No to Direct Trade with Occupied Area Print
Government Spokesman Vasilis Palmas stressed on 6 February that “direct trade” between the Turkish-occupied area of Cyprus and the EU remained “out of the question”. Commercial exchanges with the occupied north, he said, should continue to be governed by the EU’s Green Line trade regulation of April 2004.

A draft regulation providing for “direct trade” with the occupied area was tabled by the European Commission in July 2004 but has been opposed by Cyprus and other EU member states because it would effectively upgrade the status of the illegal occupation regime. In February 2006 Cyprus secured an EU decision to decouple the “direct trade” regulation from one providing for EU fi nancial aid for the Turkish Cypriots, which is being implemented (see report below).

The Green Line regulation established a legal framework for trade in goods and services from 1 May 2004, in light of the suspension of EU law in the occupied area pending the conclusion of a political settlement of the Cyprus problem. It specifies that products produced in the occupied area can be sold in the free areas but only exported to other EU countries via the legal Government-controlled ports of Cyprus.