Current Market Trends
Population: 1.2 million
GDP: USD 21.3 billion
Currency: Euro (€)
Language: Greek, Turkish, English
Cyprus is the only European Union (EU) member state without universal health coverage. Members of the House of Parliament approved June 2017 a major healthcare reform package that paves the way for the country’s first universal healthcare system by 2020. In 2013, under Cyprus’ economic restructuring program, the island’s creditors (IMF, European Commission, and European Central Bank) recommended the government stand-up a National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme as a means of reducing government expenditures on healthcare and introducing competition in the sector. The proposed scheme will introduce a single insurer, the Health Insurance Organization (NIO), and will be funded by contributions from employers, employees, other income-earners such as pensioners, as well as the government. Implementation of the NHI scheme or increased competition in the healthcare system could open new commercial opportunities for U.S. health-related products and services.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) is responsible for the management and oversight of Cyprus’ public healthcare sector, which is funded through the national budget. The approved healthcare budget for 2018 is €585.8 million, an increase of 4.5 percent over 2017.
Cyprus does not have a domestic medical device manufacturing industry and all medical devices are imported. As per the Cyprus Statistical Service imports of medical devices (HS 9018) into Cyprus reached €33.0 million ($36.6 million) in 2017. About 90 percent of medical devices were imported from EU countries, although this includes non-EU manufactured medical devices re-exported from EU countries to Cyprus. The remaining 10 percent were imported from the United States, China, Switzerland, Israel and Japan. Cyprus imported 5.4 percent of its medical devices from the United States’ in 2017.
According to the Ministry of Health’s Medical Devices Competent Authority, the public sector spent a total of €40.5 million on medical apparatus in 2016: €2.7 million on medical devices and equipment, €27.4 million on consumables and €10.4 million on lab chemicals.
“Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”) health “authorities” have sought to harmonize health “legislation” with EU standards, follow World Health Organization international health regulations, and have worked with counterparts in the ROC to address cross-island matters affecting both communities. Goods crossing the UN Buffer Zone are governed under the EU’s Green Line Regulation, which sets out the terms under which persons and goods can cross from the non-ROC-controlled areas into the ROC-controlled areas.
The “TRNC” is only recognized by Turkey, and most of its imports, including medical devices, are imported from Turkey. According to Turkey’s Ministry of Economy, in 2017, the “TRNC” imported $13.5 million in medical devices from Turkey. Economic and commercial data in the “TRNC” are unreliable.
As a member of the EU, Cyprus’ legislation concerning medical devices complies with the following EU directives: active implantable medical devices 90/385/EEC, medical device 93/42/EEC and in-vitro medical devices 98/79/EC as well as all the supplemental EU directives from past years. Medical trade is duty-free within the EU, as are most of the products coming from non-EU countries. Manufacturers from non-EU countries have to identify an EU-based authorized representative unless the manufacturer has a registered business in the EU. The representative serves as the point of contact for the appropriate authorities in Cyprus and can serve purely as an administrative agent or as an importer/distributor. A product for final sale or use in Cyprus should be marked with the "Conformité Européene" (CE) identification. To affix the CE mark, the device has to be in conformity with the general requirements contained in the first annex of the three directives on medical devices. If a medical device is correctly marked as CE, it does not need additional approval or certification to be marketed throughout the EU. Furthermore, depending on the medical product, some requirements might be in place in relation to the language of the device information.
The Department of Electronic Communications (DEC) of the Ministry of Communications and Works, with the guidance of the Advisory Committee for Information Society, has developed a comprehensive “Digital Strategy (DG) for Cyprus” for the period 2012-2020. The strategy promotes the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in all sectors of the economy and society including health. The overall vision of the DG for Cyprus on health includes but is not limited to the following:
U.S. exporters’ main competitors include companies from Germany, Netherlands, Greece, and Belgium. Other competitors include Italy, United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and China.
Current demand includes pharmaceuticals, laboratory equipment, healthcare equipment and services for breast cancer, nervous system, nephrological, orthopedic, and cardiovascular diseases.
As a member state of the EU since 2004, Cyprus has adapted its national legislation to abide by EU law. In accordance with relevant legislation, the authority for the implementation of regulations related to medical equipment is the Medical Devices Competent Authority of Medical and Public Health Services. The duty of the Competent Authority is the development and operation of all necessary mechanisms so that medical devices are correctly registered and safely placed into the Cyprus market. The medical devices sector includes a wide variety of products ranging from bandages and syringes to more sophisticated products which incorporate advanced technologies such as nanotechnology and tissue engineering. Please refer to the “Market Entry” above for a full explanation of the registration process.
Cyprus’ healthcare system is split into the public and the private healthcare sectors. An estimated 75 percent of the low- and medium-income citizens has access to public healthcare services at reduced rates, while the remaining 25 percent, mostly the well-off part of society, use the private healthcare system. The private healthcare sector is funded by out-of-pocket payments made directly to medical practitioners through private hospitals and clinics, through voluntary health insurance schemes and some other minor healthcare delivery sub-systems offered by labor unions and by state-owned organizations.
There are no restrictions on imports in Cyprus, as long as they comply with EU regulations. Import climate is open to equipment that is innovative and of good quality.
Procurement & Tenders
The Republic of Cyprus announces all tenders through the Ministry of the Treasury’s Public Procurement Directorate at https://www.eprocurement.gov.cy/epps/home.do.
The procurement website also provides FAQs on how to register an organization and submit offers.
The following links list global tender opportunities including Cyprus:
The 2nd Cyprus Health Care Conference – September 27, 2018
Cyprus Association of Importers of Medical & Scientific Instruments: http://saieek.com/index.php/en/
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Are there visa requirements for U.S. citizens to travel to Cyprus?
You may enter the Republic of Cyprus for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. For stays longer than 90 days, you will need a temporary residency visa.
2. How can I start business in Cyprus?
3. How can I connect to Cypriot importers?
U.S. companies can use the partner search services offered by the Commercial Section of the American Embassy in Cyprus.
4. Are there any barriers on imports?
There are no restrictions on imports in Cyprus, as long as they comply with EU regulations.
U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information
Name: Anna Agrotou
Position: Commercial Assistant
Two major tenders for the implementation of the NHI scheme are expected within 2018, namely the “ROLLOUT of Integrated Health Care Information System (IHCIS)” and the “Digitization of Medical Records of the Nicosia General Hospital.” The two tenders will call for applications for electronic medical record systems, healthcare information systems, business intelligence for health, electronic content management, and decision support and knowledge management. Tools will include software and hardware devices as well as equipment.
Medical devices, medical disposables, and medical equipment are developing markets in the Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots.
Healthcare spending (including investment)
... as percent of GDP
... of which spent on inpatient services (including long-term care)
... of which spent on pharmaceuticals/consumables
... of which spent on outpatient services
Hospitals, Procedures, Healthcare Professionals
Number of hospitals
Number of hospital beds:
... available beds per capita:
...of which in general hospitals:
...of which in specialized clinics and rehabilitation centers:
Number of surgical procedures:
...of which General Surgery
...of which Orthopedic
...of which surgeons:
...of which internists:
...of which pediatricians:
Life expectancy men/women:
Men 80.3/Women 84.7
2.6 per 1000 live births
Percent of population older than 65:
Sources: Eurostat, Cyprus Ministry of Health, Cyprus Statistical Service
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