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By No owner — last modified Aug 06, 2017 01:33 PM

 Greece - Formalities


Greek Formalities

The Greek courtesy flag must be flown and also it should be in good condition, as torn or frayed flags are regarded as a sign of disrespect.

As Greece is a member of the European Union, formalities for EU vessels and nationals should be simple, although this does not always appear to be the case.

Port Police (Hellenic Coast Guard)

The Hellenic Coast Guard, colloquially known as Port Police or PP, should only be visited when:
(1) entering the country from outside the Schengen Area,
(2) once a year after that to have your DEKPA or transit log (Greek cruising papers) checked and stamped.

On entering the country, the PP will want to see the yacht registration certificate, the Greek language certificate of third party insurance (see Documents below with revised limits and note the new law regarding charter yachts), and they will ask for a crew list with passport numbers and birth dates. Very rarely, other certificates (competence or radio) may be asked for (again see documents below).

If you have a DEKPA from a previous visit, they will record your entry into the country (see DEKPA information below).

With the introduction of Law 4256 which came into effect on 14 April 2014, PP permission is no longer needed;
(a) when arriving in harbour
(b) to haul out
(c) to re-launch
(d) to leave harbour
(e) to change crew lists.

Also, boats arriving from outside the Schengen Area no longer have to use a port of entry, but in practice still need to enter at a PP manned port as the appropriate entry forms must be completed.

Authorities in the Eastern Aegean do recommend checking into Greece through an agency. By law, this is optional, but harbour fees must be paid via an agency and therefore in order to ensure a straightforward clearance, it may be simpler to use an agency.

Formalities for EU Boats

For EU boats over 7m, a DEKPA must be purchased from the PP (DEKPA are the Greek initials for a "Cruising Bulletin" or "Private Pleasure Boat Maritime Traffic Document").

At the end of September 2016 a new replacement DEKPA came into circulation and the price more than doubled.

The DEKPA is valid for 5 years, but must be stamped annually, on, or before, the due date, with the PP. There is no charge for the re-stamp.

EU boats under 7m do not need a DEKPA.

If wintering the boat in Greece and leaving it empty, the DEKPA should be kept on board like the rest of the boat's documents.

See Documents for full details about the DEKPA, how to apply for one and the consequences of letting your DEKPA lapse.

Formalities for Non-EU boats with a non-EU skipper

Formalities for non-EU vessels can be just as complicated as before and so the entire procedure is described below, even if in practice this may not be strictly adhered to by local officials.

On arrival in Greece, clear with Port Police, Immigration, Customs and then back to Port Police (in that order).

Customs will issue non-EU boats with a transit document (Transit Log), valid for 18 months.

The Tranist Log is a permit to cruise in Greece for 18 months. It costs 30 Euros for private owners. It is completed in Greek and English with details of the yacht, crew, fuel and other provisions. The log must be produced when requested and must also record any crew changes.

It must be surrendered to Customs on leaving Greek waters, or, when wintering the boat in Greece and leaving it empty.

See Documents for full details on the rules of the transit log..

Note: The time permitted by Customs is for the boat, not for the crew (where visa rules apply). The boat can stay longer in Greece than the crew are permitted under Immigration laws.

Formalities for Non-EU Boats with an EU skipper

Such boats are issued with a transit log for one month only after which time they must leave Greece or pay VAT. Tip: If you have a European passport, but you live more than 6 months in a non EU country, then is important to have the right documents to prove this, in order to obtain a transit log for 18 months instead of 1 month.

