The Cypriot govermment plans to abolish ship initial registration fees in a bid to boost the Cypriot registry’s competitiveness and attract more ship registrations, Deputy Minister for Shipping Natasa Pilides has said on Friday.
Pilides briefed the parliamentary committee on Transport concerning new draft regulations approved by the Council of Ministers providing for the registry’s new pricing policy which provides for rounding of fees, grouping of fees as well abolishing the initial registration fee.
“We believe that abolishing initial termination fees will boost the shipping registry,” Pilides said speaking to the committee, adding that although the Cypriot registry attracts very good comments, it faces challenges due to the restrictions to Cypriot shipping imposed by Turkey since 1987.
“If we don’t reduce fees, perhaps instead of 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 million gross tonnage, the highest level since 2010 when Cyprus’ tonnage tax was approved by the European Commission, Pilides noted.
She pointed out that Denmark which abolished ship registration fees has the fastest growing registry in Europe.
Responding to questions with regard to the impact of initial registration fee, Pilides said, the aim is to increase ship registration, adding that the losses should registrations remain at the current pace will amount to €600,000 to €700,000.
“If we manage to attract more ships surely will be have increased revenue from the tonnage tax and other fees,” she added.
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.