Since then, Cyprus 4.0 has spoken with the Deputy Minister of Shipping, as well as two other stakeholders in the maritime sector, about the details of this initiative, as well as the benefits it entails for the Cypriot maritime industry. as she navigates an increasingly complex and challenging global economy. environment.
“The effort to create this limited liability company is not something new or recent, it has been going on for about 6-7 years,” the minister told Cyprus 4.0, noting that the government was trying to create a new registrar for shipping companies in order to speed up the whole registration process.
“The reason for this decision is due to our overall efforts in Cyprus to make our shipping industry faster, more efficient and more competitive,” the Minister added.
One of the questions that naturally arose during this discussion was the specificity of the maritime transport sector and why it should have its own register of companies, unlike other sectors, which have to resort to the Department of the Register of Companies and Intellectual property.
“The reason is clear. The shipping industry is taxed differently. Shipping companies are subject to the tonnage law. They are not subject to the same rules as other corporations under the Department of Taxation,” Demetriades said.
This new initiative will allow us to create a new framework that will facilitate the creation of a one stop shop which will in turn help us to attract a large number of new international shipping companies to Cyprus. Also, with this new framework in place, they will be able to find and receive many of the services they need under one roof,” he added.
Moreover, in reference to the efforts of the Deputy Ministry of Merchant Marine to improve its services to industry, Demetriades said that the ministry is digitizing all its services with the help of funds provided by the Cyprus Recovery and Resilience Plan. .
“We came to this plan after conducting a plethora of discussions with stakeholders in the shipping industry,” said the minister, who noted that this initiative was also supported by his predecessors, Natasa Pilides, who was the first Deputy Minister of Shipping of Cyprus, as well as the former Minister of Transport Marios Demetriades.
“This has been a longing for the shipping industry, as well as international investors, for some time,” the minister added. Furthermore, Demetriades explained that the Ministry has thoroughly discussed this proposal with various legal bodies, including the Cyprus Bar Association, the State Legal Service, as well as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Cyprus. (Selk), in order to increase transparency.
“Our call on the House of Representatives is that it consider this issue as a matter of priority, allowing us to enact it before the end of the year, to stimulate and further develop the maritime industry of Cyprus. I think shipping is a very productive sector for the Cypriot economy and goes beyond party politics,” Demetriades said.
“I want to say that all parties appreciate the importance of the sector and are trying to help us with their approvals and give us the ‘green light’ to move forward with our plan. I think the plan, having passed the review process, will be voted on,” the Minister concluded.
Commenting on the proposal, senior partner at law firm Elias Neocleous & Co LLC and maritime legal expert Vassilis Psyrras said there was a demand for more efficiency and speed in the way the industry was served. in Cyprus.
“The Deputy Minister of Merchant Marine has been very responsive and has proven over the years to be a valuable partner and regulator who understands the needs and requirements of the industry,” Psyrras said.
“It came naturally to reach a point where the idea of ’one stop shop’ broadened to include the company owning the ship. We hope that this new piece of legislation will address these concerns and prove to be a valuable tool for all stakeholders,” he added.
In addition, Psyrras echoed the Minister’s thoughts that this is a long-standing request from the shipping industry and other relevant stakeholders.
“It has indeed been the subject of much discussion, the main issue being that due to the nature and particularities of the industry, and the need for speed and flexibility, a centralized and simpler structure would allow parties stakeholders to quickly face such challenges and adapt, but at the same time without any reduction in quality or compliance,” he explained.
“The maritime transport cluster in Cyprus has come a long way and has always been at the forefront of progress and innovation. This bill is another example of why Cyprus does not just talk about business, but does business. We hope that when this bill is passed, it will boost shipping even further, providing not only the local shipping community but also the global community with a useful tool to conduct business,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, EY Cyprus Tax Practice Director Eleni Sofocleous told Cyprus 4.0 that the introduction of such legislation should be seen as a step in the right direction, ensuring that Cyprus remains competitive among the rest. EU maritime jurisdictions, as well as maintaining the country in a prominent position on the international maritime map.
Furthermore, she explained that it would also demonstrate that maritime transport has always been a priority for the government and that it is an industry that Cyprus has traditionally focused on.
“We must stress that companies which choose to be incorporated and governed under this new legislation will still need to meet the same requirements as companies incorporated under the Companies Act and comply with the same reporting requirements; the main difference here will be that the responsible authority will be the Deputy Minister of Merchant Shipping, under whom all aspects of compliance for a shipping company will be centralized,” Sofocleous said.
“In this regard, the new legislation should aim to further strengthen our competitive position while ensuring that the new model does not in any way compromise our reputation as a strong maritime name and our solid reputation, both of which are exceptional internationally. level,” she concluded.
Source: The Cyprus Mail