General Notes about Greek Rules

  • As of 1 August 2014 Harbour Dues are no longer payable to the PP, but instead are collected by the local authority (Limeniko Tameo) responsible for managing the quay (often payable via an agency). In some smaller ports, the PP have been designated managers for the quay. See Fees for more details.
  • Fees charged and regulations enforced are inconsistent throughout Greece, often common in countries that are so wide spread with a multitude of islands and regions. Where reported, noonsite has made a note under ports that are reported to be expensive or difficult.
  • The PP have been told of all new procedures and regulations, however you may find that in some ports the PP are still ignoring instructions and clinging to old procedures, or charging widely different fees to those published here.
  • Note that the Greek Coast Guard does not monitor or call on VHF Ch 16. If you require assistance you must call them on Ch 12. Monitor Ch 12 on entering a port in case the port police wish to call you. However, be cautious about calling for assistance via VHF (use a mobile instead, if possible) as it is very likely you will be caught up in the Greek legal system.
  • In the case of a distress call or a boat being towed into a harbour, the boat may be detained until it has been declared seaworthy. This could involve an expensive visit from a authorised surveyor.
  • Also, the port police must be informed of all injuries suffered on board any vessel in Greek waters. The port police have a legal obligation to pass on all details to the public prosecutor who will decide whether the captain has been negligent. Legal processes in Greece can take years!
  • The CA have a great deal of useful information on Greek regulations at
  • Be patient and smile!

Migrant Situation:

In early 2016 when borders were overloaded with the number of migrants and refugees attempting to enter Europe, a number of Schengen Area countries re-introduced border controls. It is still recommended that cruisers continue to check with the official authorities when entering or leaving a country.

While at sea it is also advisable that any sightings of refugee/migrant boats be immediately reported to the appropriate Coast Guard via VHF. This is especially important if it is necessary to rescue any whose life is in danger.

Last updated May 2017.


Greece is a member of the Schengen Agreement Area. See Noonsite' Schengen page for more details on the immigration rules.

It may be possible to obtain a short-term residence visa (90 days) for non-EU nationals from the nearest police station if you can show a compelling reason you need to stay and have sufficient funds. This allows a total stay of 6 months. This is extension is applicable to Greece only, not elsewhere in the EU.  Staying for tourist purposes is not permitted.

Entry may be refused if there are Turkish Cyprus stamps in the passport.

Individual passports are not usually stamped on entry into Greece by yacht, nor is this done for departure with the same yacht.

However, non-EU nationals should insist that their passports are stamped on both entry and exit.

If any crew member leaves the country other than by yacht, then passport stamps are required by Immigration at the point of exit.

If you overstay your visa, you will be fined (usually double the cost of an extension). Officials are vigilant over applying this, unless you have been immobilized (in hospital, for example).

Greece does allow you to stay as much as 24 hours after your passport is stamped and if one asks nicely to the Port Police, they can sometimes extend that one extra day.

For immigration control, boats should carry an up to date crew list with passport or ID numbers, to be shown on request. There is no need to have this authenticated.

Last updated January 2018.


Firearms must be declared and will be sealed in a safe area on board.

No foreign yacht can buy fuel at duty-free prices.

EU regulations now apply concerning temporary importation. Be aware that some Greek Customs offices might check that the non-EU skipper has been out of the EU for 185 days before permitting an extention to the original 6 month transit log. See the Noonsite EU page for full details.

For non-EU boats the Transit Log is supposed to have an inventory attached - quote from the Greek regulation - "Into the Transit Log must be entered, large portable items of a certain value such as electrical appliances, scuba diving gear etc. so that these can be re-exported once more, otherwise these must be cleared. Customs privileges only apply to equipment that is permanently installed on the craft and is necessary for the navigation and safety of the craft, as well as all crew and passengers personal belongings."

If VAT has been paid on a non-EU boat, then a permanent Transit Log should be issued.

Products of animal origin, not originating from an EU member state, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino or Switzerland, are not permitted to be imported into an EU Member state.

Codeine is an illegal substance in Greece. A prescription issued in another country may not allow its importation.

It is strictly forbidden to remove antiquities and art objects from Greece without a special permit.

Spear fishing equipment is not permitted on board if you also have scuba gear.

Last updated April 2017.


No special medications or immunizations are necessary for travel to Greece, but do not drink tap water unless it has been boiled, filtered, or chemically disinfected.

