Ship management and maritime operations is the second most important activity. Some of the world's largest ship management companies have their headquarters on the island from where they manage a considerable number of vessels under the Cypriot and foreign flags. Their success has led other enterprises offering shipping related services, such as marine insurance, average adjustment, ship classification etc, to be established in Cyprus.

The Cypriot merchant fleet ranks 6th on the list of maritime nations with over 2.600 ships exceeding 26 million gross tonnage. This achievement is due to the cost competitiveness of the Cypriot Ship Registry, the island's well-developed maritime infrastructure as well as the high standard of services offered to international shipping. The usual practice is for each vessel to belong to a different shipping company. A foreign owner may register a vessel under the Cypriot flag by forming a shipping company with the permission of the Central Bank.

The Department of Merchant Shipping, Ministry of Communications and Works is the appropriate authority for the registration of vessels.

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