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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.

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Commission Report [COM(1998) 710 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(1999) 502 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2000) 702 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1745 - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1401 - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1202 - Not published in the Official Journal]

Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]


In its 1998 Report, the Commission noted that progress on the free movement of goods was rather uneven. An additional effort was therefore needed to align with the Community acquis. Special attention had to be paid to the resources needed to apply the legislation.

The October 1999 Report stated that Cyprus should continue to make an effort to transpose its legislation in a number of sectors concerning the free movement of goods. Nevertheless, it recognised that progress had been achieved in standardisation and on the transposition of legislation on the safety of toys and footwear.

The November 2000 Report highlighted the efforts made by Cyprus to separate the functions of standardisation, accreditation and certification and the progress it had made in transposing the Community acquis concerning fertilisers, legal metrology, foodstuffs and motor vehicles. As far as public procurement was concerned, it emphasised the creation of a centralised statistical system.

The November 2001 Report noted that Cyprus had made further progress on the free movement of goods.

In its October 2002 Report, the Commission states that Cyprus has made progress as regards the free movement of goods, particularly in relation to the "New Approach" directives and public procurement.

In its latest Report of November 2003, the Commission notes that Cyprus meets the bulk of the accession requirements regarding customs union and the free movement of goods.

The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.


Free movement of goods can be achieved only by removing measures which restrict trade - not only customs duties and quantitative restrictions but all measures with equivalent, i.e. protectionist, effect.

Where technical standards are not harmonised, the principle of mutual recognition of national rules applies (in line with the Cassis de Dijon judgment).

For the purpose of harmonisation, the European Community has developed a " New Approach ". Instead of imposing technical solutions, European Community legislation simply establishes the essential requirements which products must meet. Nevertheless, some directives follow the traditional regulatory pattern of providing fully detailed rules. This applies to products such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, motor vehicles and foodstuffs. The horizontal directive on liability for defective products also constitutes an essential element for the free movement of goods.


The establishment of a customs union was provided for in the Association Agreement between the Community and Cyprus (1972), and in the 1987 Protocol to the Agreement, and became effective on 1 January 1998. Establishing a customs union also implies harmonising flanking policies, and in particular the harmonisation of legislation. These measures represent the first steps towards harmonisation for the free movement of goods but they are not sufficient and Cyprus must implement the entire acquis in this sector and establish an institutional infrastructure capable of ensuring the application of legislation in this sector. In 2001, Cyprus made significant progress in the fields of customs value, temporary importation, duty relief, the Common Customs Tariff, precursors and the computerisation of the customs administration. Negotiations on the chapter on customs union have been closed. No transitional arrangements have been requested.

The 2003 report - the last before accession - notes that the preparation of the necessary administrative and operational capacity is on the right track. Cyprus is meeting the commitments and requirements arising from the accession negotiations in this area and is expected to be in a position to implement the customs union acquis upon accession.

In January 1997, a new law on product liability entered into force. Except for the need for some technical fine-tuning, it conforms with the Community standards in this field.

With regard to administrative infrastructure, the Cyprus Organisation for Standards and Control of Quality (CYS) is responsible for standardisation as well as accreditation and notification at national level. In this respect, it has been allocated additional human resources. Certification, on the other hand, will be entrusted to a private body.

So far, the CYS, which is an affiliate member of CEN (1) and CENELEC (2) and a full member of the ETSI (3), ISO (4) and IEC (5) and an observer of European cooperation for accreditation, has made progress in transposing EU standards into national legislation. Already, 1 300 European standards have been adopted. The 2001 report noted that in the area of horizontal and procedural measures, the government had adopted all existing standards. In 2001, improvements were made in terms of the development of Cyprus's administrative capacity for the implementation of horizontal and procedural measures and sector-specific legislation. The 2003 report notes that Cyprus should pursue full membership of CEN and CENELEC.

Cyprus has made uneven progress in transposing sector-specific legislation. Some progress has been recorded in areas covered by the "New Approach", namely, toys, legal metrology and pre-packaging. However, Cyprus plans to adopt framework legislation concerning the transposition of the New Approach directives and several regulations covering various groups of products (e.g. mechanical devices, equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres, simple pressure vessels, pressure equipment, etc.). This framework legislation had not yet been adopted in 2001. As regards the New Approach directives, some regulations have still to be adopted. The 2002 report notes that the new Framework Law, enacted by the House of Representatives in March 2002, enables the transposition of the New Approach directives. The 2003 report notes that Cyprus has fulfilled its commitments with the adoption of the framework legislation for the application of the acquis on standardisation, accreditation, certification and notification procedures. This legislation will enter into force upon accession.

In the sectors covered by the "Old Approach", and particularly the foodstuffs sector, legislation on frozen food and materials in contact with food has been aligned. In addition, the Ministry of Health has laid down provisions to ensure the control of foodstuffs. New legislation was adopted in 2001. The 2003 report notes that the implementation of the foodstuffs acquis still needs to be improved.

In the case of chemicals, the acquis in relation to fertiliser has been transposed, although the implementing regulations for the Dangerous Substances and Preparations Law of 1991, as amended in 1997, have still to be adopted. Finally, although satisfactory progress has been made on drug precursors, further approximation of legislation is needed. Legislation providing for alignment with the acquis in relation to drug precursors was adopted in March 2001.

With regard to pharmaceuticals, the Medicine Council already controls the marketing of medicines. The committee to control medicine prices has yet to be set up. Since the 2000 report, progress has been made in implementing the acquis concerning pharmaceuticals. Further transposition was achieved with the adoption of the Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulations in 2002. In the course of the accession negotiations, Cyprus was granted a transitional period relating to the renewal of marketing authorisations for pharmaceutical products until the end of 2005.

Existing legislation on textiles, crystal and wood is not fully aligned with the EU directives. However, the new regulation on footwear came into force in 1999 and progress was seen in relation to the type-approval of motor vehicles. In 2002, significant progress was made with the adoption of framework directives relating to type-approval of motor vehicles.

Apart from the non-aligned technical sectors, the free movement of goods in Cyprus continues to be hampered by the general system for the issue of import authorisations and compulsory indication of the origin of products, which should be dismantled before accession. As regards the non-harmonised sector, screening of the existing legislation is currently taking place in order to identify the statutes to be amended through the introduction of mutual recognition clauses by the end of 2001. The 2003 report notes that this screening must now be completed and incompatible legislation needs to be removed.

In the area of public procurement, the national preference clause is due to be abolished at the time of the accession of Cyprus to the EU. Progress has been made in relation to the new centralised statistical system and the phasing-in of the system for administrative and judicial appeal. No legislative or administrative progress was made in 2001. The Act on the Contracts awarded in the Fields of Transport, Water, Energy and Telecommunications entered into force in April 2002. The 2003 report notes that some adjustments are still needed for the legislation on public procurement to attain full compatibility with the acquis, notably the strengthening of administrative capacity.

Negotiations regarding the chapter on the free movement of goods have been closed. Cyprus has been granted a transitional arrangement for the renewal of marketing authorisations for medical products (until 31 December 2005). Cyprus is generally meeting the commitments it has made in the accession negotiations in this field.

Negotiations on this chapter have been provisionally closed. Cyprus has been granted a transitional arrangement for the renewal of marketing authorisations for medical products (until 31 December 2005). Cyprus is generally meeting the commitments it has made in the accession negotiations in this field.

(1) European Committee for Standardisation

(2) European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation

(3) European Telecommunications Standards Institute

(4) International Standards Organisation

(5) International Electrotechnical Commission

Last updated: 12.01.2004