EU naval mission in the Red Sea officially approved

The launch of the naval military mission EUNAVFOR ASPIDES to protect navigation in the Red Sea and the Gulf from Houthi attacks was officially announced by the Council of the EU, after the final approval of the decision by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs within the framework of the Foreign Affairs Council which is underway in Brussels.

“The operation will play a key role in safeguarding commercial and security interests, for the benefit of the EU and the wider international community,” said High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

As announced, the headquarters of the operation will be Larissa in Greece, the commander of the operation will be the Greek captain-in-chief Vasilios Gryparis, and the commander of the force will be the Italian vice-admiral Stefano Constantino.

Operation ASPIDES will be active along the main sea lines of communication in the Straits of Bab el-Madeb and the Straits of Hormuz, as well as in the international waters of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf Gulf.

The aim of the naval mission is to address the situation created since October 2023, due to the attacks on commercial ships by the Houthis of Yemen, on the occasion of Israel’s attack against Hamas and the deaths of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

The mission will have a defensive mandate, providing maritime situational awareness, escorting vessels passing through the area, and protecting them from potential attacks.

The new operation will be closely coordinated with EUNAVFOR ATALANTA, which is tasked with countering piracy in the region, as well as with EU partners.

In her post on the X platform (formerly Twitter), the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, welcomed the decision, stressing that “Europe will ensure freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, working together with our international partners”.

“Beyond responding to the crisis, it is a step towards a stronger maritime presence of Europe to protect our European interests” he added.

zim import container service to Limassol (2)

ZIM Continues to Offer Unparalleled Service from UK & Europe , Israel to Limassol

In the ever-evolving landscape of global shipping and logistics, ZIM stands as a beacon of reliability and efficiency, continually offering top-notch services to its customers. The company is pleased to announce the maintenance of its service from the UK & Europe, Israel, ensuring a seamless connection to Limassol.

A Seamless Journey from London Gateway to Limassol

The current rotation of the service is as follows:

  • London Gateway – The journey begins at the state-of-the-art deep-sea container port, offering world-class facilities and excellent connectivity to the UK’s transportation network.
  • Rotterdam – Next, the service moves to Europe’s largest port, a vital hub that connects to a network of over 1,000 European ports.
  • Hamburg – The journey continues to Germany’s largest port, a gateway to the world and a critical node in the global shipping network.
  • Antwerp – The service then reaches Belgium’s largest port, a hub of international trade and a cornerstone in the European shipping industry.
  • Le Havre – Before heading to Israel, the service stops at France’s second-largest commercial port, a gateway to Paris and a significant player in the European shipping landscape.
  • Transshipment at Haifa – The pivotal point in the journey is the transshipment at Haifa, Israel’s largest seaport, which facilitates a smooth transition to the final destination.
  • Haifa to Limassol – The final leg of the journey takes you to Limassol, a vibrant city that hosts Cyprus’s most important port, a true epitome of Mediterranean beauty coupled with efficient port services.

Reliability and Excellence with ZIM

With this rotation, ZIM guarantees a service that is both reliable and efficient, ensuring that goods reach their destination in a timely manner. The strategic stops at major ports not only facilitate global trade but also offer customers a wide range of possibilities for further distribution and connectivity.

ZIM remains committed to providing its customers with services that are a benchmark in the industry. The well-thought-out rotation from the UK & Europe to Israel and finally to Limassol is a testament to ZIM’s dedication to offering routes that are both efficient and reliable.

Stay tuned for more updates on ZIM’s services and developments in the shipping industry. Let ZIM be your trusted partner in navigating the complex waters of global trade.


Direct container service from UK and Europe to Limassol port – ZIM.

ZIM in improving their good and reliable service to it’s customers has decided to add a direct Limassol call in their eastbound service.

The rotation: Felixstowe – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – Le Havre – Ashdod – Limassol – Haifa Effective Limassol call (Navios Indigo 5E): February 18th 2023 from Felixstowe, expected arrival to Limassol on March 7th.

