Transferring Ownership Of A Vessel

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Transferring ownership of a vessel already registered with the Cyprus Registry is a straightforward process which can be completed within 2-3 days provided that the parties furnish all the required documents and there are no complications with respect to payment of fees, citizenship in the event of a physical person, or the ownership structure with respect to a legal entity (ie. Company).

The contract for sale

Although an oral contract may appear sufficient where there are strong business ties between the parties or a long standing relationship, it is advisable to ensure that the key terms of an agreement for the sale/purchase of a vessel are recorded in a contract duly signed and executed by both the Seller and Buyer. This prevents misunderstandings or the breakdown of the relationship later in the process. It also provides a clear outline of each party’s rights, duties and obligations.

The process

STEP 1 – Agreement between the parties for the sale/purchase of a vessel and execution of the contract.

STEP 2 –   Provision of the following documents:

(a) From the Seller:

  • Bill of Sale (MS35) duly executed – Seller must either have his signature certified or may sign before the Department of Merchant Shipping; and
  • Original Certificate of Cyprus Registry (MS4)

(b) From the Buyer:

  • Written application from a lawyer, acting on behalf of the Buyer.
  • If the Buyer is a Company then the following documents (certified true copies):
    1. Memorandum & Articles of Association,
    2. Certificate of Incorporation,
    3. Certificate of Directors and Secretary,
    4. Certificate of Shareholders, and
    5. Certificated of Registered office.
  • Resolution of Directors;
  • Power of Attorney; and
  • Declaration of Ownership.

Step 3 – Attend the Department of Merchant Shipping (“DMS”) for submission of the application and execution of the transfer of ownership.

Step 4 – Either the Buyer and Seller independently or the lawyer on behalf of either or both pays the transfer costs (payable by the Buyer) of €400 and any dues which are outstanding and which are payable by the Seller.

Step 5 – New certificates issued by the DMS.

Our experienced staff will help guide you through the exciting process of acquiring or selling a vessel to ensure your rights are fully protected and will effect a smooth and fast transfer of ownership once the sale or purchase has been made to allow you to enjoy the fruits of your agreement as soon as possible.

This publication has been written in general terms and should be seen as broad guidance only. The publication cannot be relied upon to cover specific situations and you should not act, or refrain from acting, upon the information contained herein without obtaining professional advice. This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for such advice. For more information please contact us at; +357 25 823 593