Latest updates

Supreme Court confirms jurisdiction to determine claims arising in exclusive economic zone
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • June 12 2018

In a recent case filed in its admiralty jurisdiction, the Supreme Court of Cyprus had to consider whether accidents which take place in the Cyprus exclusive economic zone (EEZ) give jurisdiction to the Cyprus courts. The court decided that it has jurisdiction to hear disputes regarding accidents which occur within its territory, including the Cyprus EEZ, provided that the accident concerns the prospection or exploitation of Cyprus's natural resources.

Forced sale orders on grounds of unfair prejudice and oppression
Solsidus Law
  • Company & Commercial
  • Cyprus
  • June 11 2018

Shareholder petitions of unfair prejudice have been compared to divorce petitions. Indeed, these shareholder disputes tend to carry the same level of acrimony, especially when courts are faced with the option of deciding the sale of one shareholder's shares to another. Fairness is at the heart of the courts' consideration when deciding cases of unfair prejudice and shareholder oppression.

Legal reform proposals over appointment of receivers
George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • Cyprus
  • June 08 2018

Members of Parliament have proposed legal reforms with the aim of regulating the procedure for the appointment of receivers by debenture holders. The issues under scrutiny are that borrowers have no say during the procedure for the appointment of a receiver, and that issues with the impartiality of the receiver can arise on many occasions. However, the proposal has encountered the resistance of financial institutions.

Supreme Court confirms jurisdiction to determine claims arising in exclusive economic zone
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Cyprus
  • June 06 2018

In a recent case filed in its admiralty jurisdiction, the Supreme Court of Cyprus had to consider whether accidents which take place in the Cyprus exclusive economic zone (EEZ) give jurisdiction to the Cyprus courts. The court decided that it has jurisdiction to hear disputes regarding accidents which occur within its territory, including the Cyprus EEZ, provided that the accident concerns the prospection or exploitation of Cyprus's natural resources.

New legislation for pregnant women and new mothers in workplace
George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Cyprus
  • June 06 2018

Parliament recently introduced new legislation that aims to promote and support breastfeeding in the workplace and enhance the legal protection for working pregnant women and new mothers. One law established the minister of health as the competent authority for the promotion and protection of breastfeeding, while another extended the period during which pregnant women are protected against dismissal and established the right for working mothers to breastfeed or pump and store milk in the workplace.

Citizenship-by-investment programme – a legal overview
Savva & Associates Ltd
  • Immigration
  • Cyprus
  • May 25 2018

Cyprus's immigration policy and legal framework enable EU and non-EU applicants to obtain Cypriot citizenship on an expedited basis. The government has formulated a fast-track citizenship scheme aimed at high-net-worth individuals, investors and entrepreneurs. This allows successful applicants and their families to hold a Cypriot passport and enjoy all of the benefits afforded to Cyprus and EU nationals.

Court finds real likelihood of bias and orders arbitrator's dismissal
George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Cyprus
  • May 24 2018

In a recent Limassol District Court case, the applicants applied for the dismissal and replacement of an arbitrator. They argued that the relationship between the arbitrator and the respondents' main witness in the arbitration proceedings and his brother would lead a reasonable person to find that there was a real likelihood of bias. As a result, the applicants argued that the relationship between the parties constituted misconduct in arbitration proceedings.

International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments ratified
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Cyprus
  • May 23 2018

Cyprus recently ratified the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments. Its objective is to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment – especially the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another – and the consequential damage to health and natural resources. To meet this objective, the convention establishes standards and procedures for the management and control of ships' ballast water and sediments.

Doctrine of payment into court
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • May 22 2018

Order 22 of the Civil Procedure Rules provides that in any action for debt or damages, the defendant may at any time, on notice to the claimant, pay into court a sum of money which it considers sufficient to satisfy the claim. Payment into court can be made as soon as an appearance has been filed and until a judgment has been issued. If the amount offered is accepted, the dispute is settled as by compromise, but it does not give rise to res judicata.

Publication of latest Central Bank ship management survey
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Cyprus
  • May 16 2018

Since 2009, the Central Bank has carried out semi-annual market surveys of Cyprus residents who provide ship management services to ship-owning companies registered in Cyprus and abroad. The surveys collect data on financial transactions (revenues and expenses) between resident ship management companies and non-residents of Cyprus. The most recent survey, which covers the second half of 2017, was published on April 27 2018.

