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Ship & Yacht Registrations

CONDITIONS OF OWNERSHIP

A vessel may only be registered in the Register of Cyprus Ships if:
A) More than fifty percent (50%) of the shares of the ship are owned:
by Cypriot citizens or
by citizens of other Member States1 who in the instance of not being permanent residents of the Republic will have appointed an authorised representative in the Republic of Cyprus, or
B) The total (100%) of the shares of the ship are owned by one or more corporations, which have been established and operate:
in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Cyprus and have their registered office in the Republic, or
in accordance with the laws of any other Member State and have their registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the European Economic Area and which will have either appointed an authorised representative in Cyprus or the management of the ship is entrusted in full to a Cypriot or a Community shipmanagement company having its place of business in Cyprus, or
outside Cyprus or outside any other Member State but controlled by Cypriot citizens or citizens of Member States and have either appointed an authorised representative in Cyprus or the management of the ship is entrusted in full to a Cypriot or a Community shipmanagement company having its place of business in Cyprus. The corporation is deemed to be controlled by Cypriots or citizens of any other Member States when more than fifty percent of its shares are owned by Cypriots or citizens of any other Member States or when the majority of the Directors of the corporation are Cypriot citizens or citizens of any other Member State.
1Member State means a Member State of the European Union or other contracting party to the European Economic Area Agreement.

An authorised representative may be a Cypriot citizen or a citizen of any other Member State, who is resident in the Republic, or a partnership / corporation / branch established in accordance with the laws of Cyprus, which has its place of business in the Republic and which employs permanent staff in the Republic.

In view of the above requirements, all non-European owners who wish to register their ships under the Cyprus flag may incorporate a company in Cyprus, which will either acquire the ship in its name, or bareboat charter the ship.

Practice and custom have created a special type of Cyprus shipowning company (hereinafter referred to as "the company"), which is limited by shares and has a nominal capital, usually €1.000 divided into 1.000 shares of €1 each.

In accordance with the Advocates Laws of Cyprus, only lawyers registered as practicing advocates in Cyprus are entitled to draft the necessary documents for the incorporation of Cypriot companies as well as to carry out all registry transactions.

For information pertaining to Tonnage Taxes please see here.

The main types of vessel registration in Cyprus are Provisional, Permanent and Parallel registration.


SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS

Language of Supporting Documentation
Cypriot legislation provides that all documents which refer to Cyprus ships (i.e. including documents for their registration) are admissible provided that they are drawn up in a language comprehensible to the competent officers of the Department of Merchant Shipping. In practice, most of the documents are admissible in the English language. Such provision makes the registration of vessels faster and saves on translation expenses.

Ownership
The application for registration must be accompanied by documents attesting ownership and compliance with the various conditions which need to be fulfilled at the time of the provisional registration, the direct permanent registration or the parallel-in registration, as the case may be.

Entry / occasional annual inspection
The entry / occasional inspection is carried out by the surveyors of the Department of Merchant Shipping at the expense of the shipowner/bareboat charterer.

The entry inspection of a vessel acquired by a person qualified to own a Cyprus vessel should be carried out at the latest within 3 months from the date of provisional or parallel-in registration, or within 1 month from the date of permanent registration if effected directly. In the case of the parallel registration of a Cyprus vessel in a foreign registry, provided that the parallel registration is effected within 1 month from the date of provisional registration or direct permanent registration, the entry inspection is postponed until the expiry or termination of the parallel registration. In such a case the entry inspection should be carried out at the latest within 3 months from the termination or expiry of the status of parallel registration. With respect to a laid–up Cyprus vessel, the entry inspection should be carried at the latest within 1 month before the end of the lay-up period. The annual inspection of passenger vessels should be carried out within 3 months before or after the anniversary date of the registration of the vessel, unless alternative arrangements are agreed with the DMS to take place during dry-docking or before re-activation, after winter laid-up period, or during planned maintenance.

