In June this year Vasilis Demetriades was appointed Cyprus’s deputy shipping minister. He’s been busy ever since developing the island’s maritime credentials.
“It is an absolute must for a maritime nation like Cyprus to have a clear orientation for the future development of the shipping sector in order to ensure that Cyprus has a leading role and involvement in the formulation of the global and European maritime agenda,”Demetriades fellas Maritime CEO, adding: “The aim is to adopt a comprehensive strategy whilst building a shipping and maritime culture in our country.”
Cyprus expresses concerns on the introduction of any regional measure for the sector, including the ETS
The strengthening of Cyprus shipping and the development of a quality maritime cluster is a priority, something the deputy minister says can be achieved through the promotion of the Cyprus flag and the simplification and modernisation of the relevant legal framework.
Commendably, Cyprus was one of the first countries worldwide that recognised seafarers as essential workers this year, introducing practical measures for crew changes during the pandemic. Since March, around 5,000 seafarers have been repatriated or have been able to return to work through Cyprus.
In conversation with Maritime CEO, Demetriades voices his concern about how the European Union is potentially going down its own path in terms of shipping emissions legislation.
As part of the Green Deal communication, the European Commission is currently examining the extension of EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to maritime transport. The Cypriot position on the matter is that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) remains best placed to handle shipping legislation.
“We should always have in mind that when it comes to climate change mitigation there are no borders,” Demetriades says, adding: “Cyprus expresses concerns on the introduction of any regional measure for the sector, including the ETS.”