Cyprus: Shipping In Cyprus

1.0 CYPRUS IN SHIPPING TODAY

1.01 Taxation of shipping activities

1.02 International relations

1.03 Low costs

1.04 Professional services

1.05 Employment of Foreign Crew

2.0 REGISTRATION OF SHIPS

2.01 Provisional registration

2.02 Permanent registration

2.03 Parallel registration

2.03.1 Parallel-in registration

2.03.2 Parallel-out registration

2.04 Deletion from registry

3.0 SHIP MORTGAGES

3.01 Form of mortgages

3.02 Registration of mortgages

3.03 Advantages of Cyprus mortgages

4.0 CREW

5.0 FEES AND TAXES

5.01 Registration fees

5.02 Tonnage tax

5.03 Fees for the registration, transfer or discharge of mortgages

5.04 Fees for the transfer of ships

5.05 Fees and taxes payable on provisional registration

5.06 Fees and taxes payable on the extension of the period of provisional registration

5.07 Fees and taxes payable on permanent registration

5.08 Fees and taxes payable annually

6.0 CONCLUSION

APPENDICES

1. Form M.S.1 (Certificate of Survey)

2. Form M.S.3 (Declaration of Ownership on behalf of a Body Corporate

3. Form M.S.12C1 (International Tonnage Certificate (1969))

4. Form M.S.10 (Memorandum as to the registration of Managingowners/ship'shusband)

5. M.S.34 (Application for license to install or work a wireless telegraphy and/or telephony station or board ship under the flag of the Republic of Cyprus)

6. M.S.45 (Registration of Sar Particulars)

1.0 CYPRUS IN SHIPPING TODAY

When Cyprus gained independence in 1960 it heralded a new era of prosperity which witnessed an upsurge in the island's economy and the modernization of the business and commercial sectors. Consequently, the role of the island as a shipping centre increased enormously and was stimulated by increased exports, a growth in offshore activities, and the aggressive expansion of the Cypriot economy. External factors such as the growing importance of the Arab oil in the world economy, the re-opening of the Suez Canal and the enhanced importance of the Middle East as a prosperous financial region, have all contributed to the firm establishment of Cyprus as a strategic and important world shipping location.

1963 saw the introduction of the most advanced shipping legislation in Cyprus, which was closely modelled to its British counterpart. Since then the way was paved for the Cyprus flag to become a well respected and highly esteemed world maritime flag and today it is flown by almost every nation from all five continents.

The extension and diversification of all possible avenues of shipping activity in recent years is to a large extent attributable to the island's excellent shipping infrastructure. All services, both public and private, which shipowners and investors require are not only well represented and organised, but work to the highest international standards. Competent and reputable shipping agents, efficient clearing and forwarding agents as well as top class travel agents, ship chandlers, freight forwarders and other shipping orientated businesses are available to assist.

Shipmanagement companies are prominent and, along with companies engaged in chartering, crewing, shipbroking, ship surveying, marine insurance and salvaging, are able to offer first class service to customers of every nationality worldwide.

Membership to numerous international organisations enables the island to maintain strong and friendly links with almost all foreign powers. Consequently, ships flying the Cyprus flag receive a warm and sincere welcome in all ports around the world.

The above factors, coupled with favourable registration procedures and attractive tax benefits, enable Cypriot shipowners to continue to enjoy the support and assistance of the international shipping community and to look to a future of increased profits and unparalleled expansion.

1.01 Taxation of shipping activities

Cyprus' favourable tax treatment of shipping activities without discrimination as to whether the persons benefiting are residents or non-residents of Cyprus, constitutes a major factor for successful tax planning through the use of Cyprus tax treaties.

Practically in all Cyprus treaties it is provided either directly or indirectly that shipping profits are only taxable in the place of residence or of effective management of the enterprise, irrespective of whether or not a permanent establishment exists in the other treaty country (with the exception of Denmark and France).

The Cyprus law provides for full tax exemption of shipping profits of Cypriot shipowning companies operating their ships under the Cyprus flag and thus, shipping profits of such companies whose effective management is exercised from Cyprus are tax free both in Cyprus and in most of the other treaty countries.