Management and Operation of a Vessel
The management and operation of a vessel is evidenced by the Joint Declaration on the Operation of a Ship (Form ISM 01/Revision 03) (see Circular No. 27/2006). A vessel is considered as managed and operated by a ship management company if that company holds, or is to be issued by or on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus with a valid, for the type of the vessel, Document of Compliance (DoC) or Interim DoC and the vessel is to be issued with a Safety Management Certificate (SMC) or Interim SMC by or on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, indicating that it is operated by the said company. Alternatively, the management of a vessel shall be proved by an audit of the management company carried out to the satisfaction of the Department of Merchant Shipping. Such audit shall be carried out to the extent possible in accordance with the requirements of the ISM Code.

Conditions after Registration
The conditions under which a vessel is registered continue to be in force irrespective of any subsequent amendments of the government policy. The owner or bareboat charterer, as the case may be, however, may apply for substitution of the conditions imposed initially with those stipulated in any later policy in force for vessels in the age group of the vessel at the time of its registration

Request for Assessment and Certification in accordance with the provisions of Chapter IX of SOLAS 74 as amended and the ISM Code
The International Safety Management Code (ISM Code) is mandatory for passenger vessels and self-propelled cargo vessels, irrespective of type, of 500 gross tonnage and upwards.

The management companies must hold a valid interim or full term Document of Compliance (DoC) issued by or on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus and each passenger vessel and cargo vessel of 500 gross tons and upwards, should be provided with an Interim Safety Management Certificate (SMC).

Cyprus has already enacted the necessary legislation and the Department of Merchant Shipping has issued several Guidance Notes since the introduction of the ISM Code. The latest consolidated Guidance Note (Circular no. 27/2006), contains among other things:
1. The notification procedure to be followed by the owner of each Cyprus ship in order to identify the company to the Department;
2. Additional requirements on matters to be addressed by the Safety Management System (SMS);
3. Recognised organizations which the owner or the company may engage for the purpose of verification and certification of the SMS; (List of the Recognised Organisations can be found in Appendix 5).
4. Mandatory rules and regulations which, as a minimum, must be addressed by the SMS.

Document of Safe Manning
Every Cyprus ship should be in possession of a valid document of safe manning specifying the number and composition of her complement. Owners of Cyprus ships should apply (application form available in Circular 16/2004) to the Department of Merchant Shipping requesting the issue of a document of safe manning.

If the vessel is designed and constructed with unattended machinery spaces, or is provided with any other automated machinery or remote controls, on account of which the owner may seek reduced manning, then the owner should indicate these in his application and should request the vessel’s classification society to advise the Department on these, including the corresponding class notation and confirm the class position of the vessel, as far as this notation is concerned.

If the vessel is to be engaged exclusively in trading in a particular geographical area and the owner seeks reduced manning on account of this, then he should indicate it by stating the names of the ports from which the vessel will be plying or by providing the geographical co-ordinates (latitude and longitude) and other appropriate information defining the geographical area in which the vessel will be sailing or by submitting an appropriately marked chart.


TYPES OF REGISTRATION


A. Provisional Registration
Administrative Procedures
Cypriot merchant shipping legislation allows for the provisional registration of a vessel and most owners usually opt to have their ship provisionally registered first. This will allow them time (up to 9 months, including a 3 month extension) during which they will be able to complete the administrative formalities for permanent registration.

The application for registration of a ship under the Cyprus flag must be made by a local lawyer to the Minister of Communications and Works through the Registrar of Cyprus Ships. In practice, the Registrar will also accept the submission of applications for registration of ships on behalf of companies under formation, so that the incorporation of the company and registration of the ship can progress simultaneously. However the company must be duly incorporated prior to the registration of the vessel.

A ship may be provisionally registered under the Cyprus flag either in Limassol, by the Registrar of Cyprus Ships or at any diplomatic mission or consular post of the Republic of Cyprus abroad (hereinafter referred to as “consular officer”) who will act on instructions issued by the Registrar of Cyprus Ships.

