航运法


航运法是本所的主要业务之一,为客户就航运贷款及抵押、塞浦路斯航运公司注册、船舶注册塞浦路斯船籍和其它司法辖区船籍的船只注册提供法律服务。
如今,塞浦路斯是世界上最大的船舶注册地之一,也是世界上最大的第三方船舶管理中心之一。

缘何塞浦路斯成为:一个主权标志一个国际海事中心

  • 欧盟成员
  • 实行自由市场经济的民主国家。
  • 在三大洲交汇点的战略位置。
  • 现代高效的法律、会计和银行服务业,以英国的做  法为蓝本。
  • 自由的外国直接投资机制,在大多数经济部门都允许外资全资参与。
  • 没有外汇管制,外币流动自由。
  • 与 40 多个国家有避免双重征税条约。
  • 对源于在塞浦路斯注册的船只的经营或管理所得的利润或者源于船东公司的红利不课税。
  • 对源于出售或转让在塞浦路斯注册的船只或者船东公司的股份而产生的所得不课资本利得税。
  • 对继承船东公司股份不课遗产税。
  • 对高级船员和水手的报酬不课所得税
  • 对船舶按揭契据或其它保证文件不课印花税。
  • 众多国际海事公约的签约方
  • 与 29 个国家签有双边协议,藉此,塞浦路斯船只在其它国家港口享受国民待遇或最惠国待遇。
  • 有竞争力的船舶注册费用和年度吨位税。
  • 对金融业者和承押人的全面保护。
  • 优惠的船舶管理税制。
  • 公司开办和经营成本低
  • 卓越的电信和方便的空海旅行。
  • 高素质的管理、办事和技术人员。

抵押贷款
本律师事务所擅长办理船只抵押贷款和贷款协议,起草和定稿所有必需的文件,即,第一法定抵押权和抵押品契约书、协议备忘录 (MOA)、社团许可证 (Corporate Authorities)、股票质押证等。我们与众多律师事务所和外国银行合作,如:Nordea Bank, Norge ASA, Oslo(北欧银行挪威奥斯陆分行)、富通银行、联邦复兴银行、爱沙尼亚贷款银行(AS Eesti Krediidipank, Estonia)等。
航运服务
船只销售(协议备忘录、附录、卖契等)、船只购买、船只改籍、船只注销、造船合同、船员推荐(endorsement) 和海上服务记录本、海运证书(即,无线电许可证、CLC 证书、CSR 证书等)更新。
航运公司
塞浦路斯船舶登记处随时准备授予航运公司登记许可,无需提交银行征信函。可能要用到代理人以便在以后阶段将其股份转让给实益所有人。一旦塞浦路斯航运公司登记完毕,一艘船就可以以塞浦路斯船籍登记在该公司名下。自2004 年 5 月 1 日起,由于最近对塞浦路斯《商船运输法》的修正,船只在塞浦路斯船舶登记处登记必须满足以下条件:

(a) 船只 50% 以上股份由塞浦路斯公民或者欧盟或欧洲经济区协议成员国的公民所有,公民若非塞浦路斯永久居民,必须在船只于船舶登记处的整个登记期间在塞浦路斯指定并保持一名授权代表,或者

(b) 拥有船只所有股份的一个或多个法律实体必须以塞浦路斯注册地址按照塞浦路斯法律注册成立并运营,或者以欧盟注册地址按照成员国法律注册成立并运营且在整个于塞浦路斯登记处登记期间指定一名“授权代表”或者将“有关船只安全的管理”托付给 25 个成员国中任何一个在塞浦路斯有办事处的船舶管理公司,或者,如果在塞浦路斯或任何其它成员国以外注册成立并运营但由成员国的公民控制,则必须在整个于塞浦路斯登记处登记期间指定一名“授权代表”或者将“有关船只安全的管理”托付给 25 个成员国中任何一个在塞浦路斯有办事处的船舶管理公司。“授权代表”可以是居住在塞浦路斯的塞浦路斯人、在塞浦路斯注册的法律实体或者在塞浦路斯建立的分公司。

 

船舶/船只登记
船只临时登记为塞浦路斯船籍必须办理相关手续并提交相关文件资料。在之后的 6-9 个月内,船只必须在船舶登记处永久登记(永久登记)。

一艘登记了外国船籍的船只可以平行登记塞浦路斯船籍(平行登记)。条件如下:

