Establishing and Operating a Customs Warehouse
In order to establish and operate a customs warehouse in the Republic of Cyprus, one needs to obtain an authorization by the Director of the Department of Customs and Excise of the Ministry of Finance.
According to the Regulation (EU) No. 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the Union Customs Code, under the customs warehousing procedure non-Union goods may be stored in premises or any other location authorized for that procedure by the customs authorities and under customs supervision (‘customs warehouses’).
Customs Warehouses are classified into the following categories:
- public customs warehouses which may be available for use by any person for the customs warehousing of goods;
- private customs warehouses which may be available for the storage of goods by the holder of an authorization for customs warehousing.
The holder of the authorization and the holder of the procedure shall be responsible for the following:
- ensuring that goods under the customs warehousing procedure are not removed from customs supervision;
- fulfilling the obligations arising from the storage of goods covered by the customs warehousing procedure; and
- comply with the particular conditions specified in the authorization.
Who is Eligible
For granting an authorization to use a customs procedure other than transit /authorization to operate a customs warehouse, the Director of the Department of Customs and Excise must be satisfied that the following conditions are fulfilled:
- the applicant is established in the customs territory of the Union;
- existence of an economic need for the establishment of a customs warehouse;
- existence of security measures and the suitability of the premises in order to safeguard the public interest as well as the interest of the E.U.;
- proper arrangement of the premises as to facilitate stock-takings and the overall control of the customs warehouse;
- the provision of the necessary guarantees to ensure the proper operation of the customs warehouse on behalf of the applicant;
- the ability of exercising customs control of the arrangement;
- the administrative costs are not disproportionate to the economic need;
- the applicant provides the amount of guarantee specified by the Director;
- the person has been registered to the V.A.T. Register (see “Related Links”);
- the person has been registered to the Customs Register (see EORI Registration in the “Related Links”);
- in case of a legal entity, the company has been registered to the Department of the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver (see “Business Setup Procedures” in the “Related Links”);
- the town planning permit and building permit have been obtained (see “Business Setup Procedures” in the “Related Links”).
Where to Apply
It is noted that as from 02/10/2017 the electronic Customs Decisions System-CDS has been put into operation, through which the economic operators are obliged to submit all their applications for customs decisions and customs authorities of member states to manage these applications and to take the relevant decisions.
Information for the “Customs Decisions System” can be found in the “Related Links”.
For granting an authorization, an “Application for authorization to use a customs procedure other than transit / Application for authorization to operate a customs warehouse (continuation form)” is submitted electronically through the Trader Portal to the Director of the Department of Customs and Excise via the appropriate Customs Office responsible for the control of the customs warehouse (see “Economic Operators Registration & Identification System (EORI)” Registration and Helpdesk links in “Related Links”).
Which Certificates must be Submitted
The application must be accompanied by the following documents (original or certified copies):
- identity card in case of natural person;
- Registration Certificate of the company issued by the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver;
- Certificate of the Registered Office Address of the company issued by the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver;
- Certificate of Directors and Secretary of the company issued by the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver;
- landscape and architectural plans of the premises to be used as a customs warehouse, approved by the competent authority;
- architect’s or civil engineer’s declaration concerning the area of the premises;
- town planning permit and/or building permit by the competent authority for the particular usage of the premises;
- evidence verifying the legal possession of the premises, such as registration certificate of immovable property or sale/lease contract;
- information regarding the warehousing accounting system;
- other relevant licences possessed by the applicant;
- any other supporting documents or information, which is considered by the Director of the Customs and Excise Department, according to each case, to be essential for the operation of the customs warehouse and generally for the examination and evaluation of the application.
In addition, the application must be accompanied by the following documents:
- copy of VAT Registration Certificate;
- copy of Customs Registration Certificate.
Notably, the Department of Customs & Excise for the purpose of simplifying the procedures and administrative cooperation required for the evaluation of the above application, may, through the IMI system, request and obtain information concerning the applicant from the competent authority of another Member State, in which the applicant has declared that is a registered member.