The Shipping Limited Liability Company Law of 2022

The Shipping Limited Liability Company Law of 2022

On Thursday, Parliament overwhelmingly approved the introduction of a one-stop-shop framework for ship-owning companies and their shareholders to handle all issues currently dealt with by the Registrar of Companies, in addition to the issues of maritime law. This is according to the House transport committee’s report on the “Law on the Limited Liability Shipping Company (LLSC) Law of 2022,” which establishes a new type of corporate entity called a “Limited Liability Shipping Company.” This new entity will be established as a limited liability company solely for the purpose of owning and operating Cypriot ships.

The LLSC Law also establishes the Registrar of LLSCs as the competent authority for these concerns and will oversee everything related to LLSCs from their establishment until their liquidation. The ultimate goal of this new legislation is to create a one-stop-shop structure for ship-owning corporations and their shareholders within the deputy ministry of shipping, allowing this state ministry to handle all issues that presently fall under the purview of the Registrar of Companies and maritime law.

This new legislation is part of the long-term national policy for Cyprus shipping, “SEA Change 2030.” It puts into practice Action 14 of the plan, which was approved by the Council of Ministers in October 2021. This long-term strategic vision for Cypriot shipping was the result of a cooperative approach that included input from internal, local, and worldwide stakeholders. It contains 35 specific activities under the three primary headings of Sustainable, Extrovert, and Adaptable, all aimed at creating sustainable progress for shipping. The objectives include enhancing the competitiveness of the Cyprus flag in international shipping and streamlining the processes and operating policies for Cypriot shipping firms that possess Cypriot ships.

The “Shipping Business Limited (SLLC)” is a new type of limited liability company created by the SLLC Law, with the express purpose of owning and managing Cypriot ships. The process from creating and registering SLLCs to liquidating them is governed by the new law. Additionally, the SLLC’s Registrar, the Department of the SDM, is designated as the relevant authority. The SDM will be in charge of overseeing the Department, and the General Director of the SDM, who is also the Registrar of Cypriot Ships by law, will serve as the SLLC’s Registrar as needed.

The primary clauses of the Companies Law, Cap. 113, inspired the structure of the SLLC Law. However, the SLLC Law contains streamlined rules designed to make the creation of an SLLC more flexible and attractive to interested parties. This new legal framework enables shipping firms with Cypriot ships already listed in the Registry of the Registrar of Companies to request their ships to be registered in the new registry. The eventual goal of this new legal framework is to establish a one-stop structure for ship-owning corporations and their shareholders within the SDM, allowing the SDM to handle all issues that now fall under the purview of the Registrar of Companies and maritime law.

jewel-of-the-seas-cruises from Limassol


MIAMI/LONDON, March 25, 2021 – This summer, Royal Caribbean International guests can soak up the Mediterranean sun and explore the captivating coastlines of Greece and Cyprus on all-new 7-night cruises departing from Limassol, Cyprus. Starting July 10, Jewel of the Seas will call Cyprus home for the first time and sail to the picturesque shores and ancient ruins in Cyprus, Greece and the Greek Isles through October. The new 2021 summer itineraries from Cyprus will open for bookings on April 7. « We know how eager our guests are to enjoy a getaway this summer, and these sailings, which include a mix of fantastic destinations and must-visit islands, make for the perfect getaway,» said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

«Cyprus is a beautiful island, and we are thankful to the Cypriot government for their support and enthusiasm in making these incredible itineraries possible». Savvas Perdios, the Deputy Minister of Tourism for Cyprus, said, «We are delighted that Royal Caribbean will call Limassol its homeport for the first time ever. We have every confidence that Royal Caribbean’s presence in Limassol will be beneficial to Cyprus and, similarly, we are very confident that as a homeport and as a country, Cyprus will live up to the expectations of Royal Caribbean and its guests». Guests can rest assured their well-being and that of the crew members and communities visited are Royal Caribbean’s top priorities.

Details on the health and safety measures to be implemented will be announced at a later date. The comprehensive, multilayered health and safety measures to come will continue to be led by science and leverage expert guidance from the Healthy Sail Panel, Royal Caribbean Group’s Head of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer, and local government and health authorities. In addition, travelers must meet the travel requirements of their home country and Cyprus. The most up-to-date policies can be found on Cyprus’ tourism website.

Royal Caribbean’s new 7-night sailings from Cyprus continue the cruise line’s measured and safe return to cruising the world once again.

About Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International has been delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. The cruise line continues to revolutionize vacations with itineraries to more than 270 destinations in 72 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first in the Perfect Day Island Collection. Royal Caribbean has also been voted «Best Cruise Line Overall» for 18 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards. Royal Caribbean International is applying the recommendations of its Healthy Sail Panel of public health and scientific experts to provide a safer and healthier cruise vacation on all of its sailings.

Health and safety protocols, regional travel restrictions and clearance to visit ports of call, are subject to change based on ongoing evaluation, public health standards, and government requirements.

DEPUTY minister visit VTTV

VTTV €150 million projects boost for shipping

VTT Vasiliko, the Dutch-controlled international energy trader playing a key role in developing the Vasiliko energy hub since 2014, has two more storage projects in the pipeline worth about €150 mln.

The new projects will also boost the Cyprus maritime sector to benefit from increased cargo traffic, as well as services provided by local companies.

Deputy Shipping Minister Vassilis Demetriades visited the VTTV premises where he reviewed first-hand the ship-to-shore fuelling facilities and was also briefed about the upcoming projects.

“The facilities and services provided at the liquid fuel storage terminal at Vasiliko are of the highest standard. What is more impressive is the ultra-modern jetty for the loading and unloading of tankers, as well as the unique ship-to-ship fuel transfer,” Demetriades said.

The junior minister said the synergies of the energy and maritime sectors are evident at Vasiliko, offering great potential to the Cyprus economy.

VTTV’s CEO, George Papanastasiou, said the terminal was the biggest foreign direct investment in energy infrastructure that has a direct impact on shipping.

It was delivered in November 2014 by J&P for €300 mln. The company employs 66 people, up from 25 when it started.

VTTV owns the state-of-the-art jetty in the Vasiliko port, at proximity to the country’s power plants.

It can be adapted for the upcoming FSRU terminal that will provide natural gas for consumption by the local energy producers, primarily the Electricity Authority of Cyprus.

The project, a subsidiary of international oil storage terminal operator VTTI B.V., 50% of which is owned by Dutch Vitol, features 28 tanks with a total storage capacity of 545,000 cubic metres of core fuel (diesel, gasoline and jet fuel) a deep-water marine jetty as well as road tanker loading facilities in phase one.

“The terminal, in conjunction with the island’s strategic location near the Suez Canal, places Cyprus on the map of these fuel transports,” Papanastasiou said.

Papanastasiou told the Financial Mirror that the two projects underway are a small private LNG terminal that is earmarked to cost €15-20 mln, able to serve the local market and also exports to nearby markets, such as Lebanon.

The second is a larger project that is expected to cost some €120-130 mln and will store the Euro-spec output of a major regional refiner for supply to the European markets.

He said VTTV storage is at near-capacity and could not offer its service to oil majors when the price of US crude turned negative in April when the price of the benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell as low as minus $37 a barrel.

VTTV is also part of the H4E Gasfuel consortium for the design and construction of a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) in Cyprus.

The consortium includes Norway’s Hoegh LNG, which has submitted a proposal for the installation of an FSRU in Cyprus by next year.

The consortium aims to provide liquefied natural gas to Cyprus as soon as possible, which will reduce electricity costs for local consumers as well as gas emissions and gas emissions taxes.

With its proposal, Hoegh LNG “offers Cyprus the installation, within the first quarter 2021, of an FSRU at Vasiliko and a pipeline to transport the gas to the EAC’s power plant and potentially other users.”

It said the proposal “does not in any way interfere with the government’s plans, while the Cyprus government will be able to save over €100 mln per year from 2021 onwards, by switching power generation to burning natural gas from heavy fuel oil.”

Cyprus can also achieve lower emissions from power generation, resulting in lower cost while the economy will benefit significantly from lower electricity production cost, said Hoegh LNG in a recent statement.

Source: Financial Mirror

Cyprus-Piraeus ferry connection by May 2021 viable

The deputy shipping minister said things are on track for launching the Cyprus-Greece ferry connection by May 2021

The goal of launching the Cyprus-Greece ferry connection in May 2021 is on track, the Cyprus deputy shipping minister Vasilis Demetriades said Tuesday.