  • 船只必须是包租给一家塞浦路斯公司的空船
  • 船只初始船籍所在国家的法律必须准许平行登记
  • 必须向塞浦路斯船舶登记员提交外国登记处和承押人(若有)的书面同意。与此相类似,根据塞浦路斯法律,一艘登记为塞浦路斯船籍的船只空船租给一家外国公司可以在外国登记处进行平行登记。

新的商船运输吨位税法律 44 (I) 2010

新的关于塞浦路斯商船运输的吨位税制度于 2010 年 3 月 24 日被欧洲委员会批准(编号:37/2010),按照《政府支持海上运输》的相关准则,与迄今欧盟法律的要求相统一。《商船运输(费用与征税规定)法》于 2010 年 5 月颁布,在塞浦路斯引入了新的吨位税制度,自 2010 财年起施行。

这种简化的吨位税制度首次在一个实行开放登记制度的欧盟成员国获批准通过,至此,全世界航运业界都可加以利用。

吨位税范围

新制度将塞浦路斯籍船只船东和船舶管理人可以享受的好处扩大到外国籍船只船东和租船东。将以前只适用于船只运输业务经营所得利润的赋税优惠扩大适用于出售船只所得的利润、用于投资目的以外的资金得到的利息以及基于与航运相关的利润直接或间接支付的红利。新的吨位税制度包含其它欧盟国家吨位税制度具备的大多数优惠特点,不仅如此,还有所超出。因而,这项制度为塞浦路斯带来竞争优势,有望大大提高塞浦路斯在航运界已经非常稳固的地位。新的吨位税制度的主要规定在下文进行介绍。

受益人

提供所得税全免的吨位税制度适用于具有纳税居民身份的船东、租船主或者持有特许状或管理着适格船运业务中适格船只的船舶管理人。换言之,受益人,无论是船东、租船主、船舶管理人、个人还是公司,都必须是塞浦路斯纳税居民。

上面的要求同样适用于平行登记塞浦路斯船籍的外国船只的空船租船主。

吨位税根据船只的净吨位按照法律中规定的各种吨位段和费率进行计算。适用于船舶管理人的费率为适用于船东和租船主的比例的 25%。

 

适格船只

适格船只必须是海船,必须按照适用的国际或国家规章制度经过认证并在塞浦路斯承认的国际海事组织和/或国际劳工组织的任何成员国的船舶登记处登记。

这项制度明确排除某些类别的船只,如:渔船、主要用于体育或娱乐的船只、内河船只、非自力推进的浮式起重机、拖船等等。

适格船运业务

由海上运输、船员管理和/或技术管理构成的任何商业活动被视为适格业务。

海上运输的定义包括传统的人货运输以及各种辅助服务,如:适格船只上的酒店、餐饮、娱乐和零售业务、货物装卸、票务设施和客运站的经营。拖船、挖泥和电缆铺设也适用吨位税。

船东

塞浦路斯籍船只(以塞浦路斯船籍登记的船只)的船东自动属于吨位税制度的适用范围。欧盟/欧洲经济区船籍(以欧盟/欧洲经济区船籍登记的船只)和/或第三国船籍的船只的船东可以选择按吨位税制度纳税。

第三国船籍船只的船东必须符合一定的条件才有资格选择按新制度纳税。这包括要求欧盟船籍的船只在船队中达到一定比例,这个比例在选择权行使后三年内不得降低(船籍比例要求),且船队的商业管理和战略管理必须在欧盟/欧洲经济区执行。

任何选择吨位税制度的船东必须连续 10 年选择该制度。提前退出将导致罚款,罚款额度是船东在同期内按公司税应缴纳的金额与期间内按吨位税缴纳的金额之差。此外,直至第一次行使选择权之日起的 10 年期届满之前,船东将丧失选择吨位税的权利。

吨位税制度适用于船运经营产生的利润、该等利润直接或间接支付的红利、出售船只得到的利润以及用作营运资本或者用于船只融资、经营和/或维护的资金得到的利息。

租船主

按照空船租约、定期租约或航程租约包租船只的租船主,只要按定期租约或航程租约出租的船只吨位连续三年不超过其包租和拥有的船只的总吨位的 75%,他就有资格享受吨位税制度。如果租出的船只是欧盟/欧洲经济区的船只或者其船员管理和技术管理在欧盟/欧洲经济区执行,则适格比例上升到 90%。第三国船籍船只的租船主必须符合适用于第三国船籍船东的额外要求(即,船籍比例要求)。