The favourable tax treatment of Cyprus provides that:

(1) profits made by a Cypriot shipping company which owns ships under the Cyprus flag and operates in international waters are exempt from tax;

(2) dividends distributed to shareholders of Cypriot shipowning companies are exempt from tax;

(3) profits from the alienation of ships or shares in ships generally and irrespective of the flag registered thereunder are not subject to tax;

(4) capital assets are not subject to tax;

(5) no estate or inheritance tax is levied in the case of death of a shareholder;

(6) no stamp duty is charged on ship mortgage deeds or other security documents;

(7) emoluments of seamen employed on board Cypriot ships are exempt from tax;

(8) emoluments of seamen employed by Cypriot offshore shipmanagement companies on board foreign flag ships managed by them are exempt from tax if paid through a bank operating in Cyprus. Otherwise a tax of only ten per cent of the Cyprus income tax rates for individuals is imposed. If such emoluments are paid in respect of services on board Cyprus flag ships they are totally exempt from taxation;

(9) dividends distributed to shareholders of offshore ship-management companies are not taxed at all;

(10) net profits of Cypriot offshore shipmanagement companies managing ships registered under any flag are taxed at the rate of 4.25 per cent;

(11) foreign employees of offshore shipmanagement companies working in Cyprus are subject to tax at reduced rates and they enjoy certain duty free concessions and other additional advantages.

1.02 International relations

The fostering and promotion of good international relations with neighbouring states and countries further abroad is an express policy of the Government of Cyprus and every effort is made to ensure that strong bonds of friendship are maintained and encouraged with all international organisations.

Cyprus is a member of numerous international associations including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth and the Group of Non-Aligned Countries and is in the process of becoming a full member of the European Union.

In addition, Cyprus is an active member of the International Maritime Organisation, (I M O), to whose Council it was elected in 1987, the International Labour Organisation, the International Telecommunication Union and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. In addition, ratification by Cyprus of many international conventions has enhanced the island's high standing in the shipping community.

1.03 Low costs

Shipping companies, with ships registered under the Cyprus flag, are required to pay initial registration fees and thereafter annual tonnage tax. Both these levies are reasonable and are relatively lower than in other jurisdictions.

1.04 Professional services

Cyprus offers a commercial infrastructure in which all professional services required for successful shipping operations are well represented. There are numerous UK trained accountants and lawyers, who have extensive experience and specialise in the field of shipping related activities. Their advice, which is extensive and may be relied upon with confidence, is readily forthcoming and can be obtained at very reasonable rates. Furthermore, these professionals are also available to act as directors, secretaries or trustees of shipping companies.

1.05 Employment of Foreign Crew

Although ships registered under the Cyprus flag are normally required to have a Cypriot crew content of either fifteen or fifty one percent, depending on the age of the vessel, this stipulation is not rigidly applied and exemption will be granted where no sufficient Cypriot crew is readily available. There is therefore every opportunity to employ foreign crew on such ships as their certificates of competency are generally readily recognised by the island's authorities.

2.0 REGISTRATION OF SHIPS

In terms of legislation enacted in 1963 and based on the British Merchant Shipping Act, a ship shall be deemed to be a Cypriot ship where more than 50 per cent of the shares are owned either:

(a) by a Cypriot citizen; or

(b) by a Cypriot registered company irrespective of whether such company is owned totally by aliens; or

(c) with the special permission of the Council of Ministers, by a foreign registered company with a controlling interest held by Cypriots.

Thus a shipping company, unlike all other offshore companies, may be owned either entirely by Cypriots, or exclusively by foreigners or jointly by Cypriots and foreigners. However, the Merchant Shipping Department imposes certain restrictions with regard to the registration of ships over 17 years of age under the Cyprus flag. Different conditions apply for the registration of ships of age 18-20 years old, 21-23 old and over 23 years old.

2.01 Provisional registration

Provisional registration lasts for six months and may be effected by a Cypriot consul abroad where the vessel is not physically present in a Cypriot port. The ship need not even be docked at the place of registration provided that all the papers are in order.

The initial six-month period of provisional registration may be extended by a further three months but, unless permanent registration is effected during that period, the vessel will thereafter lose her Cypriot nationality. In any event permanent registration must be effected if the vessel calls at a Cypriot port at any time during the period of provisional registration.

The procedures for provisional registration are clear, and even permit a company which is still in the process of being incorporated to apply for the provisional registration of a ship.

