Cyprus seeks peer support on shipping

Cyprus seeks peer support on shipping

Cyprus is speaking to other European Union states to shore up support for the shipping industry hit by sanctions on Russia, its shipping minister said on Friday.

Cyprus has the third-largest shipping fleet in the EU after Malta and Greece. It has seen defections, or itself deflagged, about a fifth of its oil tanker fleet in recent months, connected to sanctions on Russia.

The island’s proposals include automatic extensions of so-called tonnage tax systems – which come under EU state aid rules – as well as tonnage tax discounts for fleets with European and Ukrainian seafarers, and better terms for EU operators in third jurisdictions, Shipping Minister Vassilis Demetriades told Reuters.

Tonnage tax is a system where shipowners or operators can opt to pay an annual tax calculated on the basis of the carrying capacity of a ship rather than a profit. It is subject to reviews by Brussels.

Brussels undertook to consider supportive measures for the industry by February, to counterbalance the impact of a oil price cap on Russian crude shipments.

“We have not received a negative answer, but an answer that shows that the commission is not ready, at this stage, to take measures,” Demetriades said.

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