There is a slight decrease in the number and gross tonnage of ships on the Cyprus register during the first quarter of 2011, compared to the data of 2010.

According to statistical data from the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS), the number of registered ships was 1848 vessels up until March 31. This number is decreased by 14 vessels, compared to the total number of Cyprus-flagged vessels in 2010.

A small decline is also being recorded in the ships’ gross tonnage, from approximately 22.057 million register tons in 2010 to 22.017 million register tons during the first quarter of 2011.

DMS Director Serghios Serghiou, in statements to CNA, said that during the past years, the Cyprus register remains more or less stable as regards the number of ships. He added that the decrease during the first quarter of 2011 could not be attributed to any particular reason other than constant buying or selling on behalf of ship owners.

Serghiou added that Turkey’s embargo against vessels under Cyprus flag remains the most important factor hindering further development of Cypriot shipping, since ship owners do not want to have any restrictions in the transportation of their ships.

“Under different circumstances, the dynamic of the Cyprus register would have been much different,” Serghiou noted, adding that foreign companies, established in Cyprus, are otherwise fully satisfied by the benefits they enjoy, in terms of cost and service offered.

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