Cyprus has over the years developed into a major maritime centre and today has the 6th largest merchant fleet in the world in tonnage terms. During the last few years it has taken steps to develop its infrastructure and improve its maritime administration in an effort to raise the standards of Cyprus registered ships and enhance the image of the Cyprus flag. It has signed and ratified all relevant international conventions and agreements and has voted national laws and regulations to enable their implementation . At the centre of this effort is the improvement of safety on board Cyprus registered ships and the protection of the marine environment.
Pollution Prevention through ship surveys Flag State Control plays a major part in the prevention of pollution to the environment. Through the regular inspection of the ships it is ensured that the requirements of the MARPOL Convention are properly adhered to. The Department of Merchant Shipping has made significant improvement in this respect during the last few years and it has increased the number of inspections both by the Department surveyors and the appointed surveyors overseas. Further improvement is expected as more surveyors will be employed both in Cyprus and overseas during the next couple of years.