On 21 October 2019, the Shipping Deputy Ministry to the President (SDM) informed the public about the State Aid Scheme for Coastal Passenger Vessels (de minimis).

The aforementioned scheme was approved on 18 September 2019 by the Council of Ministers and the beneficiaries of the scheme are physical or legal entities who own coastal passenger vessels (registered under the Cyprus flag) engaged in the coastal passenger industry for no less than three (3) years during the last seven (7) years, with at least 60 trips per high-season (from April to November).

The ultimate aims of this Scheme are:

  1. the enhancement of the protection of the marine environment;
  2. the upgrade / improvement of coastal passenger vessels in navigation;
  3. the further improvement of safety and health conditions for crew and passengers; and
  4. the advancement of accessibility for people with disabilities.

The scheme will be implemented by the SDM for the period 2019-2022 with a €3 million allocated budget (€1 million per year). The highest budgetary support given, will not exceed €200,000 per beneficiary, while it will not exceed 60% of the eligible expenses. Pursuant to the said Scheme, the minimum investment should be at least €20,000.

Applications will be accepted from 1 November 2019 until 31 December 2019 or until the resources of this scheme are exhausted (on a first-come, first-served basis). The applications should only be submitted to the Shipping Deputy Ministry to the President by post (through registered letter), with the designation "State Aid Scheme for Coastal Passenger Vessels".

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.