Greece has a national health care system which is inexpensive and readily available. There are three kinds of medical facilities: The large cities have the largest and best equipped hospitals, while smaller city hospitals are adequate for emergency situations. Smaller towns and villages have medical centres adequate for advice and first aid in case of emergencies. If you do not have insurance, you can get examined at any hospital for about $2, and get first aid attention.

Pharmacies in Greece are also able to provide first aid for simple matters, and can give competent advice. They are identified by the "Green Cross" emblem and are open during normal business hours (8:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM). Most staff speak English, and the medicines are normal European quality.

Useful emergency telephone numbers:-
24hr pharmacies 107
Hospitals 106
Emergency doctor (2pm to 7am) 105/107
Ambulance 166

Greece outbreak of H5N6 bird flu is first in Europe

Greek Authorities are rigorously applying entry regulations due to Avian Flu. Incoming yachts should call Port Authority on VHF Ch12 advising ETA. Fly the "Q" flag and do not go ashore until Port Authorities have been aboard.

Infestation by rats can be a problem in some harbours and appropriate precautions should be taken on the mooring and anchoring warps.

Last updated May 2017.


Yachts must carry their original registration document and ship's radio licence. One member of the crew must have a radio operator’s certificate of competence.

Insurance Certificate

The original insurance certificate must be carried and a Greek translation showing third party insurance with the amounts in figures.

The minimum amounts (revised April 2014) are 500,000 euro liability for death or injury by sinking, collision or other cause for crew and third parties; 150,000 euro for damage and 150,000 euro for pollution.

It should be noted that if a boat is owned by a company or corporation, it will cause fewer difficulties with the authorities if the name of the company is the same as that of the boat (or nearly so).


The skipper must have an International Certificate of Competence (ICC). Cruisers have reported that Greek authorities (especially in the south) do ask for a Skippers license.

EU Boats - VAT

For EU boats, proof of VAT status is also required. See EU VAT for the rules on Temporary Importation (TI) for non-EU boats.

EU Yachts can stay indefinitely in Greece.

EU Boats - DEKPA
All EU boats over 7m must purchase a Traffic Document (DEKPA). A new revised DEKPA was introduced September 2016.

If no DEKPA forms are available at your chosen POE, be sure to get your crew list stamped and the lack of DEKPA forms noted upon it. Alternatively, download a copy of the new DEKPA form here.

How to buy a DEKPA

To get a DEKPA you need to present the following original documents to the PP:

  • Registration Document
  • Engine Number
  • Insurance certificate (in Greek as above)
  • Passport for every person on the registration certificate (this could be a problem for shared ownership yachts) *
  • ICC or equivalent
  • Receipt for the €50 fee **

* Notarised copies of Passports will be acceptable where not all owners are present.

** The rules say you must use the online Greek Tax system and if you have problems, you can get help from the Port office and the Citizens Help Bureau (CSC). However in practice the PP will either direct you to a local bank or the local Tax office – or the CSC in order to pay.  You will then go back with the receipt to the Port Police and they will issue the DEKPA.

While the boat stays in Greece, the DEKPA must be renewed (stamped) annually by visiting a PP office. The DEKPA is valid for 5 years, after which time a new DEKPA must be purchased.

Important Note: Do not let your DEKPA lapse as overdue renewals (because of being out of the country for example) will result in a hefty fine. The law states that a fine of €500 to €5,000 is payable if the DEKPA is overdue. Technically there is no leeway on this, though only one port authority - Kalamata - has so far shown an aggressive stance on this with 2 yachtsmen that we know of fined €500 (as reported by the CA).

Renewing the DEKPA

The provisions of the Law REQUIRE YOU to have the DEKPA stamped on the DUE DATE each year.  There must be no lapses – and there are provisions for fines (as described above). Owners who cannot be there at renewal must employ an Agent to act for them.

In some ports, it may be possible to get your DEKPA stamped prior to the due date (there seems to be no problem doing this in Kos), or, the PP may just make you get a new DEKPA form – thus your “fine” will be €50 (the cost of a DEKPA). There is no charge for the re-stamp.

