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Customs and Excise Department

Reliefs - Transfer of normal residence

1. Legal basis
2. In general
3. Transfer of normal residence from another member state of the European Union
4. Transfer of normal residence from a country outside the European Union
5. Documents to be completed and procedure
6. Additional information

1. Legal basis
Community legislation:
  • Regulation (EEC) 918/83
  • Directive 83/183 (EEC)

National legislation:

2. In general
2.1. Normal residence means the place where a person usually lives, that is for at least 185 days in each calendar year, because of personal and occupational ties.

In the case of a person with no occupational ties, normal residence means the place of personal ties which show close links between that person and the place where he is living.

The normal residence of a person whose occupational ties are in a different place from his personal ties shall be regarded as being the place of his personal ties, provided that such person returns there regularly. The last term is not a prerequisite, when the person resides in a member state for the execution of a task of pre-defined duration.

Attendance at a university or school shall not imply that this person has his normal residence in this country.

2.2. Personal property means property for the personal use of the persons concerned or the needs of their household. Such property must not, by reason of its nature or quantity, reflect any commercial interest. The following, in particular, shall constitute ‘personal property’:

  1. household effects, i.e. personal effects, household linen, furnishings and equipment intended for the personal use of the persons concerned or for meeting their household needs;
  2. bicycles and motorcycles, private motor vehicles and their trailers, camping caravans, pleasure craft and private aeroplanes;
  3. household provisions appropriate to normal family requirements, household pets and saddle animals;
  4. the portable instruments of the applied or liberal arts, required by the person concerned for the pursuit of his trade or profession.

3. Transfer of normal residence from another member state of the European Union
Exemption from excise duties shall be granted for personal property, including a vehicle, imported permanently from another member state by private individuals transferring their normal residence in the Republic.

Exemption shall be granted for one vehicle only per person, who must be holder of a valid driving licence.

3.1. Prerequisites in respect of the vehicle

  • Possession and use of the vehicle by the person concerned at his former normal place of residence for a minimum of six months before the date of transfer of his normal residence in the Republic.
  • Acquisition of the vehicle under the general conditions of taxation in force in the member state from which it is transferred and which is not the subject, on the grounds of exportation, of any exemption or any refund of import or excise duty or VAT.
  • The vehicle must be transferred to the Republic not later than 12 months from the date of transfer of the normal residence.

3.2. Restrictions
After relief is granted, the vehicle may not be sold, disposed of, hired out, or lent without the prior approval of the Director of Customs.

3.3. Proof of normal residence
The person concerned must prove that he had his normal place of residence outside the Republic for a continuous period of 12 months from the date of transfer of his normal residence. He must also give proof of his intention to settle permanently in the Republic.

Such proof may be:

  1. contracts of sale or rent of their residence abroad;
  2. particulars of employment abroad (tax returns, social insurance records, payroll slips etc.)
  3. certificates of children’s attendance at schools abroad;
  4. particulars of employment in Cyprus;
  5. particulars of acquisition of residence in the Republic (contract of sale or rent);
  6. attendance of children at schools in the Republic;
  7. utility bills, e.g. telephone/electricity/ water supply bills;
  8. other documents, deemed necessary.

3.4. Proof for the vehicle
Such proof may be:
  1. motor vehicle registration document;
  2. certificate of insurance;
  3. sales invoice/receipt of purchase;
  4. particulars of the vehicle’s arrival (Bill of lading/Delivery order/Freight receipt/Sailing ticket);
  5. other evidence, deemed necessary.

4. Transfer of normal residence from a country outside the European Union (third country)
Relief from import and excise duties and VAT is granted for personal property of private individuals who transfer their normal residence in the Republic (i.e. the European Union) from a third country.

In the case of vehicles, relief is granted for one vehicle per person only who must be a holder of a valid driving licence.

4.1. Terms and prerequisites
Relief shall be granted -

  • if the personal property-
    • has been in the possession and used by the person concerned at his former normal place of residence for a minimum of six months before the date on which he ceases to have his normal place of residence in the third country of departure;
    • is intended for personal use;
  • has been acquired according to the general conditions of taxation in force in the domestic market of the country or origin;
  • the person concerned had his normal place of residence outside the European Union for a continuous period of at least 12 months prior to the transfer of residence;
  • the personal property must be imported within a period of 6 months before or 12 months after the transfer of the normal residence in the European Union. In case the personal property is transferred prior to the transfer of the normal residence, the person concerned shall undertake to transfer it within a period of 6 months and shall give security, the kind and amount of which shall be specified by the Director of Customs.

4.2. Restrictions
The personal property for which relief is granted shall not be lent, pledged, hired out or transferred during the period of 12 months following its importation, unless the import duties are paid on permission by the Director of Customs.

4.3. Exceptions
No relief shall be granted for:

  • alcoholic products;
  • tobacco or tobacco products;
  • commercial means of transport;
  • articles for use in the exercise of a trade or profession, other than portable instruments of the applied or liberal arts.

4.4. Proof of normal residence
The person concerned must prove that he had his normal place of residence outside the European Union for a continuous period of 12 months from the date of transfer of his normal residence. He must also give proof of his intention to settle permanently in the European Union.

Such proof may be:

  1. contracts of sale or rent of their residence abroad;
  2. particulars of employment abroad (tax returns, social insurance records, payroll slips etc.);
  3. certificates of children’s attendance at schools abroad;
  4. utility bills, e.g. electricity/water supply bills/bank accounts etc;
  5. particulars of acquisition of residence in the Republic (contract of sale or rent);
  6. particulars of employment in Cyprus;
  7. attendance of his children at a school in the Republic;
  8. other documents, deemed necessary.

4.5. Proof for the vehicle
Such proof may be:
  1. motor vehicle registration document;
  2. certificate of insurance;
  3. sales invoice/receipt of purchase;
  4. particulars of the vehicle’s arrival (Bill of lading/Delivery order/Freight receipt/Sailing ticket);
  5. other evidence, deemed necessary.

5. Documents to be completed and procedure
After completing your form, present it to any Customs Station or to Customs Headquarters together with any proof to support your claim for relief. You may have to answer to some questions to clarify your application. If the form is completed correctly and the proof you have produced is satisfactory, you will receive an answer in writing.

6. Additional information
For additional information, you may write to following address:


For oral inquiries you may call any of the following telephone numbers: 22407521, 22407530 και 22407531



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