Cyprus plans to abolish initial ship registration fees in a bid to boost the Cypriot registry’s competitiveness and attract more vessels, Deputy Minister for Shipping Natasa Pilides said.
Pilides briefed the parliamentary committee on Transport about new draft regulations approved by the cabinet for the registry’s new pricing policy which provides for rounding off fees, grouping of fees as well abolishing the initial registration fee.
“We believe that abolishing initial fees will boost the shipping registry,” Pilides told MPs, adding that although the Cypriot registry is well respected, it faces challenges due to the embargo on Cyprus-flag ships imposed by Turkey since 1987.
“If we don’t reduce fees, perhaps instead of an increase in ship registrations we could see a reduction”, she added.
The Cypriot registry ranks 11th the world with 1,100 ships and a gross tonnage amounting to 24.4 mln, the highest level since 2010 when Cyprus’ tonnage tax was approved by the European Commission.
Pilides pointed out that Denmark which abolished ship registration fees has the fastest growing registry in Europe.
Responding to questions about the impact of initial registration fee, Pilides said, the aim is to increase ship registration, adding that incurred losses if registrations remain the same will amount to €600,000 or €700,000.
“If we manage to attract more ships surely, we will have increased revenue from the tonnage tax and other fees.”
The proposed regulations will be tabled to the House Plenary for approval on September 27 so that the new pricing policy will be put into force before the Maritime Cyrus conference on October 6-9.