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Doing business in Cyprus: Environmental rules

03 April 2012
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 03 April 2012

Since joining the European Union, the foundation of the environmental policies of Cyprus has been reviewed and the state now promotes sustainable development and environmental protection.


Legal requirements

Cyprus has signed nine international environmental agreements, and has ratified the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety. Cyprus has also ratified the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

International environmental agreements

Protocol on biosafety

Kyoto Protocol

The Sustainable Development and Product Sector of the Environment Agency is principally concerned with promoting sustainable development in Cyprus through a series of strategies and legislations and the implementation of voluntary instruments to promote environmental protection.

Departmental activities also address the application of laws on genetically modified organisms and management of the LIFE+ programme as its national contact point.

Law on voluntary participation of organizations in a Community system of ecological management and control

Law on environmental responsibility with regard to the prevention and the recovery of environmental damage

Environmental control


Waste management

The Ministry of the Environment is adopting EU environmental policies in order to manage fossil fuel and hazardous waste disposal and also protect the environment and public health.

Law on waste disposal and climate change

Τhe Ministry has also implemented a management strategy on fossil fuel and hazardous waste disposal. This includes aspects such as:

  • the type, quantity and source of waste for disposal;
  • targets on reducing, re-using and recycling waste;
  • specific methods for the collection and shipment of waste.


A four-part agricultural code of practice specifically protects against nitrate pollution:

  • Code of Practice on fertiliser use
  • Code of Practice on waste disposal from stockbreeding
  • Code of Practice on the use of treated water
  • Code of Practice on the agricultural use of sludge

The relevant legislation is as follows:

Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Act

The Chemical Substances Sector of the Department of Labour Inspection complies with the relevant Cypriot and European legislation on the import, export, distribution and use of chemical substances. The Sector aims for proper management and control of all chemical substances imported, produced, exported or used.

Chemical Substances Sector - Department of Labour Inspection

On an international level, Cyprus has signed the international Rotterdam Convention on the Consent Process after having received Information on certain Hazardouns Chemical Products and Pesticides available for the purposes of International Trade, thereby incorporating the PIC Convention.

International PIC Convention


The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for overseeing water and land pollution from industry and stockbreeding.

Law on monitoring water and land pollution

It also monitors the quality of bathing water and pollution from waste disposal in the mining industry, protects surface and underground waters from nitrate pollution, etc.

Climate and atmosphere

The Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment provides suppliers and users with specific information about substances that destroy the ozone layer.

Information guide on substances that are harmful to the ozone layer, plus material for the Act's application

The Department of Labour Inspection of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance is the competent authority for air pollution control. Further to relevant legislation, the Department of Labour Inspection also applies legislation on limiting emissions of volatile organic compounds.

Legislation concerning air pollution control

The Department of Labour Inspection of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance is also the authority responsible for assessing and managing air quality.

Law on air quality

The Department of Labour Inspection takes continuous measurements on air quality in nine areas throughout Cyprus. These are published on a dedicated website.

Air quality measurements in Cyprus

On an international level, with a view to promote an integrated strategy for the protection of the environment from air pollution, Cyprus has since 1992 ratified the International Geneva Convention of 1979 on Transboundary Long Distance Air Pollution.

International Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution

Protection from noises

The product sector promotes the preparation of a strategic noise chart along with an essential plan of action to be implemented within a specific timeframe, it imposes specific regulations on noise produced by equipment used in outdoor spaces and applies the EU regulations concerning greenhouse gas emissions.

Sector dealing with horizontal affairs and products

Law on environmental noise

Nuclear protection

The Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance (MLSI) is responsible for the implementation of legislation on radiation protection, nuclear safety and radioactive waste management in Cyprus. In accordance with relevant legislation the Radiation Inspection and Control Service (RICS) has been set up within the Department of Labour Inspection.

No individual is allowed to manufacture, possess, store, use, import, dispose etc. of any source of ionizing radiation in Cyprus without having obtained RICS authorisation upon written request.

Department of Labour Inspection - Radiation Protection

Legislation on radiation protection

On an international level, Cyprus has also ratified or signed several international Conventions or Agreements relating to nuclear safety, while all EU international commitments automatically apply to Cyprus as the country is an EU Member State.

Nature and wildlife

The Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for protecting nature and wildlife (products from sea creatures, commercial products from wild flora and fauna, imports of fur, other regulations to protect and manage wildlife).

Legislation on nature and land use

Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum environmental legal requirements at their own initiative.

Administrative procedures

Declaratory procedures


Climate and atmosphere

Issuing a Permit for Gaseous Waste Emmissions to any industrial facilities is done in accordance with the relevant legislation procedures. Specific types of businesses of large and potentially polluting capacity, are defined as licensed premises and must ensure they obtain appropriate permit.

The licenced premises must submit an application, which is reviewed by the Technical Committee for the Protection of the Environment. In granting the license specific conditions for the operation of the facility are drawn up, such as the requirement to install pollution control devices.

Licenced premises

Application for issuing an emmission permit

Technical Committee for the Protection of the Environment

Nuclear protection

Interested parties must submit a written statement prior to the commencement of any work on the use of ionizing radiation and then an application, using the special forms issued by the Radiation Inspection and Control Service of the Department of Labour Inspection, along with all the information and data required to issue the permit.

Declarations, permits and approvals - Radiation protection



Waste management

Waste disposal permits are awarded to ensure correct management and regulation of bio-engineering and stockbreeding waste facilities. The waste disposal and climate change department processes applications for the registration of waste production.

Application forms for waste management permit


With regard to the import or export of chemical substances the Department of Labour Inspection should be kept informed. The Department takes appropriate action depending on the case and it collects all relevant information. In some cases (excluding that of dangerous chemicals) a permit is issued for the export of the chemical substances in question.

Forms relevant to the import and export of chemical substances




The Chemical Substances Sector of the Department of Labour Inspection untertakes inspections for the proper packaging and labelling of chemical products, the access by employees to Safety Data Sheets and the compliance with the prohibitions or severe restrictions imposed on the creation, import and export of chemical products in the Cypriot market.

Climate and atmosphere

The Department of Labour Inspection periodically monitors emmissions from industrial installations with the help of the Mobile Gas Emmission Measurement Unit.

Monitoring of the operation of large industrial plants is also carried out by competent Inspectors through checking the results of emission measurements and the requirement for continuous emission measurements is included in the operating conditions specified in the relevant emission permits.


The Environment Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment has its own council which implements environmental policies and coordinates environmental programmes. It also oversees the implementation and coordination of EU environmental policies and legislation.

Environment Agency

Source: European Commission

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