12° Nicosia,
18 July, 2024

Cyprus ship registry grows amid global tensions

Deputy Minister reports vessel increase, highlights industry challenges and government initiatives


Cyprus’ ship registry experienced an increase in ocean-going vessels in the first half of the year, reversing a two-year decline due to geopolitical tensions impacting global shipping, Deputy Minister for Shipping Marina Hadjimanolis announced.

Speaking at the International Business Day organized by the Cyprus International Business Association, Hadjimanolis highlighted that geopolitical tensions, particularly the war in Ukraine and attacks on commercial shipping by the Houthi regime in the Red Sea, have created challenges that may persist, leading to industry turbulence this year.

Emphasizing the maritime sector as integral to Cyprus's identity, Hadjimanolis noted that the government has prioritized upgrading and strengthening services provided by the Shipping Deputy Ministry since the administration of Nikos Christodoulides took office in March 2023.

During her address, Hadjimanolis reported a 5.5% increase in the fleet of Cyprus-flagged seagoing vessels over the past six months. Additionally, the number of companies registered under the Cyprus Tonnage Tax System grew by 14%, reaching a total of 420, reinforcing Cyprus as the largest ship-management center in the EU and one of the largest globally.

Hadjimanolis also mentioned the establishment of the Advisory Committee on Competitiveness and Quality Enhancement of the Cyprus Flag and the Advisory Committee on Competitiveness of the Cyprus Maritime Cluster. These committees aim to continuously improve and enhance the competitiveness of Cyprus shipping. Furthermore, the One-Stop Shipping Centre began operations in November, providing quality service to all shipping companies and related businesses based in Cyprus.

She announced that starting January 2024, the annual tonnage tax for ships registered in the Register of Cyprus Ships will be reduced by up to 30% for each vessel demonstrating effective greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures. This initiative aims to reward shipowners for their decarbonization efforts.

Hadjimanolis cautioned that the shipping industry is at a critical juncture, facing complex challenges such as fuel and technology advancements, digitalization, autonomous shipping, and green financing. “As a leading advocate for sustainable shipping, we believe that comprehensive and diverse measures are necessary at both global and regional levels to achieve emissions reduction targets and ensure a sustainable future for the industry,” she concluded.

[With information from CNA]


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