Located at the crossroads of three continents and on key strategic shipping routes, Cyprus is a country with a strong maritime tradition that has developed into a dynamic international shipping hub.
Today, Cyprus is a modern, efficient and integrated shipping cluster ranked amongst the leading in the world. It is committed to providing quality services, a competitive business and taxation environment whilst ensuring efficient shipping and the highest possible standards in safety, security and environmental protection.
The Cyprus Registry is classified as the 11th largest merchant fleet globally and the third largest fleet in the EU with more than 2,000 ocean-going vessels. As a third-party ship management centre it is the largest in Europe and amongst the top three worldwide. More than 20% of the worlds’ third party management fleet is managed by companies based in Cyprus.
Limassol, the heart of the Cyprus maritime cluster, hosts more than 200 companies offering shipping and shipping-related services from ship ownership and ship management to shipping insurance, shipping finance, brokerage, bunkering, ballast water system production, marine training, maritime technology in satellite and radio systems and many more.
The Cyprus flag is a top-quality sovereign flag that adheres to all safety and security standards under the Paris and Tokyo MoUs and is on the ‘White List’ of both MoUs, resulting in fewer inspections of the ships and less delays at the ports of both MoUs.
Cyprus provides effective and efficient flag administration 24/7, with more than 150 maritime specialists at the Shipping Deputy Ministry and a network of offices providing services to Cyprus ships and to seafarers strategically located around the globe – Piraeus, London, New York, Hamburg, Rotterdam and Brussels.
A network of local inspectors of Cyprus ships, covering important ports worldwide in order to ensure efficient and effective control of Cyprus ships and to avoid detentions by port state control.



The Cyprus Maritime Cluster offers numerous competitive advantages, including:

  • EU-approved ‘Open Registry’ with legally endorsed Tonnage Tax System (TTS)
  • Competitive ship registration costs and fees
  • No crew/officers nationality restrictions
  • More than 25 Merchant Shipping Bilateral Agreements
  • More than 60 Double Tax Treaties
  • Full protection for financiers and mortgagees
  • No estate duty on the inheritance of shares in ship owning companies
  • Competitive investment funds legislation that offers alternative funding solutions
  • Strong involvement in international shipping fora – International Maritime Organisation (IMO), International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the EU – on shipping and maritime affairs.

Cyprus Ship Registration

A ship may be registered in Cyprus if it fulfills one of the following criteria:

  • More than 50% of the shares of the ship must be owned by Cypriot citizens or by citizens of Member States of the EU or of the European Economic Area (EEA). Those who are not permanent residents of Cyprus will have to appoint an authorised representative in Cyprus; or
  • 100% of the shares of the ship must be owned by corporations that operate under the laws of Cyprus and have their registered office in Cyprus, or that operate under the laws of any other EU or EEA member state and have their registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the EEA or by corporations registered outside the EU or the EEA but controlled by Cypriot citizens or citizens of a member state.

In both of the latter cases, they must have either appointed an authorised representative in Cyprus or the management of the ship must be entrusted in full to a Cypriot or EU ship management company in Cyprus.

Yachts and other pleasure crafts may also be registered in Cyprus.

Merchant Shipping Agreements

Cyprus has concluded 27 Bilateral Agreements on Merchant Shipping that are designed to promote friendly relations between Cyprus and other states and through which Cyprus ships receive either national or most favoured nation treatment in the ports of other states.

These provide that the terms of employment of seafarers are those approved by the competent authorities and/or seafarers’ unions of the country of the seafarer. Any disputes regarding these are to be resolved exclusively by the competent courts or authorities of either Cyprus or of the country of the seafarer.

Some of the agreements provide that the port fees and charges that are levied on a ship of the one party calling at a port of the other party must be those levied on the ships of that party when calling at its port (national treatment).

Officers and ratings serving on board Cyprus ships are not required to hold certificates issued by the government of Cyprus provided they hold valid and recognised certificates for the post they hold on board.Applications for the Cyprus Seafarers Identification and Sea Service Record Book (SISRB) and Cyprus endorsement attesting the recognition (EAR) of non-Cyprus certificates of competency issued by recognised countries must be submitted electronically through the on-line Electronic Seafarer’s Application System (e-SAS).

Get in Touch

Please contact us if you have any questions or queries and your local representative will be in touch with you as soon as possible.