At the time of her provisional registration under the Cyprus flag a ship must be at a port so that she can be surveyed and certified on behalf of the Cypriot government. The presence of the ship at the port or place where the provisional registration will be effected is not necessary.

Application for Provisional Registration
In order to enable the Registrar of Cyprus Ships to initiate the procedure for the provisional registration of a ship, the following information is required:
name of the vessel and her flag at the time of the application;
name of the person (legal or natural) applying for the registration of the vessel;
name of the vessel under which she will be registered;
particulars of the vessel (type, year of build, date keel of the vessel was laid, gross and net tonnage);
name of the classification society with which the ship is entered. If the owners of the vessel contemplate a change of the classification society on acquiring the vessel this should also be stated;
Declaration of Particulars of the company for ISM Code
intended trading area of the vessel;
place where the vessel will be at the time of her provisional registration, if known. This must be communicated to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships prior to the provisional registration;
the consular office where the owners wish to effect the provisional registration of the vessel;
name and address of the shareholders and directors of the company in whose ownership the vessel will be registered.

Change of Ship's Name
If a change of the ship’s name is contemplated, 3 days must elapse between the date on which the application is submitted to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships and the date on which the registration of the ship or the proposed change in the name shall take place.

Recognised Classification Societies
It should be noted that the vessel must be classed with one of the classification societies that the Cypriot Government recognises.

Recognised Radio Traffic Accounting Authorities
It should be noted that the vessel must be covered by one of the radio traffic accounting authorities which the Cypriot Government recognises.

All maritime radiocommunications accounts must be paid by an accounting authority. Payments made directly through land earth stations or international service providers are not allowed.

Point of Service Activation (P.S.A.)
For the purpose of activation/deactivation for maritime mobile earth stations, vessels should nominate their preferred PSA that the Cypriot Government recognizes.

Supporting Documentation/Information
The following documents/information must be forwarded to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships together with the application for the provisional registration of the vessel or must reach the Registrar on a later date soon thereafter but in any case prior to the dispatch of instructions for the provisional registration of the vessel under the Cyprus flag. All documents should be duly executed where applicable.
Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Cypriot company*
Certificates of Incorporation, Directors and Secretary, Shareholders and Registered Office of the Cypriot company*
In the case of companies established in the EU or EEA or established outside the EU or EEA but controlled by citizens of the EU or EEA, a Notarial Certificate issued by a Notary Public or the competent authority of the relevant State can be submitted instead of the documents mentioned above.*
Resolutions of the Directors of the Company for the purchase of the vessel and its registration in the Cyprus Registry
Power of attorney authorising the person who will sign all the necessary documents on behalf and on account of the Company
Bill of Sale / Builder’s Certificate (Bill of Sale shall contain such particulars as shown in the specimen Bill of Sales )
Certificate of Deletion of the vessel / Certificate of Ownership and freedom of encumbrances from the previous registry
Confirmation of Radio Traffic Accounting Authority**
Confirmation of Vessel’s Classification Society (where applicable)
Continuous Synopsis Record (C.S.R.)** (Only forms submitted with initial application)
Declaration of ownership
Appointment of Authorised Representative
Registration of a Mobile Maritime Radio Station  and copy of Shore Based Maintenance Agreement
Registration of SAR Particulars
ISM forms where this is required**
In the case of Parallel Registration in a foreign register, a Certificate of Parallel Registration from the foreign registry.
In the case of pleasure craft under 24 metres:
Declaration of Conformity
EC Type Examination Certificate from a Notifying Body
Owner’s Manual
* In the case of an individual, this is replaced with the Identity Card or Passport
** Does not apply to non-convention ships
*** In the case of a corporation established in the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) or outside the EU and the EEA but controlled by citizens of the EU or EEA.

If the vessel falls within the ambit of the Government Policy for the Registration of vessels under the Cyprus flag then the additional requirements and/or conditions imposed therein must be satisfied prior to her registration.

