Warehousing of Excise Goods
In order to own a tax warehouse in the Republic of Cyprus, one needs to obtain the licence for authorized warehouse keeper along with the authorization to open and operate a tax warehouse by the Department of Customs and Excise of the Ministry of Finance.
According to the Council Directive 2008/118/EC an authorized warehouse keeper is a natural or legal person authorized by the competent authorities of a Member State, in the course of his business, to produce, process, hold, receive or dispatch excise goods under a duty suspension arrangement in a tax warehouse.
Furthermore according to the above Directive, a tax warehouse is a place where goods subject to excise duty are produced, processed, held, received or dispatched under duty suspension arrangements by an authorized warehouse keeper in the course of his business, subject to certain conditions laid down by the competent authorities of the Member State where the tax warehouse is located.
Who is Eligible
For granting a warehouse keeper’s authorization, to a natural person or legal entity, in the Republic of Cyprus the Director of the Department of Customs and Excise must be satisfied that the following conditions are fulfilled:
- The person must produce, process, hold, receive or dispatch in the course of his business, excisable products, under a duty suspension arrangement and the products are placed in a tax warehouse;
- The person must possess or use an approved tax warehouse (see Establishing and operating a Tax warehouse in related links).
It is comprehended that the person authorized by the Director to use an approved tax warehouse owned by another authorized warehouse keeper, can use that warehouse only to receive, hold, dispatch and export finished products.
It is comprehended that the above mentioned person submits together with the application the owner’s consent to use the tax warehouse.
- The person must keep books and records that contain all necessary information for the proper running and control of the tax warehouse which mainly contain:
- stock of raw materials;
- stock of finished and semi finished products;
- receipts, dispatches and exportation of finished products;
- launch of products to the Republic of Cyprus.
- The person must provide the amount of guarantee specified by the Director;
- The person must be registered in the V.A.T. register;
- The person must be registered in the Customs register.
Where to Apply
For granting a warehouse keeper’s authorization in the Republic of Cyprus an application form (form E.D.2) is submitted via the appropriate Customs Office responsible for the control of the tax warehouse. However the application can be submitted through the PSC Cyprus and it will be forwarded to the appropriate office.
Which Certificates must be Submitted
The application form must be accompanied by the following documents (original or certified copies):
- Identity card in case of natural persons;
- Company’s registration certificate issued by the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver;
- Certificate of Registered Office issued by the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver;
- Certificate of Directors and Secretary issued by the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver;
- Information regarding the accounting system of the company, the internal control measures, and the accounting control methods;
- Information regarding the annual stock level, estimate of annual production, holding or movement of goods;
- 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 tax warehouse and generally for the examination and evaluation of the application.
Also the application must be accompanied by the following documents:
- Copy of VAT Registration Certificate;
- Copy of Customs Registration Certificate.
The above requirements and the proper completion of the application are being checked and evaluated by the appropriate Customs Office responsible for the control of the tax warehouse. A visit by an appropriate custom 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.
Afterwards, the application with all the necessary documentation and recommendation /comments of the Senior Customs Officer is forwarded to the Director of Customs and Excise Department for final decision.
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.
Fees Applicable & How to Pay
Upon approval, an authorized warehouse keeper shall be required to provide a guarantee to cover the risk inherent in the production, processing and holding of excise goods.
The applicant is informed regarding the authorization decision within , or the reasons why the application was rejected, within three months from the date that the application form and supporting documents were duly submitted or the date any requested outstanding or additional information is received by the customs authorities.
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 authorized warehouse keeper licence is valid for an unlimited period of time.
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 warehouse keepers, owners of approved tax warehouses, are obliged to comply with the provisions of the Excise Duty Law 91(I)/2004 and specifically, among others, to:
- Keep books and records as described above under “eligibility criteria” section or as approved by the Director, for each tax warehouse, with detailed description of the kind and movements of excise goods separately for each authorized warehouse keeper that uses the tax warehouse;
- Immediately inform the appropriate Customs Office responsible for the control of the tax warehouse for every receipt or dispatch of products as specified by the Director of Department of Customs and Excise;
- Control any receipt or dispatch of products to or from the tax warehouse and ensure that all deliveries, under a duty suspension arrangements are covered by a guarantee;
- Monitor and control any operations taking place within the tax warehouse;
- Undertake full responsibility for any losses or shortages that may be presented during the staying of products in the tax warehouse and keep all the necessary supporting records;
- Accept a scheduled or unscheduled check by the customs authorities which might include physical or logistic control and present any goods requested by the authorized customs officer;
- Submit to the customs authorities on a regular basis or as specified by the Director a declaration regarding the quantities of the products produced, processed, held, received, dispatched or moved;
- Inform in writing the Director of the Department of Customs and Excise for any changes that may affect any of the information taken into account for the issuance of the authorization and not proceed with any changes or amendments prior Director’s approval;
- Implement any additional measure that may be deemed necessary by the Director of the Department of Customs and Excise, due to the nature of the product or the special characteristics of the particular case, in order to facilitate customs control and safeguard public income;
- Declare, to the Director of the Department of Customs and Excise, the authorized warehouse keepers who use the tax warehouse;
- Complete all the necessary documentation on behalf of the authorized warehouse keepers who use the tax warehouse, regarding the receipt, holding and delivery of the products under duty suspension arrangement, provided that the owner has the authority from the users to do so;
- Comply with any other conditions that may be imposed by the Director of the Department of Customs and Excise.
Authorized warehouse keepers, using approved tax warehouses owned by other warehouse keepers, are obliged to comply with the provisions of the Excise Duty Law 91(I)/2004 and specifically, among others, to:
- Keep books and records and accounts approved by the Director of Department and Excise concerning the stock level of products, their description, the stock number, as well as books records regarding the movement of products to and from the tax warehouse, in an electronic or other form, in such a way to safeguard the public income and the customs control;
- Immediately inform the appropriate customs office responsible for the control of the tax warehouse for every receipt or delivery of products as specified by the Director;
- Ensure that the products under duty suspension intended to be placed in an approved tax warehouse, are transferred immediately to the specific tax warehouse;
- Ensure that any delivery of products from the tax warehouse under duty suspension arrangement is covered by a guarantee;
- Accept any scheduled or unscheduled check, conducted by the customs authorities concerning the movement of excise goods;
- Inform in writing the Director of the Department of Customs and Excise for any changes that may affect any of the information taken into account for the issuance of the authorization and not to proceed with any changes or amendments prior Director’s approval;
- Declare to the Director of the Department of Customs and Excise the tax warehouses he/she uses;
- Comply with any other conditions that may be imposed by the Director of the Department of Customs and Excise.
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 tax warehouses 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