The Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS) has licensed the AdvanFort Company, a world-leading provider of maritime security solutions for the commercial shipping industry, to supply the services of armed and unarmed escort guards on those of its flagged vessels transiting piracy high-risk areas, it was announced today. The decision by Cypriot authorities comes just six months following similar approval by the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) to conduct counter-piracy operations aboard vessels flying the Panama flag.
“The increasing scrutiny by some of the most important European Union countries, of armed guards on vessels flying their countries’ flags, is already having its effect, and we are pleased to announce that AdvanFort continues to pass with flying colors,” said AdvanFort President William H. Watson. “Coming after approval by the world’s largest flag state, our receiving the goahead by Cyprus—one of the European countries that is leading the movement for far greater standards and regulations for private maritime security companies—is a wonderful reflection of AdvanFort’s own rigorous quality management system.”
Captain Watson added that the Cyprus flag is a high-quality one, offering numerous advantages to ship-owners who register their vessels in the Cyprus registry, which ranks 10th among international fleets and third within the European Union. He noted that the Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping that carried out the review process was at all times representative of the flag's renowned professional services.
The Cyprus accreditation was announced just a year after the publication of The Protection of Cyprus Ships Against Acts of Piracy and Other Unlawful Acts Law of 2012 (Law 77/2012) in the official gazette of the Republic of Cyprus.
"Vessels flagged by Cyprus are of great importance and we are honored by having been given the green light by N.L. Charalambous, acting director of the Department of Merchant Shipping, and we would like to thank him and his professional staff, particularly Cpt. G. Stylianides, who as DMS liaison helped us through the process."
Captain Watson pointed out that Cyprus, like Germany and Belgium, now favor increasingly stiff requirements meant to assure that best practices rule in their highly competitive markets. “Shipowners and operators have one more reason to turn to AdvanFort,” he concluded. “The Cypriot stamp of approval shows the uncompromising need to maintain highly proactive systems that ensure state-of-the-art standards.”