适格的租船主可以选择按照吨位税制度纳税,但是,一旦作出选择,他必须连续 10年选择该制度。提前退出将导致上文明确的对船东的惩罚。

吨位税制度适用于船运经营产生的利润、该等利润直接或间接支付的红利以及用作营运资本或者用于支付租船方费用的资金得到的利息。

船舶管理人

提供船员和/或技术性船舶管理服务的船舶管理人只要符合一定的标准可以享受吨位税制度。这包括维护功能齐全的办公场所、聘用足够数量的合格人员(51% 应为欧盟/欧洲经济区公民)以及至少三分之二管理工作在欧盟/欧洲经济区范围内执行。此外,管理的船队至少 60% 应为欧盟/欧洲经济区船籍,而管理的所有船只和船员必须符合与海上保安、安全、船员培训和认证、环境、船上工作条件等有关的国际标准和欧盟法律要求。

其它必须遵守的具体要求取决于提供的船舶管理服务(即,为船员管理人全面落实《2006 年海事劳工公约》以及为技术管理人全面落实“国际安全管理章程”认证)。

吨位税制度适用于提供船员或技术性船舶管理服务而产生的利润、该等利润直接或间接支付的红利以及用作营运资本或者用于支付与船只管理有关费用的资金得到的利息。10 年选择规则同样适用于适格的船舶管理人,相同的罚则适用于提前退出。

免税

– 对适格船东的收入/利润不课税

– 对用于适格海上活动的适格船只的适格租船主的收入/利润不课税

– 在各层级对该等利润的红利不课税

– 对出售或转让该等船只或者在船东公司中的股份不课税

– 对该等船上高级船员和水手的报酬不课所得税

– 对获得的利息不课税(不包括用于投资的资金)

吨位税税率

下表概示吨位税计算适用的税率:

净吨位
0 – 1.000 1.001 – 10.000 10.001 – 25.000 25.001 – 40.000 > 40.000
36.50 欧元

每 100净吨

31.03 欧元

每 100净吨

20.08 欧元

每 100净吨

12.78 欧元

每 100 净吨

7.30 欧元

每 100净吨

注: 适用于船舶管理人的税率是上述税率的 25%。
19,538 净吨船只的年吨位税计算样本如下:

1,000 净吨:1000/100 = 10 x 36.50 欧元= 365,00
9,000 净吨:9000/100 = 90 x 31.03 欧元= 2792.70 欧元
9,500 净吨:9500/100 =95 x 20.08 欧元= 1907.60欧元
38 净吨 : 38/100 =0.38 x 20.08 欧元= 7.63
————–
应缴纳年吨位税 = 5072.93 欧元

吨位税电子计算

– 第 1 步: 点击http://www.mcw.gov.cy/mcw/dms/dms.nsf/intro?OpenForm

– 第 2 步:点击“新的塞浦路斯吨位税制度”

– 第 3 步: 点击相关链接,与适格船东和租船主相关的链接或者与船舶管理人相关的链接,

适格塞浦路斯船只和外国船只船东和租船主吨位税计算器

适格塞浦路斯船只和外国船只船舶管理人吨位税计算器

– 第 4 步:输入相关的船舶吨位并按“计算”得到相应的年吨位税。

有效时间

该法在 2019 年 12 月 31 日前有效

国际航运公约
塞浦路斯批准了大多数现行有效的相关国际海事公约。塞浦路斯是国际海事组织理事会成员,作为欧盟的新成员,塞浦路斯已按照欧洲标准实现其所有海事法律的现代化,还参加了航运界立法程序,参加了短途海运和欧盟与地中海倡议。目前,塞浦路斯如今出现在巴黎备忘录和东京备忘录的白名单上。塞浦路斯船舶登记处受商船航运法律管辖,这些法律包括《1963-2005 船舶登记、销售和抵押贷款法》、《1992-2007 费用与征税规定》以及《1963-2002 船东与水手法》。

Costas Indianos & Co law firm provides legal advice and assistance to clients wishing to register any type of Cyprus Company in order to benefit from the tax incentive regime of Cyprus as well as its wide network of Double Tax Treaties. Among the various Cyprus Companies which can be registered, the Cyprus Holding Company stands out as the most efficient vehicle for tax-planning structures.

