Cyprus Ports Authority
Cyprus fulfils the role of a hub for a number of key trading areas of world significance. Cyprus is a natural transhipment centre for Europe-Far East trade. The various shipping markets situated along the coasts of the Levant, North Adriatic and Black Sea can easily accessed from Cyprus and with minimum diversion from the main arterial route. Equally, Cyprus is a logical hub for other main-line deep sea trades traversing the Mediterranean and for inter-regional maritime traffic.
The island is a pioneer in the development of purpose built container terminals in the Eastern Mediterranean and one of the first countries in the region to use specialised container gantry cranes. The latest major addition to the island's container port operational assets is a 1995 built fourth generation terminal (Development Phase A). At Limassol port a further half billion of US Dollars will have been spent on container port development by the year 2010.
Improvements in the provision of port infrastructure and equipment in Cyprus go hand-in-hand with advancements in operational methods and information systems used for the handling of vessels and cargo. Computer applications include CyPOS, an integrated port community information system, covering all areas of port operations on a real time basis.
There are no draught, space, time or regulatory constrains to the use of the island's port facilities. Vessel turnaround time is optimised. Handling rates are of the order of 30 containers per crane per hour in the case of mother vessels, matching those provided at major international container terminals.
Other standard elements of the service package offered to regular and large scale transhipment operators include berthing of vessels on arrival and immediate commencement of operations on an "all times quarantee" basis, allocation of storage space for exclusive long term use as well as throughtput related discounts, rebates and other performance geared financial incentives.
The progressive spirit in which the island conducts its business affairs is also reflected in the port law applied. It is unique in its liberalism, treating foreign shipping and trading operations as an entirely offshore activity for the purposes of customs regulations and procedures, while port documentation requirements are kept to the absolute minimum. Pro-customer orientation is present in all the provisions of port legislation, including its liability clauses. Foreign property is fully protected in the port areas not only as a matter of practice but also by law, with the safe keeping and handling of cargo being the legal responsibility of port authorities, from receipt to delivery.
Cyprus represents a higly competitive, cost effective port call. While the standard of port service provided is markedly above the regional average, the charges levied for its provision compare most favourably with market rates prevailing in the area. In particular, the general port dues applied in the area are the lowest order in the Mediterranean region.