SHIPPING: Cyprus mulls updating tonnage tax system and pricing policy for registration

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Cyprus is considering updating its tonnage tax system and its pricing policy for the registration of ships as part of targeted measures to enhance the competitiveness of the shipping industry.

Addressing a ceremony for the 25th anniversary of Fleet Management Ltd, President Nicos Anastasiades said that enhancing the strategic advantages of the Cyprus maritime cluster remains a high priority for the government.

“We are all aware that our shipping industry operates in a highly competitive global environment, thus requiring stability and long-term innovative planning in order to further evolve.”

He said Nicosia was primarily focusing on further strengthening its role in the international shipping arena, consolidating the competitiveness of the Cyprus Flag and creating conditions for the sustainable growth of the shipping industry.

“A number of other measures and incentives are also under examination with further targeted actions that will improve the services and standards we provide, such as, amongst others, updating our competitive shipping taxation framework and the pricing policy for the Cyprus Register of Ships.”

The government has already proceeded with the establishment of a Deputy Ministry for shipping, heeding the long-standing wish of the Cyprus shipping sector.

 Revenues from ship-management companies in 2018 reached €1.03 bln an increase of 9% over 2017, while the gross tonnage of the Cyprus Ship Register has risen to 24.5 million gross tonnes [24.5], the highest figure recorded since 2010.

Anastasiades said that since the establishment of the Deputy Ministry in March 2018, the number of shipping firms under the tonnage tax system has increased from 168 to 215.

“We will continue examining ways of introducing more incentives, also in consultation and collaboration with the private sector, in order to ensure that Cyprus keeps its competitive edge as a shipping centre.”