Demetriades noted that the deputy shipping ministry is in the final stage of setting up the terms of the tender, which is expected to be launched within October.

“The timeframe for May is realistic, because after the launch of the tender we’ll be allowing a period of two to two and a half months for candidates to study proposals, with the goal of the ferry link beginning in early May being part of the terms of the tender, so that we can be ready for the summer season,” Demetriades said, speaking before the House tourism committee.

Interest in the project has been expressed by parties in Cyprus, Greece, but also from the wider European area.

Demetriades noted that there are still matters that are being discussed with Greek authorities, and particularly will officials at Piraeus port, such as matters relating to terminal issues and customs controls as this route will be the first from a country outside the Schengen area.

He said that the state subsidy, for which pre-approval has been secured by the Directorate General of Competition, concerns the passenger aspect of the route for three years, adding that this period is enough to show that the operation of the route is sustainable. Demetriades expressed hope that if the interest expressed “converted into use, I believe that the service will be sustainable in itself”.

Demetriades said that the bidders will have the option of choosing either the Larnaca or Limassol port as the route’s departure point, while they will also have to pick an intermediate stopping point, stressing that the duration of trip is considered an important factor, noting that the Larnaca port is disadvantaged in terms of distance.

The ceiling on the price of a one-way ticket has been set at €50, and €80 for a return ticket.

The Greece-Cyprus ferry connection will help Cypriots embrace shipping, which contributes 7% to the country’s GDP, employs at least 9,000 in shipping companies, about 50,000 seafarers and constitutes 3% of the island’s workforce, Demetriades noted.

Source: KNEWS

DP World Limassol welcomed the Ambassador of Israel to Cyprus to the New Passenger Terminal

The development of the maritime tourism sector and ways to boost cooperation between Cyprus and Israel, were discussed at a meeting held at the Limassol port, between the Israeli Ambassador to Cyprus, H.E. Mr Shmuel (Sammy) Revel, the Chairman of the Limassol Tourism Board, Mr. Tony Antoniou and DP World Limassol officials.

DP World Limassol officials welcomed the Israeli Ambassador and the Chairman of the Limassol Tourism Board to the Limassol port on Thursday, 10 September 2020. Mr Revel had the opportunity to tour the facilities of the New Passenger Terminal and meet with DP World Limassol’s CEO, Nawaf Abdulla, with whom they exchanged views on ways to respond to the emerging challenges facing the tourism and cruise industry of the Eastern Mediterranean, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In statements as part of the visit, the Israeli Ambassador referred to the mutual benefits derived from close cooperation between Israel and Cyprus and stressed that great prospects could open up through joint projects and synergies. “We recognize the significance of tourism for our respective economies and therefore the importance of maintaining a close relationship with Cyprus, host to one of the most important ports of the region. In fact, last year, Israel and Cyprus agreed to jointly promote the Eastern Mediterranean region as a prime holiday destination for cruise lines and even though the pandemic has pushed back our plans for the cruise sector, we strongly believe that our efforts will bear fruit in the near future.”

From his part Mr. Tony Antoniou, Chairman of the Limassol Tourism Board, emphasised the importance of Cyprus-Israel cooperation in the cruise sector and the mutual benefits from joint promotion of the region.

On his part, DP World Limassol’s CEO, Nawaf Abdulla, pointed out that “Establishing the Limassol port as a major cruise hub in the Eastern Mediterranean continues to be one of our major objectives”, adding that “even though the cruise industry was severely affected by the pandemic, we are optimistic that by connecting Limassol with other ports and boosting our cooperation with important neighboring countries like Israel, we can help establish a thriving cruise industry, which will create multiple benefits for the local economy”.

Source: DP World Limassol

ZIM Guard

ZIMGuard™ – AI-Based System Developed By ZIM Detects Misdeclarations

ZIM’s new ZIMGuard™ System Scans and Flags Possible Misdeclarations in Real Time, Increasing the Safety of the Supply Chain

ZIM has developed and implemented an innovative AI-based screening software to detect and identify incidents of mis-declared hazardous cargo before loading to vessel.

