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.

Cyprus has one of the largest registered merchant fleets in the world, being at the same time a well-established shipping and ship management centre, located close to the Suez Canal. It is of great importance to be emphasised that in 1981 the Cypriot fleet was rank at the 32nd place globally, whereas Cyprus is currently hosting the 11th largest fleet in the world and the 3rd largest in Europe. More precisely, Cyprus Registry comprises more than 1,743 ocean-going vessels of total gross tonnage exceeding 24,5 million. In addition, 220 shipping-related companies are registered under the Cyprus Tonnage Tax System (48 ship managers, 48 charterers and 124 owners foreign ships ), with approximately 4,500 employees. The 87% of the companies are controlled by EU interests.  Cyprus Registry is also one of the only two open registries within the European Union, allowing non-Cypriot citizens to register their ships under the Cyprus flag, provided that they fulfil the specific conditions of ownership that the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Laws of 1963, require.

It is worth mentioning that the Shipping Deputy Ministry to the President, which is currently responsible for the maritime / shipping matters was established on 1st of March 2018, replacing the Department of Merchant Shipping. Prior to this formation, the Department of Merchant Shipping was a distinct entity in the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works of the Republic of Cyprus, since 1977 and it was responsible for the control and development of shipping in Cyprus. The 1st March 2018, is marked as a historic day for Cyprus Shipping, since the Shipping Deputy Ministry to the President commenced its operation, as an autonomous Deputy Ministry, dedicated entirely to the Cyprus Maritime Industry. Since its establishment, the Shipping Deputy Ministry to the President has progressed with regard to its internal restructuring, aiming to make the Cyprus Maritime Administration even more modern, efficient and industry-focused, and thus, even more business friendly to Cyprus-related Shipping companies.

The establishment of the Shipping Deputy Ministry to the President, clearly reflects the importance of the shipping sector in Cyprus and the significance that the government places on its development, since the yearly contribution of merchant shipping to the Cyprus economy, is extremely high, with recent figures indicating that shipping accounts for approximately 7% of the country’s GDP. 

Today, shipping stands as one of the financially strongest and most significant pillars of the Cypriot economy. More specifically, it has been characterised as a 'blue economy', with sector contributing around 1.034 billion euro to the island's GDP per annum. More than 5% of the world's fleet is controlled from Cyprus and more than 20% of the world's third-party ship management activities are managed by companies (more than 200 shipping companies) based in Cyprus. Moreover, more than 55,000 seafarers are employed on board Cypriot ships and 9,000 personnel on shore with the sector employing around 3% of Cyprus' workforce.


The Shipping Department of our Law Firm, having a long experience and in-depth knowledge on both Shipping and Maritime Law, advising banks, owners, managers, charterers, cargo-owners and their respective insurers domestically and internationally, is able to offer its clients any kind of services related to the legal aspects of maritime affairs such as:

  • Registration of Vessels under Cyprus flag
  • Yacht and Boat Registration under Cyprus flag
  • Registration of Vessels and Yachts in Foreign Jurisdictions
  • Deletion of Vessels and Yachts from Foreign Jurisdictions
  • Cyprus Yacht Leasing Scheme
  • Services of Authorised Representative
  • Ship Security Company Licensing
  • Financing, Security and the Enforcement of Mortgages
  • Drafting and Registration of Mortgages and Deeds of Release
  • Charter party and Seafarer Contracts
  • Agreements on Sale and Purchase of ships
  • Shipping Company Law and Tax issues
  • Legal advice concerning any Maritime or Shipping matter
  • Services related to the registration and issuance of an IMO number for Fishing Vessels, Sea-going merchant ships and for Shipping Companies & Registered Owners
  • Admiralty Court Representation, including:
  1.       Arrest and Sale of Ships
  2.       Cargo claims
  3.       Carriage of Goods by Sea
  4.       Salvage claims
  5.       Collisions damages
  6.       Charter Party disputes
  7.       Ownership disputes
  8.       Personal injury claims
  9.       Pollution casualties
  10.       Disputes relating to the employment of officers and crew
  11.      Claims for damages done or received by a ship
  • Services and procedures related to the Cyprus Customs and Excise Department such as:                
  1.        Application for Customs Registration and Provision for an EORI Number for the companies
  2.        Assistance for the issuance of T2L  and Customs Clearance Certificates.
  3.        Assistance for the issuance of Form C. 104O regarding the Temporary Importation of a Pleasure Craft


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

  • Bahamas
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Delaware
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Isle of Man
  • Jamaica
  • Jersey
  • Liberia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Monaco
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Poland
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • The Netherlands
  • The United Kingdom

Why Cyprus maritime legal status?

Cyprus attracts many leading ship-owners to register their vessels under its flag for the following reasons:

  • Member of the European Union and the Eurozone;
  • The 3rd largest merchant fleet in Europe and the 11th largest fleet globally;
  • Member of the IMO Council since 1987;
  • Over 200 shipping-related companies based in Cyprus;
  • First third-party ship management centre in the European Union and amongst the top 5 wordlwide;
  • European Union diplomatic protection;
  • Lying in the Eastern Mediterranean, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa with easy access to markets and close to the Suez Canal;
  • Cyprus flag classified in the white list of PARIS & TOKYO MOUs on Port State Control;
  • Cyprus flag excluded from the “List of Target Flag States’’ of the US Coast Guard, resulting in fewer inspections and delays of Cypriot ships at the ports of both MoUs and the US;
  • Comprehensive, transparent and favourable Tonnage Tax System approved by the European Commission, providing exemptions to the beneficiaries (Owners of Cyprus ships, owners of foreign ships, charters and ship managers) from income tax;
  • No income tax on the earnings of officers and crew members and master of a qualifying Cyprus ship;
  • No tax on the income or profit made from the sale of a qualifying ship;
  • No tax on profits from the operation or management of a Cypriot registered vessel or on dividends received from a ship-owning company;
  • No estate duty on the inheritance of shares in a ship-owning company;
  • Favourable tax regime for ship management;
  • More than 27 bilateral agreements on Merchant Shipping;
  • Signatory to all International Maritime Conventions;
  • Member of the International Maritime (IMO) and Labour (ILO) Organisations;
  • National legislation according to the Acquis Communautaire;
  • Business friendly common law jurisdiction;
  • Double tax avoidance treaties with more than 65 countries;
  • An EU-approved “Open Registry’’;
  • Full protection for Financiers and Mortgagees;
  • No stamp duty on ship Mortgage Deeds or other security documents;
  • Competitive ship registration costs and fees;
  • Low set up and operating costs for companies;
  • Excellent telecommunications and easy access by air and sea;
  • No nationality restrictions for seafarers;
  • Democratic and safe country with a free market economy;
  • High quality of life;
  • No exchange control and freedom of movement of foreign currency;
  • Overseas Maritime offices at Piraeus, Brussels, Rotterdam, Hamburg, London and New York City, offering services to seafarers and Cyprus ships;
  • Highly qualified managerial, clerical and technical staff available by the Shipping Deputy Ministry to the President;
  • Excellent regulatory infrastructure;
  • Newly employed executives earning more than 100,000 euro enjoy 50% tax reduction;
  • New tax regime for non-domicile tax residents;
  • Lowest corporate tax rate in the EU (12.5% on profits);
  • Sophisticated financial services authority;
  • 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.