Customs regulations for your trip to Cyprus

Last modified: July 31, 2023
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Customs Regulations

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Original passport
  • Original T2L (page 4) signed by Customs at origin (shipments from European Union (EU) countries, including diplomats)
  • Packing list
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / express waybill / air waybill (AWB) (must show C status for EU countries)
  • Sale agreement / termination of rental agreement in origin country (non-EU countries)
  • Copy of ticket / boarding pass of flight to Cyprus (non-EU countries)
  • Utility bills (non-EU countries)
  • Exemption form from the local embassy (diplomats from non-EU countries)
  • Form 1002 signed and stamped by the local embassy.
  • Letter of employment (non-EU countries) (diplomats from non-EU countries)
  • Registration of your children at local schools (non-EU countries)
  • Bank statement confirming you have any funds in Cyprus (non-EU countries)

Specific Information

  • All shipments arriving from non-EU member countries are inspected.
    • Less-than-container load (LCL) shipments and air shipments are inspected at the port/airport.
    • Full container load (FCL) shipments are inspected at the residence by Customs officers.
  • New items arriving from non-EU member countries are dutiable.
    • All items owned and used for less than 6 months are considered new.
    • This period excludes the shipping time to Cyprus.
    • Customers must declare new items to Customs; otherwise, penalties, duties and taxes will be charged.
  • The pre-alert must be sent at least 48 hours before the arrival of shipment at Larnaca (air shipments from EU member countries).
  • A wharfage charge is a Port Authority charge based on the weight of the shipment on all import and export shipments and is even charged on diplomatic shipments.
  • Wharfage charges for household goods and personal effects are approximately:
    • EUR 110-150 for a 20’ container
    • EUR 130-200 for a 40’ container
    • EUR 50-100 for LCL shipments
  • All customers pay a wharfage charge regardless of their status.
  • All solid wood packing materials used as overcasing, bracing, or blocking must conform to EU Commission Directive 2004/102/EC (ISPM15) and be appropriately and clearly marked with IPPC symbol, registration and treatment codes.
  • Returning students bringing used household goods and personal effects from non-EU member countries must pay duties and VAT ranging from approximately 18-33% on the current value declared to Customs.
    • Duties depend on the items being imported.
  • Any appliances that do not have the CE markings on them should not be shipped to Cyprus as the Customs officials in the Republic of Cyprus may confiscate them, should they be found.  Also note that all shipments from NON- EU origin countries are physically inspected by the customs.

Cyprus has a strictly enforced zero tolerance policy towards drugs. If you are caught with any type of narcotic you will receive either a prison sentence or a hefty fine. The rules against possession of drugs are stricter than in the UK.

Avoid taking photographs near potentially sensitive areas like military establishments.

LGBT

Although not generally as widely accepted as in the UK, homosexuality is legal in the Republic of Cyprus and legislation passed in 2016 now allows for civil partnerships to be carried out. Homosexuality was also decriminalised in the northern part of Cyprus in 2014, but it is still not very widely accepted and some discretion is advised. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Dual nationals

British nationals of Cypriot descent, irrespective of whether they hold Cypriot ID papers, may be considered eligible by the Cypriot authorities for military service. If this happens, you may face difficulties when exiting Cyprus, and you may have to prove that you live outside Cyprus.

Under international law, the British High Commission can’t formally intervene with the Cypriot authorities on behalf of those considered by the Cypriot authorities to be dual Cypriot/British nationals. If you think you may be eligible for any local obligations or duties that apply to dual nationals, contact the Cypriot authorities or a local lawyer before you travel.

The British High Commission website has lists of local lawyers for Cyprus and Cyprus (north).

Surrogacy

If you are visiting Cyprus for the purpose of commissioning surrogacy arrangements, you should consider the potential risks and challenges involved in pursuing international surrogacy and seek specialist legal advice on Cyprus and UK laws prior to making any arrangements. Surrogacy is a complex and lengthy process. The British High Commission does not have authority to be involved in surrogacy arrangements. The FCDO and Home Office have produced guidance to help inform you on the issues you may face when embarking on a surrogacy arrangement. Commissioning a surrogacy will not automatically mean that the child holds British citizenship.

Make sure you are fully aware of the facts and are well prepared before starting the process. Research prospective surrogacy clinics and hospitals thoroughly to ensure you are dealing with a safe and reputable organisation. The British High Commission cannot recommend specific hospitals or clinics.

If you wish to bring your child born via surrogacy from Cyprus to the UK you must apply for a full British passport, for which a Cypriot birth certificate will be needed. The maximum period of visa-free stay allowed by the Cypriot authorities is 90 days within a 180-day period.

