In an increasingly digitalized world, the significance of electronic signatures takes center stage. Their transformative potential extends far beyond mere convenience. Cyprus has enacted Law 55(I)/2018, which aligns the island with the EU eIDAS Regulation, firmly positions the country within Europe's cohesive digital strategy.
The doctrine of separate legal personality is nothing new in the legal field. Its premise is to essentially shield directors from any liability stemming from any company-related action. There are however, exceptions to this rule, where Courts have the discretionary power to stray away from the general rule and lift the “corporate veil” which protects directors.
The recognition and enforcement of international arbitral awards are frequently sought in Cyprus, which is a hub for international business transactions and a jurisdiction where numerous physical persons and legal entities maintain their assets.
A data subject can object to his/her personal data being processed for direct marketing purposes at any time. Pursuant to the Regulation of Electronic Communications and Postal Services (Law 112(I)/2004, as amended), consent is required.
Significant amendments were introduced to the existing legislation governing divorce and other family matters in Cyprus, aiming to simplify and modernize the judicial proceedings. The Cyprus Parliament has recently decided upon the modification of the Marriage Law (104(I)/2003), the Family Courts Law 1990 (23/1990) and the Attempted Conciliation and Spiritual Dissolution of Marriage Law (22/1990).
Following the identification of crypto-assets by the English Courts as assets, and the finding that crypto-assets may be the subject of freezing or proprietary injunctions, a new development in English case law emerged regarding the fiduciary duties (if any) of the software developers towards the owners of crypto-assets.
Justice in Cyprus is currently undergoing a massive reconstruction through the upcoming reform of the Cyprus Civil Procedure Rules, mainly aiming at the acceleration of judicial proceedings and the elimination of any deficiencies within the Cyprus legal arena.
On 21.04.2023, the Council of Ministers decided for the amendment of the criteria for granting Immigration Permits through the fast–track option to applicants who are nationals of third countries and wish to invest in Cyprus pursuant to the provisions of the Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Law Cap. 105.
Following Brexit, the acquirement of EU citizenship may be achieved by British people (of Cypriot origin but not only) who may regain the advantages of enjoying the freedom of movement within Europe for their future personal or business dealings. Cyprus is a member state of the European Union, consequently a Cyprus citizen is also a citizen of the EU who can travel and reside freely in any of the member states of the EU. Dual citizenship/nationality is allowed both in Cyprus and in the UK.
The Council of Ministers approved on 30/11/2022 the amendment of the policy for the registration of companies in the Register of Foreign Interest Entities, which is currently being administered through the Business Facilitation Unit (“BFU”).
With a recent judgment given on 22 November 2022 in joined cases C-37/20 and C-601/20, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), while evaluating articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, has ruled that public access to the registers of Beneficial Owners infringes the rights to respect of private life and to the protection of personal data.
New sets of bills concerning the modernisation of the legislative framework governing Cyprus family law will be brought before the House before Christmas. Such bills concern the process of applying for and being granted a divorce, parent-children relations and marriage, as well as the concept of amicable divorce, which is being introduced for the first time in Cyprus.
In October 2022, the Cyprus House of Representatives unanimously passed a new legal initiative soon to be made into law surrounding shipping and the maritime industry in general, known as “Law on the Limited Liability Shipping Company (LLSC) of 2022”. The law aims to create a new type of corporate entity, whose sole objective will focus on the ownership and operation of Cypriot ships.
CySEC, with the aim to combat money laundering activities and terrorist financing, according to the Prevention and Combating of Money Laundering Activities Law of 2007 announced the launch and operation of the on-line platform of the Cyprus Beneficial Ownership Register of Express Trusts and Similar Legal Arrangements (CyTBOR).
On 12.05.2022 the Bill establishing the Commercial and Admiralty Courts was enacted by Parliament. The two Courts are set to deal with and try complex and high profile cases, in order to lift the burden away from the busy district courts. The creation of these two specialized Courts aims to adjudicating disputes expediently and effectively, making Cyprus an international dispute resolution centre and more attractive to foreign business people.
The Bill of the Purchase and Sale of Credit Facilities and Related Matters (Amending) Law of 2021 was adopted by Cyprus Parliament on 14.04.2022. The amended Law established a framework for licensing and supervision of credit facility management companies.
A new tax incentive scheme which aims to attract foreign companies and high-skilled employees to Cyprus has been approved by Ministers on 10.05.2022. The scheme further seeks to repatriate Cypriot professionals who are currently living and working abroad by offering them the same benefits as their foreign counterparts.