DEKPA information has been provided by the CA who have been attempting to clarify the regulations surrounding the replacement DEKPA. Full details in this noonsite news article.

Non-EU Registered Boats - Transit Log

A Transit Document (Log) is issued at the first port of clearance by Customs (not the PP) and is valid for 18 months. This can be extended for up to 6 months if the boat is put in bond (either bonded in a marina or out of the water in a boatyard, vacated and in-active).

For example, cruise in Greece May to October. In October, lay the boat up for the winter in either a marina, or a boatyard, and hand the Transit Log to the Customs officer as soon as the boat is vacated. This effectively will "stop the clock". You can then return to continue cruising in Greece 6 months later. In May when you return make an application for extending the transit log for another 6 months and pay the transit log fee once again.

It also pays to tell the port police if you haul out, and when you re-enter (as proof that the boats was out of commission and not being used).

The Transit Log officially only has to be presented to Port Police when requested. They may wish to stamp it. However cruisers have reported that in many of the large ports, the PP demand that the Transit Log is checked in each port where they have a presence (e.g. Corfu, Igounenista, Preveza, Corinth, Zea, Volos etc.).

See Fees for details of Transit Log fees and fines for overstaying.

Note that officially, crew and passengers on board a yacht are considered by the authorities to be in transit, and the transit log only authorises day visits inland, the nights being presumed to be spent on board. Immigration should be notified if travelling away from the yacht overnight or if an individual leaves Greece by other means such as by air. These changes have to be noted in the transit log and entry and exit stamps put into the passport.

Note: Channel Island yachts are classed as non-EU. See report here for more details.

See Fees for the charges for the various documents.

Charter Yachts (new law Jan 2018)

Chartered yachts which start or finish their charter period in Greece must now have a Greek Commercial licence.

NOTE: Not all all officials in all Greek ports (especially the smaller, more remote ones) are fully aware of the correct documents required, but failure to have the proper documents can involve heavy fines at a later stage.

Last updated April 2018.


EU Boats

50€ to Customs for a Traffic Document (DEKPA), valid for 5 years (however skipper must visit Port Police annually to get it stamped). Fee must be paid and a new DEKPA issued each time the vessel re-enters the country.

Cost for a DEKPA prior to October 2016 was 20 Euros.

Non-EU Boats

30€ to Customs for the Transit Log if the owner is an individual, and 45€ if the owner is a company. The Transit Log is issued for 18 months and is non-extendable.

Fines for overstaying the Transit Log:
88 Euros for out of the deadline exportation, plus 14 Euros for each day you stay in Greek waters after the 18 month deadline.
Note that the Transit Log can be put on hold at any time by taking your boat out of the water (putting it in "bond").

All Boats

Inbound Clearance Fee to Port Police: 15 Euros

Exit Fee to Port Police: 5 Euros

Proposed Circulation Tax / Cruising Tax

This new tax, originally called TPP now called TEPAH, was due to come into force in January 2014, introduced to impose a new duty on all private and commercial craft using Greek waters. However the system of paying the tax was never properly introduced (quite likely because the Port Police refused to do the significant work required in collecting it). It was written into Greek law in August 2016 however was never signed off.

2018 sees a new amended bill called the TEPAH which has also been signed into law (as was the TPP), but the ministries of shipping and finance have yet to sign it off - it was due to be signed in January 2018.

It is possible this may start being collected during the 2018 cruising season. For more information see the latest update from the CA in News adjacent.

It is intended that TPP will be payable by all boats over 7m afloat in Greek waters, irrespective of how short a time they actually spend there.

Harbour Dues

Harbour fees are not paid to the Port Police anymore, but to agencies/special private offices (Limeniko Tameo) responsible for managing the quay. Fees depend on the length of the vessel and the length of stay, but continue to be quite low. Advance payments for a month or might earn a discount. Current rates are:-
7 to 10m is 0.41 euro per metre per day
10+ to 15m is 0.466 euro per metre per day
15+m is 0.548 euro per metre per day

Marina fees, which broadly seem to include any quays or pontoons privately managed, will be collected as before, by the marina operator.

