Department of State to Suspend Cyprus from ITAR 126.1 and Will License Exports, Re-Exports and Transfer of ITAR Defense Articles to Cyprus beginning in 2023.
In mid-September, the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) announced that it will publish in an upcoming issue of the Federal Register a rule that will suspend the arms embargo on Cyprus in 2023. Cyprus’ status as a proscribed/arms embargoed nation listed under Part 126.1 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations dates back to 1987 in an attempt by the United States to limit an arms buildup on the island nation during a conflict that took place between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey with heightened tensions that continue to this day. Because of the arms embargo, Cyprus has historically relied on Turkey and Russia for its armaments. However, Cyprus has been highly sympathetic to the US/EU effort to back Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. While Cyprus has not been supplying Ukraine with arms, it has denied the Russian navy access to its five ports of call and has expressed general support for the Kyiv government. The forthcoming opening up of arms sales to Cyprus will also of course lead to the removal of Cyprus from Group D:5 on the Commerce Control List (CCL) and allow for Series 600 CCL exports to Cyprus beginning sometime in 2023. An upcoming Federal Register announcement is expected soon which will publish the effective date of this regulatory change. An announcement of this change is posted on the DDTC website.