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Green Line - Crossing points regulations
1
Crossing Points – «Green Line» Regulations
Last updated 15.04.2014

1. Introduction

Cyprus acceded to the EU on 1 May 2004 as a de facto divided island. European Union (EU) has committed to a speedy resumption of negotiations on a comprehensive settlement under UN auspices for a solution to the Cyprus problem and the re-unification of the island.

The whole of the island is part of the EU. However, in the northern part of the island, in the areas in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control, EU legislation is suspended in line with
Protocol 10 of the Accession Treaty 2003 (OJ L 236 – 23.9.2003). In the event of a solution to the Cyprus problem this suspension shall be lifted. It is noted that the suspension does not affect the personal rights of Turkish Cypriots as EU citizens. They are citizens of a Member State, the Republic of Cyprus, even though they may live in the areas not under government control.

This suspension made it necessary for special rules concerning the crossing of goods, services and persons to the line between the abovementioned areas and those areas in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus exercises effective control needed to be established.

In order to ensure the effectiveness of these rules, their application had to be extended also to the boundary between the areas in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control and the Eastern Sovereign Base Area of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

As the abovementioned areas are temporarily outside the customs and fiscal territory of the Community and outside the area of freedom, justice and security, the special rules should secure an equivalent standard of protection of the security of the EU with regard to illegal immigration and threats to public order, and of its economic interests as far as the movement of goods is concerned.

2. Legal Provisions

a) Council Regulation (EC) No 866/2004 of 29th April 2004 entered in force on 1st of May 2004 (hereafter: Green Line Regulation, GLR) lays down special rules concerning goods, services and persons crossing the line between the areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus exercises effective control and the areas in which does not. In Annex I, a list of the crossing points is laid down: Ledra Palace and Agios Dhometios. According to article 4(3), goods crossing the line, are allowed only at the above mentioned crossing points and the crossing points of Pergamos and Strovilia under the authority of the Eastern Sovereign Base Area. The Regulation refers to the prohibition of animals and animal products movement and provides exemptions from duties and taxes on goods contained in the personal luggage of persons crossing the line.
For the consolited text click here.

Amendments of Regulation (EC) no. 866/2004

No.
Regulation amendment No.
Official Journal No. –
Date of publication
1
OJ L50 of 23.2.2005
2
OJ L99 of 19.4.2005
3
Regulation (EC) no. 1283/2005 OJ L203 of 4.8.2005
4
Regulation (EC) no. 587/2008 OJ L163 of 24.6.2008
5
Regulation (EC) no. 685/2013 OJ L196 of 19.7.13

b) Commission Regulation (EC) no. 1480/2004 of 10th August 2004, lays down special rules concerning goods crossing the line between the areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus exercises effective control and the areas in which does not.

c) Commission Regulation 1624/2005 of 4th October 2005, derogating from Green Line Regulation as regards citrus fruits crossing the line (falling within CN code 0805). Those goods shall not be subject to customs duties or charges having equivalent effect.

3. Definitions

For the purpose of the above Regulations the following definitions shall apply:

(a) the term ‘line’ means:

(i) for the purpose of checks on persons, is the line between the areas under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and those areas in which the government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control;

(ii) for the purpose of checks on goods, is the line between the areas in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control and both those areas in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus exercises effective control and the Eastern Sovereign Base Area of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland;

(b) the term ‘third-country national’ means any person who is not a citizen of the European Union within the meaning of Article 17(1) of the EC Treaty.

Why the «line» is referred as «Green Line»;

The term «Green Line» refers to the cease fire line that de facto divides the island nation of Cyprus. It was first established in 1964, when Major-General Peter Young was the commander of a "peace force", a predecessor of the present UNFICYP. After stationing his troops in different areas of Nicosia, the general drew a cease-fire line on a map with a dark green crayon, which was to become known as the "Green Line".

The Green Line became impassable following the July 1974 invasion by Turkey. It runs for more than 180.5 km along and has an area of 346 km². Nicosia is the only divided capital in the whole world.

4. The amending Regulations of the Green Line Regulation in more detail

A. The Regulation (EC) no. 293/2005. By this new Regulation simplified special procedures have been adopted as regards the trade of agricultural and animal products. Furthermore, the concessions for persons crossing the line have been increased.

