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CYPRUS SHIPPING CHAMBER – What does Cyprus Shipping urgently needs to “SET SAIL” again

On the occasion of commencing the gradual lifting of the restrictive measures, the Cyprus Shipping Chamber wishes to congratulate the Cyprus Government and the State, as well as all stakeholders involved, for the good handling of the Covid-19 pandemic so far. The positive indications with reduced cases the past days create a positive image for Cyprus, as a country with an exemplary response to the pandemic crisis.

In addition, the Shipping Chamber noted with satisfaction the recent decision of the Cyprus Government to allow crew changes on merchant ships. It is now necessary, to find functional ways of implementing the above decision which will enable shipping to resume proper operations, as well as to restart the flight connectivity of Cyprus the earliest possible, always having as top priority the safety of public health.

An even more pressing issue, is the immediate support to Cyprus Shipping by the Government, which despite facing substantial economic and operational difficulties both internationally and locally, remains still one of the most important and productive sectors today of the Cyprus Economy (7% of GDP), which continues to operate and provide employment to its personnel and therefore, has made little use of the financial assistance recently provided by the State to companies.

We strongly appeal once again, to the Political leadership to urgently approve the Government’s Bill, which has been pending in Parliament for the past few weeks and provides state guarantees for the provision of financial liquidity to companies as well as waiving financial covenants related to loans. Due to the immense impact that Shipping has suffered internationally from the pandemic and the consequent freight rates reduction, these financial provisions are now extremely urgent and necessary, so that Shipping companies in Cyprus can meet their immediate working capital needs and remain operational.

Political support has become more necessary than ever to the Shipping Industry, which competes daily on an international basis and has remained loyal to Cyprus and contributes substantially to the Cyprus Economy for years now.

Philippos Philis

President / Cyprus Shipping Chamber