Brexit Update: Cyprus Becomes New EU Shipping Company Hot-Spot

Last week, P&O Ferries, a large UK-based freight company that runs vessels from Mainland England to Continental Europe published its decision to register its entire fleet of ships and ferries under the Cyprus flag.

Maritime experts say this may be the start of a Europe-wide trend whereby many UK registered ferry operators will choose alternative pastures, by registering in the EU ports of Cyprus. Read more about the benefits of incorporating in Cyprus as a jurisdiction.

Remarking on recent developments in the maritime sector, the Greek Minister of Shipping Ms Natasha Pillides reported “it is definitely positive that corporations of such size have chosen Cyprus to reside, especially due to the vast number of appealing European alternatives.

Many companies are now contemplating new ports as alternative options by considering the quality and nature of the services provided by each member states maritime administration. Other factors many shipping companies are now considering are regarding the security, reliability and trustworthiness standards that each EU flag has to offer”. Click to read about the corporate tax rates in Cyprus.

Minister Pillides also stated that this is occurring mostly in light of the atmosphere of volatility because of the potential outcomes of Brexit, an agreement which has yet to be decided.

Numerous UK companies are waiting for the outcome tentatively, as the possibility of a messy departure of the UK from the EU could create disastrous implications for cruise ferry operators providing holidays; the importing and exporting goods; and many other lines of business.

Many involved parties are fearing the worst: that UK registered vessels would not be able to dock in European ports without lengthy paperwork and import fees. This has provoked a significant number of them to consider different routes and methods for easy access such as registering their fleets with flags from EU member states, Cyprus being one of them.

The most up-to-date proposal was dismissed by the House of Commons, which was the best chance of Prime Minister May’s withdrawal on the proposed deadline of UK departure from the European Union on the 29th of March, 2019. Currently a delay and new date looks set for later in the year.

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