B. The Regulation (EC) no. 601/2005. The Commission adopted this Regulation, amending Annex I of the Green Line Regulation. On this basis the list of crossing points has been extended by two additional crossing points: Ledra str. and Astromeritis-Zodhia.

C. The Regulation (EC) no. 1283/2005. The Commission adopted this Regulation amending Annex I of the Green Line Regulation. On this basis the list of crossing points has been extended by three additional crossing points: Kato Pyrgos - Karavostasi, Kato Pyrgos – Kokkina and Kokkina – Pachyammos.

D. The Regulation (EC) no. 587/2008. The amending Regulation provided for a general lifting of duties on agricultural products originating in the northern part of Cyprus when being traded across the Line. Furthermore, the total maximum value of goods contained in the personal luggage of persons crossing the Line was increased from € 135 to € 260 so as to encourage the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community. Goods up to this amount can now be introduced free of customs, excise duties and taxes across the Line into the government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus or the UK Sovereign Base Area. This rule does not apply to cigarettes and alcohol for which the limits are defined in Article 6 (2) GLR. Finally, the amendments regulated in a transparent way the temporary introduction of goods (for up to six months) from the northern part of Cyprus into the government-controlled areas or the SBA.

5. List of Crossing Points

Persons and goods shall cross the Line only at crossing points authorised by the competent authorities of the Republic of Cyprus which are laid down in Annex I and also, regarding goods only, at the (c) and (d) crossing points as referred in article 4(3) of GLR. Those are:

ledra street crossing pointa) Ledra Palace (for pedestrians only)
b) Agios Dhometios
c) Pergamos
d) Strovilia
e) Ledra Street (for pedestrians only)
f) Zodhia
g) Kato Pyrgos – Karavostasi
h) Kato Pyrgos – Kokkina
i) Kokkina – Pachyammos

The last two are not opened yet.

6. Crossing of Persons

Persons shall cross the line only at the crossing points mentioned in paragraph 5 (except c and d) and the goods which hold or contained in their personal luggage may be exempt from turnover tax and excise duty as well as from other duties provided that:

A. Goods have no commercial character and their total value does not exceed €260 per person;

B. The quantitative limits for exemptions shall be 40 cigarettes and 1 litre of spirits for personal consumption. This exemption shall not be granted to persons crossing the Line under 17 years of age. The movement of any quantity of fine-cut tobacco for the rolling of cigarettes and/or other smoking tobacco from the areas of the Republic of Cyprus which are not under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus is prohibited.

7. Crossing of Goods

Goods shall cross the line only at the crossing points mentioned in paragraph 5 and shall be accompanied by a document issued by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce for that purpose.

According to Article 4 of the Green Line Regulation, goods which can be classified under the following categories may be introduced to the areas of the Republic of Cyprus which are under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus:

A. Goods which are wholly obtained in the areas of the Republic of Cyprus which are not under effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. The following goods are considered as such:

  • minerals extracted from these areas, e.g. salt, sand, chalk, asbestos, limestones;
  • vegetable goods harvested in these areas, e.g. bulbs, citrus fruits, fruits, cereals
  • refuse, wastes and useless goods deriving from industrial operations carried out in these areas, as long as they have been collected in these areas and they cannot be used for any purpose other than for the recovery of raw materials;
  • goods produced in these areas exclusively from goods described above or from derivatives thereof at any production stage, e.g. bricks, marbles, sand and gravel, orange juice, wines e.t.c.

B. Goods which have undergone their last, substantial, economically justified processing or working in an undertaking, equipped for that purpose in the areas not under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, e.g. furniture (wood, which after processing is transformed into such furniture), shoes (hides, soles and other raw material, which after processing are transformed into shoes).

It is noted that the movement of goods obtained or derived from the free areas and trafficked from and back into the free areas between crossing points and through the areas located outside the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus, is allowed if the movement is complited within twelve hours at the latest. The person who transports the goods shall posses the necessary documentation to prove the origin of the goods e.g. invoice of sale or purchase, shipment etc. in case of any doubt.


7.1. Temporary introduction of goods


With the exception of goods which are subject to veterinary and phytosanitary requirements, the following goods may be temporarily introduced from the areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control into the areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus exercises effective control, for a maximum period of up to six months, by issuing the customs form CP 5:

(a) the personal effects of persons crossing the line reasonably required for the journey and goods for sport purposes;
(b) means of transport;
(c) professional equipment;
(d) goods destined to be repaired;

(e) goods to be exhibited or used at a public event.

