Cyprus goes big on green, digital shipping

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The new government has placed shipping among its priorities to enhance its maritime administration further, provide the ground for sustainable growth and help the industry’s green and digital transition.

In her maiden speech as Shipping Deputy Minister, Marina Hadjimanoli told delegates at the sixth Annual Capital Link Cyprus Shipping Forum: “Cyprus is supporting the industry to achieve its decarbonisation goals by providing green tax incentives to shipowners and operators, encouraging and supporting ships registered under the Cyprus registry to use alternative fuels such as biofuels and hydrogen.”

“This, along with a unique set of competitive advantages, has allowed Cyprus to grow and develop into a world-class maritime centre”.

The full-day conference also discussed ways to optimise fleet operations, foster environmental sustainability, embrace technological innovations through cutting-edge solutions, navigate geopolitics and sanctions, shipbuilding trends and the transformation of shipowning.

The shipping minister said Cyprus made significant progress in simplifying procedures, reducing bureaucracy and having a paperless maritime administration.

The aim is to provide a more flexible, effective, efficient, and customer-oriented service that will further increase the attractiveness of the Cyprus Registry.

“The Shipping Deputy Ministry is creating a one-stop-shipping centre framework through digital transformation, optimising the ministry’s business processes, and maximising its operational efficiency.

“Moreover, implementing the Shipping Limited Liability Company Law enacted in October 2022 will improve the competitiveness of the Cyprus flag in international shipping, as well as simplify the procedures and operating regime of Cypriot shipping companies that own Cyprus ships.”

Hadjimanoli said one of the main challenges that shipping faces are the emerging issues arising from the transition to green and digital shipping.

The stable fiscal and business-friendly environment, the unique tonnage tax system, and the abundance of expertise in the sector have attracted a significant number of shipping companies to Cyprus, which over the past decade have grown from 95 to 320.

“Cyprus also has a large resident shipping industry with over 200 shipping companies based here covering the full range of activities from ship owning and ship management to telecommunications, IT, insurance, finance, bunkering, spare parts provision, ship repairs and maintenance.

“A maritime nation like Cyprus must have a clear strategy for the future development of the shipping sector to maintain a leading role in the global and European maritime agenda.

“Cyprus shipping has to be competitive, strong, resilient to crisis and proactive to challenges and new trends.

“We have an ambitious vision and clear objectives and are determined to turn this vision into sustainable actions to navigate positive change for Cyprus and global shipping,” she said.

The vision is to grow the maritime cluster in both size and range of activities by enhancing competitiveness, promoting Cyprus shipping, increasing the extent and quality of maritime education, and encouraging innovation.