Customs Department Director sees negative consequences and serious problems from Brexit

Cyprus will become more aware of the importance of the EU Customs Union in 2019 when the United Kingdom (UK) will leave the EU, Dimitrios Hadjikostis, Director of the Department of Customs Department, said on Friday, during a press conference on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary the EU Customs Union, on 1 July.

The negative consequences will be particularly evident when Cypriot passengers arrive from the UK in Cyprus, and there will be controls at the entry points of the Republic, and customs formalities will be reintroduced during import and export of goods from and to the UK, Hadjicostis warned.

In 2016, he said, 4,5 mn passengers travelled from and to Cyprus, of whom 1,4 mn or 30% were from the UK. In 2017 Cyprus’ imports stood at Euros 8.2 bn of which Euros 500 mn or 7% from the UK. Exports amounted to Euros 3 bn, of which Euros 170 mn or 5.6% to the UK. This means that, unfortunately, the Department will have to undertake additional workload, he noted.

The UK’s exit will create serious problems. A merchant usually expects that his goods will be checked, for a passenger this is not always welcoming. And given Cyprus ties with the Cypriot community (in the UK), it will certainly create a problem, he added.

Source: Cyprus News Agency