Strict application of security for costs rules
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • May 15 2018

In Cyprus, as in most jurisdictions, a defendant in litigation which fears that the claimant may be unable to satisfy costs orders made against it can apply to the court for a security for costs order. In civil proceedings, the courts – in certain circumstances – can order the claimant to provide security for the defendant's costs after the trial has ended. However, specific requirements must be fulfilled, and the courts are strict in applying the rules.

Domestic law aligned with EU directive on mandatory automatic exchange of tax information
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Corporate Tax
  • Cyprus
  • May 11 2018

The recently introduced Law 33(I)/2018 amends the Law regarding Administrative Cooperation in the Field of Taxation 2012 to 2017 in order to align domestic law with EU Directive 2016/881/EU, which amended EU Directive 2011/16/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation. The new law requires ultimate parent entities of multinational enterprises resident in Cyprus for tax purposes to file country-by-country reports within 12 months of the end of each fiscal year.

Certificates of proficiency in training for ships operating in polar waters
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Cyprus
  • May 02 2018

The Deputy Ministry of Shipping recently announced that from January 1 2020, all masters, chief officers and officers in charge of a navigational watch serving on board Cyprus-flagged vessels operating in polar waters must hold the appropriate certificate of proficiency in training, as required by the International Maritime Organisation's International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters.

Financing through shadow banking – what to look out for
Patrikios Pavlou & Associates LLC
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • Cyprus
  • May 02 2018

Cyprus is a popular jurisdiction for establishing special purpose vehicles with an increased involvement in shadow banking, which takes the form of, among other things, securities lending, repurchase and derivatives transactions. This has resulted in a call for strengthened regulations to mitigate risks and support financial stability. Newly introduced regulations now bring non-financial counterparties, such as limited liability companies, into the ambit of transparency reporting.

New standards for recreational and personal craft
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Cyprus
  • April 25 2018

The Department of Merchant Shipping recently announced the publication of the Essential Requirements (Recreational Craft and Personal Watercraft) Regulations 2017. The new regulations set required standards for design and construction and exhaust and noise emissions. They apply to recreational and personal craft, specified components when placed on the EU market, engines and engine conversions and substantial modifications to vessels.

Supreme Court decides on acquittal and right to appeal
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • April 24 2018

The need for clear and reliable guidelines to determine whether a first-instance criminal court judgment can be appealed arose in a recent application to the Supreme Court. By making an application under Article 149 of the Criminal Procedure Law instead of an appeal, the applicant not only lost the right to appeal, but also found his case dismissed by the Supreme Court without any examination of its substance.

Supreme Court decision breached European Convention on Human Rights
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Litigation
  • Cyprus
  • April 17 2018

The European Court of Human Rights recently reviewed disciplinary proceedings against a former judge that had taken place in the Supreme Court in 2006 and resulted in the judge's dismissal. The court found by a majority of six votes to one that the disciplinary proceedings in Cyprus were in breach of Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights and ordered the Cyprus government to pay non-pecuniary damages and costs.

From Russia with love? District court rejects application to enforce Russian arbitral award
George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Cyprus
  • April 12 2018

In a recent Limassol District Court case, the applicants requested the registration and enforcement in Cyprus of a Russian arbitral award. Τhe court found that the applicants had failed to provide evidence of whether Russia was a contracting state to the New York Convention and that the award's translation did not fulfil the convention's requirements. As a result, the application to register and enforce the arbitral award was rejected.

Contact details for new Deputy Ministry of Shipping released
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Cyprus
  • April 11 2018

​The Deputy Ministry of Shipping has announced that the email addresses of its personnel and departments have been changed following its conversion from a department of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works to a deputy ministry. To ensure a smooth transition, the existing email addresses of ministry personnel will remain valid until June 30 2018 and departmental email addresses will remain valid until April 30 2019.

New Cyprus-UK double tax agreement
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Corporate Tax
  • Cyprus
  • April 06 2018

Cyprus and the United Kingdom recently signed a new double tax agreement. Once it has been ratified by both parties, it will replace the current agreement, which dates back to 1974 and is one of the oldest tax agreements still in force in Cyprus. The changes introduced will have little direct effect on the tax liability of most taxpayers, but the modernisation of the agreement will provide clarity.