If the provisional registration will take place at a diplomatic mission or consular post of the Republic of Cyprus abroad, some of the required documents can be deposited there, upon the Registrar’s written instructions.

Upon receipt of the required documents, the Registrar of Cyprus Ships, or the consular officer of the Republic as the case may be, will then proceed with the provisional registration of the vessel.


Completion of Provisional Registration
Provided that the relevant fees have been paid and all the necessary documentation has been deposited either with the Registrar of Cyprus Ships or with any diplomatic mission or consular officer of the Republic, the Registrar or the consular officer who has been instructed to carry out the ship’s provisional registration will proceed to:
issue a Provisional Certificate of the Cyprus Registry (form MS.5), which is valid for 6 months from the date of issue;
issue a provisional radio licence;
advise the vessel’ s classification society that it may proceed with the survey and certification of the vessel on behalf of the Cypriot government.
The shipowner must ensure that the ship does not leave the port where she is lying unless and until she has been duly surveyed and certificated by her classification society on behalf of the Cypriot government.

Extension of Provisional Registration
A 3 month extension of the ship’s provisional registration may be obtained, provided the provisional certificate of Cyprus Registry has not expired and the appropriate extension fees have been paid. For this purpose an application has to be made by the local lawyer acting on behalf of the registered owner to the Minister of Communications and Works through the Registrar of Cyprus Ships, requesting the extension of the ship’s provisional registration.

In the said application, the consular officer of the Republic to whom the Provisional Certificate of Cyprus Registry will be presented for extension should be stated. The Registrar of Cyprus Ships will consider the application and will proceed and instruct the consular officer indicated above to effect the necessary endorsement of the Provisional Certificate of the Cyprus Registry.

B. Permanent Registration
The permanent registration of a provisionally registered vessel must be effected within 6 months (or 9 months if the 3 month extension has been obtained) from the date on which she was provisionally registered.

Application and Documentation
The following documents must be submitted to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships in addition to the documents required for the provisional registration:
Certificate of Survey (Form M.S.1) and Tonnage Certificate (form M.S.12 or M.S.12A or M.S.12B depending on the type of vessel) from a recognized Classification Society;
Ship’s Carving and Marking Note (M.S. 32);
The International Certificates from a recognized Classification Society in accordance with the relevant international maritime conventions in force*;
Safety Management Certificate (SMC) where this is required*
Confirmation of the Customs Department on the payment of V.A.T. for pleasure craft, where applicable.
* Does not apply to non convention ships

If the vessel falls within the ambit of the Government Policy for the Registration of vessels under the Cyprus flag then the applicable requirements or conditions under which her registration has been approved should be complied with

Measurement of the Ship's Tonnages and Ship's Carving and Marking
The Certificate of Survey and the Cyprus Tonnage Certificate or International Tonnage Certificate (1969) may be prepared by any one of the classification societies recognised by the Cypriot Government or by the Department of Merchant Shipping.
After receipt of the aforementioned forms, the Registrar of Cyprus Ships allots to the ship her official number (which for ships over 100 GT is identical to the IMO number) and issues the ship’s carving and marking note which is given to the owner. The owner should ensure that his ship is marked in accordance with the requirements of section 8 of the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgage) Law, 45/63 as amended.

The owner must then ask a surveyor of ships (surveyors of any of the recognised and authorized classification societies or of the Department of Merchant Shipping) to inspect the ship’s carving and marking. When the surveyor is satisfied that these have been made in accordance with the requirements of the aforesaid section, he will complete and sign the lower part of the note, verifying that these have been carried out and return it to the owner.

The owner should forward the duly verified Ship’s Carving and Marking Note to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships in order to enable him to proceed with the permanent registration of the vessel.

Certificate of Cyprus Registry
After receipt of all the documents set out in the previous section, and provided the appropriate fees have been paid, the Registrar of Cyprus Ships will proceed with the permanent registration of the vessel and the issue of the Certificate of Cyprus Registry (form M.S. 4 or M.S.4B).