Below is information on the following:

  • The Cyprus Company
  • The Cyprus Holding Company
  • Company Registration
  • Tax residency, Confidentiality & Disclosure
  • Security provisions
  • Types of Cyprus companies

The Cyprus Company of Limited Liability
– The liability of its members is limited to the nominal value of the shares, for which they have subscribed in the company. In other words the liability of its members is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid on their respective shares.
– There is no more ‘offshore’ status in Cyprus; there is now only one form of Cyprus Company which can have activities in or out of Cyprus or both.
– The Company can be owned at 100% by Europeans or non-Europeans.
– There is a general tax of 12.5% on all Cyprus Companies and full exemption on disposal of securities
– The Company can have 1 shareholder owing 100% of shares.
– The Company can benefit from a large Double tax treaty network of more than 40 treaties.
– The Memorandum must state the name and objects of the company, the fact that the liability of its members is limited and its share capital.
– The Articles of Association contain the regulations governing the administration and functioning of the company: changes in the statutes of the company are made by special resolutions, private companies may have only one member and the maximum number is limited to fifty, private companies are prohibited from inviting the public to subscribe for any share or debentures. A private company can become public and vice – versa ; private companies are required to restrict the right to transfer their shares.
– Capital: The usual authorized/nominal share capital is € 2000.The usual issued share capital is € 2000 but in practice it is not paid up/subscribed for as the payment done by the beneficiary to register the Company is considered by the local authorities to cover the € 2000.The usual value is € 1.00 per share. When the Company has a physical presence in Cyprus with its own offices and staff the paid up capital must reflect the nature of the activity in Cyprus, which usually increases the issued share capital to a minimum of € 5000.
– Board meetings of the Directors (BOD):  The Directors of the Company represent the Company and according to corporate governance should ‘act for the best interest of the Company’s Board Meetings must be held in Cyprus if management & control is to be deemed to be conducted from within Cyprus.

-General Meetings of Shareholders can be held anywhere.Shareholders do not act on behalf of the Company but according to corporate governance their approval is necessary for many legal acts and they have the discretionary power to appoint & remove directors therefore the General Meeting is more powerful than the Board of Directors.
– Local premises: a Cyprus company can have any activity which implies owning and using local premises, storing goods, receiving and executing orders, etc.
– The tax on the Cyprus Company’s net profit is 12.5%, safe for Shipping Companies (0%) which opt for tonnage tax instead.
– Registration of the Cyprus Company & Prerequisites: please go to the Company Registration paragraph.

The Cyprus Holding Company
It is possible to achieve 0% taxation using a Cyprus Holding Company. The Cyprus Holding Company can extract dividends from its foreign subsidiaries at 0% withholding tax, as long as these subsidiaries are within the EU and there is compliance to the EU Parent Subsidiary Directive. In the event the provisions of the EU Parent Subsidiary Directive are not met, or where there are anti-avoidance provisions, the Cyprus Holding Company can use its wide network of Double Tax Treaties.

