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A well respected Marios Demetriades

Cyprus poised for Deputy Ministry of Shipping

After two decades of campaigning, the shipping industry in Cyprus has welcomed a bill that is poised to establish an independent Deputy Ministry of Shipping. “This is very good news and the bill is very close to what we have been after,” said Thomas Kazakos, dg of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber.

The Cypriot constitution limits the number of ministries to just 10 and presently the maritime portfolio comes under the Ministry of Transport Communications and Works, with the highly respected, hardworking minister, Marios Demetriades, having to look after nine government departments, including shipping.

All eight political parties in Cyprus have expressed their positive support in private, according to the shipping chamber which is hopeful parliament approves the new law by the end of this year and a new Deputy Minister is installed. The Department of Merchant Shipping in Limassol will provide the basis of the new Deputy Ministry.

Shipping is one of three areas set to get their own deputy ministry under parallel pieces of legislation, the others being tourism and development.

Shipping’s value added in Cyprus is estimated at about 7% of the island’s GDP, a prime reason it is seen as meriting its own deputy ministry. Further, with the tonnage tax cloud still hanging over the Greek shipping cluster, there is new evidence Athens-based companies are looking to Cyprus as an alternative base.

Indeed, Transmed Shipping has confirmed Andreas Chrysostomou, twice a candidate for IMO secretary general, as the ceo of Transmed Shipping (Cyprus), a Cyprus-based manager of dry bulk carriers. The appointment indicates the Athens-based, Charalambos Mylonas-led Transmed intends building up its now Limassol-based affiliate.  

Chrysostomou left his job as director of the Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping earlier this year after working for the island’s maritime administration since 1993, when he became head of policy, multilateral affairs and standards at the shipping department.

Transmed Shipping (Cyprus) is poised to move into a new office building and though Mylonas has said nothing in public the company, which currently manages and crews six bulkers out of a group fleet of 20 vessels of some 2.7m dwt, has in the past advertised in Cyprus for operators, fleet superintendents, crew managers and operators andlegal, accounting and secretarial staff.

Company principal Mylonas is of Cypriot origin and among the few Greece-based shipowners to be actually verified as shifting part or all of their shipping operations to Cyprus recently.

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