An amended government policy on Cyprus ship registration under the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships, Sales and Mortgages) Laws 1963 to 2005 has been published by the Department of Merchant Shipping.

This new policy has been in effect since October 2011.

All sea going ships of any any type or size are eligible for registering in the Register of Cyprus Ships or the Special Book of Parallel Registration.  The ship to be registered must comply with the relevant age and type related requirements set out in the policy.

Ship registration restrictions based on age

Cargo vessels, floating production storage offloading vessels, floating storage offloading vessels,  mobile offshore drilling units and fishing vessels over 25 years cannot be registered.  The maximum age for other types of vessels is 35 years.

Passenger vessels have no restriction on age with regards to registration.

For recreational vessels which fall within the scope of EU Directive 94/25/EC, the year of production will be substituted for the year in which the keel was laid.

Depending on the age of the ship,  initial inspection and additional periodic inspections may be required, as follows:


Ship Category Maximum age Initial Inspection Periodic Inspection
Cargo ships and high-speed cargo vessels  25 years If older than 15 years No
Passenger ships and high-speed passenger vessels engaged on international or short international voyages No If older than 30 years Biennial if aged between two and 10 years; annual if older than 10 years
Passenger ships and  high-speed passenger vessels engaging on domestic voyages within the territory of a state other than Cyprus. No If older than 25 years Biennial if aged between two and 10 years; annual if older than 10 years.
Passenger ships and high-speed passenger vessels engaged on domestic voyages within the territory of Cyprus No If older than 20 years Must be inspected and certified annually.
Fishing vessels 25 years If older than 20 years No
Floating production storage offloading vessels, floating storage offloading vessels and mobile offshore drilling units 25 years If older than 15 years No
Ships of types other than those listed above 35 years If older than 20 years Biennial if the ship carries industrial or special purpose personnel and is aged between two and 10 years; annual if older than 10 years.
‘Cargo ship’ means a ship which has been constructed or adapted for the purpose of carrying cargo in any form.’Passenger ship’ means a ship which has been constructed or adapted for the purpose of carrying fare-paying passengers.

Non-qualifying vessels

Applications for Ship Registration will not be accepted if at the time of application the ship:

  • is banned by a member of any memorandum of understanding on port state control from entering the ports of the states which are party to that memorandum;
  • is been banned by a state from entering its ports; or
  • has been detained on three or more occasions during the two-year period before the application for registration by a member of the Paris, Tokyo or Mediterranean memorandum of understanding on port state control or by the US Coast Guard.

Furthermore, applications will not be considered for ships built for exclusive use on inland navigation or which are to be used exclusively on inland navigation.