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Enforcing your rights

1. Repayment of import duty with regard to internet shopping

Repayment of import duty with regard to internet shopping is approved on the basis of art. 237 of Reg. (EEC) no 2913/92 and art. 251(1b) of Reg. (EEC) no 2454/93, if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • the goods are not accepted under a contract of sale,
  • the customs authorities invalidate the declaration of release for free circulation,
  • an application is submitted within three months from the date of acceptance of the declaration and
  • the goods have been exported to the original supplier's address or to another address indicated by the said supplier.

It is to be noted that import VAT is collected as customs duty according to national legislation. Therefore, repayment of import VAT is approved by Customs only in cases where the declarant/importer is not registered with VAT. In all other cases VAT is repaid by the VAT Service.

2. Request for review

The Customs Code Law no. 94(Ι)/2004 provides in section 112 that every person has the right to submit to the Director a request for review. This request may refer to:

  • a decision of the Department of Customs and Excise in relation to the implementation of the customs or the other legislation, if it concerns him/her directly and personally;
  • a case whereby he/she has submitted an application to the Department of Customs and Excise and no decision has been issued thereupon within a period of thirty days from the date of the submission of the application, except where another period of time is provided explicitly by the relevant legislation.

This right must be exercised within a period of sixty days from the date of issue of the decision or the submission of the application. If the request for review refers to a decision by the Department, the submission of the request shall not suspend the execution of the disputed decision.

In case the disputed decision results in the imposition of duty and or tax, the suspension of its execution shall depend on the provision of guarantee. This guarantee may not be requested, when it may cause serious financial and social difficulties because of the situation of the debtor.

It is clarified that no request for review shall be submitted in the case of compounding of an act or an offence and of seizure of goods under the customs or the other legislation.

It is to be noted that the request for review does not affect the time limit for the submission of an appeal to the Supreme Court. As it has been decided by the Supreme Court, the decisions of the Director of Customs relating to imposition and collection of duties and taxes, are executory administrative acts and for this reason they are subject to the general principles of administrative law, as defined by the law on the “General Principles of Administrative Law, 158(Ι)/99”. Therefore any person, who has reasons to dispute the validity of a decision by the Director, has the right to request for a revision of this decision and, if not satisfied, may appeal to the Supreme Court, in accordance with the provisions of section 146 of the Constitution.

Any omission by the Director of Customs to proceed with an action warranted by legislation is an executory administrative act, which can be appealed to the Supreme Court, as described above. However it is to be made clear that there is no omission by the Director when he acts or omits to act in the exercise of his discretionary powers provided by legislation.

In accordance with section 29 of the Constitution, any person has the right, to appeal to the Supreme Court in case the Director omits to respond to any written complaint or request which refers to an executory administrative act.

The Director has issued Notice no. 392/2004 under section 112(4) where he specifies the details necessary for the implementation of section 112.
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