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Cyprus: Double Tax Treaties

Convention on Money Laundering

On March 27, 2009, Cyprus ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Money Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism (CETS No. 198).

The convention opened for signature to the member states of the Council of Europe, the non-member states which have participated in its elaboration, and the European Community, in Warsaw, on May 16, 2005. It entered into force on May 1, 2008.

The latest convention replaces the Council of Europe’s 1990 convention, providing legislation to take into account the fact that not only could terrorism be financed through money laundering from criminal activity, but also through legitimate activities.

The new convention is the first international treaty covering both the prevention and the control of money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The text addresses the fact that quick access to financial information or information on assets held by criminal organisations, including terrorist groups, is the key to combating them. The convention includes a mechanism to ensure the proper implementation of its provisions by participants.

Following the completion of the work of the Joint Cyprus - Libya Committee, an important Protocol of Cooperation was signed between the two countries in June 2009, which aims inter alia to enhance and further develop their bilateral relations in the fields of economy, commerce and science.

The Protocol was signed in Nicosia by the Minister of Finance Mr Charilaos Stavrakis who was head of the Cyprus delegation at the talks and by the Minister of Justice of Libya Abdel Jalil, who headed the Libyan delegation.

"Cyprus’s aim is to attract foreign investment companies in Libya, which could make their investments through Cyprus", the Cypriot Minister said in a statement after the signing, underlining in particular Cyprus’s tax regime as the lowest in Europe.

Stavrakis noted that following the meeting he had agreed with Libya to visit within the coming months to conclude an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation to further boost trade and investments between Cyprus and Libya.

 

 

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