Filling up in TRNC ..NEW FINE

Those crossing to the north with the sole purpose of filling up their cars with petrol face a fine of €4 per litre, a customs department official said Thursday.

Customs department spokesman George Constantinou said increased checks to prevent fuel imports from the north mean that customs officials at the checkpoints are also inspecting private cars.

He told Brief that if it is proven that a person crossed north for the sole purpose of getting petrol then a fine of €4 per litre will be imposed.

“We have already noticed that when an official records the details of the crossing – fuel quantity and time of crossing – many people turn back and leave without crossing north,” Constantinou was quoted as saying.

His comments caused confusion as late last month President Nikos Christodoulides said on the issue that “I understand when it is for private use”.

The government has made clear that it is not illegal for Greek Cypriots to fill their tanks in the north, while they can also bring ten litres in a jerrycan.

Indeed, Constantinou said that while their focus is on the commercial nature of illegal fuel imports, they are also checking private vehicles. Just recently, the spokesman said, they found 160 litres of petrol stored in eight containers in a saloon car.

But the spokesman insisted that “private vehicles are also checked and the details of when they crossed are recorded so that if upon their return it is clear that they only went north to fill up and for no other reason, then a fine is imposed.

“For example, if someone crosses for just a few minutes and it is discovered through checks that they filled up then obviously this is unrelated to the Green Line Regulation – therefore the sole reason for crossing is to dodge taxes on fuel.”

He added that in such a situation a fine is imposed according to the amount of fuel purchased.

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail later, Constantinou confirmed that private vehicles can be checked and fined if a customs official at the crossing point determines that someone crossed to the north just to fill up the tank.

These checks already exist, but would be intensified, he said.

But as a matter of policy, customs officers will pay more attention to private commercial vehicles – vans, mini-buses, taxis, trucks.

“For instance, any private vehicle with a company logo or such markings.”

The official said the point is to “prevent abuse” of the Green Line Regulation, which allows for trade between the north and south.

Essentially the fine is dished out on the basis that someone avoided paying fuel tax applicable in the Republic, and therefore is breaking the law.

We pointed out to Constantinou that a person filling up their car in the north is buying petrol in another jurisdiction – not in the Republic – where Republic of Cyprus taxes don't apply, therefore he or she would not technically be avoiding paying sales tax to the Republic.

“We don't recognise the north,” he offered.

It remains to be seen how effective the beefed-up checks will prove. It's well known anecdotally, for example, that tankers often cross to the north through uncontrolled points – like Pyla – and fill up with petrol there.

The price of petrol and people filling up their cars in the north has gained renewed attention after the cabinet scrapped the reduced rates of VAT.

That led to an additional 8.3 cents per litre on petrol, which came into effect on June 30.

That, in turn, led to petrol station owners holding a demonstration on June 27 to protest over what they describe as government inaction which facilitates fuel imports from the north.

Speaking at the protest, head of the petrol station owners association Savvas Procopiou attacked statements made by Energy Minister George Panastasiou the previous day that individuals are allowed to fill up in the north.

“We completely disagree with the statement of the energy minister, he cannot say with such ease that the public should visit the occupied areas to buy petrol,” he said.

Source … per-litre/

If the GC authorities did police such a thing it might cut down on the terrible traffic congestion at the main crossing points!  But in reality are customs folk really going to check fuel gauges of cars going north?

dont regognise the north, except when they can fine you 1f602.svg

Need to stop this happening I go to the South every 3 months or so and its unfair that I am held up due to these people just going across to fill up there cars.  Yiu can never gauge how long you will be held up going through the checkpoints, have at times waited up to 2 hours to get through.