During the last decades Cyprus achieved to attract a considerable number of important shipping entrepreneurs, establishing a reputable shipping centre combining the benefits of the sovereign flags and the high quality of services.
Our Law Firm is proud to retain a Shipping Department which benefits from the experience of serving some of the most reputable and demanding clients.
Limassol, where our Firm’s office is located, can be characterised as the commercial capital of Cyprus. The most important port of the country and the Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping are located to Limassol, thus we can serve our clients quickly and effectively.
Among others, we offer:
Registering Vessels and benefiting from the Cyprus flag
Applying for Vessel building finance and other banking services
Consulting in marine insurance policies
INFORMATION FOR CYPRUS REGISTERED VESSELS
A vessel may only be registered in the Register of Cyprus Ships if:
A. More than fifty percent (50%) of the shares of the ship are owned:
by Cypriot citizens or
by citizens of other Member States who in the instance of not being permanent residents of the Republic will have appointed an authorised representative in the Republic of Cyprus, or
B. The total (100%) of the shares of the ship are owned by one or more corporations, which have been established and operate:
in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Cyprus and have their registered office in the Republic, or
in accordance with the laws of any other Member State and have their registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the European Economic Area and which will have either appointed an authorised representative in Cyprus or the management of the ship is entrusted in full to a Cypriot or a Community shipmanagement company having its place of business in Cyprus, or
outside Cyprus or outside any other Member State but controlled by Cypriot citizens or citizens of Member States and have either appointed an authorised representative in Cyprus or the management of the ship is entrusted in full to a Cypriot or a Community shipmanagement company having its place of business in Cyprus. The corporation is deemed to be controlled by Cypriots or citizens of any other Member States when more than fifty percent of its shares are owned by Cypriots or citizens of any other Member States or when the majority of the Directors of the corporation are Cypriot citizens or citizens of any other Member State.
In view of the above requirements, all non-European owners who wish to register their ships under the Cyprus flag may incorporate a company in Cyprus, which will either acquire the ship in its name, or bareboat charter the ship.
Practice and custom have created a special type of Cyprus shipowning company (hereinafter referred to as ‘the company’), which is limited by shares and has a nominal capital, usually €1.000 divided into 1.000 shares of €1 each.
In accordance with the Advocates Laws of Cyprus, only lawyers registered as practicing advocates in Cyprus are entitled to draft the necessary documents for the incorporation of Cypriot companies as well as to carry out all registry transactions
ADVANTAGES OF THE CYPRUS FLAG
No income tax on the profits derived by a Cyprus Shipowning company nor any tax on any dividend of any Cyprus shipowning company (including chartering of any nature of any vessel) (S.4 of the Merchant Shipping Laws No. 38 (I) of 1992).
- No tax on dividends of a Cyprus Shipping company
- Double Tax Treaties with 42 countries
- No estate duty on the inheritance of shares
- No capital gains tax on the sale or transfer of a ship or the transfer of the shares of the ship owning company
- Low tonnage tax and other duties paid for registration fees, annual tonnage tax, mortgages etc.
- No income tax on the salaries of officers and crew members
- Recognition of the Competence Certificate issued by Cyprus
- Possibility of provisional legislation.
- Possibility of parallel registration of Cyprus Ships in other countries.
- A quick and easy way of obtaining certificates for the ship
- Minimum of red tape
- Full protection and recognition of mortgages registered on a Cyprus ship
- Existence of bilateral agreement between Cyprus and other Countries and Double Tax Treaties with 42 countries.
Local or international ship management and crew management businesses — incorporated or unincorporated — have the option to be taxed either at the rate of 4.25 percent or at rates equal to 25 percent of the rates used to calculate the tonnage tax that would be payable on the vessels under management.