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N. Pirilides & Associates LLC

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BRIEFINGS

On Friday 15/10/2021, the Cyprus Ministry of Finance announced an action plan for attracting foreign investment and enhancing business activity in Cyprus through the transformation of the existing Fast Track Business Activation Mechanism (FTBA) into a Business Facilitation Unit.
Cyprus is an attractive solution for foreign companies and due to its competitive advantages always provides fruitful grounds for attracting companies and investments. It is an international business centre and an ideal point of entry to the EU with a strategic location.
A company who has re-domiciled in Cyprus is subject to all statutory obligations and able to exercise all powers of a company incorporated in Cyprus. Consequently, a company who has re-domiciled in Cyprus will have the obligation to submit its beneficial ownership details to the Register.
In an attempt to strengthen and harmonize the framework with regards to the prevention and suppression of money laundering, the Register of UBOs in Cyprus has been created beginning of 2021. The deadline date for submission has been revised to be the latest on 12/03/2022.
On 15/09/2021 the Supreme Court issued a court regulation, the so-called e-Justice Procedural Regulation, which regulates the handling of cases through electronic communication with the Court, allowing judges to handle cases without any physical presence. The e-Justice platform aims to bring together litigants, advocates, law firms, court staff and clerks, judges, the police and relevant governmental authorities so that justice is administered in an effective and practical digital environment.
On 19.07.2013, in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus, the Amending Law on Registration of Doctors of 2013 (Law 73(I)/2013) (the “Amending Law”) was issued, allowing doctors to provide medical services through the establishment and operation of limited liability companies.
In an effort to further criminalise the act of money laundering, the European Commission issued the 6th AML Directive 2018/1673, however it has not yet been transposed into national law. The 6th AML Directive aims to empower financial institutions and authorities to become more proactive in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. This will be done by expanding and clarifying existing legislation on the certain regulations that are at play.
The Council of Ministers approved a Decree requiring businesses operating in the service and retail sector to accept card payments as a means of payment in an effort to fight tax evasion, boost consumer protection and help customer service.
Due to the environmental consultation process and the strategic vision for Cyprus shipping sustainability, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry has recently launched a consultation to co-create a long-term maritime strategy-campaign, supported by those working in or connected to the maritime sector.
The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (“CySEC”) has published a Consultation Paper on 10/06/2021 to propose the introduction of specific rules and obligations on promoters of applications that engage in the submission and promotion of applications for the granting of licenses to regulated entities of CySEC (or other material changes).
Following the enactment of the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law 188(I)/2007 on 18/02/2021 (the “Amending Law”), every company and/or other legal entity incorporated in Cyprus is required to maintain adequate information about its ultimate beneficial owners (the “UBOs”) and this information needs to be submitted to central registry operation of real beneficiary companies and other legal entities (the “Register”).
As of Monday 10/05 Cyprus has exited a third partial lockdown with a new coronavirus "safe pass" system to allow people to move freely (the government abolished the system of official approval by text message used to allow people to leave home).
With Cyprus being a common law jurisdiction, the adoption by the Cyprus Courts of judge-made remedies that the English Courts have created for the needs of victims of fraud, was an important evolution to the Cyprus legal system in its battle against civil fraud.
In order to achieve a safe return to everyday life, with the gradual removal of the lockdown measures, it will be necessary to ensure the protection of the working environment. According to the new measures, to address the risk of Covid-19 transmission, all employers intend to ask employees to provide tests for the virus to ensure their safety on their return to the workplace.
In the context of transposing the Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015, which relates to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, into the national law of the Republic of Cyprus, Section 61A(4)(a) of the “Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law of 2007 (188(I)/2007)” provides for the maintenance of a central registry holding information in relation to the beneficial owners of companies and other legal entities.
Just before the Christmas period and the cut off time limit to a no deal Brexit, the UK and the EU reached a draft agreement on an economic partnership settlement that will govern large swaths of bilateral trade worth more than £650bn.
The Tax reliefs provided by a number of Laws for the reinforcement and promotion of loan restructuring which would have expired on 31/12/2020, have now been extended until 31/12/2021.
The new amending Law N.179(I)/2020 provides that the exemption of 20% (maximum €8550) of the income of a person from employment in Cyprus, who was not a tax resident of Cyprus during the previous tax year, will apply to any such new employment starting any time up to year 2025.