Following policy changes announced by the Republic of Cyprus Government and the administration in the north, all crossing points between the Republic and the north are effectively closed to travellers.

Taking food and drink into the EU

You cannot take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. There are some exceptions for medical reasons, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons.

Customs duties are regulated by a tariff system based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding system.  Goods are classified according to their description, purpose, and composition, and carry various rates of duty.  In addition to tariffs, the following products are subject to steep excise taxes:  fuel products, cars and motorcycles, carbonated soft drinks, smoked salmon, caviar, fur clothing, water faucets made of or coated by precious metals, crystal and porcelain products, and imitation cheese (e.g. cheese made of soy substitutes).  Notably, excise taxes apply to the above products regardless of origin (i.e. whether they originate from the EU or not, as well as for products made in Cyprus).  Additionally, Cyprus imposes a 19 percent value added tax (VAT) on most goods and services, with certain exceptions.  Please visit the Department of Customs website for more.

Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots:

The harmonized system is also used in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots.  Tariffs are not harmonized with the EU’s CCT, however, and they tend to be higher.  VAT rates up to 20 percent are imposed on most goods and services in different categories.  For more detailed information, please visit the “Department of Customs” (“Ministry of Finance”).  (Note: the website is available in the Turkish language only.)

Dutiable Items

Free Import when travelling within EU

Although there are no limits on the amount of alcohol and tobacco one can bring in from EU countries, customs officials are more likely to ask you questions if you have more than:

Tobacco products:

  •  800 cigarettes;
  • 400 cigarillos (max. 3g each);
  • 200 cigars;
  • 1kg smoking tobacco;

Alcoholic beverages:

  • 10 litres of spirits over 22%;
  • 20 litres of alcoholic beverages less than 22%;
  • 90 litres of wine (though no more than 60 litres of sparkling wine);
  • 110 litres of beer.

These quantities can be seized if customs are satisfied that they are of a commercial nature.Free Import quantities when travelling from outside EU

Alcohol and alcoholic beverages

Over 17 years olds can bring (in personal luggage) the following quantities:

  • 1 litre of alcohol that does not exceed 22% volume of alcohol, or un-denatured ethyl alcohol 80% volume and over
  • 2 litres of alcohol that does not exceeds 22% volume of alcohol
  • 4 litres of still wine
  • 16 litres of beer.
  • The passengers can combine the first two types of alcohol as long the alcohol volume does not exceed 100%.

Over 17 years old that belong to the following categories:

  • persons residing in the frontier zone (region beyond the expanding borders of the European Union including: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro)
  • frontier-zone workers,
  • the crews of means of transport used between third countries and the Community, may bring (in your personal luggage) alcohol in the following quantities:
  • 0,5 litre of alcohol exceeding 22% volume, or un-denatured ethyl alcohol of 80% volume and over
  • a total of 0,5 litre of alcohol and alcoholic beverages of an alcoholic strength not exceeding 22% volume
  • 0,5 litre of still wine
  • 2 litres of beer.
  • The passengers can combine the first two types of alcohol as long the alcohol volume does not exceed 100%.

Note that the consideration of what constitutes frontier countries lies entirely with EU and the list outlined above may change.

Tobacco products

When travelling by air or sea , over 17 years old can bring tobacco products for personal use only the following:

  • 200 cigarettes or
  • 100 cigarillos or
  • 50 cigars or
  • 250 g of smoking tobacco.

Each amount specified in above points will amount to 100% of the total allowance for tobacco products.

When travelling by land, over 17 years old can bring tobacco products for personal use only the following:

  • 40 cigarettes or
  • 20 cigarillos or
  • 10 cigars or
  • 50 grams of smoking tobacco.
  • Each amount specified in all the points will amount to 100% of the total allowance for tobacco products.

Other goods

  • Medication – for personal use only
  • Personal items of non-commercial nature worth up to 430 euro when travelling by air or sea
  • Personal items of non-commercial nature worth up to 300 euro when travelling by land
  • Personal items of non-commercial nature worth up to 150 euro for travellers under 15 years of age.

Non-commercial item are of an occasional nature and consist exclusively of goods for the personal or family use of the traveller, or of goods intended as presents. The nature and quantity of the goods must not be such as to indicate that they are being imported for commercial reasons.

