Merchant shipping in Cyprus has traditionally been, and continues to be, a pillar for economic growth, currently employing over 4,000 people and contributing 5.0 per cent to GDP, minister of communications and works said on Monday.
In an address marking the 50th anniversary since the founding and operation of the Cyprus registry, Tasos Mitsopoulos highlighted the successes that the Cypriot maritime industry had achieved since its birth, and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to supporting and facilitating the industry’s continued growth through tax and other incentives, as well as continuous improvement in the quality of services provided.
The first merchant shipping laws in Cyprus were passed in 1963 with Famagusta designated as the port of registry. By 1974 the Cyprus merchant fleet had grown significantly.
However, the Turkish invasion of 1974 caused major disruptions, and the registry had to be reconstructed with Limassol designated as the new port of registry.
The beginning of the 1980s found Cyprus 32nd globally in fleet size.
Today Cyprus is in 10th place globally and 3rd in the EU in fleet size, with 1,857 seagoing vessels and a total tonnage of 21 million.
An elected member of the Council of the International Maritime Organisation since 1987, Cyprus won re-election earlier in December with the second-largest number of votes it has ever received.