An ideal destination offering a plethora of opportunities
The history of the Sea and Shipping in Cyprus traces back hundreds of years. Its geographical position at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa as well as its proximity to the Suez canal has historically favored merchant shipping as an important industry for the Aphrodite’s island.
Today, Cyprus as Europe’s Eastern Border constitutes a bridge of communication and cooperation between Europe and the countries of the Middle East. The country’s accession to the European Union, in 2004, further boosted the reputation and overall image of the Cyprus flag. The country’s unique geographical location at the crossroads of three continents, its advanced services, as well as the very competitive shipping taxation, make Cyprus the ideal location for ship owning and ancillary shipping-related services.
Admiralty and shipping law.
PAPANTONIOU & PAPANTONIOU L.L.C. is a leading Cypriot law firm in the field of Admiralty and shipping law. The firm offers a range of services to ship-owners, freight forwarders, insurers, charterers and has experience on resolving legal disputes that arise in the field. As a member of the European Law Firm, Papantoniou & Papantoniou LLC is on the advantageous position to provide legal services in the shipping law field everywhere around Europe and to other key countries such as the US, India, China and Thailand. Moreover, due to the law firm’s long-term and successful cooperation with Greek entrepreneurs, Papantoniou & Papantoniou L.L.C. specializes in providing legal services to Greek businesses , whose purpose is to expand their operations globally.
Facts about Cyprus’ shipping sector
Furthermore, according to the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, the island:
- has the 10th largest merchant fleet in the world and the 3rd largest merchant fleet in the EU
- is amongst top 5 Ship Management Centre in the world
- is one of the largest third party Ship Management Centre in the EU
It is notable that Cyprus has an EU-approved “Open Registry” Regime with a very wide and legally endorsed Tonnage Tax System (TTS), which was introduced with the Merchant Shipping Law in 2010 and covers the main “maritime transport” activities.
In a nutshell, the Cypriot Tonnage Tax System (TTS) provides the following advantages:
- No tax on shipping activities other than “Tonnage Tax”
- No tax on shipping profits including profits from the sale of Cyprus registered ships
- No estate duty or capital gains tax
- No income tax for seafarers on Cyprus-flagged ships
- No stamp duties on ship mortgage deeds or other security documents.
- No tax on dividends paid out of profits made from qualifying shipping activities.
- No tax on the wages or other benefits of seafarers on Cyprus-flagged ships
Ship owners of Cyprus flag ships automatically fall within the scope of the tonnage tax System(TTS) whereas ship owners of foreign flags, charterers and ship managers may opt to be taxed under the tonnage tax system(TTS) under certain conditions.
Cyprus maintains its competitive advantages through a high quality maritime cluster, offering efficient and quality services, as well as:
- Efficient and reliable services to the shipping industry,
- Competitive ship registration fees
- Full protection for financiers and mortgages.
- Bilateral agreements of cooperation in merchant shipping with 28 countries
- Classification of the Cyprus flag on the “White List” of the Paris and Tokyo MoUs.
- the favorable income tax legislation compliments the excellent Merchant Shipping Legislation, creating a highly tax efficient harbor for shipping groups and an ideal holding company location.
Furthermore, Cyprus :
- has double tax treaties with more than 48 countries
- has low set up and operating costs for companies
- Has only 12,5% corporation tax – one of the lowest in the EU.
Cyprus plays a prominent role as a leading shipping center. The tax benefits combined with the economic and the other significant benefits provided, make Cyprus the perfect choice for ship-owners, charterers and ship managers.