The form CP 5 is issued only for vehicles with foreign registration numbers (not from the so called “T.R.N.C”) and can be driven from foreign visitors in the areas in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus exercises effective control, for a period not exceeding 6 months. The person concerned is obliged to return his vehicle back by the expiration date of the temporary introduction of the vehicle the latest.

No form CP 5 is issued for:
(a) Vehicles with registration numbers of the illegal state, the so called “T.R.N.C”,
(b) Personally worn items such as clothing and footwear

7.2 Prohibitions of goods or goods subject to restrictions

Goods are prohibited to cross the line when they are imported from the closed ports of the Republic of Cyprus and illicit airports, except those goods relieved from duties and taxes as in paragraph 6. In addition:

Waste
The movement of waste into the free areas is prohibited, unless it is accompanied by a waste management Permit for collection and transportation, from the Environment Services, in respect of the specific vehicle transporting the waste.

Animals and animal products
The movement of live animals and animal products across the line is prohibited except the movement of fresh fish for commercial purposes only. This prohibition includes productive animals and pets, either for commercial transaction (e.g. transport to a slaughterhouse for immediate slaughter) or as a pet accompanied by the owner. In the case of the movement of fresh fish for commercial purposes, a valid accompanied document must be presented and the movement to the free areas will be allowed after the inspection and approval by the Officials of the Veterinary Services. The movement of fresh fish may be permitted only from the crossing point of Agios Dometios. This includes: fertilizer, snails, reptiles, hunting etc.

Counterfeit and pirated goods
The movement of counterfeit and pirated goods/items (even one piece) from persons, is prohibited. According to article 4 of the Regulation (EC) 1480/2004 the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus shall ensure that goods crossing the line comply with the EC rules on the prohibition on the bringing in of counterfeit and pirated goods.

Construction Products
Samples might be received for further inspection by the Services for Supervision of Market Products Construction of Ministry of the Interior.

Radio equipment
The movement of radio equipment into the free areas for radio activity is prohibited, unless its owner is authorised for the usage of radio frequencies from the Department of Electronic Communications.

Cement
The movement of sacks of cement in packages of 50 kg into the free areas is prohibited. For all types of cements whether they are packed in bags of 25 kg or transported in bulk and in order to place them on the market, the consignee must present a certificate of analysis of cement by accredited European laboratory, regarding the content of chromium VI [Cr (VI)] which should be accepted by the Department of Labour Inspection. Exception is the case of the transport of cement in bulk in appropriate vehicles which do not allow any leak.

Pharmaceuticals Products
The movement of controlled pharmaceuticals (drugs and psychotropics), doping steroids and other substances which may be used for doping is prohibited.
In addition, the movement of medical products for which there is a doubt as to whether they are intended for personal use as well as for those not marked or labeled or bearing misleading labeling is prohibited.
However, medical products intended for personal use with reasonable quantity, for up to one month’s of treatment, are allowed. The person who transfers them signs a declaration on the C.P. 4.

Pesticides
The movement of pesticide across the line into the free areas is prohibited.

Plastic objects (containers, caps, etc.) for use in food packaging
The movement of plastic objects (containers/materials) used for commercial purposes in food packaging is permitted if approved by Health Services Department.

Plant products:
A.The movement of the following plants and plant products is prohibited regardless its purpose (commercial or private), because the production must be carried out in accordance with the relevant legislation or are hosts of harmful organisms.


Product
Comments
Ornamental plantsTrees, bushes, flowers in pots etc. (palm trees, forest plants)
Fruit trees Citrus, stone fruit trees, pommes fruit trees
Grains Seeds for planting
Cut flowers
Grape Fruit grapes
Vineyard plants

B. The movement of all the following plant and plant products that are not hosts of quarantine pests and are held for commercial purposes is allowed, provided that visual inspection or other examination will be undertaken by qualified staff:

Product
Comments
Cereals Wheat, barley. Inspection on the basis of the animals Feed and feed Additives Law also.
legumes (a) vetches, peas, lentils, field beans, peas, beans, black eye peas: dried seeds for human or animal consumption.

