Cypriot shipping industry navigating uncharted waters

The banking crisis in Cyprus has been having a knock-on effect on shipping companies operating from the island, the majority of them being ship management firms.

IBNA understands that there have already been problems with companies not being able to pay staff or cover ongoing business commitments due to the freezing of their accounts.

In some cases contingency funding arrives from abroad, since the majority of such firms in Cyprus are representing foreign interests. Nevertheless, the situation is not encouraging, threatening to permanently unsettle another one of the island’s economic activity pillars.

However, economists and shipping professionals see the sector as a possible engine for growth in the future. The president of the Cyprus Union of Shipowners George Mouskas noted that the country is already cheaper than all its competitors in terms of registration and tonnage tax system, which by the way is the only system approved by the EU.

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(Photo: Mark Merifield/