The Cyprus Shipping Chamber is the trade association of the Shipping Industry in Cyprus. Having witnessed considerable growth since its establishment in January 1989, with originally seventeen Founding Members, the Chamber today comprises approximately 200 major shipowning, shipmanagement, chartering and shipping related companies based either in Cyprus or abroad. Today, the Chamber’s Member-companies located in Cyprus and the wider Shipping Sector in Cyprus, collectively employ around 9000 persons ashore and more than 55,000 seafarers of various nationalities onboard their vessels.
The main purpose of the Chamber is to promote the interests of Cyprus Shipping and further the reputation of the Cyprus Flag, whilst promoting and protecting the interests of its Members both nationally and internationally.
At such, the Chamber acts as a lobbying group for the promotion and safeguarding of the legitimate interests of its professional Member-companies, at a national level through its close relations with the Cyprus Government and Parliament, as well as at an international level though its membership at the various regional and international shipowners associations.
Since its formation, the Chamber has become a very influential body and no policy decisions concerning shipping matters are taken by the Government without consulting the Chamber. This has been achieved through the participation of the Chamber at numerous joint working groups and committees with various Government bodies/agencies, and in particular the Shipping Deputy Ministry, of which, the Chamber maintains excellent relations. Furthermore, the Chamber is regularly called to appear before Parliamentary Committees as the representative body of the Shipping Industry in Cyprus, when matters affecting Cyprus Shipping are considered at the House of Representatives. The Chamber also cooperates with and actively participates therein as Member of numerous local professional trade and employers organisations, in an effort to improve and constantly enhance the shipping infrastructure of Cyprus.
In all its dealings with the various Ministries and Departments, the Chamber's primary objective is to assist the Government at all levels to adapt new and existing laws, policies and procedures to the needs of the Cyprus fleet and the resident Shipping Industry in a world which is highly competitive and at the same time more conscious of the need to raise quality, improve safety and protect the environment. An example of the Chamber's co-operation with the Government is the active participation in the continuous harmonisation of Cyprus with the EU Acquis Communautaire.
The Chamber has also established a close co-operation with other private sector and semi-governmental organisations, such as the Cyprus Shipping Association, the Cyprus Ports Authority, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, the Cyprus International Businesses Association, the Cyprus Association of Certified Public Accountants, the Cyprus Bar Association, the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, the Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association, the Seafarers Unions, and many others. In addition, the Chamber participates the Boards of the Cyprus Industrialists and Employers Federation, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency.
The Chamber operates as a roving ambassador of Cyprus Shipping abroad, through its membership and active participation in the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA), the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO). Members of the Chamber also regularly participate in many international meetings, including the International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the European Union (EU) meetings in Geneva, London and Brussels and in a number of their Committees, where the Chamber functions as consultant to the Government representatives as part of the Cyprus Shipping delegation or as the representative of the Cyprus Shipping Industry.
As a result of this involvement, the Chamber is able to offer its Members, a constant source of up-to-date legislative, technical and commercial shipping information and advice, and more importantly, operates as a lobbying group for the promotion nd safeguard of the legitimate interests of its Member-companies, on a national as well as international level.
An aspect of the Chamber's efforts to improve the local maritime infrastructure that deserves special mention is the establishment of an Employment and Training Scheme for Office Personnel. Since 1993, suitably qualified school-leavers as well as existing staff of the Chamber's Member-companies are enrolled in courses administered by the Chamber, which lead to recognised qualifications of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers in London. A Branch of the Institute came into being in 1996 in Cyprus. The Chamber co-operates closely with the Branch in the administration of the courses called "Tutorship" and "Understanding Shipping". We have no doubt that by encouraging more young and well-trained people to enter the local maritime industry, we will have laid strong foundations for the development of a maritime tradition that will promote quality and safety.
The Chamber's intention in the years to come is to continue to serve its Members both nationally and internationally, whilst at the same time, promoting and enhancing the Cyprus flag as a highly reputable ship Registry that fully undertakes its international responsibilities with respect to quality shipping, marine safety and protection of the environment. The Chamber also aims to further improve the Cyprus Shipping infrastructure, establish better cooperation with the Government Ministries, Parliament and other professional bodies, enhance activities at international shipping organisations, and play an important role in national and international Shipping affairs.