On Saturday , 7th October 2023, the Cyprus Marine Club (CMC) marked its participation in the Maritime Cyprus 2023 Conference by hosting a Cocktail Reception with a speech from our guest of honor  Mr. Eric Montanios, Montanios & Montanios LLC.

Eric (Eleftherios) Montanios was born in Famagusta on the Island of Cyprus. He qualified as a Barrister-at-Law at the Middle Temple, London.  He joined his father’s, Michael Montanios, practice as a trainee advocate in November 1966. In 1969, with his father and founder of the Firm, they formed a partnership under the name Montanios & Montanios.   In 1971 he assumed all the work of the firm. He was soon joined in the firm by his brother Acis and few years later by his brother Adam.

At the start of his career he dealt, on behalf of overseas clients, with the incorporation of shipping companies and the registration of ships under Cyprus flag.  He also acted on behalf of multiple international banks in connection with the Cypriot aspects of ship financing transactions.

In more recent years, Mr. Eric Montanios  has dealt with maritime litigation, mainly cases involving enforcement of mortgages on ships, as well as disputes in which he represented P & I Clubs, some of which the Firm represents as their listed legal correspondent in Cyprus.

Apart from shipping, since 1981, he has dealt extensively with legal aspects of the sale, leasing, financing, registration and deregistration of aircraft.

He is the author of the Cyprus chapters in the international publications “Aircraft Finance – Registration, Security and Enforcement” (1989) and ”Aircraft Liens and Detention Rights” (1998) (both now published by Sweet & Maxwell, London), which he regularly updates.

In 1991, the Oriental Republic of Uruguay appointed Eric (Eleftherios) Montanios as its Honorary Consul in Cyprus, an appointment he continues to hold. In recognition of his consular services, he was awarded the Medal of the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Uruguay in 2012.

The reception was attended by 150 guests incl. The Shipping Deputy Minister to the President, Mrs. Marina Hadjimanoli   and took  place at the Gazebo Mare in Limassol Marina, the home of Cyprus Marine Club.  The President of Cyprus Marine Club, Captain Eberhard Koch, in his opening statement, before giving the floor to the special guest, shared his contentment about the high number of guests considering how socially Maritime days have started.  Capt. Koch has welcomed 2 new Corporate Members &  2 Individual Members  of the Club which now counts 167 members in total.

Capt. Koch thanked guests for their trust in the Club’s daily mission to embrace and encourage a plethora of maritime industry stakeholders for friendly membership.

He furthermore praised the Island as the Shipping Star of the Mediterranean and he added:

“But even a Shipping Star needs an administration in order to be allowed to fly our beautiful White Flag and to show the Cypriote Home port at the stern of a ship. (..)

Today we are enjoying a remarkable, competent, daily 24/7/365 assistance from the entire ministry’s team. 

The target to streamline, the island’s  maritime administration services into a modern single one-stop-shop is supported by all of us being in this special industry, which you can only love.”

Mr. Montanios spoke about the establishment and function of the Cyprus Register of Ships between 1964 and 1974 when it operated in Famagusta, with that port as the port of registration, drawing from his personal experiences while acting, since the end of 1966, on instructions from shipowners who wished to register ships in the Cyprus Register of Ships, and from banking institutions which needed to register mortgages on Cyprus ships.

He referred to the legislation which established the Cyprus Register of Ships, the reason why Famagusta was determined as the port of registration, the advantages offered to shipowners by the legislation, the problems that appeared and the steps taken to address them. He then referred to the impressive number of ships which were registered, some by the few Cypriot shipowners of the time and, mostly, by Greek shipowners, followed in subsequent years by German shipowners.

He concluded by saying that, even though the Turkish invasion and occupation of Famagusta forced the government to change the port of registration to that of Limassol, the Cyprus Register of Ships remained alive and those ten years when it operated from Famagusta laid the firm foundations upon which today’s impressive Cyprus shipping cluster was built.

To mark the special occasion, upon conclusion of the speech, Capt. E. Koch on behalf of the Cyprus Union of Shipowners offered to Mr. Montanios a copy of the book entitled:

FAMAGUSTA -The Rise and Fall of a Ships’Registry|1964 – 1974

The enchanting speech of Mr. Montanios brought on further fascinating conversations among an enthusiastic audience, who explored interesting topics with our  speaker and continued sharing their thoughts during the cocktail reception.