Maritime industry in India and Cyprus

Maritime is one of the most important pillars of the Cypriot Economy, with its contribution reaching 7% of the Gross Domestic Product, exceeding € 1 billion. Cypriot Shipping is currently following an upward trend, as new support measures / actions and flexible mechanisms have been implemented by the Cypriot Government as well as the Shipping Industry. These help to ensure that Cyprus is well positioned to remain a viable shipping centre with tangible prospects for further development. Since the establishment of the Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry in March 2018, the Undersecretary of Shipping has advanced a plan for restructuring the former Department of Merchant Shipping. This was aimed at making Cypriot Maritime Administration even more modern, efficient and flexible in services provided to Shipping companies.

Cyprus is one of the major players in worldwide merchant shipping. With the 3rd largest fleet in Europe and 11th in the world, this Mediterranean island is a force to reckon with in maritime. With more than 20% of the worldwide fleet managed in Cyprus, particularly in Limassol, the island is considered the largest third-party ship management centre in Europe and is in the top 3 globally. The top-quality Cyprus sovereign flag complies with Paris and Tokyo MoUs and is included in their ‘’White List’’ regarding their safety and security standards. It’s also a signatory to all international maritime conventions on safety and pollution prevention. The autonomous Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry provides a top quality, 24/7 service with a customer oriented approach, ensuring excellent cooperation between the private and public sector. The Shipping Deputy Ministry operates maritime offices in Piraeus, London, Hamburg, Rotterdam, New York and Brussels. Cyprus plays an important role and has a strong involvement in shaping global shipping policies as a member of all maritime and international organisations (IMO, ILO and EU).

Cyprus is well known for its competitive ship registration costs and fees, expertise in ship management, chartering and ship owning activities. There is no estate duty on the inheritance of shares by a ship owning company, while affording full protection for financiers and mortgagees.

Maritime in Cyprus has expanded significantly in the recent years, with the creation of three naval academies, Cypriot banks offering loans to maritime businesses, and the establishment of the Protection and Indemnity Club - P&I Club. Furthermore, in 2019 the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI) , an international scientific and business centre of excellence in marine and maritime research, innovation and technology development was established.

The maritime sector is playing a defining role in the overall trade and growth of India. The maritime industry is supported by its 240 ports, while 95% of the country’s trade volume is undertaken through maritime transport. The main products are containers, iron ore, petroleum oil and lubricants and coal. The Indian Ministry of Port, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) created a roadmap towards expanding the capacity of Indian ports by 3,300 MTPA by the year 2025, in order to meet the increasing demand of the coastal cargo traffic which is witnessing a 10.2% annual growth. At the same, time focus is on enhancing river cruise tourism, since India has witnessed a significant growth on cruise passengers.

India is focusing on consolidating its global presence and enhance FDI by promoting ports & shipping investment opportunities. The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has issued in 2021 a compendium of investible projects . 177 projects have been identified as investment opportunities, with a total investment value of 15.31 bn dollars along the country’s 7,500 km long coastline. An attractive package of incentives is offered to the investors, especially to those willing to reach a 100% FDI, such as 10 consecutive years of tax holiday, port tariff discount offerings for coastal shipments, viability gap funding offerings for PPP projects, and special discounted rates for calling cruise vessels on Indian ports.
The Government of India aspires to develop a world class infrastructure, reduce logistic costs, introduce legislative reforms, develop smart ports and create a safe & green maritime sector.

International Organisations, such as the United NationsUnited Nations and European Union are focusing on the Blue Economy and subsequently Cyprus and India are trying to uncover the full potential of the Maritime sector. Following the major interest of both countries in supporting and enhancing their maritime industry, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and the Government of the Republic of India, renewed their agreement on Merchant Shipping in 2017, after 20 years of the first agreement. The agreement was countersigned in New Delhi.