Juice and olives may be made available for trade from the north as the government is set to expand the products on the Green Line regulation list, it appeared on Tuesday.
Trade across the Green Line, allowing one side to sell products in the other, is set out within the Green Line regulation.
There has been disagreement for years between the government and the European Commission as to which goods are placed on the list, with the EU executive arguing for the inclusion of items such as halva, carob syrup and tahini, according to Alpha.
But those proposals have faced strong opposition from the government on the basis that checks on their health and safety, along with the production methods is a challenge for government officials as the goods are made in the north.
It is understood that the commission is now seeking a more active role in this process along with ensuring Turkish products are not within the chain.
Foreign minister director general Kornelios Korneliou told Alpha that the aim of the Green Line regulation is not to become trading partners with the north but is instead to facilitate the reunification of the island.
He added that after many years the commission requested the government expand the list of goods open for trade and “we therefore added six items and are looking to add further goods”.
In the first phase of the expanded list, it was explained that juice and olives are to be added while the second phase may add ice cream and perhaps biscuits.
It was further reported that should items be approved for trade from the north, they must have Greek language labelling. Notably, if the company is based in Lapithos it must be written as such instead of the Turkish language Lapta.
Meanwhile, it remains that no Turkish Cypriot cheese and dairy producer has received approval from officials for the production and subsequent sale of halloumi, despite several producers filing applications.
The Cyprus Mail reported in October that trade across the Green Line had generated a revenue of €8m in the first ten months of last year. Boosted by the devaluation of the Turkish lira, sales through Green Line trade were expected to double compared with the previous year and reach €12m by the end of the year. That was set for the highest in 18 years.
There are some quirks in the process, for example – the Green Line regulation states that: “The movement of fresh fish may be permitted only from the crossing point of Ayios Dometios.”
Elsewhere, it explains that items brought over from the north may be exempt from turnover tax and duties provided that their value does not exceed €260 per person and has no commercial character.
It details that the quantitative limits for exemptions are 40 cigarettes and one litre of spirits for personal consumption.