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Offshore Trusts Report: Cyprus

Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Cyprus trust law began with the Cyprus Trustee Law Chapter 193, based on the English Trustee Act 1925, but the island's trust regime was brought into line with normal international practice with the International Trusts Law 69(I) of 1992.

Local Trusts are governed by English common law and the original Trustee Law. The settlor and beneficiaries are normally residents of Cyprus, and the trust and its property are subject to exchange controls.

Offshore Trusts are equally outside the International Trusts legislation, and are the same as Local Trusts except that their beneficiaries must be non-resident and all the trust's activities must be outside Cyprus.

International Trusts are the normal form of Cyprus Trust used by foreign settlors. International Trusts have the following key characteristics:

  • the settlor must be non-resident

  • the beneficiaries must also be non-resident (except for local charities)

  • one of the Trustees must be Cypriot (individual or corporate)

  • the trust period may be up to 100 years (longer for charitable trusts)

  • confidentiality is protected in the law, and foreign judgements are specifically non-recognized

  • there is no registration requirement

  • trust documents are in English

  • trust assets may not include immovable property in Cyprus

  • creditors have to prove intent and must claim within two years

  • there are no registration or reporting requirements for trusts established in Cyprus not is it required to identify in the trust deed the names of the beneficiaries of the Trust.

International Trusts Law prohibits any of the trustees or any other persons including government officials and officers of the Central Bank from disclosing any information regarding the trust. Only a court may by order allow the disclosure of information where the disclosure is of paramount importance to the outcome of the particular civil or criminal proceedings.

The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas Barbados Bermuda British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Cook Islands Cyprus Gibraltar Guernsey Isle of Man Jersey Liechtenstein Madeira Malta Mauritius Monaco Nevis New Zealand Panama Seychelles Turks & Caicos Vanuatu

Cyprus News

International Support For Beneficial Ownership Info Exchange
Wednesday 27/4/2016
More than 20 jurisdictions have signed up to a pilot project to exchange data held on beneficial ownership registers and registers of trusts, according to UK Chancellor George Osborne.

Barclays Warns Expats Of Possible Account Closures
Thursday 23/7/2015
Barclays Bank has disclosed that it may close expat's accounts in Cyprus if they do not maintain a minimum balance of GPB100,000 (USD156,000).

Cypriot Company Register Shrinks By Ten Percent
Tuesday 13/1/2015
Cyprus removed almost 30,000 companies from its company registry in 2014, new figures show.

Harney Opens Singapore Office
Friday 30/5/2014
Harneys, an international offshore law firm, has announced the opening of a Singapore office, adding to its offices in the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, Cyprus and Hong Kong.

Cyprus QROPS Struck From HMRC Approved List
Monday 20/8/2012
The UK tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs has removed all Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes based in Cyprus from its approved schemes list, effectively blocking the territory from being able to admit new pension transfers on a tax-free basis from would-be UK expatriates.

Cyprus Treaty Provides New Capital Gains Rules
Friday 15/10/2010
The protocol amending the 1998 tax treaty between Russia and Cyprus includes special provisions related to real estate investment.

Cyprus Initials Revised DTA With Germany
Wednesday 2/9/2009
The German Ministry of Finance announced on September 1 that it had initialled the text of a revised double taxation agreement with Cyprus to allow for the exchange of information on tax matters between the two countriesí tax authorities, in accordance with Article 26 of the OECD model convention.

IMF Concludes Article IV Consultation With Cyprus
Thursday 20/8/2009
On August 5, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund concluded its 2009 Article IV consultation with Cyprus.

India Plans To Revise Double Tax Treaties
Thursday 13/8/2009
India is revising its double taxation avoidance treaties, especially those which were concluded prior to 2004. Its objective is to renegotiate anti-abuse provisions.

IMF Issues Cyprus Mission Concluding Statement
Monday 6/7/2009
The IMF has issued a Mission Concluding Statement in respect of its Article IV Consultation with Cyprus. The relatively benign impact of the crisis is due, in part, to conservative financial sector practices and strict supervision, and the elimination of exchange rate risk following euro adoption, according to the IMF.