1. What is temporary importation
It is the customs procedure whereby you are allowed to import your vehicle from a third country, in order to use it temporarily during your stay in Cyprus and then re-export it without paying any customs duty, excise duty or VAT in Cyprus.
You are entitled to import a private motor vehicle in Cyprus without having to pay duties or taxes under the following conditions:
“Normal residence” means the place where a person usually lives, that is for at least 185 days, consecutive or not, in each calendar year, because of personal and occupational ties, or, in the case of a person with no occupational ties because of personal ties which show close links between that person and the place where he is living.
- you are the owner or you have the written authority of the owner;
- your normal residence is in another country, i.e. outside the European Union;
- you are bringing it for your private use only;
- you intend to use it during your stay in Cyprus for a period of time not exceeding six months, consecutive or not, per year.
- the vehicle is registered in a third country, if not the vehicle must be owned by a person established in a third country.
3. Procedure on importation
In order to be allowed to receive your vehicle, you are required to complete form C.104O, a copy of which will be given to you by Customs. You must always have this document in your vehicle and produce it when requested by a Customs or Police Officer.
The maximum period of stay of the vehicle for private use in the Republic is six months, consecutive or not, per year.
4. Special instances
Exceptionally you may be allowed to use the vehicle temporarily for a period of time longer than six months, if:
Clarification: “Persons assigned with a task of fixed duration” shall be deemed:
- you are a student in Cyprus, in which case you will be allowed to use the vehicle throughout your stay in Cyprus exclusively for your studies; or
- you are assigned with a task of fixed duration, in which case you will be allowed to use the vehicle throughout your stay in Cyprus exclusively for the accomplishment of your task; or
- you have transferred your normal residence from another country to Cyprus and you intend to apply for relief on the vehicle. In such a case, so that you may not be deprived of your vehicle until you make an application and receive an answer, you may be allowed to use the vehicle temporarily up to a period of one month.
5. Driving your vehicle temporarily in Cyprus
You are allowed to drive your vehicle temporarily in Cyprus if:
- Persons having their normal residence in a third country, who come to work under a contract of specified duration as teaching personnel at the University of Cyprus or at a Private Institution of Higher Education recognised by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
- Persons having their normal residence in a third country, who come temporarily to the Republic, in order to work under a contract of employment of a specified duration with the Government of the Republic, a Semi-governmental Organisation, legal persons of public law, International Organisations or Foreign State Organisations or Institutes established in the Republic, as well as foreign archaeological missions, provided these persons do particularly specialised work.
- Persons having their normal residence in a third country, working temporarily in the Republic as reporters of foreign press or foreign radio and television channels in order to cover specific events.
6. Conditions to be observed after importation
While the vehicle is in Cyprus:
- you have a valid certificate of registration and road licence of a third country; if the foreign road licence expires during the vehicle’s stay in Cyprus, you must pay the relevant road tax fees to the Inland Transport Department;
- you are a holder of a valid driving licence of your country or of an international driving licence;
- the vehicle is insured by an insurance company, registered and operating in Cyprus, unless it is covered by an International Motor Insurance Certificate, known as Green Card or it bears number plates of a member state of the Multilateral Guarantee Agreement; the third countries which are members to this Agreement are the following: Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
7. Termination of the temporary importation of the vehicle
Before the expiration of the six months period, or longer period allowed to you if you fall in one of the special instances, the vehicle must be:
- you shall not lend, sell, pledge, rent or otherwise dispose off it;
- you shall use it exclusively for your own private needs.
In all these cases you must produce to the proper customs officer your vehicle and Form C.104O, given to you at the time of importation of the vehicle.
- re-exported; or
- placed in a customs warehouse; or
- destroyed under customs supervision; or
- abandoned to Customs; or
- cleared either on payment of the relevant customs and excise duties or on relief from them.
You are advised to settle customwise your vehicle before the expiration of the period of its temporary importation the reason being that at that date customs debt is occured and all customs duties and taxes shall be payable. In case you fail to proceed with the above settlement the vehicle will be seized as liable to forfeiture.
8. Vehicles with visitor plates
M/vehicles which are now in Cyprus and bear visitor plates and they have been bought from the Cyprus market without payment of the relevant duties and taxes, it is not possible to be used anymore without the payment of the duties involved.
For more information, you may write to the following address:
Fax no 22407516
Department of Customs and Excise
TK 24539, 1330 Nicosia
For oral inquiries you may call any of the following telephone numbers of the Temporary Importations Section at Nicosia Customs House: 22407526, 22407591, 22407525 or 22407538.