Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Crossings and trade down significantly in 2012

BOTH THE number of crossings, and trade across the Green Line decreased significantly in 2012 compared to the previous year, the European Commission said yesterday.
Movement across the line is governed by the 2004 Green Line regulation, which defines the terms under which provisions of EU law apply to the movement of persons, goods
and services. The application of the rules was extended to the boundary of the British Eastern Sovereign Base Area (ESBA)
The latest EU report, released yesterday, said there had been a visible decrease in both the number of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots crossing in 2012 compared to previous years. The first crossing opened in 2003.
According to data from the Republic of Cyprus, 481,732 (previous: 621.406) crossings by Greek Cypriots and 154,778 crossings by Greek Cypriot vehicles (previous: 210,877) were noted from the government-controlled areas to the northern part of Cyprus and 850,362 (previous: 937,789) crossings by Turkish Cypriots and 280,358 crossings by Turkish Cypriot vehicles (previous: 348,225) from the northern part of Cyprus to the government-controlled areas during the reporting period.
As far as the movement of goods was concerned, in 2012, the value of trade across the Line was three times lower than in 2011. This sharp decrease is due to the fact that the sale of electricity from the northern part of Cyprus to the government controlled areas, which was agreed in July 2011, stopped in March 2012.
Without taking into account the sale of electricity, the regular Green Line trade decreased significantly and for the fourth time in a row since the coming into force of the GLR in 2004 (by 17 per cent down €4,827,454 in 2011 to €4,040,018) due partly to the economic recession.
The most traded products were, apart from electricity, plastic products, building materials and stone articles and fresh fish. The overall scale of the trade still remains limited, in part due to the restricted scope of the Regulation itself.
During the reporting period, certain obstacles to trade remained, the Commission said. Turkish Cypriot commercial vehicles, in particular lorries above 7.5 tons and buses, can only move freely across the whole island if licences and certificates are obtained in the government-controlled areas. “The Commission services have had talks with the relevant departments of the Republic of Cyprus to find a viable solution to this issue. However, no progress can be reported at this stage,” the report said.
According to the report smuggling of goods across the Line decreased but remains widespread, the report said.
The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce said the total value of goods for which accompanying documents were issued in 2012 amounted to €9,584,410 whereas the value of goods actually traded was €8,945,347.
In 2012, the Green Line trade was three times lower than in 2011.
This substantial decrease was explained by the fact that the sale of electricity from the northern part of Cyprus to the government-controlled areas, which was the result of exceptional circumstances, stopped in March 2012. For the year 2012, the sale of electricity amounted to €4,748,881 (53% of the trade). The sale of electricity, even if lower than in 2011, had an impact on the Green Line trade in 2012.
Without taking into account the sale of electricity, according to the TCCoC, the total value of
goods for which accompanying documents were issued amounted to €4,835,528 whereas the
value of goods actually traded was €4,196,465. Those figures indicate a significant decrease
of regular Green Line trade of 22 per cent compared to 2011.

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