An application must be submitted on behalf of the company to the Minister of Communications and Works through the Registrar of Cyprus ships, and must contain the following information:

  • name of the vessel and her flag at the time of the application;
  • name of the Cypriot corporation applying for the registration of the vessel;
  • name of the vessel under which she will be registered;
  • particulars of the vessel (type, year of built, gross and net tonnage);
  • name of the Classification Society with which the ship is entered. If the owners of the vessel contemplate a change in the Classification Society on acquiring the vessel this should also be stated;
  • intended trading area of the vessel;
  • place where the vessel will be at the time of her provisional registration, if known. This must be communicated to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships prior to the provisional registration;
  • name of the consular officer where the owners wish to effect the provisional registration of the vessel;
  • Memorandum and Articles of the Cypriot Company;
  • name and address of the shareholders and directors of the Cypriot company in whose ownership the vessel will be registered.

The Registrar of Cyprus Ships will then instruct the consular officer to proceed with the provisional registration of the vessel, provided the following documents are deposited with him:

  • resolution of the directors of the Cypriot company resolving to acquire the vessel and register her in the Register of Cyprus Ships and the appointment of one or several attorneys who will attend the registration of the ship at the relevant consular office;
  • power of attorney empowering those concerned to attend to the matters of registration;
  • declaration of ownership (Form M.S.3);
  • memorandum of appointment of ship's husband (Form M.S.10);
  • bill of sale, duly executed by her registered owners;
  • certificate of ownership and encumbrances from the ship's registry attesting that the ship is free from encumbrances and that she may be transferred to another registry;
  • application for license to install and work a wireless telegraphy and/or telephony station (Form M.S.34);
  • confirmation that the ship maintains her class and is in possession of valid trading certificates;
  • confirmation that the radio maritime accounts will be settled by a recognised accounting authority;
  • confirmation that upon her registration under the Cyprus Flag the trading certificates of the Ship will be re-issued on behalf of the Government of Cyprus;

Once the registration of the vessel has been approved, the Registrar of Cyprus Ships will telex instructions to the relevant Cyprus consul to effect provisional registration and obtain payment of the relevant fees and tonnage tax for the first six months

2.02 Permanent registration

The permanent registration of a provisionally registered vessel must be completed within nine months (including the three months extension) as from the date of her provisional registration. It is not necessary for the ship to be present in a Cyprus port at the time of permanent registration.

The following additional documents must be lodged with the Registrar of Ships:

  • a certificate of survey (form MS1);
  • application for registration;
  • if not filed at the time of provisional registration, the original copy of the deletion certificate from the previous registry; and
  • a copy of the contract signed by the ship's international radio accounting authority.
  • copies of the ship's statutory certificates;
  • international tonnage certificate;
  • duly verified ship's carving and marking note.

Once the Cyprus tonnage certificate and certificate of survey have been received by him, the Registrar of Ships will allot the vessel an official number and will also issue a carving and marking note. This note contains the particulars which have to be marked or carved on the vessel, and must be signed by either a surveyor of her Classification Society or by a Cyprus government surveyor.

Permanent registration under the Cyprus flag is complete once the Registrar, upon receipt of the carving and marking note, issues the "Certificate of Cyprus Registry", which is obtained at no additional cost.

2.03 Parallel registration

An amendment to the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Law in 1986 allows for the parallel registration of vessels. The legislation provides for the two forms of internationally accepted bareboat registration: "parallel-in" registration and "parallel-out" registration. These two options offer some very interesting opportunities for leaseback, hire purchase and finance arrangements.

2.03.1 Parallel-in registration

This form of registration offers the possibility to a foreign flag vessel which is on a bareboat charter to a Cypriot shipping company to be registered in "parallel" under the Cyprus flag for a period of usually two years, which is renewable. Under this type of registration, the deletion of the vessel from the foreign registry is not required, but the foreign nationality of the vessel is suspended. However, it should be noted that the above applies only where the law of the country of the foreign registry allows for the parallel registration of the ships registered in its registry.

The application for the parallel-in registration of a vessel is made by the bareboat charterer who must be a person (legal or physical) qualified, under the Cypriot merchant shipping legislation, to own a Cypriot vessel provided that a set of specified documents is deposited with the Registrar of Cyprus Ships.

Once all of the specified documents have been provided and the appropriate fees paid, the Registrar of Cyprus Ships may proceed with the parallel-in registration of the vessel and the issue of a special Certificate of Cyprus Registry.

During the period of parallel registration, the ship is required to fly the Cyprus flag to the exclusion of all others and will be subject to Cypriot law and regulations. Furthermore she must be marked with her name as well as the Cypriot port of registry.

