Cyprus to maintain leading role in shipping, says Minister
Limassol, Jan 30 – Cyprus will maintain a leading registry of high-quality ships and will participate actively in all international fora where policy decisions on shipping are taken, Cyprus Minister of Communications and Works Haris Thrasou has said.
Addressing the fourth Digital Ship Conference, “Digital Ship Cyprus”, which opened in coastal Limassol on Tuesday, Mr. Thrasou also said that the Government’s maritime policy is focused on maritime safety and security and the protection of the environment.
He added that during the past few years Cyprus has adopted a series of measures to upgrade and modernize Cypriot shipping through a safety policy which focused on the effective control of the ships in the improvement of the quality of its fleet. Particular attention was also given to the qualifications of the seafarers employed on Cyprus ships as well as to their living and working conditions.
Considerable effort is concentrated on the prevention of ships being used or targeted for terrorist activities, he stressed, before highlighting that all ships under the Cyprus flag as well as all port facilities in Cyprus have been duly certified as complying with the requirements of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS).
The Minister also said that the Department of Merchant Shipping has already invited tenders in order to proceed with the Vessel Traffic Monitoring Information System (VTMIS) installation and operation, which will have the full capability to monitor, process and provide information on the maritime traffic that enters the Middle East border of the EU.
Moreover, Second Vice President of the Cyprus Shipping Council Andreas Neophytou told participants: “We are proud that Cyprus remains a strong register, being the 10th largest globally and the 3rd in the European Union.”