Guidance on How to Ship Freight Successfully to Cyprus

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By John Hayes, freelance writer.

As an island, organising freight to Cyprus from the UK takes a little more thought than most other European Union destinations. Even more complex is the fact that not all of Cyprus is in the EU because the northern part of the island is an independent state, known officially as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. In other words, different importation rules will apply with freight to Cyprus depending on where the goods need to end up.

Unless you are a student of history, you may also not know that there is a so-called buffer zone that exists between the north and the Republic of Cyprus in the south and west. Controlled by the UN since 1964, it prevents goods in transit from passing from one side to the other. As a result, shipments destined for either state must be sent separately via different shipping routes. What do you need to know about sending consignments of freight to Cyprus today?

Sending Freight to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

While the south of Cyprus uses Cyrillic script in its official documentation, like Greece, the north uses Latin script, like Turkey. In Turkish, the northern part of Cyprus is known as Kuzey Kibris Turk Cumhuriyeti, for example. As such, filling out paperwork to go with your consignment can seem that bit easier for most British exporters. However, it is important to note that international law will only allow for shipping routes to this part of the island if they run from mainland Turkey.

The good news is that Turkey has several well-run ports that connect to Northern Cyprus but your goods will need to travel further than would otherwise be the case without these trading restrictions. If you are sending freight to Cyprus via Turkey, then customs clearances will need to be put in place well before your shipment arrives in a Turkis port. According to Barrington Freight, a customs clearance and freight forwarding firm in Essex, customs checks can occur both in Turkey and in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which is officially a separate state in its own right. As such, you need to be prepared for the possibility of both.

Shipping to the Republic of Cyprus

Most freight to Cyprus from the UK heads to the south. It is well served by the ports of Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, Latsi and Pomos with most freight being unloaded at Limassol and Larnaca for onward distribution into the country via its extensive and reasonably well-maintained road network. Larnaca also has a significant air freight operation at its airport. While Paphos International Airport handles small amounts of freight, it is primarily a passenger terminal.

Since the Republic of Cyprus is an EU member state, customs rules will apply now the UK lies outside of the EU's customs union. Again, this means declaring customs duties that may apply and being registered to make such declarations in the first place. Professional guidance can be sought on what to do if you have never exported to an EU state like southern Cyprus before. This is especially useful if you want to group your freight to Cyprus with other consignments, a very economical approach to take that freight forwarding firms call groupage. In the case of southern Cyprus, groupage shipments typically take around 23 days and are one of the most affordable options around.

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