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Cyprus cuts ship detentions rates by more than half

Cyprus is no longer part of the targeted flag list of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in relation to the safety performance of flag administrations, the Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) said.

The announcement is based on the outcome of the US Government’s 2019 Annual Report on Port State Control. 

The three-year average detention ratio of Cyprus for the period 2017-2019 was 0.96 per cent compared to an average USCG ratio of 1.08 per cent. In 2019, the annual detention ratio of Cyprus ships was reduced to 0.55 per cent, down from 1.79 per cent in 2018, while the USCG’s 2019 ratio was 1.12 per cent.

As explained, the enhanced track record is the result of a National Shipping Strategy which the Shipping Deputy Ministry has been implementing since its inception in order to maintain its position as one of the world’s top flag administrations.

Whilst from a practical point of view this may lead to fewer inspections for Cyprus vessels at US ports, it adds to the flag’s status as a high-quality flag which is consistently part of the white lists of the Paris and Tokyo MOUs.

“Over the past few years the Shipping Deputy Ministry has introduced a host of new applications on its website ranging from the electronic seafarers’ management system to the electronic verification of certificates, the online submission and management of tax returns, a tax calculator and an interactive career platform for seafarers,” Natasa Pilides, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister, said.

“We are pleased that our strategy has significantly improved our offering to ship owners and enhanced safety as reflected in the reduced detention ratio. An automated port state control system as well as an online ship registration application are also under development, aiming to further reduce bureaucracy and enhance our one-stop service.”

The Shipping Deputy Ministry has obtained approval from the EU for the prolongation of its tonnage tax system for another ten years. The SDM has taken steps to promote maritime education in Cyprus, whilst marine and maritime innovation has acquired new momentum with the set-up of the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute.

“Cyprus takes pride in its role as a member of the IMO Council and as an EU member, striving to contribute to shaping international policies for greener, smarter and safer shipping,” Maritime Cyprus pointed out.

Since 2018, the Cyprus flag has grown extensively and ranks amongst the top international fleets. It boasts a young fleet that averages seven years of age and encompasses more than 1,100 oceangoing vessels with a total gross tonnage exceeding 24.4 million. Cyprus has the third-largest fleet within the European Union and continues to expand.

The number of companies based in Cyprus and registered under the Cyprus tonnage tax system has also grown exponentially in the last 10 years, with more than 30 per cent growth in the two years since the set-up of the Shipping Deputy Ministry in March 2018.