  • pets need to be identifiable (tattoo or an electronic identification system), vaccinated against rabies and have a health certificate. For more information please refer to the nearest embassy.
  • maximum of 10 kg of meat, milk and dairy products coming from Croatia, Færøer Islands, Greenland and Iceland
  • powdered milk for babies, food for children and special medical food (including pets food) may be allowed if they need not to be refrigerated prior opening and that it is brand packaged food and the packaging has original seal (unless in use at the time) and its quantity must not exceed the weight of 10 kg originating from Croatia, Færøer Islands, Greenland and Iceland, and of 2 kg if originating in other countries.
  • fish only if it is disembowelled and does not exceed the weight of 20 kg,
  • currency – no restrictions if coming from EU country. Declarable for all travelling outside EU when the amount exceeds 10.000 euro or equivalent in another currency.
  • coats, fur and leather shoes made of protected animals will need special authorization

Click here to view : Customs

Prohibited Items

  • Meat and milk and any items thereof from non-EU countries with the exception of limited amounts from Andorra, Croatia, the Faeroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and small amounts of specific products from other countries
  • Protected species and products thereof as listed by the CITES (Washington Convention) for example ivory, tortoise shell, coral, reptile skin, wood from Amazonian forests.

Importation of the following items is prohibited:

  • Rifles and repeating firearms, automatic and semi-automatic, repeating, and semi-repeating shotguns.
  • Narcotics.
  • Products containing asbestos.
  • Counterfeit or false coins or currency notes.
  • Importation of agricultural products also grown or produced in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, such as in-season fresh produce, dairy products (such as milk, yogurt, or halloumi cheese) and poultry are subject to the condition of the market.  Turkish Cypriot “authorities” will allow importation of fresh produce not grown domestically or out of season, provided the shipment has a certificate of origin; and
  • Domesticated animals may be imported subject to a brief quarantine period.

Click here to see : Prohibited restricted imports

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport
  • OBL / express waybill / C status AWB
  • Packing list
  • Exemption certificate from the local embassy (diplomats)
  • Form 1002 stamped and signed by the local embassy (diplomats)
  • Original registration  (owner of the goods must attend LIMASSOL Customs if shipping a car, bike, or boat) (diplomats)
  • Sale agreement / termination of rental agreement in origin country (non-EU countries)
  • Letter of employment
  • Registration of your children at local schools
  • Bank statement confirming the owner of the goods has an account in Cyprus
  • Proof of insurance for the 6 months prior to entry may be required

Specific Information

  • An owner of the goods from a non-EU country can import one car duty free under the following conditions:
    • It is already registered in his/her name and used for more than 6 months
    • The mileage is more than 6,000 kms
    • The owner of the goods lived abroad for a continuous period of 12 months prior to transfer of normal residence
    • The car must be imported within 6 months from owner of the goods’ transfer of primary residence to Cyprus
    • The owner of the goods must prove relocation to Cyprus permanently
    • The owner of the goods must pay value added tax (VAT), which is approximately 18% on the current value assessed by the Customs
  • Upon arrival, the owner of the goods must apply to the Immigration office for permanent residency.
  • The car will first be released to the owner of the goods as a “visitor” and will receive a temporary importation license (form C104); extensions may be granted if application is made prior to the expiration date.
  • For an owner of the goods from an EU country, VAT and excise duties are not payable provided the owner of the goods meets the criteria required for the import of a motor vehicle from a non-EU country.
    • If the owner of the goods does not meet the criteria, the payment of excise duties is required.
    • VAT will only be waived if the car is more than 6 months old and the mileage is more than 6000 kms.
  • An owner of the goods from an EU country can import:
    • If less than 599 cc, then no duties or taxes are paid provided age of motor bike is more than 6 months and the mileage is more than 6000 kms (non-EU origin)
    • If over 599 cc, the same rules and regulations for other motor vehicles apply (non-EU origin)
  • An owner of the goods can only import motor vehicles / bikes free of duties and taxes if registered in their own name.
  •  An owner of the goods from a non-EU country can import a motor bike if less than 599 cc duty free;

However, if the owner does not meet all of the criteria (see regulations for other motor vehicles, then the duties of approximately 6-8% plus VAT (approximately 15%) must be paid on the total amount (duty and VAT);

If the motor bike is more than 499 cc, then the regulations for other motor vehicles apply.

Arms and Ammunition regulations:

Permit from the Chief of Police is required.

Prohibited: It is not allowed to import arms and ammunition from Russian Fed. and Syria. For more information see sanctions map.eu/#/main/

Wild Fauna and Flora:

The import of certain endangered species of plant, live animals and their products is prohibited or restricted under CITES.
If specimen is included in the CITES Appendices or the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations (EUWTR), the following is required:
– a CITES Export Certificate from the country of export/origin of the specimen; and
– a CITES Import Permit issued by the CITES Management Authority of Cyprus (Department of Environment), which must be obtained prior to the movement of the specimen.

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