A. Registration

A yacht can be registered under the Cyprus flag if it is acquired by a Cypriot individual or a Cypriot legal entity. Thus, it is necessary for foreigners to set up a “yacht owning company” and transfer the yacht to that company.

The information and documentation needed prior to filing the application with the Registrar of Cyprus Ships which is similar to the Provisional Registration is the following:

  • Company Certificates of the yacht owning company by the Registrar of Companies.
  • Existing name and present flag of the yacht;
  • Gross and net tonnage of the yacht;
  • Place and year of built;
  • Place where the yacht can be usually found;
  • Length.
  • International sign.
  • Serial no./Plate Hull no.
  • Proposed name of the yacht.
  • “Seaworthy Certificate”, in cases where the yacht is not newly built. Such a certificate is issued by a surveyor of a classification society or a Cyprus government surveyor.
  • “Builders Certificate” (for newly built yachts).
  • Official evidence of ownership and freedom of encumbrances (for non-newly built and not registered under any flag).
  • Certificate of deletion from previous registry or a certificate that the yacht is owned by the sellers and has no encumbrances (for non-newly built yachts).
  • Bill of sale duly stamped and legalized.
  • Power of attorney.
  • Application for a radio license.

B. Establishment of a Shipping Company

The very first step in the process of registering a vessel under the Cypriot flag is to incorporate the company which will acquire the vessel in the company’s name.

  1. Legal status
    The ship owning company will be registered as a private company with limited liability under the provisions of the Cypriot Companies Law which is almost identical to the English Companies Act, 1948.

  2. Non-resident status

    The ship owning company will be designated by the Central Bank of Cyprus as non-resident for exchange control purposes provided that its entire share capital is held beneficially at all times by shareholders who are not resident in Cyprus.

    The ship owning company may buy or sell vessels from and to non-residents, borrow outside Cyprus or from offshore banks operating in Cyprus and mortgage its vessels in favour of non- residents without any exchange control approval. Furthermore it may, as non-resident, open an external account with any bank in Cyprus and move freely any currency through such account. Nevertheless, there is no requirement for the company to keep a bank account in Cyprus.

  3. Registered Office
    The registered office of the ship owning company must be situated in Cyprus and usually the offices of the law firm which has incorporated the Company serve as its registered office.

  4. Powers (or objects) of the company
    The powers (or objects) of the ship owning company are set out in the objects clause of the memorandum of association of the company and usually include the power to own, charter and operate vessels, borrow money and mortgage its vessels.

  5. Share Capital
    There is no legal requirement that a ship owning company should have a minimum authorised or issued share capital. Nevertheless, in practise ship owning companies are incorporated with € 5.000 authorised share capital divided into 5.000 shares of € 1 each, 1 .000 of which are issued to the company’s shareholders.

  6. Shareholders
    A minimum number of one shareholder is required for the incorporation and continued existence of a Cypriot company.

  7. Anonymity
    A private company in Cyprus may not issue bearer shares. Anonymity is achieved in one of two ways:
    (i) The registered shareholders of the company may be corporations incorporated abroad which can themselves issue bearer shares; or
    (ii) The registered shareholders of the company may be Cypriot nominee shareholders.

  8. Directors
    There is no legal requirement for the appointment of local directors.

  9. Formation - How long will it take?
    The formation and registration of a ship owning company can be completed within one week from the date when all relevant information has been provided to us.

  10. Commencement of business
    Upon the issue of the certificate of incorporation of the company by the registrar of companies, the company may commence its activities and register a vessel in its name.

If you want to speed up the process of registration of a Cyprus Company, please fill in the questionnaire below.  The information requested is necessary for the registration of a  company in Cyprus and will be treated as STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.  Please remember to provide us by fax or scanned copy for each owner/shareholder of the company, copy of the passport (pages showing personal details and photograph) and in case of a legal entity the certificate of incorporation and address of registered office. Also  names of Directors and there address. Any information which you are currently not sure of, please leave empty, and we will contact you to help you with the registration.

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