On January 1 2008 Cyprus became the fourteenth member of the Eurozone, marking the culmination of an application, planning and transition process of several years. Apart from some minor local teething troubles in the first few days the transition appears to have gone smoothly. The Cyprus pound will continue to be accepted as legal tender until the end of January, following which the former currency will have to be exchanged at banks.
The transition is not yet complete, however. The laws introducing the euro did not provide for an automatic conversion of share capital. Companies whose share capital is denominated in Cyprus pounds will need to pass a resolution to convert it into euro, and file the resolution with the Registrar of Companies.
Legislation enacted before the end of 2007 sets out fines, fees and penalties in Cyprus pounds, and will need to be updated to reflect the new currency. In most cases this will be a matter of simple conversion say, from CY£5,000 to the equivalent euro amount (8,453.07).
But other laws will require more complex calculations. For example the Stamp Law (Amendment 2), which was passed as recently as November 2007, sets the rate of stamp duty at CY£1.50 for every CY£1,000 or part of CY£1,000 for amounts up to CY£100,000, and CY£2.00 for every CY£1,000 or part of CY£1,000 for amounts above CY£100,000, with an overall stamp duty limit of CY£10,000.
It is likely to be some years, therefore, before all references to the Cyprus pound have disappeared from the law.