See this report for full details and fee schedule.

Other Fees sometimes charged:

Re-launching fee of 7.34 Euro.

A fee is charged by Customs for each fuel delivery.

Editor's Note: Interpretation of these rules is very likely to vary from port to port, and even from official to official, within the various authorities involved. For the inexperienced Greek Islands sailor it can be a little confusing sometimes as (usually depending on the size of the island) the collection of port fees and/or mooring fees seems to be a little bit of a hit and miss affair.

Last updated April 2017.


Anchoring Restrictions
Restrictions on where you can anchor in Greece relate to a “default” EU Law which forbids anchoring or manoeuvring under engine within 500m (can be 1,000m) of the "shore"/"beach"/"swimming area" unless there is a swimming area marked out off the beach. See report for more details.

Holding Tanks
There is no specific law for holding tanks on older private yachts (charter yachts must have them). However, in order to comply with pollution laws, a holding tank is necessary. The best place to empty your holding tank is at a marina pump-out facility or at least 6nm offshore (when cruising at a min. of 4 knots).

Marine Parks
There are a number of marine parks around the Greek Islands and mainland which have restrictions for yachts wanting to visit. In particular the Zakynthos Marine Park (see Zante for more information).

Seaworthiness (Mechanical Failure/Grounding)
If any vessel, Greek or otherwise, reports any sort of a problem to the port authorities, which could possibly affect there seaworthiness, (grounding or mechanical failure etc.),  the port police will then require that they have a surveyor's report to say the vessel is seaworthy before it is allowed to leave the harbour.  This will be rigidly enforced, especially if the vessel has required assistance or is unable to moor correctly in the harbour, ie alongside, stern to etc. Unless there is a danger ot life, it is best not to involve the port police unless absolutely necessary (they will appreciate this also).  In some minor cases, the authorities may accept a report from the breakdown service used (if it is reputable), but more commonly they require a report from a ministry approved surveyor. This can be expensive, usually €400 or more plus expenses for a small leisure yacht.

See this report (August 2017) from an American yacht who grounded in Kefalonia and found himself subject to impounding and a surveyors report before his papers were returned.

Fishing and Diving
Fishing is forbidden with scuba gear and is only permitted with a snorkel in undeveloped areas. If you happen to be scuba diving and any form of fishing gear is found on your boat, it is most likely you will be arrested and the boat impounded.

Scuba diving is restricted in Greece. Permission should be sought locally before diving.

Licenses are no longer required if fishing from a boat.

Safety Equipment
Regardless of the flag-state regulations it is a legal requirement in Greece that all safety equipment on board a foreign-flagged vessel is in proper working order, is in-date, and has been serviced according to the manufacturer's instructions. So flares must be in-date and life rafts must be within the recommended service interval for example. In practise it's highly unlikely that the coastguard or port police will take an interest in your safety equipment, but they could.

With the introduction of Law 4256 which came into effect on 14 April 2014, chartering regulations in Greece have been made much more favourable for foreign yachts. See details here.

Because the registered owner of the boat is expected to be on board, if a friend is allowed to use the boat in the owner's absence, a proper document should be prepared, in Greek, stating this. Non-EU boats may only be sailed by the owner(s).

Drinking and Driving
It is forbidden to handle a boat under the influence of alcohol. The Greek Port Police may alcohol-test skippers on small boats and yachts.

Since January 2017 strict rules have been in place regarding the flying of drones in Greece. See this report for more detail.

Last updated August 2017.

Clearance Agents

All About Yacht
Tel:+30 26820 28316 or +30 6980 151412
Contact Sofia. For assistance with clearance formalities, paperwork, importing spares and parts and other yachting services.
Roditis Yachting Agency
Mandraki Marina, 6 Neorion Square, Rhodes GR 85100, Greece
Tel:+30 22410 37101 Fax:+30 2241037401 ,VHF Channel 71
Also based in Rhodes Marina. Clearance agents, paperwork and a wide variety of yachting support.


