Shipping is the process of transporting an item, by sea or other means. Shipping is a very basic, common way of getting an item from one place to another, or from one person to another.
Cyprus is an internationally well-known shipping centre, home to some of the world’s leading names of the global shipping industry. Cyprus entry to the European Union, in 2004, further improved the reputation and overall image of the Cyprus flag and the infrastructure of Cyprus’ shipping in general.
Cyprus has an excellent geographical position at the crossroads of three continents (Europe, Africa, and Middle East), an advanced infrastructure and services, as well as a very competitive shipping taxation and other strategic advantages, which makes Cyprus the perfect place for ship owing, ship management, ship chartering and ancillary shipping-related services.
Some Facts about Cyprus’ shipping sector:
More than 140 ship owning, ship management and shipping related companies controlling a merchant fleet of 2,200 vessels, with 50 million Gross Tonnage.
Cyprus has the only EU-approved “Open Registry” Regime with a very wide and legally endorsed Tonnage Tax System (TTS), which was introduced with the Merchant Shipping Law in 2010 and covers the three main “maritime transport” activities: ship owning, ship management (crew and technical management), and chartering.
In summary, advantages of the Cyprus TTS include:
In addition to tax incentives and the country’s unique geographical position, Cyprus maintains its competitive advantages through a high quality maritime cluster, by offering efficient and quality services. Moreover, Cyprus has the following advantages:
Cyprus has adopted a maritime safety policy, which focuses on the effective control of ships and the improvement of the quality of the country’s merchant fleet. Cyprus Maritime Offices are located in Limassol (Cyprus), as well as Hamburg (Germany), New York (USA), London (UK), Athens (Greece), Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Brussels.
Shipping Tonnage Tax System
The European Union´s approval of a fully revised and upgraded Cyprus Shipping Taxation System in 2010 is a turning point for Cyprus and European Shipping. The new Shipping Taxation System covers the three basic Shipping activities in International Shipping, namely Ship owning, Ship management (including Crew Management) and the Chartering of vessels. The benefits of the new system may soon make Cyprus, the “Shipping Metropolis” of Europe. Ship owners are exempted from Income Tax and are automatically taxed under the Tonnage Tax System. Ship managers and Charterers can exercise their option to be taxed under the Tonnage Tax System.
Some of the world’s largest international ship management companies have headquarters in Cyprus, including:
In sum, the advantages of Cyprus in the shipping sector are the following:
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