under prerequisite conditions similar to those set out in the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Laws of 1963, in the case of the parallel- in registration of foreign ships in the Cyprus Register.
It is of great importance to be emphasised that this form of registration allows the financing of a ship and her mortgaging under the Cyprus Laws and later her parallel registration in a foreign registry.
Furthermore, the deletion of the ship from the Register of Cyprus Ships where its ownership and mortgages are registered is neither required nor allowed. However, its right to fly the Cyprus flag and to have the Cypriot nationality is suspended.
In addition, the subject vessel has to fly the flag of the foreign registry and the name of the foreign port of registry has to be marked on her stern. However, any matters relating to the ownership of the vessel or to any mortgages created against her are exclusively governed by the Cypriot legislation and handled by the Registrar of Cyprus Ships.
ii. Conditions for the parallel-out registration of Cyprus ships in a foreign register
iii. Documents Required for the Parallel-out Registration
iv. Duration of parallel registration of Cyprus ships
The status of parallel registration of Cyprus ships shall continue to be in force for the duration of the charter party, if the approval of the Minister and the consent of the appropriate maritime authorities of the foreign register are in force, but in any case for a period not greater than three years. However, the Minister shall have power, on the application of the shipowner and with the consent of the mortgagees, to approve an extension of the status of parallel registration provided the remaining prerequisite conditions according to the law in this respect are met.
v. Certificate of registration
During the period the status of the parallel-out registration of a Cyprus ship is in force, the ship shall hoist the flag of the foreign registry and she cannot use the Cyprus flag. This means that the Cyprus certificate of registration shall be delivered to the Registrar and shall be returned to the shipowner as soon as the status of parallel registration of the ship in the foreign register is terminated.
The registration in the Cyprus Register shall be suspended for the period during which the parallel registration of the ship in the foreign register is in force.
Author: Zacharias L. Kapsis