Athens: Greek shipping companies are mulling a move to Cyprus as uncertainty over the future of their offshore tax status in Greece hangs in the balance, the director general of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber has said.
Thomas Kazakos told press that Greek companies had been enquiring with maritime service providers about tax and administration issues in Cyprus.
“Bearing in mind the developments in Greece, it is a normal consequence that some ship owners will look into … having a second base in Cyprus, as apart from the national, social, and religious connection, there is also the shipping relationship we have had for years,” Kazakos told the Cyprus News Agency.
He added he does not expect Cyprus affected by any negative developments in Greece and that the island is the only open registry in the Eurozone.
“Cyprus’ shipping infrastructure, meaning the tax and management system that have to do with shipping, is something Greek ship owners consider an attractive, competitive, law abiding and transparent system,” he continued.
Greek shipping companies own around 40% of vessels registered in Cyprus, which has the tenth largest merchant fleet in the world.
Limassol (pictured) is estimated to be the largest third-party ship management centre in the EU, with 130 companies based in the city.
Both Singapore and Hong Kong have sent delegations to Greece in the past six months to attempt to woo Greek shipowners to Asia.