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Old 11-22-2013, 11:22 AM   #1
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Default New Greek cruising tax from 2014

The Greek government has passed a law imposing a new cruising tax on all yachts visiting Greek waters. The new tax comes into force on 1 January 2014. The tax is levied based on overall length as follows:

7 - 8 metres: 200€ annually
8 -10 metres: 300€ annually
10-12 metres: 400€ annually

Over 12 metres (starting from first metre): 100€ per metre annually

For vessels staying under a year, it is possible to pay monthly at the rate of €10 per metre per month. A 30 per cent discount applies if the vessel is 'permanently based' in Greece (in other words, has no plans to cruise outside the country and can prove it, e.g. by virtue of a 12-month marina contract).

I don't think I'd like to be a Greek port police officer when all the skippers who have laid up in Greece for the winter return next year to find they've suddenly become subject to a significant unexpected tax.

It appears to be cleverly framed not to penalise Greek private vessels (the vast majority of which are motorboats under 12 metres) and charter operations (who get a 50 per cent reduction). The government's argument, of course, is that most surrounding countries levy various forms of tax, e.g. Croatia, Italy, Montenegro and Turkey. The difference is (I'm afraid to say) that most Greek harbours provide absolutely nothing for the money, whereas in their competitor countries visiting yachts at least get a modicum of facilities, even if there are notable exceptions.

It wouldn't be so bad if this money was going to be reinvested in general harbour infrastructure to e.g. repair broken mooring rings, install water and electricity points, clear old mooring chains and blocks, refurbish quays, even maybe put in laid moorings etc, but sadly that's highly unlikely.

I fear the net result of this tax will be a boost to government revenues at the expense of hundreds of Greek businesses that depend on cruisers for survival, since many cruisers will bypass Greece or simply spend less time there.

In 2013 many taverna owners and other businesses in cruising areas were already complaining about reduced trade - they may (for no fault of their own) find 2014 marks the start of some even tougher years to come.
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:59 AM   #2
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Are the harbours and facilities free - if so then maybe woudn't mind paying but if you are charged anyway then the goverment will gain a penny and lose a pound!
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by steve_h View Post
Are the harbours and facilities free - if so then maybe woudn't mind paying but if you are charged anyway then the goverment will gain a penny and lose a pound!
No - you're meant to report in to the port police in every harbour and pay harbour dues. They're usually fairly modest but have been increasing in recent years. The only free harbours in Greece are ones without port police to take the money, which tend to be the smaller ones on the less frequented islands.

Also, bear in mind that this tax applies even if you anchor everywhere. It's not just for vessels using the harbours.

Of course, some people avoid the port police and get away with free berthing - but then you get such freeloaders everywhere. It's simply that Greece tends to attract them in droves. Perhaps that's what inspired this new tax; it's just easier than persuading the port police to get out of their offices and collect the harbour dues!
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:39 PM   #4
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Is this tax going to replace the harbor dues that the police collect? Then it would make a bit more sense.

You know in America, we complain about these other countries and their taxes but there are actually huge state-imposed personal property taxes that vary by US state but which are based on the assessed value of the vessel. For example, in Washington state (Northwestern US), one can only stay 3 months w/o incurring such tax and in California it is 6 months. On the east coast, Virginia and North Carolina are known to be quite aggressive in collecting taxes from cruisers passing through. These taxes are not pro-rated so if one times things wrong, they can end up paying annual personal property taxes in multiple states. In California where we've spent much time bouncing around up and down the coast, one ends up with state property tax bills from multiple counties and then must choose to pay one and fight the rest with proof of payment of that one.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by redbopeep View Post
Is this tax going to replace the harbor dues that the police collect? Then it would make a bit more sense.
Sadly not. They are on top of harbour dues and apply even if you anchor everywhere you go. If anything, the port police will be even more diligent, sincve they'll have two lots of charges to extract.

It's another example of the common fallacy that cruising yacht owners are wealthy (when so many of them need to sell everything they own to afford the cruising life).

Your situation in the USA sounds pretty dire - but then we have much the same scenario in the Med, where you now need to dig deep every time you enter a new country.
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:41 PM   #6
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Default Greek cruising tax latest

Latest information on the Greek Cruising Tax suggests that it may be levied even on yachts laid up for the winter. Which will be a big shock to skippers returning to their 12 metre plus boats in Greece next April/May if they discover they have an unexpected bill of 1200 Euros or more to pay as soon as or before they launch!

There is also some doubt over whether yachts over 12 metres will, after all, be able to pay monthly (hence the above).

