How to Import Japan used cars for long term in Cyprus?

How to Import Japan used cars for long term in Cyprus?

How to Import Japan used cars for long term in Cyprus?


Japanese used vehicles are imported to almost all countries across the world. Japanese vehicles are known for being reliable, durable, high on quality and safe to drive. Cyprus, an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea also imports large numbers of used vehicles from Japan. Importing a Japanese used car to Cyprus for long-term use is quite complicated process as it can take more than a year to complete. Thus, many used vehicle importers choose to hire an agent to assist with the formalities.

Importation of right hand drive vehicles are allowed in Cyprus. However Left-hand drive vehicles may also be imported if the applicant has owned the vehicle for at least 180 days before the vehicle’s arrival in Cyprus and if the applicant has not lived in Cyprus for more than five years before arrival. The major ports for importing Japanese used cars are Limassol port and Larnaca port.


Documents required for importing used cars:

  • Registration certificate (indicating that the vehicle’s first registration was in Japan).
  • Invoice or sales contract, if the vehicle is not registered to the person importing and registering the vehicle.


The following certificates are compulsory to get issued by the respective organizations while importing used car in Cyprus for a long term:-

  • Certificate confirming the car’s CO2 emissions, issued by District Vehicle Examination Center of the Road Transport Department (R.T.D.) after submitting the documents stated above by the owner who acquires the vehicle according to the procedure of the Department of Customs paying all appropriate taxes.
  • Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) certificate from SVA Testing Center which requires all paperwork to be correct and the vehicle to be in proper working condition in accordance to the Single Vehicle Approval manual.
  • Road Worthiness Certificate from an authorized Private Vehicle Examination Center.

Upon successful completion of above procedures, the owner submits all above documents to one of the Motor Car Registry offices of R.T.D. for registration of the vehicle.


Registration tax and road tax are calculated based on the vehicle’s engine cubic capacity and CO2 emissions. According to current legislation, cars imported from Japan, must be less than 5 years old at the time of arrival in Cyprus in order to be eligible for registration, unless any of the following conditions is met:

The owner has been residing permanently in another country and he or she is moving permanently to Cyprus. In this case:-

  • Only one such vehicle may be registered to an individual.
  • Only the registered owner, spouse and children are eligible to drive the vehicle.
  • The vehicle cannot be transferred to any other person within the first 3 years from the vehicle’s first registration in Cyprus.
  • The application for the vehicle’s registration must be submitted within 1 year from the owner’s arrival in Cyprus for permanent settlement.


The vehicle is eligible for registration as a vintage vehicle according to the following criteria:

  • The vehicle is over 25 years of age from its first registration or purchase in any country.
  • The vehicle is approved by FIVA (Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens) authorized representatives and holds a relevant valid certificate and a declaration that the vehicle’s specifications are in compliance with the International Technical Code for vintage vehicles.

While importing the used cars from Japan in Cyprus for long term the Custom Duty and Taxes are levied also there is a provision of Relief from duties and taxes on the importation of used vehicles under certain conditions and for specific purposes.



Used vehicles can be imported from Japan under RELIEF from duties and taxes. Relief is the customs procedure according to which used vehicles can be imported with partial or total relief from duties and taxes, notwithstanding their tariff classification, provided they are imported in Cyprus under certain conditions and for specific purposes.


Relief is granted for various reasons as mentioned below:

If you are resident in a third country and you have decided to transfer your normal residence to Cyprus, under certain conditions you are entitled to transfer your motor vehicle, so that you may not to be deprived of your vehicle until you make an application for relief and receive an answer, you may be allowed to drive it temporarily under Form C.104O. You may submit your application for relief to any Customs Office or to Customs Headquarters.

If you get a positive answer, then complete form SAD. You may use the services of a clearing agent. Produce your SAD form at any Regional Customs Office, accompanied by Form C.104O, which will be kept by Customs. You will have to pay no import and excise duties and VAT. Customs will issue Form C72A and a copy will be given to you. The vehicle must be then produced, together with Form C72A and other documents relating to your vehicle, to the Inland Transport Department for inspection and registration purposes.

If you get a negative answer from Customs because you do not meet the criteria for being granted a relief for the vehicle, you have the following options:

  • To pay the import and excise duties and VAT.
  • To place it in a customs warehouse.
  • To send it to another member state of the EU or
  • To export it to a third country.


Under the conditions laid down below, you are entitled to relief from excise duty if you are a citizen of Cyprus with four or more dependent children and you have not received any subsidy from the State for the purchase of vehicle.

A child is considered dependent if that child is:

  • Below the age of 18
  • Over 18 years old and is a student of secondary or tertiary education in Cyprus or abroad
  • Over 18 years old and is in the National Guard doing his service.
  • Of any age and unmarried and invalid and who has not exercised his/her right to apply for a duty-free vehicle or has not been given financial assistance by the State to purchase a vehicle.


You are entitled to apply for relief from excise duty on new or used passenger motor vehicles, which can transport from eleven to twelve persons including the driver. Instead of claiming relief however, you may apply to the Ministry of Finance for a special subsidy for the purchase of motor vehicle.

Relief is granted on a claim for relief made by you personally (there is no specific form). The claim must be submitted to the Relief Section of Customs Headquarters in Nicosia and be accompanied by the following evidence:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Your children’s birth certificates.
  • Documentary evidence for dependent children over 18 years old.
  • “Association of Families of over three children” membership card.
  • Cypriot driving license.

Note: Relief is granted for one vehicle only. The replacement of one excise free vehicle with another excise free vehicle is not allowed.



After the payment of relevant duties and taxes the vehicle must be registered before it can be licensed for road tax purposes. According to the existing Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic legislation, a private motor vehicle can be registered in Cyprus provided its age prior to its importation is less than 5 years old, this counted from the date the vehicle was registered as new in Japan or, if the vehicle was not registered, from the date this was bought for the first time as new.

A registration fee is payable on registering a car in Cyprus and a road tax is payable annually or for a six months period. Both charges vary according to the vehicle’s weight and type of fuel consumed (petrol or diesel).

In the Republic of Cyprus, all vehicles over four years old are subject to a Department of Road Transport (DoRT) test for mechanical safety as well as emissions levels. This test must be passed every two years. The test checks emissions, brakes, suspension, steering, lights and tires among other things. It is computerized and generally takes less than an hour. Motorcycles are not subject to this test.

In order to register a vehicle in Cyprus, it must first pass the DoRT test. Once a vehicle is registered in Cyprus, owners do not receive notification from the Department of Road Transport (DoRT) when the vehicle is due for a test. Vehicle owners are responsible for ensuring the vehicle’s inspection is up to date.



An appointment can be made at an authorized testing station, at which time the vehicle registration document (log book) must be presented and the testing fee paid. Results of the test are electronically transmitted to the DoRT. Once a test is completed successfully the vehicle testing station issues the certificate. This should be carried in the car and made available for inspection.


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