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25 June, 2024
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Cyprus maritime sector advances amidst ambitious goals

Shipping Deputy Minister highlights achievements and future plans in press conference

Andreas Karamitas

"Without a doubt, we take pride in the achievements of the past 60 years. Our ambition is to set even higher targets and strengthen the competitiveness of Cypriot shipping, the Cypriot registry, and the Cypriot maritime cluster," stated Shipping Deputy Minister Marina Hadjimanoli at a press conference held at the new port of Limassol. The conference primarily showcased the activities of the Deputy Ministry during the period 2023 - 2024.

From 267 to 420 shipping companies in Cyprus

Hadjimanoli highlighted the progress made in the Cypriot shipping industry over the past year, noting a significant increase in foreign shipowners registering ships in the Cyprus register. The fleet of Cypriot-flagged seagoing vessels saw a notable 5.5% increase, amounting to approximately 1.1 million tonnes. Moreover, there was a 14% rise in the number of companies registered under the European Union-approved Capacity Tax System, reaching a total of 420. The success of the Maritime Passenger Connection was also emphasized, with over 7400 passengers, 2400 cars and motorcycles, and 250 pets traveling to the port of Piraeus. However, the sustainability of this project remains uncertain as it currently operates with state subsidies rather than financial autonomy.

Additionally, Hadjimanoli mentioned the decision of the Council of Ministers to allocate state land to the Deputy Ministry of Shipping for constructing a new building. The facility aims to house a maritime museum and a conference center, serving as a hub for promoting maritime culture and blue professions to children. The Sea Festival, held annually in cooperation with the Limassol Municipality, continues to foster maritime and shipping culture while educating citizens in maritime literacy.

The quality characteristics of our flag have been strengthened

The Deputy Minister also noted the qualitative strengthening of the Cypriot flag, which rose in the Paris White List from 13th to 8th place. Legislative frameworks have been adopted to enhance safety navigation and protect the marine environment, further bolstering the reputation of the Cypriot flag. Moreover, the Deputy Ministry of Shipping offers green incentives to reward ships demonstrating effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Since January 2024, the annual tonnage tax for ships registered in the Cyprus registry has been reduced by up to 30% for each ship implementing climate impact reduction measures.

Efforts to digitize all services of theDeputy Ministry of Shipping, including the operation of the One Stop Shipping Center, aim to streamline processes and enhance efficiency. Recruitment plans are underway to address understaffing issues, ensuring adequate manpower for inspections and other tasks.

Cyprus' position on the sustainability of European shipping

On the international front, Cyprus has strengthened its voice in European and international maritime forums. Re-election to the Council of the International Maritime Organization for the 2024-2025 term underscores Cyprus' active participation in global shipping decision-making processes. Meetings with ministers from various countries aim to bolster bilateral relations and protect European shipping viability.

National award for female presence in industry

Furthermore, the establishment of the "Gender Equality Award in Cyprus Shipping" underscores Cyprus' commitment to gender equality and inclusivity in the maritime sector. This annual award aims to recognize individuals contributing significantly to promoting gender equality and empowering women in Cyprus' shipping industry.

60 years of decisive presence in the world of the Cyprus Registry

As the Cyprus Registry marks 60 years in the international maritime scene, Hadjimanoli reiterated the commitment to further enhance competitiveness and cooperation within the shipping community, both domestically and internationally.

[This article was translated from its Greek original and edited for clarity]

Cyprus  |  shipping  |  economy

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