The Cyprus administration is working on a series of green incentives which reward those actively taking steps to support the transition to a zero carbon future with the aim of launching them later this year.
A tonnage tax rebate for vessels demonstrating further reductions of the attained Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) or reductions of the total oil consumption in two consecutive reporting periods will be among the incentives being developed under the watchful eye of new Deputy Shipping Mnister, Vassilios Demetriades, who has experience with the working of the European Union.
A long-term strategy for Cyprus is also in development, with the sustainability of the Cyprus flag, maritime cluster, and the wider shipping industry at its core. The issue of crew changes created by Covid–19 will also be addressed.
Cyprus was one of the first countries in the world to recognise seafarers as essential workers and implement practical measures for crew changes. Since May 2020, around 5,000 seafarers have been repatriated or have been able to return to work through Cyprus.
Crew changes remain possible in Cyprus provided certain conditions are met and the Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) remains committed to implementing procedures that enable seafarers to return to their families.
The SDM believes effective co-operation and collaboration between regulators and the industry lies at the heart of ensuring a better and sustainable future for shipping, and therefore the planet.
Demetriades’ experience from previous roles in working with the EU towards achieving this will support Cyprus’ continuing role in shaping progress in relation to both the environment and seafarers.
In a statement about developing plans, Demetriades, said: “Striking the right balance between achieving a sustainable but commercially viable future for shipping is the greatest challenge facing the industry today. But it also presents significant opportunities for those willing to embrace the challenge and tackle it head on. Ambition is essential to drive change on a global level, but we are also committed to ensuring we are protecting EU shipping operations.
“Cyprus is working constructively with the EU shipping community, regulators and industry, not only in building an environmentally sustainable EU maritime transport cluster that will lead the global efforts to mitigate climate change, but also to support safe, efficient shipping operations, ensuring continuity of trade and the wellbeing of seafarers.”