C. Parallel Registration
Options
Under Cypriot legislation parallel (bareboat) registration of vessels is possible. The legislation provides for the two forms of internationally accepted bareboat registration: ‘Parallel-in’ registration and ‘Parallel-out’ registration.

These two options offer some very interesting opportunities for leaseback, hire purchase and finance arrangements.

The administrative practice of the Department of Merchant Shipping has confirmed that the parallel (bareboat) registration of vessels under the Cyprus regime may be effected with more than 20 states whose legislation is compatible with Cypriot legislation.

C.1. Parallel-in Registration
This form of registration offers the possibility to a foreign flag vessel on bareboat charter to a person (legal or physical, qualified to own a Cyprus ship) to be registered in ‘parallel’ under the Cyprus flag for a period, usually 2 years, which is renewable.

Under this type of registration, the deletion of the registration in the foreign register is not required, but the foreign nationality is suspended and the foreign registry is operative only with respect to the ownership and encumbrances status of the ship.

The law of the country of the foreign registry must allow the parallel registration of the ships registered in its register.

Age Limit
The Government policy on the age limit of vessels which may be registered in the Register of Cyprus Ships (see Goverment Policy) is applicable to the parallel-in registration of vessels.

Application and Documentation
The application for the parallel-in registration of a vessel is submitted by the bareboat charterer who must be a person (legal or physical) qualified to own a Cyprus ship under the Cypriot merchant shipping legislation (see relevant section on Registration of Ships). The following documents must be submitted to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships for this purpose:
Application for parallel-in registration by a local lawyer acting on behalf of the bareboat charterer, to the Minister of Communications and Works through the Registrar of Cyprus Ships, requesting the parallel registration of the vessel in the Register of Cyprus Ships;
Memorandum and articles of association of the company (bareboat charterer);
Certificates of incorporation, directors and secretary, shareholders and registered office of the bareboat charterer;
Resolutions of directors of the company resolving to bareboat charter the vessel and register her parallel-in in the Special Book of Parallel Registration;
Power of attorney under the common seal of the company, if there is a need to authorise a third person to attend matters in relation to the parallel registration;
Appointment of Authorised Representative*
Tonnage certificate of the vessel;
Certified copy of the bareboat charter party;
Certified written consent of the owner for the parallel-in registration;
Certified written consent of the mortgagees, if any;
Written consent of the foreign register with an official translation;
Certificate of encumbrances from the foreign register;
Registration of a Mobile Maritime Radio Station
Registration of SAR particulars
* In the case of a corporation established in the European Union or the European Economic Area
** Does not apply to non convention ships

The following information must (where applicable) also reach the Registrar of Cyprus Ships:
Confirmation of class from the head office of a recognised classification society;
Confirmation from a recognised radio traffic accounting authority that they will settle the ship’s radiomaritime accounts;
Continuous Synopsis Record from the previous register.

Tonnage and Name of the Vessel
For the parallel-in registration, a new measurement of the tonnage of the vessel is not required.

The Certificate of Survey and the Tonnage Certificate are issued on the basis of the corresponding documents of the foreign registry. Ships registered parallel-in may keep the name of the foreign registry, but this name must not be the same as the name of a ship already registered in the Register of Cyprus Ships. Ships registered parallel-in may change their name under the same conditions as those applicable to Cyprus ships registered provisionally or permanently. In such cases, the application must be made by the bareboat charterer with the written consent of the shipowner and of the mortgagees and the submission of the Master΄s confirmation as to the change of name. The change of name must be notified to the foreign registry.

Certificate of Cyprus Registry
After receipt of all the documents set out above and provided the appropriate fees have been paid, the Registrar of Cyprus Ships will proceed with the parallel-in registration of the vessel in the Special Book of Parallel Registration of the Cyprus Register and the issue of the Certificate of Cyprus Registry (form MS.4A).