1. Taxation in Cyprus of Dividends received in Cyprus.
Dividends received in Cyprus by a Cyprus Holding Company from Cyprus resident, or non-resident Companies, or foreign Companies are not taxed under Cyprus income tax law. However, they are subject to Special Defence Contribution Tax (20%) according to which dividends received from another Cyprus Resident Company are not taxed, whereas dividends received from a non-Resident Company are not taxed if the Cyprus Holding (Resident) Company holds a shareholding of the non-resident Company paying the dividend even if that is less than 1%. With this exemption not being granted when the Company paying the dividend is directly or indirectly engaged in activities, of which more than 50% result in investment income and the general tax income imposed by the foreign  jurisdiction on the Company paying the Dividend is significantly lower (at least 5%) than the general 12.5% income tax applicable in Cyprus to the Cyprus Holding (Resident) Company. The above also implies that both criteria must be fulfilled for the exemption not to apply.
2. Taxation in the foreign jurisdiction of Dividends paid to Cyprus.
Taxation in the foreign jurisdiction of Dividends sent to a Cyprus Holding Company by its subsidiary can be lowered or fully exempted in various ways. Furthermore, the investor can then repatriate income from Cyprus without any withholding tax in Cyprus.
(i) The EU Parent Subsidiary Directive: Its application in Cyprus abolishes withholding taxes upon the subsidiary for dividends paid to its mother Company resident in any member state, as long as the mother Company has its tax residence in a member state and possesses 1% or more of the shareholding of its subsidiary for any period of time (the original EU Directive implies 25% and a time period of a few years).
(ii) The Double Tax Treaties: The network of Double Tax Treaties ratified by Cyprus comprises around 40 treaties. Their purpose is to avoid the double taxation of the income of a Company in the two states jurisdictions related to the incoming Dividends. Most Double Tax Treaties provide full exemption or low taxation in the foreign jurisdiction for incoming dividends to Cyprus. In order for double taxation to be avoided the Cyprus Holding Company or individual must be a tax resident in Cyprus or both contracting states. In Cyprus the criterion for tax residency is for the management and control of the Company to be in Cyprus, in other words for the Company to have a majority of Cyprus resident directors and in the event where both state jurisdictions would dispute the tax residency the applicable criterion would be where the effective management of the Holding Company applies.
(iii) Unilateral Tax Credit Relief: In practice this means that a tax credit is given in Cyprus on any tax including Special Defence Contribution Tax and Income Tax for any tax paid in the foreign state jurisdiction including underlying local trade tax paid by the subsidiary company or withholding tax on outgoing dividends to Cyprus.
3. Taxation in Cyprus of Dividends paid from Cyprus.
(i) There is no withholding tax in Cyprus on dividends paid by the Cyprus Holding Company to its non Cyprus resident shareholders (companies and/or individuals), whether the shareholders are holding their shares in the company directly or via nominees.
(ii) There is no withholding tax in Cyprus on dividends paid by one tax resident Cyprus Company to another tax resident Cyprus Company.
(iii) There is 20% withholding tax in Cyprus on dividends paid by one tax resident Cyprus Company to a physical individual person who is resident of the Republic of Cyprus.
4. Gains from disposal of securities: full exemption from capital gains tax and income tax
There is no taxation on the profits from the disposal of securities for all the companies and individuals that are tax residents of Cyprus irrespective of whether the gain is of capital or revenue, and this exemption applies without any minimum holding period criteria. It allows the Cyprus Holding Company to dispose the shares in a subsidiary with no tax in Cyprus, and allows the disposal of shares of a Cyprus Holding Company with no tax in Cyprus irrespective of the provisions of a relevant Double Tax Treaty. However, the full capital gains tax exemption on profits from the disposal of securities does not apply to the disposal of shares of a Cyprus company owning immovable property, the sale of the property and the disposal of the shares being subject to 20% Capital Gains Tax.
According to the new Law 118(1)2002 which applies since January 1rst 2003, securities include shares, debentures, government bonds, founder’s shares or other securities of companies or other legal entities incorporated in Cyprus or abroad and stock options thereon. It solely refers to buying and selling securities and does not include promissory notes. It allows 0% tax on profits made from the sale of shares bought before or after 1/1/2003 from another company abroad, with the sale of the shares taking place after 1/1/2003, and without affecting the value of shares.
5. Tax advantages applying to the Cyprus Holding Company.
Tax advantages referred to in the Taxation and Tax-planning webpage applying to Cyprus companies also apply to the Cyprus Holding Company.
Cyprus Company Registration
In order to proceed with the registration of the Cyprus Company we shall need the following information from the beneficiary owner:
– A list of 3-4 names as diverse and original as possible by order of preference for the name application of the company.For clients who wish to avoid this delay, we suggest to choose a company name from our list of available shelf company names which can be found on the main page of our website at www.indianos.com.cy
– For clients who wish to avoid the company registration delay, we suggest to choose a company from our list of available ready-made shelf companies which can be found on the main page of our website at www.indianos.com.cy  and that we can deliver in a few days.    If the client then wishes to change the company name, he can send us the name he wants for the company so that we can proceed with the change of the company’s name.
– Full name & address of the beneficiary
– The passport copy of the beneficiary (or the copy of the certificate of incorporation of the company if the client is a company): please e-mail a copy of the passport (jpeg format).
– Number of shares per shareholder. One shareholder can have 100% shares.
– Object/activities of the Company: the simple mention of a type of activity will not be enough. The Registrar of Companies will need to know what the business is about.
– Whether or not the beneficiary wishes to benefit from full confidentiality/nominees (see further).
– The beneficiary will receive from us: the ‘Trust deed’ attesting that he is the real legal owner of the Company, the Memorandum & Articles of Association of the Company, Certificates of incorporation, registered address, directors & secretary, shareholders.
Tax residency, Confidentiality and Disclosure

