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Reliefs - Transfer of normal residence

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. Registration of Motor Vehicles
6. Additional information

1. Legal basis
Community legislation:
  • Regulation EC/1186/2009
  • Directive EC/2009/55

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 12 months period, 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 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’:

    a. 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;
    b. bicycles and motorcycles, private motor vehicles and their trailers, camping caravans, pleasure craft and private aeroplanes;
    c. household provisions appropriate to normal family requirements, household pets and saddle animals;
    d. 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
Goods in free circulation in the EU move from one member state to another without payment of further Customs import duty. To be exempt from paying further import duty in Cyprus, proof of Union status of the goods must be provided.

If you are transferring your normal residence to Cyprus from another member state, you may prove the Union status of your personal effects and motor vehicle as follows:

3.1. Union status of personal effects
You may prove the union status of your personal effects by producing:

  • T2L or Τ2LF document;
  • Relative documents (e.g. invoice, bill of lading)

The T2L or Τ2LF document can be obtained from the previous member state Customs Service or through your vehicle supplier or the shipper.

3.2. Union status of motor vehicle
If you are transferring to Cyprus a motor vehicle or a motor cycle for private use from another member state, you may prove its Union status by producing:
  • T2L or Τ2LF document; or
  • the number plates and the original vehicle registration document issued by previous member state.

The T2L or Τ2LF document can be obtained from the previous member state Customs Service or through your vehicle supplier or the shipper.

It is noted that in order to receive your vehicle you must first fill in the form APPLICATION FOR THE VERIFICATION OF THE CUSTOMS STATUS OF UNION GOODS and submit it together with the aforementioned documentation.

In case of failure to provide above mentioned proof of vehicle’s Community status, the importation will be classed as having arrived from a third country and the vehicle will be liable to import duty and VAT.

3.3. Customs clearance of the vehicle
After receipt of the vehicle from the port of entry, the customs clearing procedure must be completed at any District Customs Office within 10 working days after the verification of the vehicle’s Union Status.Upon clearance of a used motor vehicle from Customs the original registration certificate for the vehicle from the previous EU member state must be presented to Customs. Additionally, for used passenger cars a certificate issued by the Department of Road Transport, verifying the mass of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the vehicle must also be presented to Customs (Document TOM119A – issued upon presenting to the Department of Road Transport the original registration certificate from the previous member state).

3.4. Value Added Tax (VAT)
Only “New Means Of Transport” (motor vehicles and motor cycles) that are transported to the Republic of Cyprus from other EU member states are subject to V.A.T. upon arrival in the Republic.

A motor vehicle is considered as “used” when transported to the Republic of Cyprus from another EU member state if both of the following two conditions are met:
    a. The period from the date of its first entry into service (date of first registration) up to the date of delivery for the purposes of its acquisition in the Republic of Cyprus (date of purchase for the purpose of its transport to the Republic of Cyprus) is more than six months; and
    b. Up to the date of its acquisition, the vehicle has travelled more than 6,000 kilometers.
If either (or both) of the above conditions are not met, then, the vehicle will be considered as new upon entry into the Republic of Cyprus and will be liable for payment of VAT, regardless if VAT has previously been paid in the previous member-state.

However, in the case of transfer of normal residence of a person from another member-state, the transfer of a motor vehicle which does not satisfy the condition of the six months possession and use does not create any VAT liability provided that such VAT has already been paid in the member-state of the vehicle’s origin.

A requirement for non-paying VAT in the Republic is that it has to be proven that such VAT has been paid in the member-state of origin. The submission of the purchase invoice indicating the amount of VAT or an indication that VAT has been paid, is necessary.

Procedure of new means of transport arriving in the Republic under the Transfer of Normal Residence Scheme:
  • Where required, the vehicle will be initially granted temporarily for a period of one month
  • The person concerned must submit the Declaration document along with the necessary documents within this period, to any customs office.

The Declaration Document is examined and if the requirements of the provisions of the legislation are met, the vehicle is cleared custom-wise without the payment of VAT. Otherwise, VAT is payable.

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

Relief is granted for only one private use motor vehicle per person concerned, 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 of and used by the person concerned at his former normal place of residence for a minimum of 6 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;
  • 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 has 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:
    a. contracts of sale or rent of their residence abroad;
    b. particulars of employment abroad (tax returns, social insurance records, payroll slips etc.);
    c. certificates of children’s attendance at schools abroad;
    d. utility bills, e.g. electricity/water supply bills/bank accounts etc;
    e. particulars of acquisition of residence in the Republic (contract of sale or rent);
    f. particulars of employment in Cyprus;
    g. attendance of his children at a school in the Republic;
    h. other documents, deemed necessary.
4.5. Proof for the vehicle
Such proof may be:
    a. motor vehicle registration document;
    b. certificate of insurance;
    c. sales invoice/receipt of purchase;
    d. particulars of the vehicle’s arrival (Bill of lading/Delivery order/Freight receipt/Sailing ticket);
    e. other evidence, deemed necessary.
4.6. Document to be completed
  • Form Απ. 2 for the transfer of normal residence from a third country.

After completing your form, present it to any Customs Station together with any proof to support your claim for relief. You may have to answer to some clarifying questions regarding your application.

4.7. Motor Vehicle’s Clearance

In order to clear your motor vehicle, you will have to complete form SAD (Single Declaration Document) and produce it at any Customs Office, accompanied by Form C.104O, which will be kept by Customs. You will not have to pay import duties and VAT.
Customs will issue Form C72A and a copy will be given to you. The vehicle must be then produced, together with Form C72A and other documents relating to your vehicle, to the Department of Road Transport for inspection and registration purposes.

If you get a negative answer from Customs because you do not meet the criteria for being granted relief for the vehicle, you have the following options:
  • to pay the import duties and VAT;
  • to place it in a customs warehouse;
  • to send it to another member state of the EU; or
  • to export it to a third country.
For more information on payment of import duties and VAT, please visit relevant page.

5. Motor Vehicle Registration
After a vehicle is cleared from Customs it must be registered before it can be licensed for road tax purposes. The competent authority for matters of motor vehicle registration and circulation fees is the Department of Road Transport of the Republic of Cyprus. Contact links for the Department are provided below:

Email: roadtransport@rtd.mcw.gov.cy

Website: www.mcw.gov.cy/mcw/rtd/rtd.nsf/index_en/index_en?OpenDocument

6. Additional information
For more information, you may write to the following address.
E-mail:headquarters@customs.mof.gov.cy



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