Status of Vessels Registered Parallel-in
Vessels registered parallel-in in the Register of Cyprus Ships must hoist the Cyprus flag and are not allowed to use the flag of the country of the foreign registry. The port of registry marked on the stern of the ship must be LIMASSOL and not that of the foreign registry.

The transfer of ownership of a vessel registered parallel-in in the Special Book of Parallel Registration of the Cyprus Register is effected in accordance with the law of the foreign register and not in accordance with the provisions of the Cypriot merchant shipping legislation. The transfer of ownership is only notified to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships who will make the necessary changes in the Certificate of Cyprus Registry. Mortgages are created only by the shipowner, and in accordance with the law of the country of foreign register in which they shall be recorded. The constitution of such mortgages and other encumbrances is only notified to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships. Except for matters relating to the transfer of ownership and mortgages and other encumbrances, all other matters in relation to vessels registered parallel-in in the Register of Cyprus Ships are governed by the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Law, 45/63 as amended.

The extension of the status of the parallel registration and the registration of the vessel parallel-in is allowed, so long as the prerequisite conditions according to the law applicable at the time of the initial registration continue to apply.

Termination of Parallel-in Registration
The termination of the status of a vessel registered parallel-in is effected in the following cases:
Where the foreign registry revokes its consent for the parallel-in registration in the Register of Cyprus Ships;
In case of termination of the bareboat charter;
Upon the lapse of the period of time for which the Minister of Communications and Works has approved the parallel-in registration of the vessel;
If there exists any reason for deletion which, under the Cypriot merchant shipping legislation, applies in cases of ships provisionally or permanently registered in the Register of Cyprus Ships.

Upon such a termination the vessel is deleted from the Special Book of Parallel Registration of the Cyprus Register.

C.2. Parallel-out Registration
Under the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Law, 45/63 as amended, Cyprus ships may be bareboat chartered to a foreign person or company and registered ‘parallel-out’ in a foreign register for the duration of the charter party. This so called ‘Parallel-out’ registration allows the financing of a ship and her mortgaging under the Cyprus flag and her registration in a foreign registry through a bareboat charter arrangement.

The parallel-out registration of a Cyprus ship is possible if she is bareboat chartered to a foreign individual or corporation and the law of the country of the foreign registry allows the parallel registration of vessels of another registry, under prerequisite conditions similar to those set out for the parallel-in registration of ships in the Register of Cyprus Ships.

This type of registration is possible for Cyprus ships which are provisionally or permanently registered in the Register of Cyprus Ships. The parallel-out registration of a Cyprus ship must be approved by the Minister of Communications and Works.

Application and Documentation
The application for the parallel-out registration of a Cyprus vessel is effected by her owner. The following documents duly executed (where applicable) must be submitted to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships for this purpose:
Application for parallel-out registration by a local lawyer acting on behalf of the registered owner, to the Minister of Communications and Works through the Registrar of Cyprus Ships, requesting the parallel-out registration of the vessel;
Resolutions of the directors of the shipowning company resolving to bareboat charter the ship
Power of attorney if a third person is signing the bareboat charter party on behalf of the owners;
Certified copy of the bareboat charter party;
Certified written consent of the bareboat charterer for the parallel-out registration;
Original certificate of Cyprus Registry;
Written consent of the foreign registry confirming also that the law of the country allows the parallel registration of the Cyprus ship in its register with an official translation;
Certified written consent of the mortgagees, if any;
Confirmation from a recognised radio traffic accounting authority that they will continue to settle the vessel’s radiomaritime accounts;
Common declaration by the shipowner and charterer that they undertake to produce to the Registrar within one month, a certified copy of the foreign certificate of parallel registration and to notify every alteration which takes place regarding the name or other particulars of the ship, during the period the status of parallel registration of the ship in the foreign register is in force.

