Over the years, Cyprus has established itself as a world renowned maritime centre. In 1963, the government of Cyprus offered the first incentives towards the growth of the shipping industry leading to the present status of Cyprus as the country with the 14th largest merchant navy fleet with gross register tonnage of 19.7 million and deadweight tonnage of 31.1 million.
Due to the island’s geographic position and maritime infrastructure, the strategic advantages offered to vessel owning and shipmanagement companies are unique. Other benefits and advantages enjoyed are as listed below:
- The profits from the operation or management of a vessel registered under the flag of Cyprus are fully exempt from taxation.
- Ability to choose between tonnage tax and 4,25% Corporation Tax if the vessel is not registered under the flag of Cyprus.
- No taxation on Capital Gains arising from the sale of a vessel registered under the flag of Cyprus or the shares of a company who owns a vessel registered under the flag of Cyprus.
- Dividends received from a vessel owning company are exempt from taxation.
- No income tax on the wages of the officers and crew.
- No estate duty on the inheritance of shares of a company who owns a vessel registered under the flag of Cyprus.
- No stamp duty on ship mortgage deeds or other security documents.
- Double tax treaties with a large number of countries.
- Competitive rates for ship registration costs and annual tonnage taxes.
- Low set up and operating costs for companies.
The laws of Cyprus allow for parallel registration of vessels, both parallel-in and parallel-out and impose no restrictions on the nationality of the crew.
Furthermore, Cyprus is a member of the International Maritime Organisation and a signatory of a great number of international maritime conventions and bilateral agreements of cooperation in merchant shipping.
Yiannis Papazacharia L.L.C. advises on and assists with procedures for all aspects of maritime matters, such as vessel registration, advice for resolving commercial disputes of a legal nature to all parties involved in the industry: owners, charterers, freight forwarders and insurers, etc., advice in choice of flag and registration, claims for loss or damage to cargo, general average, salvage claims, collisions and freight disputes.