Tax residency (Management & Control, Nominees): under Cyprus Law, a Cyprus Company is tax resident and can benefit from the 12.5% corporate tax on profits and take advantage of the wide range of Double Tax treaties only if its Management & Control is in Cyprus. Management and Control is where the majority of Board Directors reside, where Board Meetings are held, where decisions are taken and where the general policy is formulated, therefore there must be a majority of Cyprus nominee resident directors for the Company to have management & control in Cyprus.When the beneficiary is not a Cyprus resident, Cyprus resident nominee directors (always members of our Law Firm) are appointed. Furthermore, the beneficiary will have to sign and return to us Nominee Director and Shareholder Agreements (if a nominee shareholder is also used for confidentiality) attesting that our Law Firm cannot take responsibility for the actions of the beneficiaries as it is providing nominees for confidentiality purposes. Without the signature of the agreements, we cannot provide nominee services.

Confidentiality (Nominees): the beneficiary can choose if he wants confidentiality or not. If he decides to appear as a director in the company together with the Cypriot nominee directors, he will be able to sign all documents for the company as director if he wants. If he does not want to appear as a director in the company, he will send us the contracts/documents for us to sign as nominee directors and send back to him. In any of the above event, there will always be nominee directors.
The shares of the company must belong directly or indirectly, exclusively to non-residents.  Individuals, companies, partnerships or Trusts may be shareholders. As no share warrants can be issued to the bearer, if confidentiality and/or anonymity is required, nominees may be used with adequate safeguards such as blank transfers and trust instruments. The Cyprus Company can have one or more shareholders. The beneficiary can appear as shareholder, but if he wants confidentiality and does not want to appear as shareholder in the company, we can provide him with a Nominee shareholder, which in practice is a company belonging to our Law firm holding the shares of the Cyprus company ‘in trust’ for the beneficiary. In this event, the beneficiary will have to sign a Nominee Agreement in return. Furthermore, the beneficiary will receive the ‘Trust deed’ document attesting he is the real owner of the Cyprus Company. In practice, the Registrar of Companies can only possess the identity of the beneficial owner of the company when the client does not opt for the confidentiality.

Disclosure of information: the new law to be voted by the Parliament of The Republic of Cyprus will provide for the possibility of disclosure of information if a clause in the relevant Double Tax Treaty allows it and there is official consent to the disclosure from Cyprus Attorney General, an autonomous and independent institution in Cyprus. In real terms, considering the existing legal practice and the fact that under the OECD Directive information can only be disclosed to another requesting State if there is proof of a serious legal case, this means that the Attorney General’s consent will seldom be given.

Security Provisions
Cyprus companies can have their charges registered and bankers can appoint receivable managers to control the company and replace the board of directors.  PIedge of shares are registered with the registrar of companies, so are mortgages.
Types of Cyprus Companies
The firm provides for tax-planning advice to the client in order to choose the adequate type of Cyprus Company and then provides the client with the full incorporation of Cyprus Companies which may be formed for any kind of business as the following non-exhaustive list shows:

  • Holding Companies
  • Shipping Companies
  • Trading Companies
  • Investment Companies
  • Real Estate Companies
  • Finance Companies
  • Oil & Gas Companies
  • Manufacturing Companies
  • Internet based Companies
  • Royalty Companies
  • Re-Invoicing Companies, .com / e-business / on-line companies
  • Employment Companies
  • Leasing Companies
  • Management Companies
  • Sales Companies
  • Advertising & Marketing Companies
  • Architecture & Engineering Companies
  • Construction & Drilling Companies
  • Magazines & Newspaper Companies.

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