The European Commission has approved the extension of Cyprus’ tonnage tax scheme, which applies to ship ownership, ship management and ship chartering activities.
The extension was hailed a major achievement by the industry.
Cyprus was the first-ever open registry to have a Tonnage Tax System (TTS) approved by the EU and this system has now been extended for the next ten years following extensive negotiation and discussion between the Cyprus shipping deputy ministry and the European Commission.
The extension provides stability for current and future Cyprus-flagged shipping companies or those operating in Cyprus and is also expected to encourage ship registration in Europe.
“To be recognised by the European Commission for our fair and transparent TTS, which has already been applicable for ten years and is now extended for another ten years, demonstrates our commitment to the sustainable growth of European shipping,” said Shipping Deputy Minister Natasa Pilides
“The extension also enables us to continue with our strategy for the sustainable growth of the sector in Cyprus and in Europe.
“We are committed to providing a stable, reliable and forward-thinking registry that will appeal to all shipowners, managers, and charterers and we are confident this prolonged system will assist in increasing the tonnage of our fleet.
“Both the number of ships registered under the Cyprus flag and the number of companies under the Cyprus TTS is growing steadily, and we are committed to continuing this trend.”
Ranking amongst the top international fleets, Cyprus has over 1,000 oceangoing vessels with a total gross tonnage exceeding 24 million.
The Cyprus Shipping Chamber (CSC) said in an announcement: “This great achievement is the example of the close cooperation and the coordinated efforts between the shipping deputy ministry, other government/state agencies, the Cyprus Shipping Chamber and the Cyprus Union of Shipowners.”
It has ensured the viability of the Cyprus shipping register and the shipping industry. “Today Cyprus Shipping can continue its successful course a very competitive, and at the same time, fully compatible with the European acquis, Cyprus shipping taxation system, maintaining its prominent position in International Shipping and develop it even further,” the CSC added..
It would also serve as a convincing leverage for attracting additional quality shipowners and shipping companies to Cyprus, with a positive chain effect on Cyprus economy and society.