2.03.2 Parallel-out registration

Under the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Laws, 1963-1995, Cypriot ships may be bareboat chartered to a foreign person or company and registered "parallel" in a foreign register for the duration of the charterparty.

The parallel-out registration of a Cypriot ship is possible if she is bareboat chartered to a foreign individual or corporation and the law of the country of the foreign registry allows the parallel registration of vessels of another registry, under prerequisite conditions similar to those set out for the parallel-in registration of ships in the Cyprus Register of Ships.

This type of registration is possible for Cypriot ships which are provisionally or permanently registered in the Cyprus Register of Ships. The parallel-out registration of a Cypriot ship must be approved by the Minister of Communications and Works.

The application for the parallel-out registration of a Cypriot vessel is effected by its owner after submitting a specified set of documents with the Registrar of Cyprus Ships and after the approval of the Minister of Communications and Works. Parallel-out registration of the vessel is effective for a period not greater than 3 years.

Cypriot vessels registered parallel-out must fly the flag of the foreign registry and the name of the port of the foreign registry must be marked on the stern of the vessel. Transfers of ownership and matters relating to mortgages on Cypriot ships registered parallel-out are exclusively governed by Cypriot legislation and no action in relation to these matters may be made in the foreign registry.

The status of the vessels registered parallel-out continues to be in force for the duration of the charterparty, if the approval of the Minister and the consent of the foreign registry are in force, for a period not exceeding 3 years unless it is renewed. The Cyprus certificate of registration is returned to the shipowner as soon as the parallel-out registration is terminated.

2.04 Deletion from registry

Where 50 per cent or more of the shares in a vessel registered under the Cyprus flag are sold or transferred to a non-Cypriot person or company, the vessel must be struck off the Cyprus Registry. The person or any other interested party must thereupon notify the Registrar of Cyprus Ships and provide him or a Cypriot consul abroad with the necessary documents.

Thereafter, the Cyprus register of the vessel will be closed although it will be deemed to be still open until such time as any mortgages or other encumbrances have been settled. This also applies to vessels which are declared a total or constructive loss.

The Minister of Communications has been vested with special powers which enable him to instruct the Registrar to close the register of a vessel if there are sufficient reasons to believe that the vessel is being utilised for purposes which are against the interests of the island or if the owner or master infringes Cyprus law. This power has not yet been exercised and in any event is subject to any existing mortgagee's rights. It is likely to be exercised for reasons of public policy and the maintenance of law and order. The principles of natural justice allow the opportunity for all interested parties to be heard.

The Council of Ministers has approved recently an amendment bill to the existing Merchant Marine Laws, whereby the Minister of Communications and Works is given wide powers to withdraw the Cypriot nationality of a vessel and to order her deletion from the Cyprus Shipping registry where the vessel is used in a way: (a) which does not satisfy the general requirements and standards of vessels flying the Cyprus flag; or (b) which is contradictory to international law and international treaties; or (c) where she is unseaworthy.

3.0 SHIP MORTGAGES

3.01 Form of mortgages

A ship registered under the Cyprus flag may be mortgaged at the same time as her provisional registration or at any time thereafter. The mortgage may be registered either in Cyprus with the Registrar of Cyprus Ships or abroad at a Cypriot consulate.

The procedures involved are closely modelled on the equivalent British system so the English form No. 11a is used for the registration of a mortgage to secure a principal amount plus interest only, while the English form No. 12a is issued in respect of a mortgage for a current account.

The relevant provisions of the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Law require that the instrument of mortgage be supported by a deed of covenants entered into by the parties and dealing, inter alia, with the following subjects:

(a) the mode of payment of interest and the repayment of the principal debt;

(b) insurance and renewals thereof together with application of policy money;

(c) limitation on employment of the ship;

(d) definition of default on which statutory or other powers may be exercised;

(e) powers exercisable by the mortgagee, including power to take possession of the ship, assume her management and sell her by private treaty, provided certain conditions as stated in the law are fulfilled; and

(f) any other matter ancillary or incidental to the mortgage.

The deed of covenant is attached to the mortgage instrument, and so it is recorded at the same time as registration of the mortgage is effected at the Registry.

3.02 Registration of mortgages

Upon receipt of instructions from the Registrar of Cyprus Ships, a Cypriot consul abroad may effect registration. This eliminates the requirement to deal directly with the Registrar which may be advantageous where the relevant parties are overseas.