Animals are accepted from within the EU and which have an   EU pet Passport.

All cats and dogs must be micro chipped and have an anti-rabies vaccination certificate (dated at least 30 days in advance and for it to have been administered at least 21 days after the micochip was inserted), as specified in the PETS travel scheme.

For additional EU regulations regarding pets coming from some countries, see

Rabies vaccinations administered by a veterinary practitioner not authorised by an EU country will render the EU Pet Passport invalid for travel.

If entering from outside the EU and from a country on the 'High risk' list, then a Health Certificate from a veterinarian and other requirements must be complied with.

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Oct 22, 2016 10:39 AM

Posted on behalf of Mark & Lisa Powell

A warning to non-EU cruisers in the Med.

We would like to pass on our experience yesterday with French customs. As the website correctly states, non-EU registered boats may remain in EU waters for 18 months before payment of VAT is required. We entered the EU last July, after crossing the Atlantic in May and then spending some time in Portugal and “resetting the clock” in Gibraltar in July. Therefore, the boat could stay in the EU until Jan 2017 without paying VAT. However, before returning the US for the winter, we obtained a “Precinto” (6-month customs bond) in Spain. This basically put the boat in bond while we went back to the U.S. for 6 months. Our understanding was that this Precinto would stop the Temporary Importation (TI) clock for 6 months, effectively extending our time to 24 months in EU waters before VAT payment is required.

Yesterday, while motoring along the south coast of France (near Bandol/Toulon), we were approached and boarded by French customs. Because out boat has only been in EU waters for since last July (13.5 months), they were very cordial and we had no problems. We also showed them our Precinto from Spain. They were completely unfamiliar with this document. I also showed them the paragraph in the IMRAY cruising guide describing the customs bond and 6-month extension. In no uncertain terms, they told us that France does not provided such an extensions and that they would not recognize or honor this Precinto from Spain. They kindly suggested that we sail to Tunisia for a day to “reset the clock” before our 18-month deadline in Jan 2017.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 11, 2016 10:09 PM

Reported by SY Funny Girl - September 2016:
Porto Kaio (Kayio) - Gulf of Lakonika, Southern Ionian
A nice natural harbour, but with westerly winds of 18 knots there are heavy gusts into the bay. We anchored the most westerly we could, very close to the beach, good holding in places but not everywhere.
There is a little floating pontoon - place for 2 or 3 yachts.

svgoldenglow says:
Oct 02, 2016 02:17 PM

When Scirocco winds are blowing hard from Africa (we experienced 50+ knots winds off southwestern Crete), none of the bays from Ak. Lithinon all the way to the Southeastern-most point of Crete, including Lerapetra which is promoted as a sheltered anchorage, will offer calm water, and the swell will be big and rough.

svgoldenglow says:
Oct 02, 2016 12:11 PM

Car Rental in Greece. Be aware that in Greece, unlike in most other Mediterranean countries, they want to see an international drivers license, which you cannot get online instantly. The larger agencies will not rent you a car without this. In Cios Greece (the large island off Cesme Turkey), despite having a pre-paid online car rental reservation, the agent could not give us the car. We walked down the street to a local agency who did rent to us without a problem.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 09, 2016 03:02 PM

Update from Peter Pelo from Poros - 6 November, 2016:
A policeman told me there was a governmental communication, in the gazette of 26th of September this year, about the DEKPA.
From what I understand, the DEKPA forms have been renewed and will now cost 50€.
Another thing I heard was that all old DEKPAs wil lose there validity at the end of August 2017.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 03, 2016 10:46 AM

Further feedback from Peter of SY Funny Girl:
Today (30th September) I had a nice conversation with a port police officer.
He told me that there are no new Dekpa forms because there is coming a new form next year.
Everybody should pay for that new form as the existing ones become obsolete.
He could not tell me about the cost etc., but he had phoned with his office in Athens after running out of Dekpa forms.
The explanation of this, higher level, office in Athens gave him this information.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 15, 2016 10:31 AM

