March 28, 2023

The Presidency made a statement regarding the registration of Hellim in the presence of the European Union.

The statement is as follows:

“Hellim / Halloumi is registered as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in the European Union and the regulations that will allow the trade of Hellim to be produced in accordance with the EU food safety standards and registration to the European Union through the Green Line Regulation are approved by the relevant sub-Committees of the European Union.

The approval process required for the legalisation of the regulations is expected to be completed in mid-April. As the Presidency we, together with the EU Coordination Centre, have already taken the necessary initiatives in coordination with the relevant Chambers, producers unions and other stakeholders in order to ensure that the registration as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and trade of Hellim, which is unique to the island of Cyprus and which has cultural, social and economic importance, in the presence of the EU to take into account the rights and interests of our producers.

We kept the subject on the agenda of the European Union and member countries at the highest level and shared our opinions, suggestions and concerns with the relevant parties at every stage in consultation with our producers. Although it has been stated that some of our concerns have been met during the current period, the final form of the two regulations that will be legalised has not yet been shared with us, and our requests for the elimination of uncertainties regarding implementation have also been left unanswered.

For example, how the international audit organisation Bureau Veritas, which was appointed in accordance with the joint agreement reached between the two leaders in 2015 and will audit in compliance with the geographical indication registration standards, will carry out this audit has not been clarified and despite our persistent attempts, the issues of cooperation have not been clarified. Our contacts with the European Commission will continue in line with our demands on these issues.

 As the Presidency, we made suggestions to the Greek Cypriot side both through the Commission and directly, on the subject of using the registration of geographical indication of Hellim/Halloumi as a measure of confidence building in order to create trust between the two peoples on the island. Despite our constructive attitude, the Greek Cypriot side preferred the progress of the EU process before the demands of the Turkish Cypriot producers were fulfilled and the uncertainties became clear. In other words, it once again rejected our proposal for cooperation between the two parties.”

 Source: TRNC Public Information Office

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