The new ZIMGuard™ system scans shippers’ cargo declarations at an early stage and flags potential cases of wrongly declared cargo. The system harnesses Artificial Intelligence (AI), including Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities and Machine Learning, to analyze documentation and alert operations personnel of occurrences of omission, concealment or erroneous declaration of hazardous cargo – in real time.

Misdeclaration of hazardous cargo has been at the root of major marine incidents, causing loss of life and severe damages. Last year, several carriers announced the imposition of additional fees as a partial solution for this recurring problem. ZIMGuard™ has already proven its efficacy on numerous occasions since its introduction. The ZIMGuard™ system is already in use in major ports in China, the US and Israel, and is expected to be deployed in all ZIM lines by the end of 2020.

Eli Glickman, ZIM President & CEO: “Developing this innovative system exemplifies the creative and unique approach we cultivate in everything we do in ZIM – our secret ingredient. Since launching ZIMGuard, we were alerted to dozens of cases of mis-declared cargo. In view of ZIMGuard’s potential contribution to the safety of the global supply chain, ZIM is willing to commercially offer licensing this system to parties who may be interested in utilizing it.” 

Eyal Ben-Amram, ZIM EVP CIO: “ZIM strives to be at the cutting edge of technology in every aspect of its operations. The introduction of advanced AI capabilities to the critical task of enhancing safety and security is a yet another example of these ongoing efforts.”  

Captain Zadok Radecker, ZIM Global Hazardous & Special Cargos Manager, in charge of Cargo Security, said: “Coping with Misdeclarations of hazardous cargo, which can create a serious risk, is challenging. The new system has proven to be effective and on target. It enable us to identify, investigate and clarify any issue prior to loading, ensuring the safety of the crew and ship, and the safety of the supply chain in general.”

larnaca port privatisation

Larnaca port, marina rebuild gets final nod

The long-awaited €1.2 bln redevelopment of Larnaca port and its marina got the final green light Monday after the Transport Ministry sent a ‘Successful Tenderer Letter’ to the chosen consortium after protracted negotiations.

The consortium awarded the project is Kition Ocean Holdings, a Cypriot-Israeli consortium, composing of investors Eldeman Holding BV and Alexandrou Corporate Services Ltd.

Tender negotiations between the two sides have been ongoing since late 2018 when the consortium’s bid was the only one left on the table after a number of bidders pulled out.

Cyprus Transport Ministry said the letter essentially marks the end of the tender process and the whole project can now move on to the next stage with the signing of contracts between the two sides.

Once the agreement is signed, a 12-month transition period will follow during which the investor will take over the project in its entirety.

This involves the restructuring of the marina for at least 650 berths, the port and surrounding land development over an area of 220,000 sqm spanning to a total of 510,000 sqm.

The development, which also involves real estate, is expected to see the consortium invest around €1.2 bln in the project.

Plans include the development of the marina with the latest technological infrastructure, turning Larnaca port it into one capable of serving large vessels with the expansion of piers, docks and the construction of a modern passenger terminal.

As part of the marina development, there will be a yacht club with a retail park, plus hotels, a private island and residential properties.

Port works will also include the expansion and management of the port, improving current infrastructure such as the interior road network, storage space as well as creating a new terminal for cruise ships and utilising the port for cargo management.

The area between the marina and the port will see infrastructure works carried out, including a road network, green areas, parks, open spaces for events, as well as education and medical centre.

The consortium is also planning residential and commercial development with innovative architecture, streets, and parks.

The project is expected to be completed over a period of 10 to 15 years.

According to the Transport Ministry, the project’s added benefits to the economy should surpass €120 mln annually once fully developed.

Under the proposed venture, it is estimated that the state will receive more than €19.6 bln during the lifetime of the project which includes the 125-year lease on the real estate.

The BOT project will see the government receiving a fixed rent and a percentage of the revenue generated through a concession agreement with the port/marina operated on a 40-year lease and the real estate is acquired on a 125-year lease.

After 40 years the port and marina can be handed back to the government who will then decide on their management.

The complete project will span over 10 years as it includes building two hotels (lifestyle/business), nine office buildings (mixed-use) of up to 15 floors each and six luxury apartment blocks up to 13 floors each.

Source: Financial Mirror