This article briefly describes the arrangements made by financial institutions in the Republic of Cyprus to facilitate the opening of bank accounts for seafarers affected by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
The Shipping Deputy Ministry of Cyprus has published a circular numbered 17/2022 on 14th April 2022 (the Circular) addressing all registered owners, registered bareboat charterers, managers and representatives of ships flying the Cyprus flag describing the arrangements by financial institutions in Cyprus to ease and aid the opening of bank accounts for seafarers affected by the gravity of the situation in Ukraine.
Cyprus Commercial Banks
In accordance with the Circular, the Cyprus Commercial Banks, namely the Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank and the Eurobank, require the following documents for seafarers affected by the unfolding situation in Ukraine to open a bank account:
ECOMMBX and SEPAGA
ECOMMBX provides payment services and banking solutions in Cyprus. In accordance with the Circular, minimum on-boarding requirements and the process (which will be performed in line with ECOMMBX’s on-boarding policy) for opening accounts for natural persons include the following:
It is noted that the above documents/information would need to be collected apostilled or verified as a true copy of the original. In addition to the above, the individual would be screened for sanctions and adverse media. In order to be able to open an account with ECOMMBX, it is a precondition for the seafarer’s employer to have and to operate an account with ECOMMBX, and to perform the top-up payments in the seafarers’ individual accounts through its ECOMMBX account.
The minimum requirements of SEPAGA to open an individual wallet for Russian nationals include the following:
The minimum requirements of SEPAGA to open an individual wallet for Ukrainian nationals include the following:
Since the unfolding of the situation in Ukraine, more and more seafarers might find difficulties with their financial arrangements and bank accounts, it is noted that although the above-mentioned arrangements as provided in the Circular are made to facilitate the opening of a bank account in Cyprus, they are only in addition to the arrangements recommended by the Government of Ukraine in relation to payments to be made to Ukrainian seafarers.
It is also highlighted in the Circular that the Circular should be available on board all ships under the Cyprus flag and brought to the attention of all seafarers employed on board Cyprus flagged vessels.
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