EU naval mission in the Red Sea officially approved

The launch of the naval military mission EUNAVFOR ASPIDES to protect navigation in the Red Sea and the Gulf from Houthi attacks was officially announced by the Council of the EU, after the final approval of the decision by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs within the framework of the Foreign Affairs Council which is underway in Brussels.

“The operation will play a key role in safeguarding commercial and security interests, for the benefit of the EU and the wider international community,” said High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

As announced, the headquarters of the operation will be Larissa in Greece, the commander of the operation will be the Greek captain-in-chief Vasilios Gryparis, and the commander of the force will be the Italian vice-admiral Stefano Constantino.

Operation ASPIDES will be active along the main sea lines of communication in the Straits of Bab el-Madeb and the Straits of Hormuz, as well as in the international waters of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf Gulf.

The aim of the naval mission is to address the situation created since October 2023, due to the attacks on commercial ships by the Houthis of Yemen, on the occasion of Israel’s attack against Hamas and the deaths of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.

The mission will have a defensive mandate, providing maritime situational awareness, escorting vessels passing through the area, and protecting them from potential attacks.

The new operation will be closely coordinated with EUNAVFOR ATALANTA, which is tasked with countering piracy in the region, as well as with EU partners.

In her post on the X platform (formerly Twitter), the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, welcomed the decision, stressing that “Europe will ensure freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, working together with our international partners”.

“Beyond responding to the crisis, it is a step towards a stronger maritime presence of Europe to protect our European interests” he added.

ecommerce solution cyprus

Shoham Dropship ecommerce solution

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  • We manage the entire sales process on behalf of our partner companies, from order placement to fulfillment.
  • We handle secure payment collection and facilitate seamless transactions.

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  • In addition to assisting other businesses, we curate a diverse range of our own high-quality products for consumers to explore and purchase.
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zim import container service to Limassol (2)

ZIM Continues to Offer Unparalleled Service from UK & Europe , Israel to Limassol

In the ever-evolving landscape of global shipping and logistics, ZIM stands as a beacon of reliability and efficiency, continually offering top-notch services to its customers. The company is pleased to announce the maintenance of its service from the UK & Europe, Israel, ensuring a seamless connection to Limassol.

A Seamless Journey from London Gateway to Limassol

The current rotation of the service is as follows:

  • London Gateway – The journey begins at the state-of-the-art deep-sea container port, offering world-class facilities and excellent connectivity to the UK’s transportation network.
  • Rotterdam – Next, the service moves to Europe’s largest port, a vital hub that connects to a network of over 1,000 European ports.
  • Hamburg – The journey continues to Germany’s largest port, a gateway to the world and a critical node in the global shipping network.
  • Antwerp – The service then reaches Belgium’s largest port, a hub of international trade and a cornerstone in the European shipping industry.
  • Le Havre – Before heading to Israel, the service stops at France’s second-largest commercial port, a gateway to Paris and a significant player in the European shipping landscape.
  • Transshipment at Haifa – The pivotal point in the journey is the transshipment at Haifa, Israel’s largest seaport, which facilitates a smooth transition to the final destination.
  • Haifa to Limassol – The final leg of the journey takes you to Limassol, a vibrant city that hosts Cyprus’s most important port, a true epitome of Mediterranean beauty coupled with efficient port services.

Reliability and Excellence with ZIM

With this rotation, ZIM guarantees a service that is both reliable and efficient, ensuring that goods reach their destination in a timely manner. The strategic stops at major ports not only facilitate global trade but also offer customers a wide range of possibilities for further distribution and connectivity.

ZIM remains committed to providing its customers with services that are a benchmark in the industry. The well-thought-out rotation from the UK & Europe to Israel and finally to Limassol is a testament to ZIM’s dedication to offering routes that are both efficient and reliable.

