Shipping & Transport, Cyprus

  • New Scheme
  • Eligibility
  • Subsidies
  • Working time
  • Limits
  • Special scheme

Since November 2015 the government has subsidised practical training on board ships for deck and engine cadet officers. The Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS) recently announced changes to this scheme and the procedure for claiming reimbursement.

New Scheme

Under the original scheme, eligibility was restricted to service on Cyprus-flagged vessels or foreign-flagged vessels taxed under the Cyprus tonnage tax system. The scheme has now been extended to cover Cyprus-flagged vessels and vessels managed by companies located in other EU member states. A new requirement of at least 750 kilowatts (kW) of propulsion power has been introduced, in addition to the existing requirements that the vessel must perform international voyages and have a gross tonnage of at least 1,500 tonnes.


To qualify for funding under the scheme, the cadet officer must be:

  • a permanent resident of Cyprus; and
  • a graduate or student of:
  • a recognised merchant marine academy; or
  • a marine or mechanical engineering or naval architecture university faculty.

Further, he or she must not already be receiving funding for practical training on board ships from the vessel's flag state or any other state.

In addition, the cadet officer must have:

  • a good level of Greek and English;
  • a valid medical examination certificate; and
  • completed the prescribed basic training and ship security awareness training.1


The scheme provides a subsidy of €600 a month per cadet officer for up to six months a year. The employer must contribute at least €200 a month to the cadet officer's salary and, if the vessel flies the Cyprus flag, the employer must also pay the prescribed contributions to the Social Insurance Department based on the total amount of the salary. The total funding period for any individual is limited to 12 months and must be completed within three years from the first funding period.

Working time

The new scheme also prescribes an eight-hour work day, which must include four hours a day for watchkeeping duties on deck or in the engine room. The scheme also requires cadet officers to have one rest day a week and rest on public holidays.


The previous limit of 65 individuals a year has been removed and the maximum number of participants a year will be determined in accordance with the budget available on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications for reimbursement must be submitted to the DMS with the required supporting documentation before the training begins.

Special scheme In addition to the general scheme, there is a special scheme for engine crew training to be an officer in charge of an engineering watch on board vessels with at least 3,000kW of propulsion power which fly the Cyprus flag and operate exclusively in the jurisdiction of Cyprus. The training programme must be supervised by the chief engineer or second engineer officer and the trainee must have accumulated at least 12 months of sea service as an engine crew member on vessels of the same category before starting the programme.


(1) Part A-VI/1, STCW, 78 (as amended) and Part A-VI/6, STCW, 78.

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.