Unless there are some concessions - especially for yachts just passing through - it's likely a lot of yachts will either bypass Greece on passage or attempt to evade the tax by anchoring in remote locations.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:17 AM   #7
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It shows a distinct lack of economic understanding. Having tanked their economy so comprehensively, the Greek government needs to attract visitors rather than drive them away. Have they forgotten just how close Turkey is?
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:24 PM   #8
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It shows a distinct lack of economic understanding. Having tanked their economy so comprehensively, the Greek government needs to attract visitors rather than drive them away. Have they forgotten just how close Turkey is?
I think the tax is really aimed at raising funds from all the Greek-owned boats, as the government is trying to tax everything that moves at the moment to satisfy the demands of the Troika. Unfortunately, foreign visiting yachts seem to be considered as collateral damage and a price well worth paying.

It remains to be seen if there will be any concessions - even a six-month breathing space for foreign yachts until 1 July would help. At least those wishing to leave could do so without penalty and those intending to visit would have ample warning.
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Old 12-09-2013, 03:17 PM   #9
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Default Latest news on Greek Cruising Tax

The new Greek cruising tax has been published in the Government Gazette and is therefore now law. A full English translation is given below.

Perhaps one of its most alarming provisions - other than the breathtaking speed with which it has been introduced - is that it appears larger yachts (over 12 metres) visiting Greece even for a short period are liable for an additional fine equivalent to 100 per cent of the full annual tax if the monthly cruising tax is not paid at the first port of entry!

Smaller (under 12 metres) yachts don't have the monthly payment option anyway, so would be required to pay double the full annual tax in such a situation.

Draconian, or what?


GOVERNMENT GAZETTE OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC
ISSUE A Sheet No. 256
28th November 2013
Thirteenth article
Stay and sail duty (SSD) imposed on*leisure*vessels and small vessels

1. A special duty named “Stay and Sail Duty” (SSD) in favour of the State is hereby enacted, which is imposed on: a) all leisure vessels, both private and professional, b) motorized small boats of a total length of seven (7) meters or longer, and c) professional day-trip*tourist*boats of a total length of seven (7) meters or longer.

The SSD is imposed on all the aforementioned boats and small vessels, irrespective of their flag, which sail through,*dock*or*anchor*in Greek territorial waters.

2. The SSD is calculated on a yearly basis and applies from January 1st until December 31st of each year and is determined as follows:

a. With regard to vessels of a total length ranging from seven (7) meters to (and including) eight (8) meters, it shall be two hundred (200) Euros.

b. With regard to vessels of a total length ranging from over eight (8) meters to (and including) ten (10) meters, it shall be three hundred (300) Euros.

c. With regard to vessels of a total length ranging from over ten (10) meters to (and including) twelve (12) meters, it shall be four hundred (400) Euros.

d. With regard to vessels of a total length of over twelve (12) meters, it shall be as follows: i) one hundred (100) Euros per meter per year, calculated from the first meter or ii) ten (10) Euros per meter per month, calculated from the first meter. As far as professional leisure vessels and professional day-trip tourist boats are concerned, the aforementioned charge is reduced to half, on the condition that such boats are used exclusively for professional purposes.

3. Provided that the boats mentioned in section d’ of paragraph 2 of the present are permanently docked within the Greek Territory, a thirty percent (30%) discount is granted. The criteria for and the way of proving such permanent*docking, in order to benefit from such discount, as well as every necessary detail to implement the present paragraph shall be determined by virtue of a relevant decision by the Minister of*Shipping*and the Aegean Sea.

4. In order to calculate the SSD, the total length of the boat or the small vessel in question is taken into account, which is mentioned in the nationality document or the seaworthiness certificate or the measurement certificate or the*license*to perform*sails.

5.a. The SSD is paid by electronic means in the following manner:

(i) with regard to boats or small vessels that are located in the Greek Territory, during the month December of each year, which payment corresponds to the SSD of the next year.

(ii) with regard to boats or small vessels that will enter the Greek Territory, prior to or upon their entry.

b. Alternatively, the SSD can be paid in the following manner:

(i) With regard to boats or small vessels under a flag of a*member*state of the European Union which enter the Greek Territory, to the Harbor Authority issuing the Traffic Document (DEKPA – Entry-Exit Log Book).

(ii) With regard to boats or small vessels under a flag of a non-EU*member*state which enter the Greek Territory, to the*Customs*Authority issuing the Transit Log.

