Areas of Practice

Ship Registration, Deletion And Transfer Procedures

SHIP REGISTRATION, DELETION AND TRANSFER PROCEDURES
A company, whilst in the process of actually being incorporated, may apply for the registration of a ship in its own name. Nevertheless, approval for the ship’s registration will not be granted unless the certificate of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association of the company are submitted to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships.

 

Usually, an application is submitted on behalf of the company to the Minister of Communications and Works through the Registrar of Cyprus Ships, requesting permission to register the vessel in the Cyprus Register.

 

1. Age limitation of vessels
The new government policy relating to the age of ships which may be registered under the Cypriot flag came into effect on 1st July, 1990. According to this policy any vessel of any type, and tonnage, not exceeding 17 years of age, may be registered under the Cypriot flag.

Ships over 18 years of age are also eligible for registration, subject to fulfilling the requirements set out in Schedule 1 to this memorandum.

 

2. Yacht registration
No distinction is made under Cypriot law between “ships” and “pleasure craft” but the procedure for registering a yacht or other types of pleasure craft under the Cypriot flag is much simpler and straight forward.

 

3. Registration Procedures

Provisional Registration
Ships which are registrable and are not in a Cypriot port at the time of registration may, initially, be provisionally registered. Provisional registration is deemed to be a full registration for a period of six months and it can be extended for a further period of three months provided an application is made prior to the expiration of the original six-month period.

 

(i) Provisional registration is effected by an application to the Minister of Communications and Works through the Registrar of Cyprus Ships, for permission to register the vessel under the Cypriot flag. The prescribed particulars of the vessel  must be included in the relevant application and some other information which will be advised to you upon request.  Moreover, every application should be supported by a number of corporate documents to be advised to you in due course.

(ii) In addition, an application for the registration of a vessel must he supported by:

(a) A confirmation by the vessel’s classification society regarding her seaworthiness, her maintenance of class, the validity of her International Load Line and S.O.L.A.S. certificates and the readiness of the classification society to issue certificates on behalf of the Cypriot Government upon registration of the vessel under the Cypriot flag; and

(b) A confirmation by a Radio Accounting Authority that they have undertaken the clearance of her radio maritime accounts.

(iii) On approval of the registration of the vessel, the Registrar of Cyprus Ships will, on request, telex his authority to a Cypriot Consul at the desired place to effect provisional registration of the vessel.

 

(iv) The documents  which will be advised to you in due course must be lodged with the appropriate Consul for the provisional registration of the vessel. When the prescribed fees  are paid, the Consul will issue a “Provisional Certificate of Cyprus Registry” which will be valid for six months. The prescribed fees can be advised upon request.

Extension of the Provisional Registration
The six-month validity of the Provisional Certificate of Cyprus Registry may be extended for a further period of three months provided an application is made prior to the expiry of the provisional registration and payment of the prescribed fees amounting to one half of the registration fees is also made. No further extension can be allowed.

 

Permanent registration

 

The permanent registration of a vessel provisionally registered under the Cypriot flag must be completed within the six or nine month validity period of the Provisional Certificate of Cyprus Registry by delivering to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships the additional documents to be advised to you upon request  if they have not already been deposited with the Consul dealing with the registration. It is not necessary for the vessel to be present in a Cypriot port.

On a completion of the procedure the Registrar will allot to the vessel an official number and issue the Carving and Marking Note containing the official number which must be shown on the vessel, together with her name, registered tonnage and port of registry which must be certified by the classification society of the vessel or by a Cypriot Consul or a marine surveyor of the Department of Merchant Shipping of Cyprus. Following receipt of the Carving and Marking Note, duly completed and signed the Registrar will issue a permanent “Certificate of Cyprus Registry” which constitutes the title deed to the vessel.

 

Issue of Radio License
Simultaneously with the procedure for provisional registration, an application is completed and deposited with the Consul dealing with the registration, for the operation of a Wireless Radiotelegraphy! Radiotelephony Station on the vessel. In due course the relevant license is issued by the appropriate Government Department which is valid for one year from the date of provisional registration and is renewable annually.

 

4. Registration of Mortgages

A ship may be mortgaged at the time of her provisional registration or at any time thereafter. Registration of a mortgage, which operates as a charge on the vessel, may be effected either at a Cyprus Consulate or at the Registry of Cyprus Ships. The fees for the registration, transfer or discharge of a mortgage can be advised to you upon request.

