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MEPs Clarify Northern Cyprus's Trade Status, by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

EU trade with the northern part of Cyprus should be governed directly by EU single market and customs EU rules, and not by the EU's rules for international trade, a European Parliament committee has concluded.

Possible trade with the northern part of Cyprus based on article 207 of the Lisbon Treaty on international trade would wrongly imply that it is not part of the EU, said the Legal Affairs Committee on Monday.

The Committee noted that the EU has always considered Cyprus to have joi ned the EU as a whole, but upon accession by Cyprus in 2004, EU legislation was "temporarily suspended" in the areas not under the effective control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus.

The Legal Affairs Committee shares the opinion of the EU Parliament's legal service that the northern territory of Cyprus is also fully part of EU customs territory. MEPs reiterated that the EU should not seek to regulate its internal arrangements for the movement of goods among member states on the basis of the common commercial policy, as proposed in 2004 by the Commission, because this would “imply that de facto the line separating the territory of Cyprus would be tantamount to an external border of the EU.”

“We need to keep things simple. It is difficult to draft a regulation on the basis of external action and trade policy because Cyprus as a whole is already a member of the EU,” commented rapporteur Kurt Lechner.

MEPs approved with 18 votes in favour, 5 against and one abstention the proposal of the rapporteur to adopt Protocol 10 of the Accession Treaty of Cyprus to the EU as the correct legal basis of the regulation.

The EU Council must now unanimously back any new proposal from the European Commission involving the lifting of the suspension of internal market and customs rules in northern Cyprus, which despite being under the control of Turkey is not recognized as Turkish territory by the EU. Needless to say, it is an impossibility that Cyprus will agree to such a thing, so the EP, as usual, has wasted its time and the taxpayers' money in promoting useless regulations.|||MEPs Clarify Northern Cyprus's Trade Status, by Lorys Charalambous,
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