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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ I won’t hold my breath for that VAT return ]

I won’t hold my breath for that VAT return

In his article headlined “EU warns Cyprus about second hand car tax” (Sunday Mail, February 14), Phedon Nicolaides suggests that the Cyprus government is liable to return import tax extorted from citizens importing a second hand car from any EU member state.

When I moved here from France, I brought my car with me: a left-hand drive, Citroen Berlingo Multispace, which was less than a year old and had VAT and registration taxes paid at time purchase.

Cyprus had just become a member of the EU and I thought no import duty would be charged. No, I was told: Cyprus had a “three-year ‘familiarisation’ period” in which it could do what it liked. The registration department demanded £5,000 import duty, less 60 per cent due to my parents being of Cypriot origin – in other words, although I was born and brought up in the UK, I was treated as a Cypriot returning to his patrida.

Notwithstanding this, I was obliged to obtain an MOT for what was essentially a new car and produce innumerable documents to satisfy the different vague bureaucratic requirements.

I was told that both EU and Cyprus laws were being run in tandem temporarily, ergo the need for these documents. After three days of running from one department to another, I was told that left-hand drive cars were not permitted.

I went north and checked if I could take it on a boat to Turkey and sell it. Had it been registered in the south I couldn’t, but with French number plates and insurance still intact, there was no problem.

Then a civil servant cousin intervened, took me to the Engomi Vehicle Registration office, where he pulled a few strings. He got it registered and I paid the £2,000.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there. Trying to get it insured turned out to be a nightmare. Both Gan Direct and Atlantic Insurance refused, due to it being left-hand drive. The car was eventually covered by Bank of Cyprus Insurance (and only then because I threatened to move my bank accounts to another bank), third-party, fire and theft alone on offer at an outrageous premium of £265 per annum.

Phedon Nicolaides’ suggestion that I can “mount a legal challenge of my own in Cypriot courts” can only be described as risible. Has he ever attempted to mount anything here? The courts are submerged with work, lawyers overpaid for doing little other than charge glorified fees and cartels rule the commerce of the country.

As professor in Maastricht, he has become accustomed to unilateral observance of the law; maybe he should spend a little more time in his patrida and see just how un-European it is.

Let’s stop beating about the bush. The Cyprus Vehicle Registration Department knows full-well who they’ve robbed. All they need to do is to review their past files concerning registration of imported cars after EU entry then return the stolen dosh. Why go to law?

After all, isn’t it the job of Brussels and Maastricht to slap the wrists of naughty boys – Cypriot insurance companies included? Just look at the fiasco pursued by the Land Registry concerning outstanding property deeds, the catastrophe at the Immigration Dept. and the virtual non existence of an Environment Department: need I say more? Yes, non-enforcement of the rules set out in the Highway Code cannot go unmentioned.

Please return to Cyprus Phedon and help us all!


(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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