The Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) announced that, based on the outcome of the US Government’s 2019 Annual Report on Port State Control, Cyprus is no longer part of the Targeted Flag List of the United States Coastguard (USCG) in relation to the safety performance of flag administrations.
The three-year average detention ratio of Cyprus for the period 2017-2019 was 0.96% compared to an average USCG ratio of 1.08%. In 2019, the annual detention ratio of Cyprus ships was reduced to 0.55%, down from 1.79% in 2018, while the USCG’s 2019 ratio was 1.12%, a relevant announcement notes.
This enhanced track record is the result of a comprehensive National Shipping Strategy which the Shipping Deputy Ministry has been implementing since its inception in order to cement its position as one of the world’s top flag administrations and as a leading shipping cluster, it is added. 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 MoU’s, the Deputy Ministry says.
Natasa Pilides, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister, said that “the Shipping Deputy Ministry has always focused on providing a high-quality service and will continue to focus on providing tailored, trusted services to all our collaborators while ensuring safety, security and environmental protection. 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.”
“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”Pilides continued.
Committed to safeguarding and enhancing the competitiveness of the Cyprus maritime cluster, the Shipping Deputy Ministry has obtained the approval of the EU for the prolongation of its tonnage tax system for another 10 years, the announcement notes.
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, the SDM announcement concludes.