Cypriots have been Members of the Institute well before the 1960’s. With the evolution of shipping and shipping related activities in Cyprus, leading to an increase in the number of Members domiciled on the island, it was deemed necessary amongst Members that it was time to form a Branch of the Institute in Cyprus. The inaugural meeting for the formation of the Branch took place on 7 March 1996 and was attended by 17 Members and Fellows. A temporary working committee was appointed for organizing the formation of Branch and drafting the Branch’s Rules and Regulations according to the Guidelines of the Institute, which were unanimously approved at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 22 May 1996. Final approval to the Branch’s Rules and Regulations and the formation of the Branch was granted by the October 1996 Controlling Council Meeting. Membership comprises of various nationalities apart from the local Cypriot members, such as British, German, Russian, Burmese, South African etc The branch has members residing in Germany, Singapore and Russia, who made the decision to keep the link with our Branch despite the move to other countries. Further, over the years we have accommodated students from neighbouring countries who found Cyprus as the easiest exam centre for them to sit the Qualifying Examinations.
The Branch provides a focal point where members experience a sense of belonging, promote all aspects of the Institute and have as a group an influence on local shipping matters, stimulating local community interest and trade recognition. It reinforces locally the international standard-setting reputation of the Institute, which in turn strengthens the feeling of value that members place upon their qualification.
The Cyprus Branch closely cooperates with the Cyprus Shipping Chamber (CSC) in education matters. In cooperation with the CSC, the Cyprus Branch has conducted the course on “Understanding Shipping” since September 2000, with a total of more than 600 students having completed the course until 2010. The “Understanding Shipping” course is fully administered in Cyprus and all Tutors are Members of the Branch. The Institute qualification receives the appropriate recognition from the CSC company members whom employ more than 85% of the Shipping personnel in Cyprus.
Since its inception, the Branch has been organizing the annual Spring Qualifying Examinations of the Institute in Cyprus, with great success.
The Cyprus Branch Committee holds monthly meetings and in addition, official and unofficial Members meetings are being held throughout the year. As well as providing the opportunity for members old and new to meet on a social basis, they are designed to keep all informed on the latest developments of the Institute and to broaden Members’ education with professional seminars and lectures. Normally, the students are also encouraged to attend the Members’ meetings. Members also meet and socialize during the Cyprus Branch’s annual Dinner, which takes place during the first quarter of each year.