Stay tuned for more updates on ZIM’s services and developments in the shipping industry. Let ZIM be your trusted partner in navigating the complex waters of global trade.

family moving into cyprus questions about customs clearance

Moving to Cyprus – Reliefs for Transferring Your Normal Residence

The below text provides a simplified explanation of the process for individuals moving to Cyprus and the reliefs they may be entitled to regarding the transfer of their normal residence. It covers the legal basis, the definition of normal residence, what constitutes personal property, and the specific procedures for transferring normal residence from another EU member state or a country outside the EU (third country). The summary highlights the importance of proving the Union status of personal belongings and motor vehicles to avoid additional customs duties, as well as the requirements and restrictions for obtaining relief. It also briefly mentions the process of motor vehicle registration in Cyprus.

  1. Legal Basis When moving to Cyprus, there are specific rules and regulations regarding the transfer of your normal residence. These rules are based on both community legislation (Regulation EC/1186/2009 and Directive EC/2009/55) and national legislation, including various regulations related to customs duties and excise duties.
  2. What is Normal Residence? Normal residence means the place where you usually live, spending at least 185 days in a 12-month period due to personal and occupational ties. If you don’t have occupational ties, normal residence is where you have personal connections. If your occupational and personal ties are in different places, normal residence is usually determined by your personal ties unless you regularly return to your occupational place. Attending a university or school in a country doesn’t count as normal residence.

2.1. Personal Property Personal property refers to items you use for personal or household needs. It shouldn’t have commercial purposes. Examples include personal effects, household items, vehicles, and tools related to your trade or profession.

  1. Transferring Normal Residence from Another EU Member State When moving from another EU country to Cyprus, you can bring your personal belongings and motor vehicle without paying additional customs duties. To do so, you need to prove the Union status of your goods.

3.1. Union Status of Personal Effects You can prove the Union status of your personal effects with documents like T2L or Ξ€2LF, along with related documents like invoices or bills of lading.

3.2. Union Status of Motor Vehicle To prove the Union status of your motor vehicle, you can use T2L or Ξ€2LF documents or the number plates and the original vehicle registration document from your previous EU member state.

3.3. Customs Clearance of the Vehicle After receiving your vehicle in Cyprus, you must complete the customs clearance procedure at a District Customs Office within 10 working days. For used vehicles, you need to present the original registration certificate and a certificate of CO2 emissions.

3.4. Value Added Tax (VAT) New motor vehicles brought from other EU countries to Cyprus are subject to VAT upon arrival. Used vehicles can be exempt from VAT if specific conditions are met, and you can prove that VAT was already paid in the country of origin.

  1. Transferring Normal Residence from a Country Outside the EU (Third Country) When moving from a country outside the EU to Cyprus, you can get relief from import duties and VAT for your personal belongings, including one motor vehicle for personal use, under certain conditions.

4.1. Terms and Prerequisites To qualify for relief, your personal belongings must have been used at your former residence for at least six months, and you must have lived outside the EU for at least 12 continuous months before the transfer. The goods must be imported within six months before or 12 months after your move.

4.2. Restrictions and Exceptions There are limitations on lending, pledging, or transferring the imported items within the first 12 months. Some items, like alcoholic products or commercial means of transport, are not eligible for relief.

4.3. Proof of Normal Residence and Vehicle You need to provide evidence of your normal residence outside the EU for 12 months and your intention to settle permanently in the EU. For the vehicle, documents like the registration document, insurance certificate, and purchase receipt are required.

4.4. Required Document You’ll need to complete Form Απ. 2 for the transfer of normal residence from a third country and submit it with supporting documents to any Customs Station.

4.5. Motor Vehicle’s Clearance Once the vehicle is cleared by Customs, you must complete Form SAD (Single Declaration Document) and Form C.104O for registration purposes. You won’t have to pay import duties and VAT if you meet the criteria.

  1. Motor Vehicle Registration After customs clearance, your vehicle must be registered with the Department of Road Transport before obtaining road tax license for circulation.

For further details and undertaking for the customs clearance of your goods, you can contact us.


Direct container service from UK and Europe to Limassol port – ZIM.