Approval of Parallel-out Registration
Provided that the appropriate fees have been paid and all the necessary documentation has been deposited with the Registrar of Cyprus Ships, the Minister of Communications and Works may allow the parallel-out registration of the vessel for a period not greater than 3 years. Such a period is renewable if the conditions imposed on first registration continue to apply. Upon the approval by the Minister of the parallel-out registration of the vessel, the Cypriot nationality of the vessel is suspended and the Cyprus Certificate of Registration must be delivered to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships.

Status of Vessels Registered Parallel-out
Cyprus vessels registered parallel-out must hoist the flag of the foreign registry and cannot use the Cyprus flag. Also, the port of registry marked on the stern of the vessel must be that of the foreign registry.

Transfers of ownership and any transactions affecting mortgages (i.e. creation, registration, transfer and discharge) on Cyprus ships registered parallel-out, are exclusively governed by Cypriot legislation and no action in relation to these matters may be taken by the foreign registry.

Entries made in the Register of Cyprus Ships regarding transfers of ownership or mortgages on Cyprus ships registered parallel-out, are only notified by the Registrar of Cyprus Ships to the foreign registry.

Termination of Parallel-out Registration
The status of the vessels registered parallel-out continues to be in force for the duration of the charter party, if the approval of the Minister and the consent of the foreign registry are in force, but in any case for a period not greater than 3 years, unless it is renewed. The Certificate of Cyprus Registry is returned to the shipowner as soon as the parallel-out registration is terminated.


REGISTRY TRANSACTIONS AND MORTGAGES

The Register of Cyprus Ships
Transfers and transmissions of ownership, as well as registrations, discharges, transfers and transmissions of mortgages, must be recorded in the Register of Cyprus Ships. The relevant application must be submitted to the Registrar and the relevant documents may be deposited with the Registrar or a consular officer on the instructions of the Registrar.

Change of Ship's Name
A change of the ship’s name may be effected by submitting an application to the Registrar. When the change of name is approved, a period of 3 days must lapse from the date of application before the new name can be marked on the ship and the ship’s documents be endorsed to this end. It should be noted that no two ships registered under the Cyprus flag may have either the same or closely similar names.

Deletion
A Cyprus ship must be deleted from the Register of Cyprus Ships as soon as the ownership is transfered to a person (legal or natural) not qualified to to own a Cyprus ship under the merchant shipping legislation.

A Cyprus ship may be deleted from the Registry upon the submission of an application by the owner of the ship in order for the same to be registered in a foreign registry.

No export license is required for the deletion of a vessel from the Register of Cyprus Ships. A deletion certificate or a Closed Transcript of Registry is issued as soon as the registered mortgages and other encumbrances are discharged and all matters pending with the Registry, including financial obligations, are settled.

Mortgages
Once a ship has been registered under the Cyprus flag, a mortgage can be created thereby securing a loan or other financial obligations on conditions agreed to by the parties, without the need for exchange control permission. The creation of a mortgage under Cypriot laws is not allowed on vessels registered parallel-in in the Register of Cyprus Ships.

A mortgage once created must be deposited with the Registrar of Cyprus Ships or with a consular officer on the instructions of the Registrar. Whether deposited with the Registrar or with a consular officer, the mortgage is recorded thereafter in the Register as from the date and time of its deposit and remains an encumbrance on the vessel until discharged by the mortgagees. A mortgage may be created independently of whether the ship is provisionally or permanently registered.

If the ship on which a mortgage was created belongs to a Cypriot company, the mortgage will also have to be registered with the Registrar of Companies within a maximum period of 42 days after its creation. The mortgagee’s security is protected in the case of liquidation of the shipowning company. Transfer of a mortgage may be effected by completing the statutory form of transfer and submitting it to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships or to a consular officer.

In order to discharge a mortgage, a memorandum of discharge will need to be duly executed by the mortgagee. It will then have to be attested and delivered to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships or a consular officer on the instructions of the Registrar.

The above information was obtained from the Department of Merchant Shipping of Cyprus


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