(b) beans, black-eyed peas, field beans, peas: green for human consumption

Vegetable fruit Tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers, marrows, melons, water melons
Carrots, onions, beets
Leafy vegetables cabbage, celery, lettuce, spinach, koliander, ruccola, asparagus, onions batch
HerbsBatch or dried
Fruitstone fruit, figs
Dried nutsAlmonds, walnuts, salted figs
Timber

firewood included*

minus the timber and firewood coniferous (pine trees, aoratos, maple trees and chestnuts)

* Firewood

The movement of firewood is allowed from the occupied areas (provided that they are produced in these areas) to non occupied areas, through the approved crossing points for all kinds of wood, after visual inspection, except from those described in Annex 5 (V) - Part A, of European Directive No. 2000/29/EC relating to plant health and for which there are phytosanitary requirements, such as all kinds of conifers, chestnuts and maple trees.

Be noted that the timber must not bring any fresh branches, leaves or fruits, since for these kinds, there are additional phytosanitary requirements and therefore should be kept different procedures.

It is provided that after the entry of firewood in the areas where the Republic of Cyprus exercises effective control, the provisions of the relevant national laws must be observed. Specifically, for further movement of any quantities of firewood to the non occupied areas, a transport licence is required in advance (Form DF 203) from the Department of Forests. In addition, wood and wood products including firewood (all kinds), transported in the non occupied areas through the occupied areas, must always be accompanied by one of the following documents:
    1. Transport License (Form DF 203) issued by the Department of Forests, or
    2. Transport Document (Form DF 224a) issued by a licensed firewood merchant, or
    3. Transport Document (Form DF 224b) issued by the President of the Community Council.
It is noted that the customs officers who are on duty at the crossing points, are authorized by the Acting Director of the Department of Forests, to check for the existence of a transport licence (Form 203), or transport document (Form DF 224a), or transport document (Form DF 224b) and proceed to the confiscation or seizure of the firewood transported without authorization.

For more information regarding the issue of a transport licence, the public may contact the Head Office of Forestry Region Nicosia, Larnaca, Famagusta, phone no 22403741.

C. The movement of all the following that are hosts of quarantine pests is allowed, provided that, a “Report of Phytosanitary Inspection” is issued by Community Phytosanitary experts (Annex III of Regulation 1480/2004).
Product
Comments
Citrus Fruit The movement is allowed provided that (a) are free from harmful organisms (b) they do not have stalks and leaves (vectors of tristezas)
potatoes The movement is allowed provided that an overview of Community inspectors is made and no presence of quarantine enemies is detected.

It is noted that all the above must be accompanied by an accompanying document issued by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce that verifies that the goods are originate from the areas in which the government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control.
For partial transportation of goods on the basis of the same accompanying document, Form C.P. 10 must be completed by the transporter of the goods, in the presence of the customs officers.

Also, small quantities of the above products are allowed if they are intended for personal use or consumption e.g. up to 3kg or 3 strands vegetables, without any accompanying documents or any inspection by the Department of Agriculture.

The movement of any quantity of hay or straw to the free areas is prohibited due to a possible risk of spreading infectious or contagious diseases.

8. Annual reports from the Commission to the Council on the implementation of the Green Line Regulation

The following annual reports are submitted by the EU Commission to the Council as provided for in article 11(1) of Regulation No 866/2004 on the implementation of the Regulation and the situation resulting from its application and attaching suitable proposals for any amendments if necessary.


Document No.
Period
1/5/2005-30/4/2006
1/5/2006-30/4/2007
1/5/2007-30/4/2008
1/5/2008-30/4/2009
1/5/2009-30/4/2010
1/5/2010-31/12/2010
1/1/2011-31/12/2011
1/1/2012-31/12/2012


9. More Inquiries

For more information, interested persons may write to the Department of Customs and Excise at the following address:

The Director,
Department of Customs and Excise
Corner M. Karaoli and Gr. Afxentiou, Nicosia

The postal address is:
Director of Customs,
Customs Headquarters,
1440, Nicosia.

Fax no: +357 22302018
E-mail address: headquarters@customs.mof.gov.cy
For oral inquiries please call at +357 22601684.


For more information regarding the Cyprus Turkish community and the Green Line Regulations you can visit eu website at http://ec.europa.eu/cyprus/turkish_community/index_el.htm tm




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