ZIM in improving their good and reliable service to it’s customers has decided to add a direct Limassol call in their eastbound service.

The rotation: Felixstowe – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – Le Havre – Ashdod – Limassol – Haifa Effective Limassol call (Navios Indigo 5E): February 18th 2023 from Felixstowe, expected arrival to Limassol on March 7th.

Spectrum-of-the-seas-cyprus flag

Spectrum of the Seas transfers to Cyprus flag, boosting country’s tourism industry

The Spectrum of the Seas, a luxurious cruise ship, has officially been transferred to the flag of Cyprus. This move is seen as a major boost for the country’s tourism industry, as the ship is expected to attract a large number of visitors to the island nation.

The Spectrum of the Seas, which is operated by Royal Caribbean International, is one of the largest and most advanced cruise ships in the world. It features a wide range of amenities, including multiple dining options, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a variety of entertainment options.

The decision to transfer the ship to the Cyprus flag was made after a thorough evaluation of the country’s maritime laws and regulations. The Cypriot government has been working to attract more cruise ships to the country in recent years, and the Spectrum of the Seas is seen as a major step forward in that effort.

In addition to the economic benefits of the ship’s presence, the Spectrum of the Seas is also expected to have a positive impact on the country’s environment. The ship is equipped with advanced environmental technologies, including a state-of-the-art waste management system and energy-efficient engines.

The Spectrum of the Seas is set to begin its first voyage under the Cyprus flag in the coming weeks, and is expected to make several stops in various ports around the island. The ship’s arrival is seen as a major boost for the country’s tourism industry, and is expected to bring in significant revenue for the country.

The Shipping Limited Liability Company Law of 2022

The Shipping Limited Liability Company Law of 2022

On Thursday, Parliament overwhelmingly approved the introduction of a one-stop-shop framework for ship-owning companies and their shareholders to handle all issues currently dealt with by the Registrar of Companies, in addition to the issues of maritime law. This is according to the House transport committee’s report on the “Law on the Limited Liability Shipping Company (LLSC) Law of 2022,” which establishes a new type of corporate entity called a “Limited Liability Shipping Company.” This new entity will be established as a limited liability company solely for the purpose of owning and operating Cypriot ships.

The LLSC Law also establishes the Registrar of LLSCs as the competent authority for these concerns and will oversee everything related to LLSCs from their establishment until their liquidation. The ultimate goal of this new legislation is to create a one-stop-shop structure for ship-owning corporations and their shareholders within the deputy ministry of shipping, allowing this state ministry to handle all issues that presently fall under the purview of the Registrar of Companies and maritime law.

This new legislation is part of the long-term national policy for Cyprus shipping, “SEA Change 2030.” It puts into practice Action 14 of the plan, which was approved by the Council of Ministers in October 2021. This long-term strategic vision for Cypriot shipping was the result of a cooperative approach that included input from internal, local, and worldwide stakeholders. It contains 35 specific activities under the three primary headings of Sustainable, Extrovert, and Adaptable, all aimed at creating sustainable progress for shipping. The objectives include enhancing the competitiveness of the Cyprus flag in international shipping and streamlining the processes and operating policies for Cypriot shipping firms that possess Cypriot ships.

The “Shipping Business Limited (SLLC)” is a new type of limited liability company created by the SLLC Law, with the express purpose of owning and managing Cypriot ships. The process from creating and registering SLLCs to liquidating them is governed by the new law. Additionally, the SLLC’s Registrar, the Department of the SDM, is designated as the relevant authority. The SDM will be in charge of overseeing the Department, and the General Director of the SDM, who is also the Registrar of Cypriot Ships by law, will serve as the SLLC’s Registrar as needed.

The primary clauses of the Companies Law, Cap. 113, inspired the structure of the SLLC Law. However, the SLLC Law contains streamlined rules designed to make the creation of an SLLC more flexible and attractive to interested parties. This new legal framework enables shipping firms with Cypriot ships already listed in the Registry of the Registrar of Companies to request their ships to be registered in the new registry. The eventual goal of this new legal framework is to establish a one-stop structure for ship-owning corporations and their shareholders within the SDM, allowing the SDM to handle all issues that now fall under the purview of the Registrar of Companies and maritime law.

Limassol port Eurogate

Race for absorption of new port charges by the state

The Ministries of Finance, Transport and the Legal Service are racing to find a commonly accepted formula, which will aim to reduce the amount of charges decided by the management companies in the port of Limassol.

The deadline set by the investors in the state expires at the end of February and if no solution is found by the 28th of the month, they will finally proceed on March 1 to impose increases in the charges, which are expected to be of the order of 16%.

The report of the State Aid Supervisor is expected to be decisive for the developments, as it will be determined whether the intention of the state to deduct part of its revenues from the profits of the companies, as stipulated in the contract between them, contradicts the directive of the General Directorate. EU State Aid Competition.

According to information gathered by StockWatch from sources of the Legal Service, as well as from officials who are aware of the developments, it seems that through the relevant legislation and the port management agreement, between the Ministry of Transport and the affected companies, there is a “window Β»To deduct the state part of its revenues from the works in the port.

The agreement stipulates, inter alia, that the state may adjust the port charges on the basis of the percentage of revenue it receives, without favoring managers or other stakeholders, and argue with the European Commission that the proceeds will be diverted to benefit of the national economy.

It is noted that under the concessions for the management of the port of Limassol, the state absorbs 63% of the revenues of the container company (Eurogate) and 52% of the company that deals with general cargo (DP World).

To date, € 201.6 million has flowed into the state coffers from the income of investors in the port of Limassol.

In 2019, before the global health crisis erupted, the state had revenue from management companies of € 55 million in addition to the cost of tens of millions of euros spent by investors to upgrade and replace machinery at the port.

Under the Port Authority regime, the average revenue was close to € 20 million per year.

“We hope that if the EU is convinced that the effort of the Cypriot authorities is not considered as selective state aid, a window may open,” Stavros Michael, Director General of the Ministry of Transport, told StockWatch.

“It is a difficult task as it has many legal and other aspects that need to be thoroughly studied and elaborated,” said Mr. Michael, noting that as a state “we must ensure that any decision is legally and procedurally correct.”

According to the Ministry of Transport DG, technocrats who examined the evidence submitted to the relevant ministry by the management companies to support their decision to increase the charges, seem to have a basis.

These are data, he added, which are based on the industrial production index, which takes into account, among other things, the inflation trend.

Due to the negative effects of the prolonged pandemic crisis, this indicator has increased due to production costs.

As Mr. Michael explained, one of the factors influencing the formation of the industrial production index is the fluctuations in international crude oil prices.

“Regardless of all this, I believe that even if the golden section is not found for the state to absorb the increases, under the circumstances we are all experiencing, it will be to the benefit of the companies themselves to reconsider their initial decision and reduce the “percentage of the charges they claim”, observed the DG of the Ministry of Transport.

Representatives of the companies operating the Limassol port told StockWatch that their decision to increase the charges is in line with all the provisions of the concession agreement.

They argued that the increases were justified on the basis of a relevant formula deriving from the contracts concluded with the Cypriot government.

The companies submitted a relevant note to the parliamentary finance committee, in which they record the size of the decrease in their turnover, due to the negative effects of the pandemic crisis.

The companies’ initial decision was to impose the increases in charges at the beginning of last January and the beginning of February.

Following strong reactions from the trade union organizations, which provoked the intervention of the Ministry of Transport, the companies agreed to suspend their decision until the end of February, in order to give the competent ministries time to handle the whole issue.

Marios Tsiakkis, Secretary General of the CCCI, believes that the Cypriot merchants and consequently the economy should not shoulder a 16% increase in charges.

so that the state relinquishes its share of the increased revenue. We understand the effects that caused a reduction in the turnover of the companies, however the increases they ask for we consider that under the current conditions are excessive and will cause further inflation “, Mr. Tsiakkis remarked.