If the vessel in respect of which the mortgage was made is owned by a Cypriot company, the mortgage must also be registered with the Registrar of Companies within 21 days after the creation of the mortgage. This adequately protects the rights of the mortgagee against the liquidator and creditors of the company in the event that it is liquidated.

Where the mortgage is created and the deed executed outside of Cyprus over property situated abroad , the period for registration is extended to 42 days to allow for postage of the deed to Cyprus. Where both the mortgagor and mortgagee are non-resident persons or entities, repayment of the mortgage is entirely free from the usual exchange control provisions which apply in Cyprus.

Mortgages have priority over one another according to the date on which they are produced to and recorded by the Registrar of Ships or produced to and accepted by a Cypriot consul. If more than one mortgage is produced on the same day the priority of such mortgages will depend on the time of recording by the Registrar or acceptance by the consul.

The amount secured by a mortgage may be designated in any currency.

3.03 Advantages of Cyprus mortgages

The following are the most obvious advantages of Cyprus mortgages:

(a) The rights of a mortgagee are well protected, so that if the owner is in default, the mortgagee has an absolute right to dispose of the ship or any part thereof over which he has a mortgage or he may institute an action for its enforcement in the Cypriot courts.

(b) Once default is proved, actions for the sale of vessels have been successful in all foreign courts.

(c) For purposes of convenience and security, details of all registered mortgages are kept by the Registrar of Cyprus Ships in Limassol, the Ministry of Communications and Works in Nicosia by the Cyprus High Commission in London and the Cyprus Embassy in Athens.

(d) The Registrar of Cyprus Ships and all other Cypriot authorities have demonstrated that they are prepared to go to great lengths to ensure that the rights and interests of mortgagees are protected and enforced.

(e) All procedural and administrative measures connected with the registration, transfer and discharge of mortgages have been defined so as to be as effective as possible.

(f) Registration of mortgages can be effected abroad without any delay as the date of delivery of the mortgage to a Cypriot consul is considered to be the date of registration. The status of a mortgage on a provisionally registered vessel is also not affected by its permanent registration.

(g) Mortgage documents are totally exempt from any provisions requiring payment of stamp duty.

(h) Mortgages on Cypriot ships are widely recognised by international banking institutions which are usually willing to grant loans on the strength of such mortgages.

(i) Numerous tax advantages are available to those participating in ship financing.

4.0 CREW

The master of every vessel is required to enter into an employment agreement with the shipowner. Thereafter every seaman enters into an employment agreement with the master. The officers and crew of ships sailing under the Cyprus flag must all possess a certificate of competency appropriate to their respective rank or position and issued either by the government of the Republic or by one of the following countries whose certificates are recognised by the Cypriot authorities:

*Argentina

*The Netherlands

*Australia

*New Zealand

*Burma

*Norway

*Canada

*Pakistan

*Cuba

*Peoples's Republic of China

*Denmark

*Panama

*Egypt

*Philippines

*Germany

*Poland

*Finland

*Portugal

*France

*Republic of Ireland

*Greece

*Singapore

*Hong Kong

*South Korea

*India

*Spain

*Israel

*Sweden

*Italy

*Turkey

*Japan

*UK

*Lebanon

*USA

*Yugoslavia

*Malaysia

All Cyprus registered vessels however are required to have a Cypriot crew content representing at least 15 per cent of the total crew. In view of the scarcity of Cypriot crews this condition will be relaxed where it is shown that they are not available in sufficient numbers. There is an obligation to pay a fee of CY £1.00 per month for every non-Cypriot crew member.

In terms of the Merchant Shipping (Masters and Seamen) Law of 1963, certain provisions have been laid down relating to the employment and working conditions of all masters and crew working on Cyprus registered ships.

A collective agreement exists between the two main Cypriot trade unions and the Association of Cyprus Shipowners, which is re-negotiated annually. This agreement, which is similar to its Greek counterpart, largely regulates the conditions in terms of which crew are employed and deals with such matters as minimum wages, hours of work and leave, compulsory life and social insurance and arbitration of labour disputes. Its signature is, however, only compulsory for the owners of vessels which are in excess of 17 years old. Other regulations which have been widely adopted by the world shipping community have also been endorsed by Cyprus.