Data subjects are entitled to exercise their right of access to data relating to them in IMI, and the right to have inaccurate or incomplete data corrected and unlawfully processed data deleted in accordance with the national legislation on personal data protection.
A visit by an appropriate customs officer at the applicant’s premises is essential to verify that:
- all details and information given by the applicant are correct. In case that any of the evidence is considered to be inadequate, the applicant may be asked to give additional information;
- all the above mentioned conditions are fulfilled.
Fees Applicable & How to Pay
Upon approval, the applicant needs to provide the pre-determined guarantee and pay the following fees to the Department of Customs and Excise (either by cash, cheque, credit card):
- €854 authorization fee for a public customs warehouse;
- €854 annual fee for operating a public customs warehouse;
- €1.700 authorization fee for a private customs warehouse;
- €1.700 annual fee for operating a private customs warehouse.
The applicant is informed regarding the authorization decision, or the reasons why the application was rejected, at the latest within 60 days of the date of acceptance of the application or within 120 days when another Member State is involved. The authorization shall not be deemed to have been granted if the Department of Customs and Excise has not replied within the period specified.
Licence Validity Period
The authorization to operate a customs warehouse is valid for an unlimited period of time. The annual fee for operating a customs warehouse is payable within the first month of each year.
Dispute with the Competent Authority's Decision
How to File an Administrative Action
Administrative Action Against a Competent Authority’s Decision
Any person may file an Administrative Action at the Administrative court against a decision, act or omission of any competent authority or body.
Pursuant to Article 146 of the Constitution, an Administrative Action may be lodged within 75 days from the date of the decision or act or omission or from the day when such decision or act or omission was notified to the applicant.
The Administrative Court acts as a cassation Court and not as a substantive Court. In other words, the Administrative Court may:
I. Dismiss the Administrative Action
II. Annul wholly or partially the contested decision or act
III. Compel the relevant authority or body to take a certain action
After a decision is annulled, the authority and/or public body must reverse things back to the state prior to when the concerned decision and/or act was executed and reexamine.
How to Appeal
An Appeal may be filed against the Administrative Court’s first-instance decision within a period of 42 days from the date such decision was given.
At the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal Section) hearing, the contested issue of the appeal remains the legality of the decision or act already adjudicated for. However, such revision of the legality of the decision or act is solely examined on the matters and the extent that the two parties have limited the reasons in the relevant notice of appeal.
The decision adopted by the Supreme Court is considered final in relation to the matter that has been judged.
Legislation & Obligations
Which Laws and Regulations Apply
What are my Obligations
Authorized natural or legal persons for the establishment and operation of customs warehouses are obliged to comply with the provisions of the Regulation (EU) No. 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the Union Customs Code, the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446 supplementing Regulation (EU) No. 952/2013, the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 2015/2447 laying down detailed rules for implementing certain provisions of Regulation (EU) No. 952/2013, the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/341 supplementing Regulation (EU) No. 952/2013 as regards transitional rules for certain provisions of the Union Customs Code where the relevant electronic systems are not yet operational and amending Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446, the Customs Code Law No. 94(I)/2004 and the Ministerial Decree no. 77/2011, as periodically amended, the terms and conditions of the authorization, and specifically, among others, to:
- ensure that the goods, kept within a customs warehouse, undergo through customs supervision;
- fulfill the obligations arising from the storage of goods covered by the customs warehousing procedure;
- comply with the particular conditions specified in the authorization.
Notably, at any time authorized officers of the Department of Customs and Excise may enter and visit any place subject to customs supervision, such as customs warehouses, temporary storage facilities, and any other facilities, for inspection and control of the goods placed therein and for exercising controls of the records, books, documents or particulars, even in electronic form, of any natural or legal person.
Authorized officers, in order to verify or secure compliance with the customs or the other legislation, may demand any related information and exercise controls on all goods related to the entry or importation, exit or exportation, or movement or deposit thereof in places of business activities, as well as on any records, books, documents or particulars, even in electronic form, of any natural or legal person.