|Requirements for the publication of a local newspaper/magazine |
No previous permit from any authority is required for the publication of a newspaper/magazine in Cyprus by a citizen of the Republic or an EU member state. It is, nevertheless, necessary that prior to the publication of a newspaper/magazine an affidavit containing the required details is signed by the applicant before a District Court Registrar of the Republic. This is then submitted to the Press and Information Office (PIO), which issues a receipt accordingly. In the event of a change of ownership, the new owner of the newspaper/magazine must submit another affidavit to the PIO to get a new receipt.
A foreign national of non-EU origin, however, in order to publish a newspaper or a magazine in Cyprus requires a permit, which is issued by the Minister of the Interior in collaboration with the Foreign Minister within a reasonable period of time after the submission of the application.
The Minister of the Interior, in collaboration with the Foreign Minister, may set conditions for the issuing of a permit to a foreign national to publish a newspaper/magazine in Cyprus. These conditions will be determined by questions relating to state security, constitutional order, public safety or order, public morals, or the possible disruption of the Republic’s international relations. One of the conditions is that editorial and printing activities must be carried out in Cyprus. The permit is not transferable to another person or company.
The permit may be revoked in the event that any of the above conditions are breached. The decision is conveyed to the owner of the printing press where the newspaper/magazine is published and the permit returned to the Minister of the Interior through the PIO.
Violation of the above provisions is an offence punishable, in the event of a conviction, by a fine. Meanwhile, all copies of the newspaper/magazine will be confiscated.
A person responsible under the law must be appointed in all instances where the newspaper owner is a legal person (company). His/her appointment is made through a statement by the owner which is submitted to the PIO at least three days before the newspaper is published. The statement must contain the appointee’s name and address and must name him/her as the person responsible for the management and control of the newspaper/magazine.
The person responsible under the law must be one of the members of the board of directors of the company. He will be held responsible for every offence committed by the owner of the newspaper/magazine.
An owner who fails to conform to these provisions will be committing an offence punishable by a fine. At the same time a court order is issued whereby the owner is called upon to comply and submit the statement within ten days. If the owner does not comply with the court order, the Minister of the Interior is authorised to prohibit publication of the newspaper until such a statement is submitted.
All copies of newspapers published in Cyprus must print on the top part of any page the name and address of their owner, of the person responsible under the law, as well as the place where the newspaper is printed.
A newspaper owner must also, for the record, deliver to the PIO within three days of publication a copy of the newspaper carrying his signature or that of a person authorised to sign on his behalf. This also applies to newspapers/magazines published by foreigners.
Failure to comply with these provisions carries a fine.
On having fulfilled the provisions of the law, the owner of the newspaper acquires the right to own the name of the newspaper. This name or any other resembling it may not be used by any other newspaper.
A newspaper owner loses the right to own the name of a newspaper if he does not begin publication of the newspaper within a year from the time the statement was submitted, or the permit for publication of the newspaper was issued, or if he ceases publication for more than a year.
Fees charged by the Government for processing an application and issuing a receipt to a citizen of Cyprus or of a country member of the EU are € 51,26 (C₤30.00) while for non-EU citizens the fees are € 170,86 (C₤100.00). Also, the sum of €8,54 ( C₤5.00 ) is charged for issuing a statement certifying the registration of a newspaper or a magazine. This statement can also be used to ensure reduced postal fees for sending the newspaper/publication to subscribers.
For further information:
Tel. numbers:(+357) 22801151, 22 801152
Fax: (+357) 22 666123
Procedure for publishing a foreign newspaper/magazine in Cyprus
Foreign nationals wishing to set up a company in Cyprus for publishing a foreign newspaper or magazine in Cyprus must go through a certain procedure. At first with the help of a law firm the company is registered at the Department of the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.
This Department will require that certain conditions pertaining to the establishment of companies be met. In addition there are specific conditions providing that editorial and printing activities must be carried out in Cyprus. For more details about the registration procedure you may visit the web site of the department http://www.mcit.gov.cy/drcor.
After acquiring the licence for the establishment of a company in Cyprus, the foreign applicant must complete a form of a statement (an affidavit, see Appendix I) and then sign it before a District Court Registrar. He must then submit this affidavit to the Press and Information Office (PIO) together with the memorandum of establishment of the company and the certificates issued by the Department of the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. Photocopies of the first three pages of the owners’ passports and their curriculum vitae are also required by the PIO for the examination process of the application.
The PIO in its turn will have to go through a number of steps. It will check whether there is another publication with the same or very similar title already registered. It will also contact the Cyprus Police to have the application further examined in order to make sure that the owners are not involved in any criminal activities. The PIO will also seek the views of the Foreign Ministry before a permit for the publication of any newspaper in the Republic is issued.
Under Cyprus law, the applicant foreign company must appoint a person who will be considered responsible for the publication, usually a Cypriot lawyer or a permanent resident of Cyprus. The owner or the person responsible under the law must submit to the PIO a signed copy of the newspaper or magazine within three days of publication.
Fees charged by the Government for processing an application and issuing a licence to foreign nationals of non- EU origin are € 170,86 (C₤100.00) and of EU origin are € 51,26 (C₤30). Also the sum of €8,54 ( C₤5.00 ) is charged for issuing an official statement to the owners that certifies the registration of the title of the newspaper. The whole procedure is expected to take at least two months.
Free circulation of newspapers/magazines
All newspapers and magazines are allowed to circulate in the Republic without restriction. For this reason distribution agencies and other outlets must ensure that newspapers are freely made available to the public without discrimination irrespective of the political leanings or views of a newspaper. For the purpose of the law, the term "newspaper" also includes magazines and any publication published regularly at least once every four months.
Contacts for further information:
Telephone:(+357) 22 801151 or 22 801152
Fax:(+357) 22 666123
Finally, additional information regarding Cyprus as an international business centre may be found at http://www.investincyprus.gov.cy