Due to the environmental consultation process and the strategic vision for Cyprus shipping sustainability, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) has recently launched a consultation to co-create a long-term maritime strategy-campaign, supported by those working in or connected to the maritime sector, across all disciplines.
The first of the three campaign phases focuses on environmental sustainability. Being an island, Cyprus recognises the need to maximise the protection and sustainability of the marine environment at a local, Mediterranean, and global level.
Additionally, Cyprus works hard within the International Maritime Organization and at EU level to achieve a level playing-field and a fair working environment in maritime transport, by defining and implementing agreed and evidence-based rules and standards for competitive, safe, secure, efficient and sustainable shipping.
Flag states are well positioned to encourage ship owners to invest in making sustainable and financially-beneficial choices which enable the green transformation and, simultaneously, safeguard competitiveness with no loss in continuity of the transport services offered.
The maritime transport sector can make an eloquent contribution towards the reduction of climate change while maintaining its competitiveness through local and global collaboration, which is essential when attempting to solve this worldwide challenge of achieving environmental sustainability for the maritime sector.
A digital transformation for shipping
The second of the three campaign phases is entirely focussed on digital transformation and the new digital era, accompanied by changes that will benefit the shipping industry for the years to come.
The rollout of digital technologies and data-driven solutions and platforms across the commercial shipping world is a fact and continues to grow rapidly. The Cyprus Registry is changing its processes and procedures to maximise simplicity and efficiency through electronic verification of registry certificates and reservation of vessel names, online registration applications, and submission of required documents and the use of electronic signatures. Increasing automation will enable unmanned maritime systems and related services, eventually leading to automated and autonomous vessels. This will eventually reduce transport costs and probably increase operational safety.
Crew living and working conditions
The third campaign phase focuses on external factors within shipping, namely the issues surrounding crew changes and the threat of piracy and aims to tackle them in a constructive and effective manner, with long-term benefits.
The international maritime community adopts continuous improvement strategies and is presently discussing a variety of related matters, including crew accommodation and recreation facilities, food and catering issues, medical care, health and safety protection and accident prevention, access to shore-based welfare facilities and social security. It is also important to mention that Covid-19 has undoubtedly, brought the social welfare of seafarers into the spotlight.
Piracy and armed robbery against ships
Piracy and armed robbery against ships remains a world-wide problem that continues to present a serious and persistent threat to the safety and security of crews and vessels.
Cyprus was one of the first countries to introduce a comprehensive law on Piracy and continues to actively support all initiatives and actions undertaken in this context. The aim is to promote such solutions in order to keep the welfare of seafarers at the heart of operational safety and security.