5.0 FEES AND TAXES

5.01 Registration fees

On registration of a vessel there is a fee of 10 cents for each gross ton up to 5,000; 8 cents for each additional gross ton up to 10,000 and 4 cents for each additional gross ton in excess of 10,000 subject to a minimum fee of £125 and a maximum fee of £3000. For passenger ships the registration fee is 15 cents for every gross ton subject to a minimum fee of £250.

5.02 Tonnage tax

For vessels other than passenger ships the tonnage tax is calculated as follows:

(BASIC CHARGE + GROSS TONNAGE INCREMENT) x AGE MULTIPLIER

The basic charge is £100 and the gross tonnage increment is calculated as follows:

GROSS TONNAGE

CENTS

For each unit up to 1,600

26

For each additional unit between 1,601 - 10,000

16

For each additional unit between 10,001 - 50,000

6

For each additional unit over 50,000

4

The age multiplier is shown below:

AGE

SHIP RATE MULTIPLIER

Up to 10 years

0,75

11 - 20 years

1,00

Over 20 years

1,30

For passenger ships the tonnage tax payable is double the rates payable for other vessels.

5.03 Fees for the registration, transfer or discharge of mortgages.

Fees for the registration or transfer of mortgages with the Registrar of Ships are 2 cents for each gross ton up to 10,000 and 1 cent for each additional gross ton over 10,000, subject to a minimum of £30. No specific fee is payable for the discharge of mortgages.

5.04 Fees for the transfer of ships

For the transfer of a ship to the ownership of another Cypriot company, the fees payable are 2 cents for every gross ton up to 10,000 and 1 cent for each additional gross ton over 10,000. No specific fee is payable for the deletion of ships from the Cyprus registry. However, all other statutory fees and taxes due or in arrears at the time of the vessel's deletion should be paid.

5.05 Fees and taxes payable on provisional registration

The following fees and taxes are payable at the time of the provisional registration of a vessel:

  • registration fees;
  • tonnage tax for 6 months;
  • fees for obtaining a license to install and work a wireless telegraphy and/or telephony station;
  • fee for the issue of the provisional certificate of the Cyprus Registry.

5.06 Fees and taxes payable for the extension of the period of provisional registration

For extending the period of the provisional registration of a vessel under the Cyprus flag for an additional period of 3 months, the following fees and taxes are payable:

  • one half of the registration fees;
  • tonnage tax for 3 months.

These fees should be paid prior to the expiry date of the period of provisional registration.

5.07 Fees and taxes payable on permanent registration

If the relevant registration fees have been paid on provisional registration and the period of provisional registration has not expired, then no specific fees and taxes are levied for the permanent registration of the vessel apart from:

  • fee for the issue of the certificate of the Cyprus Registry;
  • payment of any other statutory fees and taxes due or in arrears at the time of the permanent registration of the vessel.

No other fee is payable if the permanent registration takes place before the expiry of the provisional registration period. Otherwise the fees payable on provisional registration are payable anew.

5.08 Fees and taxes payable annually

The following fees and taxes are payable annually:

  • tonnage tax;
  • fees for the renewal of the licence to install and work a wireless telegraphy and/or telephony station.

6.0 FUTURE PROSPECTS

Cyprus' spectacular development into a major base for international operations in the international maritime field and the phenomenal growth of its Merchant Shipping Registry (it now ranks 5th on the list of leading maritime nations as opposed to 29th ten years ago), is by no means accidental.

The immediate objective of the island with regard to merchant shipping is to enhance the quality of the ships flying the Cyprus flag, their crew and their operators. Governmental decisions have been taken to strengthen significantly and reorganise the maritime administration which has come under a lot of strain as a result of the exceptional growth of the fleet and the ever increasing international requirements. Indeed, in recent years the island has seen a surge of new international regulation on ship safety and pollution prevention. The most important developments are the introduction of the enhanced surveys and the adoption of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code as a new chapter of SOLAS 74.

With regard to the ISM Code the government has already decided to proceed with its early implementation. It has adopted the criteria set out by IMO and the European Union for the assignment of the tasks involved to non governmental organisations and on the basis of these criteria, it has decided to authorise recognised Classification Societies and members of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), to conduct the necessary audits and issue the relevant certificates.

The Cyprus authorities are increasingly aggressive in their promotion of the shipping industry and their efforts have altered the Cyprus flag from being one of "convenience" to one of "necessity", or in the words of the President of the Republic Mr Glafkos Clerides one of "progress".

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances from a local lawyer or accountant.

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You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions