CYPRUS BACKGROUND CHECK

We are providing comprehensive background verification Services which are providing you a safeguard with risk management consultancy throughout the Cyprus with strong network of professional, on-ground background screeners. We are rendering our compliance pertaining to our Services of checking the veracity of the information registered under various rules and regulations and these entities can record the authentic results of the background check.

Our ultimate goal is to find the facts behind the present proposal of association to take wise decision. We are providing you the background investigation Services in all over Cyprus which is also including Lemesos, Larnaca, Gazimagusa, Nicosia, Paphos, Girne, Guzelyurt, Aradippou, Paralimni, Lefka, Geri, Ypsonas, Livadia, Dromolaxia, Dipkarpaz etc. Kindly contact us on our email: info@backcheckgroup.com to generate your query and we will revert you in stipulated time accordingly. Due to the sensitive nature of the Services all queries will dealt under strict confidentiality and under the influence of extreme ethical consideration.

General Information

GDP USD23.226bn (World ranking 107, World Bank 2014)
Population 1.15 million (World ranking 158, World Bank 2014)
Form of state Republic
Head of government Nicos ANASTASIADIS
Next elections May 2016, legislative

CURRENT LOCAL TIME

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PRODUCTS IN CYPRUS

Data Protection

Contribution Details

Pamboridis LLC

christy spyrou

Senior Associate

Law

Cyprus implemented the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC in November 2001 with the Processing of Personal Data (Protection of the Individual) Law of 2001 and its amendments (Law No. 37(I)/2003, 105(I)/2012)).

Definition of Personal Data

“Personal data” or “data” means any information relating to a living data subject. Consolidated data of a statistical nature, from which the data subject cannot be identified, is not deemed to be personal data.

Definition of sensitive Personal Data

“Sensitive data” means data concerning racial or ethnic origin, political convictions, religious

or philosophical beliefs, participation in a body, association and trade union, health, sex life and erotic orientation as well as data relevant to criminal prosecutions or convictions.

National Data Protection authority

office of the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection (“commissioner”)

1, iasonos Str. 2nd Floor, 1082 nicosia, Cyprus

Registration

Data controllers or data protection officers who process personal data must notify the Commissioner in writing about the establishment and operation of a filing system or the commencement of processing of personal data. The information provided in this written notice is then filed in the Register of Filing Systems and Processing kept by the Commissioner and any change to this information must be notified in writing without delay by the data controller or data protection officer to the Commissioner.

The notification should include the following information:

  • the full name, business name or title and address of the data controller;
  • the address where the filing system is established or the main equipment necessary for the
  • processing to be installed;
  • a description of the purpose of the processing of the personal data;
  • the categories of data subjects;
  • the categories of data which are or are intended to be processed;
  • the period of time for which the data will be processed or the filing system will be
  • established;
  • the recipients to whom the data will be communicated;
  • the proposed transmissions of data to third countries and the purpose thereof; and
  • the basic characteristics of the system and the measures for the security of the filing system or of the processing.

Data Protection officers

The law provides that any organization that processes personal data must designate to the Commissioner a controller or data protection officer who is ultimately responsible for the processing of personal data.

Collection and Processing

Data controllers may collect and process personal data when any of the following conditions are

met:

  • the data subject consents;
  • the data controller needs to process the data to enter into or carry out a contract to which the data subject is a party;
  • the processing satisfies the data controller’s legal obligation;
  • the processing protects the data controller’s vital interests;
  • processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of public authority vested in the controller or a third party to whom the data will be communicated; or
  • processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by the third party to whom the personal data is communicated, on condition that such interests override the rights, interests and fundamental freedoms of the data subjects.

Processing of sensitive personal data is permitted when the data subject has given his explicit

consent or when one or more of a list of more stringent conditions are fulfilled.

Transfer

Data controllers may transfer personal data out of the European Economic Area only after the data protection officer or controller has obtained a license for such transfer from the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall issue the license only if he considers that the said country ensures an adequate level of protection.

The transmission of personal data to a country which does not ensure an adequate level of protection, is permitted exceptionally after a license of the Commissioner where one or more of the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • the data subject consents;
  • the transmission is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject;
  • the transmission is necessary for the conclusion and performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party;
  • the transmission is necessary for the implementation of pre contractual measures which have been taken in response to the data subject’s request;
  • the transmission is necessary in order to safeguard a superior public interest;
  • the transmission is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims before
  • a court; or
  • the transmission is made from a public register which, according to the law, provides
  • information to the public or to any person who can show legitimate interest.

Security

The processing of data is confidential. It shall be conducted solely by persons acting under the authority of the data controller or the processor and only after their instructions.

Data controllers must take the appropriate technical and organizational measures for the security of data and their protection against accidental or unlawful destruction, accidental loss, alteration, unauthorized dissemination or access and any other form of unlawful processing. Such measures must ensure a level of security which is appropriate to the risks involved in the processing of the data.

From time to time, the Commissioner gives directions with regard to the degree of security of the data and to the measures of protection required to be taken for every category of data, also taking into account technological developments.

If the processing is performed by the processor, the assignment for the processing must be made in writing. The assignment must provide that the processor shall perform the processing only upon instructions from the controller and that the remaining obligations set out in the relevant sections of the Processing of Personal Data Law shall also lie on the processor.

Breach notification

There is no mandatory requirement in the Processing of Personal Data Law to report data security breaches or losses to the Commissioner or to data subjects.

Enforcement

The Commissioner is responsible for the enforcement of the processing of personal data law. The Commissioner may impose on the data controller or data protection officer or their

representatives the following administrative sanctions:

  • a fine of up to EUR 30,000;
  • a temporary revocation of license;
  • a permanent revocation of license;
  • a warning with a specific time limit for the termination of the contravention; or
  • the destruction of the filing system or the cessation of processing and the destruction of the relevant data.

Section 26 (1) of the Processing of Personal Data Law lists the breaches of the law which constitute an offence and the penalties imposed. Such penalties range from imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or a fine up to approximately EUR 5,130 or both, to

imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine up to EUR 8,453 or both, depending

on whether:

  • the offence was caused by negligence;

the person committing the offence intended to obtain for himself or anyone else an unlawful

financial benefit or cause injury to a third party; or

the committed offence endangered the free functioning of the Government of the Republic or national security.

The offences committed in contravention of the provisions of this section 26 (1) for which no other penalty is expressly provided, are punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or with a fine not exceeding approximately EUR 3,417.20 or by both such imprisonment and fine.

Electronic Marketing

The Regulation of Electronic Communications and Postal Services Law of 2004 (112(I)/2004) as amended by Law No 105(I)/2012 (“Electronic and Postal Services Law”) will apply to most electronic marketing activities, as there is likely to be processing and use of personal data involved (e.g. an e-mail address is likely to be personal data for the purposes of the Electronic and Postal Services Law).

Section 106 of the Electronic Communications and Postal Services Law states the following:

  • the use of automatic calling machines, fax, or electronic mail, or SMS messages, for the purposes of direct marketing, may only be allowed in respect to subscribers who have given their prior consent;
  • unsolicited communications for the purposes of direct marketing, by means other than those
  • referred to in (i) above, are not allowed without the consent of the subscribers concerned;
  • the rights referred to in (i) and (ii) above shall apply to subscribers who are natural persons. The Commissioner of Electronic Communications and Postal Regulation, may, after consultation with the Personal Data Commissioner, issue an order to safeguard that legitimate interests of legal persons, regarding unsolicited communications, are adequately protected;
  • notwithstanding (i) above, in cases where a natural or legal person obtains from its customers contact details for electronic mail, in the context of the sale of a product or a service, the
  • same natural or legal person may use these electronic details for direct marketing of its own similar products or services, provided that customers are clearly and distinctly given the opportunity to object, free of charge and in an easy manner, to such use of their electronic contact details when they are collected and on the occasion of each message in case the customer has not initially refused such use; and
  • electronic mail sent for direct marketing must not disguise or conceal the identity of the sender or the person on whose behalf the communication is made, or without a valid address to which the recipient may send a request that such communications cease.

Online Privacy (including cookies and Location Data)

Part 14 of the Electronic and Postal Services Law deals with the collection of location and traffic data and use of cookies (and similar technologies) by publically available electronic

communication                 providers                                    service

Traffic Data 

Traffic Data concerning subscribers and users, which are submitted to processing so as to establish communications and which are stored by Organizations, shall be erased or made anonymous at the end of a call, except: for the purpose of subscriber billing and interconnection payments; and if the subscriber or user consent that the data may be processed from an undertaking for the purpose of commercial promotion of the services of electronic communications of the latter or for the provision of added value services.

The prohibition of storage of communications and the related traffic data by persons other than the users or without their consent is not intended to prohibit any automatic, intermediate and transient storage of this information. Users or subscribers shall be given the possibility to withdraw their consent for the processing of Traffic Data at any time.

Location Data

Location Data may only be processed when made anonymous, or with the consent of the users or subscribers to the extent and for the duration necessary for the provision of a value added service.

The service provider must inform the users or subscribers, prior to obtaining their consent, of the following:

  • type of Location Data which will be processed;
  • the purpose and duration of the processing; and
  • whether the data will be transmitted to a third party for the purpose of providing the value added service.

Users or subscribers shall be given the possibility to withdraw their consent for the processing of Location Data at any time.

Cookie Compliance

The storage and use of cookies and similar technologies is permitted only if the subscriber or user concerned has been provided with clear and comprehensive information, inter alia, about the purposes of the processing, and has given his consent in accordance with the Processing of Personal Data Law.

The above shall not prevent any technical storage or access for the sole purpose of carrying out or facilitating the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network, or as strictly necessary in order to provide an information society service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user.

Short title.

1. This Law may be cited as the Prevention of Corruption Law.

Interpretation.

2. in this Law –

“Agent” includes any person employed by or acting for another and any Person serving under the Crown or under any public body: “consideration” includes valuable consideration of any kind; “principal “includes an employer; “public body “includes local and public authorities of all descriptions.

Punishment of corrupt transaction with agents.

3. If –

(a) any corruptly accepts or obtains, or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, from any gif, or consideration as an inducement or reward for doing or for bearing to do, or for having after the passing of this Law done or forborne to do, any act in relation to his principal’s affairs or business, or for showing or for bearing to show favor or disfavor to any person in relation to his principal’s affairs or business: or

(b) any person corruptly gives or agrees to give or offers any gifts or consideration to any agent as an inducement or reward for doing or for bearing to do, or for having after the passing of this Law done or for borne to do, any act in relation to his principal’s affairs or business, or for showing or forbearing to show favor or disfavor to any person in relation to his principal’s affairs or business; or

(c) any person knowingly gives to any agent, or if any agent knowingly uses with intent to deceive his principal, any receipt, account, or other document in respect of which the principal is interested, and which contains any statement which is false or erroneous or defective in any material particular, and which to his knowledge is intended to mislead the principal,

He shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine not exceeding five hundred pounds, or to both such imprisonment and fine.

Increase of punishment in special cases.

4. A person convicted of an offence under the preceding section shall, where the matter or transaction in relation to which the offence was committed was a contract or a proposal for a contract with Her Majesty or any Government Department or any public body or a sub-contract to execute any work comprised in such a contract, be liable to imprisonment for a term net exceeding seven years, or to a fine not exceeding five hundred pounds, or to both such imprisonment and fine.

Presumption of corruption in certain cases.

5. Where in any proceedings against person for an offence under this Law, it is proved that any money, gift, or other consideration has been paid or given to or receive by a person in the employment of Her Majesty or any Government Department or a public body by or from a person or agent of a person, holding or seeking to obtain a contract from Her Majesty any Government Department or public body, the money, gift or consideration shall be deemed to have been paid or given and received corruptly as such inducement or reward as is mentioned in this Law unless the contrary is proved.

Prosecutions.

6. A prosecution for an offence under this Law shall not be instituted without the consent of the Attorney-General.

Saving.

7. Nothing is to this Law contained shall be deemed to affect the provisions of any other Law at present in force in Cyprus.

Short title.

1. This Law shall be referred as the Council of Europe Convention for the Penalization of Corruption (Ratification) Law of 2000.

Interpretation.

2. In this Law unless the context otherwise requires­

“Convention” means the Convention of the Council of Europe for the Penalization of Corruption of 27 January 1999 the context of which is set out in English in Part I of the Schedule and in Greek translation in Part II of the Schedule:

Provided that in case of contrast between the two texts, the English original text shall prevail.

Ratification.

3. The Convention signed by the republic of Cyprus by virtue of the Council of Ministers Decision No. 51.424 dated 22-23.3.2000 by this Law hereby ratified and shall be applied according to the following provisions subject to the reservations and communications which the Republic of Cyprus has made and is included in the conclusion of the Convention.

Offences and penalties.

4. The acts referred to in the articles of the Convention here in below set out are established as criminal offences punishable with imprisonment for up to seven years or with a fine up to ten thousand pounds or with both such penalties, without prejudice to the Court before which the case is tried to impose any other penalty or to issue any order that it may impose or issue during the trial or criminal cases; The articles are:

2 Active bribery of domestic public officials.

3 Passive bribery of domestic public officials.

4 Bribery of members of domestic public assemblies.

5 Bribery of foreign public officials.

6 Bribery of members of foreign public assemblies.

7 Active bribery in the private sector.

8 Passive bribery in the private sector.

9 Bribery of officials of international organizations.

10 Bribery of members of international parliamentary assemblies.

11 Bribery of judges and officials of international courts.

12 Trading in influence.

13 Money laundering of proceeds from corruption offences.

14 Account offences.

15 Participatory acts.

18 Corporate liabilities.

Immunities.

5. The provisions of this Law shall be applied without prejudice to the privileges and immunities provided by the Constitution.

Jurisdiction.

6. Without prejudice to the provisions of section 5 of the Criminal Code referring to the jurisdiction of the Courts of the Republic, offences committed in contravention of the provisions in contravention of the provisions of this Law, shall be tried before the Courts of the Republic in the cases referred to in article 17(1)(c) of the Convention.

Offences under section 4 of this Law that constitute simultaneously predicate offences for the application of Law No. 61(I) of 1996.

7. Acts which constitute offences under section 4 shall constitute simultaneously predicate offences for the purposes of application of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Activities Law of 1996.

Regulations.

8. The Council of Ministers may make Regulations for better carrying out the purposes of this Law which shall be laid before the House of Representatives for approval.

Central Authority.

9. The Ministry of Justice and Public Order shall be the Central Authority under Article 29 for the purposes of application of the Convention.

(CAP. 154 as amended)

Official corruption.

100. Any person who –

(a) being employed in the public service, and being charged with the performance of any duty by virtue of such employment, corruptly asks, receive or obtains, or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain, any property or benefit of any kind for him self or other person on account or anything already done or omitted to be done, or to be afterwards done or omitted to be done by him self in the discharge of the duties of his office; or

(b) corruptly gives, confers or procures, promises or offers to give or confer, or to procure or attempt to procure, to, upon, or for any person employed in the public service, or to, upon, or for any other person, any property or benefit of any kind on account of any such act or omission on the part of person so employed, is guilty of the misdemeanor, and is liable to imprisonment for five years, and also to a fine.

Extortion by public officers.

101. Any person who, being employed in the public service, takes, or accepts from any person for the performance of his duty as such officer, any reward beyond his proper pay and emolument or any promise of such reward is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable to imprisonment for three years, and also to a fine.

Public officers receiving property to show favor.

102. Any person who, being employed in the public service, receives any property or benefit of any kind for himself, on the understanding, express or implied, that he shall favor the person giving the property or conferring the benefit, or any one in whom that person in interested, in any transaction then pending, or likely to take place, between the person giving the property or coffering the benefit, or any one in whom he is interested, and any person employed in the public service, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable to imprisonment for two years and also to a fine.

Officers charged with administration of property of a special character or with special duties.

103. Any person who, being employed in the public service, and being charged by virtue of his employment with any judicial or administrative duties respecting properties of a special character, or respecting the carrying on of any manufacture, trade or business of a special character, and having acquired of holding, directly or indirectly, a private interest in any such property, manufacture, trade or business, discharges any such duties with respect to the property, manufacture, trade or business, in which he has such interest or with respect to the conduct of any person in relation thereto, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

False Claims by officials.

104. Any person who, being employed in the public service in such a capacity as to require him to enable him to furnish returns or statements touching any sum payable to himself or claimed to be payable to himself or to any other person or touching any other matter required to be certified for the purpose of any payment of money or delivery of goods to be made to any person, makes a return or statement touching any such matter which is, to his knowledge, false in any material particular, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable to imprisonment for three years, and also to a fine.

Abuse of office.

105. Any person who, being employed in the public service, does or directs to be done, in abuse of the authority of his office, any arbitrary act prejudicial the rights of another is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Corruptly taking a reward.

126. Every person who corruptly takes any money or reward, directly or indirectly, under pretence or upon account of helping any person to recover any property which has, under circumstances which amount to felony or misdemeanor, been stolen or obtained in any way whatsoever, or received, is (unless he has used all due diligence to cause the offender to be brought for trial to the same) guilty of felony and is liable to imprisonment for five years.

Police Background Check Procedures

Who can apply?

• Individuals and authorised personnel only.
• Third party representation is given only to close family members or friends.
Where?
• Police headquarters in Nicosia Republic of Cyprus overseas mission.

What must the applicant supply?

Local applicants:
• Full names of parents
• Full name
• Date of birth and place of birth
• Passport number and place of issue
• Current and Permanent address
• Reason for request
• 2 current passport sized photos, certified by an authorised person.
External applicants/citizens of foreign nationality:
• Full name
• Full name of parents
• Passport number and place of issue
• ARC Number (Alien Book) or Temporary Residence slip or MP number stamped in Passport
• Current and permanent address
• 2 current passport sized photos, cert
ified by an authorised person
• Letter from the department requiring the Police Clearance Certificate

What are the costs / turnaround?

Local applicants
• Fee applicable; please enquire.
External applicants:
• An official Receipt for the payment of the
amount of €17.09 (approx. GBP £16.00)

Contact Details

Application available online:
http://www.police.gov.cy/police/police.nsf/All/9D5F063F1BCD
709BC22578A900272470?OpenDocument
(English)
For applications in person, the address of the Chief of Police in Cyprus is:
Cyprus Police – Crime Registry
Office
Evangelou Floraki
1478 Nicosia
Cyprus
Tel: 00357 22 8080 80
Fax: 00357 22 8087 14
Website: http://www.police.gov.cy
Email: mechristodoulou@police.gov.cy
Postal applications need to be sent to the following address:
Chief of Police
Police
Headquarters
P.O. Box No. 2022
Nicosia
Cyprus
Applicants living in the UK may obtain an application form from the High Commission of Cyprus. The contact details are:
High Commission of the Republic of
Cyprus
13 St James’s Square
London SW1Y 4LB
Tel: 0044 (0)20 73214 100
Fax: 0044 (0)20 7314 165/164
Email: cyprusconsulate@btconnect.com
Website: www.mfa.gov.cy/highcomlondon

Cyprus – Know Your Customer (KYC) Rules

Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided de facto into the government-controlled two-thirds of the island and the Turkish Cypriot-administered one-third. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus (ROC) has continued to be the only internationally recognized authority; in practice, its authority extends only to the government-controlled area. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriots declared an independent “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”). The United States does not recognize the “TRNC,” nor does any country other than Turkey. This section of the report discusses the area controlled by the ROC. A separate section on the area administered by Turkish Cypriots follows.

Cyprus is a major regional financial center with a robust financial services industry and a significant amount of non resident businesses. A number of factors have contributed to the development of Cyprus as a financial center: a preferential tax regime; double tax treaties with 44 countries (including the United States, several European Union (EU) nations, and former Soviet Union nations); well developed and modern legal, accounting and banking systems; a sophisticated telecommunications infrastructure; and EU membership. There are no legal or substantive distinctions between domestic and offshore companies. Cyprus has also lifted the prohibition from doing business domestically, and companies formerly classified as offshore are now free to engage in business locally. International business companies are allowed to be registered in Cyprus but their ultimate beneficial ownership must be disclosed to the authorities. There are over 240,000 companies registered in Cyprus, many of which belong to non-residents. The same disclosure, reporting, tax and other laws and regulations apply equally to all registered companies.

Like any financial center, Cyprus faces risks from money laundering and illicit finance activities. The Cypriot authorities are aware of those risks and take legislative and other measures to counter and suppress such activities. The biggest threats for money laundering are primarily from simple financial crime domestically and tax evasion internationally. There is no significant black market for smuggled goods in Cyprus. What little black market trade exists is usually related to small scale transactions, typically involving fake clothing, pirated CDs/DVDs and cigarettes moved across the UN-patrolled buffer zone separating the ROC from the “TRNC”

Cyprus has three free trade zones (FTZs). Two, located in the main seaports of Limassol and Larnaca, are used only for transit trade, while the third, located near the international airport in Larnaca, can also be used for repacking and reprocessing. These areas are treated as being outside normal EU customs territory. Consequently, non-EU goods placed in FTZs are not subject to any import duties, VAT or excise tax. FTZs are governed under the provisions of relevant EU and Cypriot legislation. The Department of Customs has jurisdiction over all three areas and can impose restrictions or prohibitions on certain activities, depending on the nature of the goods.

KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs:

A PEP is an abbreviation for Politically Exposed Person, a term that describes a person who has been entrusted with a prominent public function, or an individual who is closely related to such a person. The terms PEP, Politically Exposed Person and Senior Foreign Political Figure are often used interchangeably

    • Foreign PEP: YES
    • Domestic PEP: NO

Cyprus – KYC covered entities

The following is a list of Know Your Customer entities covered by Cypriot Law:

    • Banks
    • Cooperative credit institutions
    • Securities and insurance firms
    • Payment institutions including money transfer businesses
    • Trust and company service providers
    • Auditors
    • Tax advisors
    • Accountants
    • Real estate agents
    • Dealers in precious stones and gems
    • In certain cases, attorneys

Cyprus – Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) Requirements:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 510 in 2010

Number of CTRs received and time frame: Not available

The following is a list of STR covered entities covered by Cypriot Law:

    • Banks
    • Cooperative credit institutions
    • Securities and insurance firms
    • Payment institutions including money transfer businesses
    • Trust and company service providers
    • Auditors
    • Tax advisors
    • Accountants
    • Real estate agents
    • Dealers in precious stones and gems
    • In certain cases, attorneys
    • Plus any person who in the course of his profession, business or employment knows or reasonably suspects that another person is engaged in money laundering or terrorist financing activities

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: 41 in 2010
Convictions: 15 in 2010

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

There are no legal issues hampering Cyprus‘ ability to assist foreign governments in mutual legal assistance requests. Cypriot law allows MOKAS, the Cypriot financial intelligence unit (FIU) to share information with other FIUs without benefit of a memorandum of understanding.

Cyprus has enacted comprehensive legislation and established systems for identifying, tracing, freezing, seizing, and forfeiting narcotics-related assets and assets derived from other serious crimes. Like most EU countries, though, Cyprus has no provisions allowing civil forfeiture of assets without a criminal case. The police and the FIU are responsible for tracing, seizing and freezing assets and they fully enforce existing legislation. Cyprus has an independent national system and mechanism for freezing terrorist assets, and has also engaged in bilateral and multilateral negotiations with other governments to enhance its asset tracking and seizure system.

Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots

The Turkish Cypriot community continues to lack the legal and institutional framework necessary to provide effective protection against the risks of money laundering, although significant progress has been made in recent years with the passage of “laws” better regulating the onshore and offshore banking sectors and casinos. There are currently 21 domestic banks in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots and Internet banking is available.

The offshore banking sector remains a concern. The offshore sector consists of 11 banks and 90 companies. The offshore banks may not conduct business with residents of the area administered by Turkish Cypriots and may not deal in cash. The “Central Bank” provides the regulation and licensing of offshore banks and audits the offshore entities, which must submit an annual report on their activities. The “law” permits only banks previously licensed by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)-member nations or Turkey to operate an offshore branch in northern Cyprus.

The Turkish Cypriot community is not part of any FSRB and thus is not subject to normal peer evaluations. Turkish Cypriot authorities have taken steps to address the risk of financial crime, including enacting an ―anti-money laundering law (“AMLL”)‖ for the area and formally establishing an FIU equivalent. The “AMLL” aims to reduce the number of cash transactions in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots as well as improve the tracking of any transactions above 10,000 Euros (approximately $13,000).

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs:

    • Foreign PEP: NO
    • Domestic PEP: NO

Turkish Cypriot – KYC covered entities

The following is a list of Know Your Customer entities covered by Turkish Cypriot “Law”:

    • Banks
    • Cooperative credit societies
    • Finance companies
    • Leasing/factoring companies
    • Portfolio management firms
    • Investment firms
    • Jewelers
    • Foreign exchange bureaus
    • Real estate agents
    • Retailers of games of chance
    • Lottery authority
    • Accountants
    • Insurance firms
    • Cargo firms
    • Antique dealers
    • Auto dealers
    • Lawyers

Turkish Cypriot – Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) Requirements:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 105 in 2011 (as of October 30, 2011)

Number of CTRs received and time frame: Not available

The following is a list of STR covered entities covered by Cypriot Law:

    • Banks
    • Cooperative credit societies
    • Finance companies
    • Leasing/factoring companies
    • Portfolio management firms
    • Investment firms
    • Jewelers
    • Foreign exchange bureaus
    • Real estate agents
    • Retailers of games of chance
    • Lottery authority
    • Accountants
    • Insurance firms
    • Cargo firms
    • Antique dealers
    • Auto dealers
    • Lawyers

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: None
Convictions: None

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

Despite the 2009 promulgation of more strict “laws,” the 24 operating casinos (four in Nicosia, five in Famagusta and 15 in Kyrenia) remain essentially unregulated due to the lack of an enforcement or investigative mechanism by the casino regulatory body and efforts to de-criminalize any failure by casinos to follow KYC regulations.

Banks and other designated entities must submit STRs to the “FIU”. The “FIU” then will forward any STRs to the five-member “Anti-Money Laundering Committee” which decides whether to further refer suspicious cases to the “attorney general‘s office,” and then if necessary, to the “police” for further investigation. The five-member committee is composed of representatives of the “Ministry of Economy,” “Money and Exchange Bureau,” “Central Bank,” “police” and “customs”.

The Turkish Cypriot “AMLL” provides better banking regulations than were in force previously, but without ongoing enforcement its objectives cannot be met. A major weakness continues to be the many casinos, where a lack of resources and expertise leave the area essentially unregulated, and therefore, especially vulnerable to money laundering abuse. Amendments to a “law” to regulate potential AML activity in casinos that would essentially decriminalize failure to implement KYC rules have been pending for over one year. The largely unregulated consumer finance institutions and currency exchange houses are also of concern. The Turkish Cypriot authorities should continue efforts to enhance the “FIU,” and adopt and implement a strong licensing and regulatory environment for all obligated institutions, in particular casinos and money exchange houses. Turkish Cypriot authorities should stringently enforce the cross-border currency declaration requirements. Turkish Cypriot authorities should continue steps to enhance the expertise of members of the enforcement, regulatory, and financial communities with an objective of better regulatory guidance, more efficient STR reporting, better analysis of reports, and enhanced use of legal tools available for prosecutions.

Risk

Sovereign risk

The government is seeking an early exit from the bail-out programme (by the end of 2015), ahead of expiry in mid-2016. Encouragingly, domestic economic data have continued to improve, but at 106.8% in 2014, the public debt/GDP ratio is around double that seen five years ago. Moreover, external conditions will remain fragile in 2015, reflecting subdued prospects for euro area activity along with potential direct effects from the crisis in Russia.

Banking sector risk

The banks are now well capitalised and shed their Greek banking operations in 2013. However, high non-performing loan ratios and a delay in implementing foreclosure legislation pose a risk to profitability and capital going forward.

Political risk

The minority government will continue to face resistance to privatisation and other reforms relating to the bail-out programme. As long as the Cyprus problem persists, Turkey will continue to intervene to try to block Greek Cypriot exploitation of gas discoveries, but we believe that the risk of serious confrontation between the two countries is limited because it is in neither side’s interest that the stand-off should escalate too far.

Economic structure risk

Cyprus remains in recession after the collapse of its banking sector. Notwithstanding more encouraging domestic economic data since mid-2014, Cyprus remains a substantial net debtor vis-à-vis the rest of the world. Its net external asset position stands at -80.8% of GDP.

Travel Risk

Security

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Cyprus is an independent country that continues to be divided into two de facto autonomous areas and, contrary to United Nations resolutions, into two separate zones. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognized authority, exercises control only in the Greek Cypriot southern part of the island. The northern area operates under an autonomous Turkish Cypriot administration. As Canada does not recognize the Turkish Cypriot administration, assistance to Canadians in the northern area of Cyprus could be limited.

Crime

The crime rate is low but on the rise. Petty crime such as pick pocketing and purse snatching is prevalent, particularly in urban areas.

Road travel

Exercise caution as driving standards are poor. While modern highways link the major cities, rural and mountain roads are often narrow, winding and poorly maintained. Enforcement of traffic laws and regulations is inconsistent. Running of red lights, speeding and tailgating are common causes of accidents.

United Nations peacekeeping force patrols the œgreen line between the Republic of Cyprus in the southern part of the island, and the Turkish Cypriot northern area. You can cross the green line in both directions at designated crossing points, including at pedestrian-only Ledra Palace and Ledra Street checkpoints in central Nicosia.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations and strikes occur periodically, and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media. Strikes may occasionally interfere with services, such as public transport.

Public Transportation

Public buses are limited but taxis are widely available. Rail service is non-existent.

See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Scams

Be aware that some bars and œcabarets have been known to overcharge customers for drinks. Customers who refused to pay the bill have been threatened.

See our Overseas Fraud page for more information on scams abroad.

General safety information

Exercise normal safety precautions. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times.

Emergency services

Dial 112 to reach emergency services. For police or emergency roadside assistance, dial 199 in the Republic of Cyprus and 155 in the Turkish Cypriot area.

Address Format

RECIPIENT

HOUSE_NUMBER STREET_NAME
POSTAL_CODE LOCALITY
CYPRUS

Sample

Dimitri Vasiliou
28 Oktovriou
3035 LEMESOS
CYPRUS

Summary

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast
2015-02-13 10:00 AM Q4 -1.9% -1.8% 0%
2015-03-11 10:00 AM Q4 -2.0% -2.0% (R) -1.9% -1.9%
2015-05-13 10:00 AM Q1 0.2% -2.0% 0.2%
2015-06-05 10:00 AM Q1 -2.0%
2015-08-14 10:00 AM Q2 0.3%
2015-09-03 10:00 AM Q2

 

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