Cyprus: Cyprus Tonnage Tax System - Questions & Answers

Last Updated: 17 September 2015
Article by Antonis Taliotis

Most Read Contributor in Cyprus, December 2018

The TTS is available to any owner, charterer or ship manager who owns, charters or manages a qualifying ship in a qualifying shipping activity.

Q1: What is a "Qualifying Ship"?

Answer Q1

Qualifying ship is any seagoing vessel certificated under the applicable international or national rules and regulations and registered in the ship register of any member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) or the International Labour Organization (ILO) which is recognized by the Republic of Cyprus.

The TTS specifically excludes certain types of ships such as:

  • Fishing and fish factory vessels;
  • Vessels used primarily for sport or recreation;
  • Inland waterway navigation vessels;
  • Harbour, estuary and river ferries and tug boats;
  • Fixed offshore installations (not used for maritime transport);
  • Non self-propelled floating cranes;
  • Non-ocean going tug boats;
  • Floating hotels, restaurants, casinos.

Qualifying Community ship is a qualifying ship which is registered and flying an EU or EEA flag (see list of the Community Registers in Question 6).

Qualifying non-Community ships are eligible for the TTS if they are qualifying and comply with the following requirements:

  1. are classed with a classification society recognised by the EU;
  2. are duly certificated as appropriate in accordance with the international Conventions regulating to maritime safety, security and protection of the environment, and
  3. are manned by seafarers who are duly certificated in accordance with the STCW Convention.

For points (b) and (c) above to be satisfied the flag of the non-Community ship must be recognised by both the IMO and the ILO.

Q2: What is a "Qualifying Shipping Activity"?

Answer Q2

Any commercial activity that constitutes maritime transport or ship management (crew management and/or technical management) is considered a qualifying shipping activity.

Maritime Transport

The definition of maritime transport, in addition to the traditional carriage of goods and passengers by sea, outside the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus, between a Cyprus port and a foreign port or an offshore facility, or between foreign ports, or offshore facilities, includes:

  • all hotel, catering, entertainment and retailing activities on board of qualifying vessel;
  • loading and unloading of cargo;
  • operation of ticketing facilities and passenger terminals;
  • cable-laying activities;
  • towage activities, provided that the ocean going tug is a Community ship and spends at least 50% of its time in towage or salvage activity at sea (Form MS TT 3);
  • dredging activities, provided that the dredger is self-propelled, has carrying capacity for dredged material, is a Community ship and spends at least 50% of its time in the carriage of dredged goods (Form MS TT 4). (For more information on Towage and Dredging Activities see Notification P.I. 353/2010).

Ship management

The provision of crew and/or technical management services to a qualifying ship.

Crew management services means:

  1. Selecting and engaging the vessel's crew, including payroll arrangements, and insurances for the crew;
  2. ensuring compliance with the requirements of the law of the flag of the vessel in respect of manning levels, rank, qualification and certification of the crew;
  3. ensuring that the crew has undergone a medical examination and possesses a valid medical certificate issued in accordance with the appropriate flag State requirements;
  4. arranging transportation of the crew, including repatriation;
  5. training of the crew and supervising their efficiency;
  6. other relevant functions usually performed by ship managers under the BIMCO standard shipmanagement agreement.

Technical management services means:

  1. The provision of competent personnel to supervise the maintenance and general efficiency of the vessel;
  2. the arrangement and supervision of dry dockings, repairs, alterations and the upkeep of the vessel to the standards required by the law of the flag of the vessel and of the places where she trades, and all requirements and recommendations of its classification society;
  3. the arrangement of the supply of necessary stores, spares and lubricating oil;
  4. other relevant functions usually performed by shipmanagers under the BIMCO standard shipmanagement agreement.

The qualifying ships under management do not necessarily have to be engaged in maritime transport.

Commercial management does not fall within the scope of the TTS. "Commercial management services" means:

  1. The provision of chartering services in accordance with the instructions of the owner, which includes seeking and negotiating employment of the ship and the conclusion of charter parties or other contracts relating to the employment of the ship;
  2. the payment to owners of all hire and freight revenues and any other moneys, to which the owners are entitled and arise out of the employment of the ship;
  3. the provision of voyage estimates, accounts, the calculation of hire, freights and demurrage, and/ or dispatch moneys due from or due to the charterers of the ship;
  4. other relevant functions usually performed by ship managers under the BIMCO standard shipmanagement agreement.

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