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Cyprus introduces a new filming scheme

Published on: 28/09/2017

Cyprus introduces a new filming scheme to attract international film production.

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On Wednesday, the 27th of September 2017 the cabinet has approved the new filming scheme, which aims to attract overseas filming companies to shoot their films on the island.

The new Cyprus filming scheme will offer a series of tax incentives and will focus on promoting Cyprus by highlighting its competitive advantages.

According to Finance Minister Mr. Harris Georgiades, “it is an investment scheme that combines very satisfactory and important tax incentives, tax redemptions and subsidies to encourage this very important and promising industry”.

The new filming scheme was developed by the Unit of administrative Reform of the Presidency in cooperation with the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) and the Ministry of Finance.

The Cyprus filming scheme includes the production of films, documentaries, TV series and cartoons and offers the following incentives for production companies opted to film in Cyprus:

  • Cash rebate (partial refund of the expenditure made in Cyprus)
  • Tax credit
  • Tax discounts on investments made on equipment and infrastructure
  • VAT returns

The cash rebate may reach up to 35% of the amount invested in Cyprus, and it is limited at EUR 650,000 for each production.

The responsible body for implementing the scheme is CIPA, The Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency.

CIPA will also provide support in obtaining permits, importing and exporting equipment and dealing with the relevant local authorities and ministries.

A five-member committee will be responsible for the assessment of the productions based on financial and cultural benefits. The members of the committee will be officials from the Unit of administrative Reform, from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education, Cipa and the Cyprus Tourism Organization.

Until the Junior Ministry for Development will be set up the Ministry of Finance will oversee the filming scheme.

According to Mr Constantinos Petrides, Minister of Interior and Reforms Comissioner, the Cyprus filming scheme was designed based on expert advice and by studying the best practices of other countries, like Malta, UK, France, Ireland.

The filming scheme has been developed due to expressed interest from abroad. Especially Indian filmmakers were interested to film in Cyprus, but due to the lack of the right conditions and incentives they decided to not to produce their films in the island. The lack of a single film commission or similar authority responsible for issuing the filming permits was another disadvantage. Production companies had to contact numerous state authorities and organizations to obtain the necessary permits. For more information please read our respective article by clicking here.  

Due to the lack of incentives and conditions, many filmmakers who were initially interested to shoot their films in Cyprus decided to shoot in Malta instead.  With the new Cyprus filming scheme and all the other competitive advantages Cyprus is offering as an investment destination this is expected to change. According to Finance Minister, Harris Georgiades by 2020 the film industry is expected to have a global turnover of more than EUR 50bn. 

For more information and for updates regarding the new filming scheme please do not hesitate to contact us.