5. Parallel Registration Conditions
Parallel registration of ships can be made for a fixed period (usually two years) which may be extended for further periods. Parallel registration may be effected if the following conditions are fulfilled:

(i) The laws of the country of the foreign registry of the vessel permit parallel registration of the vessels which are registered under its flag;

(ii) The vessel must be bareboat chartered-in to a Cypriot Company; and

(iii) The written consents of the foreign registry and the vessel’s mortgagees (if any) must be submitted to the Registrar of Cyprus Ships.

 

Mortgages
Mortgages and other encumbrances on the vessel concerned, existing at the time of her parallel registration, remain in full force and effect and continue to encumber the vessel, remaining subject to the laws of the country of the foreign registry. Any mortgage encumbering the vessel must be notified to the Department of Merchant Shipping. Mortgages effected on a vessel while being under parallel registration must be registered with the foreign registry and not in Cyprus.

Flag
Whilst a vessel is under parallel registration, it will fly the Cypriot flag and may not use her foreign flag. The name of the vessel and her Cypriot port of registry must be marked on her.

 

Fees
The fees for the parallel registration of a vessel are 20 per cent. higher than those applicable to the provisional or permanent registration of a Cypriot vessel. All fees for parallel registration are payable in advance and cover the whole period of the registration.

 

Supporting Documentation
The application for parallel registration must be accompanied by:

(i) a copy of the bare-boat charter;

(ii) the written consent of the ship-owner;

(iii) the written consents of the foreign registry and the vessel’s mortgagees (if any) together with certification as to ownership and any existing mortgages or encumbrances;

(iv) all other documents and information required for registration of a vessel under the Cypriot flag (but not the survey certificates); and

(v) the relevant fees.

 

Name
The vessel may maintain the same name as that in the foreign registry unless there exists on the Register of Cyprus Ships another ship by the same name when a change of name must be effected with the prior written consent of the ship-owner and the mortgagees (if any).

 

Parallel registration in a foreign registry
A Cypriot vessel may obtain parallel registration in a foreign registry subject to conditions similar to those for the parallel registration of a foreign ship in Cyprus.

 

6. Transfer of ownership, sale and deletion

Transfer of ownership-sale
If a Cypriot ship is sold to another ship-owner who wishes to keep the Cypriot flag, a transfer of ownership is effected to a new Cypriot company and recorded by the Registrar of Cyprus Ships on receipt of certain prescribed documents from the sellers and the buyers of the vessel. For the transaction to be entered on the Register a number of documents must also be deposited with the Registrar of Cyprus Ships or a Cypriot Consul abroad together with the payment of the prescribed fees.The only pre-requisite to the transfer of ownership is a confirmation from the vessel’s Radio Accounting Authority that they will continue the clearance of the radio maritime accounts for the new owners.

 

Deletion

If more than half of the shares in the vessel are transferred to a foreign person ( i.e. not a Cypriot registered company) or company the vessel must be deleted from the Cyprus Register. The only requirements are that the prescribed documents are deposited either with the Registrar of Cyprus Ships or with a Cypriot Consul abroad (acting on the Registrar’s authority) and the out standing dues of the vessel (if any) are paid up to the date of deletion. No fees are payable on deletion.

7. Employment of Crew

Nationality of crew
Although there is a legal requirement that at least 15 per cent. of the crew employed on a Cypriot vessel must be Cypriot citizens, due to a shortage of Cypriot seamen, this provision is usually waived and the crew may be of any nationality provided that their certificates of competency are recognized by the Cypriot Government.

 

Qualifications
The members of the crew of Cypriot ships must be duly qualified. They should hold a Certificate of Competency appropriate to their station in the ship, granted by a competent authority of either Cyprus or any one of the countries, whose certificates have been recognised for this purpose by order of the Council of Ministers. A list of these countries can be supplied upon request.

 

Document of Safe Manning
The Department of Merchant Shipping will upon application, following the vessel’s provisional registration under the Cypriot flag, issue a Document of Safe Manning in respect of the vessel showing the minimum number and rank of crew required on board that particular vessel pursuant to the provisions of the Merchant Shipping (Composition and Number of Crew) Regulations.