(iii) With regard to boats or small vessels which are already within the Greek Territory at the time the present article enters into force, irrespective of their flag, to the competent Tax Office or the Harbor Authority.

c. The SSD payment receipt is kept along with the boat’s or the small vessel’s*shippingdocuments and is presented to the competent Harbor,*Customs*and Tax Authorities upon request.

d. In case during the relevant*inspection*by the competent Harbor, Customs or Tax Authorities it is ascertained that the SSD has not been paid, the boat or the small vessel will not be allowed to depart until the SSD is paid in accordance with the provisions of sections a’ and b’ of the present. Every time it is ascertained that the SSD has not been paid, a fine is imposed, which is equal to one hundred percent (100%) of the annually corresponding SSD, without any discount.

6. In case the boat or the small vessel departs from the Greek Territory for any reason whatsoever at any time prior to the expiration of the SSD, then no claim against the State may be raised concerning the refund of any amount.

In case the boat or the small vessel reenters the Greek Territory during the time the SSD is valid, then it is not required to pay the SSD again, for as long as it is valid and in force.

7.a. The party liable to pay the SSD is: a) the professional leisure vessel’s or the professional day-trip tourist boat’s ship-owner or their lawful representative, b) the private leisure vessel’s ship-owner or possessor or user and c) the small boat’s ship-owner or possessor or user. All those mentioned above are jointly and severally liable to pay the SSD.

b. The issues concerning the*certification, the*inspection*and the issuance of assessing deeds are governed by the applicable provisions.

The manner and the procedure for the collection of the SSD, as well as any other issue related to the implementation of the present shall be regulated by virtue of a decision by the Ministers of Finance and Shipping and the Aegean Sea.

8. For the purposes of implementing the provisions of the present article, the terms used shall have the respective meanings attributed to them:

a. Leisure vessel: any vessel of a total length of seven (7) meters or longer, when it comes to sailing vessels, and twelve (12) meters or longer when it comes to motorized vessels, whose general construction allow them to be used for the performance of leisure*trips.

b. Professional leisure vessel: the leisure vessel with a capacity to carry up to forty nine (49) passengers, which is equipped with sufficient and appropriate living quarters specifically for passengers, for whose exploitation a full*charter*agreement is concluded.

c. Private leisure vessel: the leisure vessel, which is not a professional one, pursuant to the provisions of section b’ of the present paragraph.

d. Small boat: any vessel of a total length of up to seven (7) meters, when it comes to*sailingvessels, and up to twelve (12) meters when it comes to motorized vessels, which is used for leisure purposes.

e. Professional day-trip tourist boat: the small vessel or the leisure boat or the passenger tourist boat under the flag of a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area, which performs daily sea trips during one 24-hour period between*ports, coasts and coves of the Greek Territory, which is entitled to extend its trip abroad, upon the payment of a uniform individual*ticket*or a group ticket, which is accompanied by a passenger name list.

9. The SSD shall be imposed for staying in the Greek Territory as from 01/01/2014.

Fourteenth article
Entry into force

The present law shall enter into force as soon as it is published to the*Government*Gazette.

We are requesting the publication of the present to the Government Gazette and the enforcement thereof as a law of the State.

Athens, 26th November 2013

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
Mr. Karolos Gr. PAPOULIAS

THE MINISTERS OF

FINANCE
Mr. Ioannis STOURNARAS

DEPUTY MINISTER OF
NATIONAL DEFENCE
Mrs. Foteini GENNIMATA

HEALTH
Mr. Spyridon-Adonis GEORGIADIS
LABOUR, SOCIAL*SECURITY*AND SOLIDARITY
Mr. Ioannis BROUTSIS

SHIPPING AND THE AEGEAN SEA
Mr. Miltiadis VARVITSIOTIS

It has been authenticated and the Big Stamp of the State has been affixed.

Athens, 28th November 2013

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE
Mr. Charalampos ATHANASIOU
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:56 PM   #10
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Default Greek Cruising Tax update

An update on the new Greek Cruising Tax:

1. It now appears unlikely that it will be in operation for the start of the 2014 season and it may not even be widely introduced until 2015.

2. It also appears unlikely that the new tax will replace the existing harbour mooring charges, which will still be payable to the port police.

3. The tax will not be payable by yachts while laid up in Greek boatyards. It is therefore (theoretically!) possible for an EU-registered yacht (especially if arriving from another EU country) to avoid it altogether by proceeding straight to a Greek boatyard to layup and straight off again at the end of the winter. This interpretation depends, of course, on how strict the local port police are in their application of the new rules, since while such a yacht might not be using any Greek harbours or anchorages, it will be on innocent passage through Greek waters. One for the lawyers?

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