Cyprus and India proceeded to sign a new agreement on merchant shipping, which entered into force last month and replaced a previous agreement between thew two countries, which was signed in the past, on 11 February 1997.
Below, you can find summarized the provisions of the new agreement.
First of all, the agreement suggest that both countries will treat the other country’s vessels in the same way it treats its own vessels engaged in international voyages in respect of free access to ports, use of ports for loading and unloading of cargoes and for embarking and disembarking of passengers, payment of dues and taxes based on the tonnage or otherwise, in accordance with the national laws and regulations, exercising normal commercial operations and use of services related to navigation.
Secondly, each country will recognise the identity documents issued by the competent authorities of the other country to crew members who are nationals of that country.
Thirdly, during a vessel’s stay in a port of the other country, all of its crew will be granted temporary shore leave in the territory of the municipality in which the port belongs, as well as in the territories of neighbouring municipalities, without any visa being required, provided they show the relevant identity document mentioned in Article 7 and provided the master of the vessel has submitted a crew list to the appropriate authorities at the port, in compliance with the regulations in force in that port.
Moreover, in case that a vessel of one country is shipwrecked, runs aground, is cast ashore or suffers any other accident off the coast of the territory of the other country, the vessel and the cargo are entitled to the same benefits, privileges and liabilities as apply to the host country’s ships and their cargo. The crew and passengers are also entitled to the same level of assistance, as the crew and passengers of the host country’s ships.
Furthermore, the taxation of income of any kind derived from the use of vessels in international traffic will be governed by the double tax agreement between the two countries.
Continuing, residents of one country who are employed on board vessels of the other are subject to tax on income from that employment only in the country in which the vessel is registered and whose flag it flies.
Finally, the freight income obtained from the operation in international traffic of vessels of one country, will not have the responsibility for fees and taxes of any kind in the territory of the other country. Shipping enterprises of one country can use income and other revenue from maritime transport operations obtained in freely convertible currency within the territory of the other country, in order to make payments in the territory of the other country, and will be able to remit any surplus funds abroad.