The Greek Cypriot Customs Department announced on Wednesday that border checks could include taking samples of fuel.
Increasingly, Greek Cypriots in the south have been buying fuel from stations in the northern part of Cyprus; implying that they would be the target of vehicle checks. Any checks at crossing points in connection with fuel bought in the north will only concern prevention of illegal trade, the South Cyprus government stated on Thursday.
According to the statement, the law permits customs officers to stop and search any vehicle and take samples for testing or seize products whose tax has not been paid in the south.
“The power in question extends to the vehicle itself which is subject to confiscation,” the department said.
The Customs Department said the sulphur content of diesel sold in the north did not meet the standards applied by the Republic, which were set by the energy ministry.
The sulphur content is higher and thus in violation of the fuel standards law, it added. No mention was made regarding how the fuel would be tested.
“In the event of illegal transport of fuel from the occupied areas, irrespective of it being in portable tanks or the vehicle’s fuel tank, these will be confiscated and those involved will be subject to the penalties stipulated by the law,” the department said.