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EC: Facilitating trade across Green Line, Cyprus

Green Line Regulation[1]: Commission welcomes Council adoption of measures that further facilitate trade across the Green Line in Cyprus

The European Commission has welcomed the adoption by the EU's Council of its proposals to improve the so-called Green Line Regulation which would further facilitate the movement of goods and persons across the Green Line, thus contributing to the integration of the island.

"Building bridges between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot community over the Green Line is essential for the reconciliation on Cyprus and helpful for creating a positive political climate which would open the way for a comprehensive settlement on the island," commented Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn. “I welcome the agreement on the amendments of the Green Line Regulation and on the willingness to open two new crossing points at Zodia and Ledra Street, since these measures contribute to the integration of the island. In this context I call on the Member States to make progress on the Trade and Aid measures proposed by the Commission in July last year, which aim at putting an end to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community."

The amended Green Line Regulation adopted today brings about a number of improvements:

• Obstacles in the trade for agricultural products such as citrus fruits will be removed;

• A simplified procedure for the inclusion of animal products will be established;

• The ceilings for travellers crossing the green line will be increased:

• goods for personal use of a total value of 135 EUR could cross,

• 1 litre of spirits,

• 40 cigarettes.

The Commission also noted with satisfaction the progress made towards the opening of two new crossing points, Zodia and Ledra Street in the heart of old Nicosia. Under the EU sponsored de-mining programme for the Buffer Zone, mine clearing in the Zodia area has already started. This is an important step towards the actual realisation of this crossing point.

[1] On 29 April 2004 the Council adopted a Regulation (866/2004) on a regime under
Article 2 of Protocol 10 on Cyprus of the Act of Accession. The Regulation defines the terms under which the provisions of EU law will apply to the line between the areas in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus exercises effective control and the areas in which it does not ("green line").

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