We have checked with our contacts in Greece whether the shortage of DEKPA forms indicate that the regulations have changed. It appears not. He suggested the best solution was to have a signed note added to your Crew list and to have a Customs office issue you with the correct form when you find one which has any available. He said he has not heard of any problems arising from this solution.
Presumably, they are all aware of the shortage.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 15, 2016 10:29 AM

Reported by Dutch Sailing yacht "Funny Girl":
I went to the port police in Preveza (Ionian) last Sunday, friendly people there, "we are sorry Sir, we have no DEKPA forms anymore!"
My question: when will they come? Answer - no idea, maybe never!!
But I insisted for a paper that I was there and wanted some proof, because if the police or so catch you without a DEKPA it can be a high fine.
So I get a paper where it is mentioned that I was in the police station asking for a DEKPA, plus a nice stamp from the Preveza Port Police office.
At my request the lady called to all nearby police stations, Corfu, Lefkas, and Gouvia marina, result: they all have no forms any more.
But with the paper she gave me I can sail around in Greece and do not need stamps because there is no space for it on the paper.
This all cost no money.!

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 17, 2015 01:46 PM

Posted on behalf of MY LeeZe (who posted this elsewhere on the site):
We just spent the last 3 months cruising the NW Aegean. When we checked at Alexandroupolis, They did not charge for the transit log (we think that was a mistake) but they did charge 15 Euros to process our entry. Our passports were stamped. We checked OUT in Mytilini (we do not recommend… see other entry) and they stamped our passports and transit log and we left. IF you are stuck in Greece after your visa expires, and cannot leave because of weather, check out on day 90 and stay on board until you can leave. The Greek authorities in Mytilini and Myrina both told us that is authorized and there is no fine. Mytilini will probably move you to the Customs dock though.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 04, 2015 08:37 PM

Posted on behalf of Bruce Hops - SY Twins
Today, Monday 31st. Aug., we arrived in Vathi/Meganisi. The marinero there indicated to us where to tie up. A minute later we were told that it was a private marina and that a lot of boats were expected, hence we should move to the old port at the far end. According to Rod Heikell's guide book we should be welcome there - figure it out ... .
The said "old port" has an easy access and good holding, but the water there is filthy. Practically everything floats around and falling in would be a horror. The electrics are not operative and there is water at one end only.

vas says:
Oct 22, 2015 06:46 AM

It is known that diesel distributed in Greece (probably also abroad) is allowed to contain up to approx 15% of biodiesel. I personally use apart some additives the premium diesel versions that contain max 5% of biodiesel. Of course i mind to use fresh diesel.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 06, 2015 02:48 PM

Posted on behalf of SY Twins:
We have been cruising the Ionian Islands & the Peloponnese for the last six years. Obviously we often use the engine on our GibSea 31. The diesel in this area seems to be only biodiesel or mixed diesel at best. Many boat owners have to get their tanks cleaned out and the tubing also, as the diesel deteriorates and creates a mass, blocking the fuel from reaching the injectors. Left longer in the tank and filters, it eventually takes the aspect of treacle. The problems encountered with engines stuttering and falling silent are very unpleasant and sometimes dangerous.

We welcome any feedback from cruisers who might have a solution to this problem. B.T.W. none of the additives ever made a difference - just in the wallet!

S/Y Twins

Spais says:
May 22, 2015 06:32 PM

I would like to inform all the people that are interested to visit Greece by sailing that the new tax system that was about to be applied -which was very...cruel- finally will not...

Also, some things that was opposite to European Law, like the duration of staying in EU waters -vessels with no EU registration and not VAT paid- is about to change soon...

So visit Greece with no any hesitation...

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jun 23, 2015 10:24 PM

Wdragon sent us an update:
Thanks for the advice. I eventually “settled” at Samos for an amount or 325 euro !! New log and penalties included. They started off with a penalty of some 995 euro – 65 days at 14euro/day plus 85euro + …….

Eventually I had to sign letters of apology, etc ………………………….. all in Greek so I hope it’s all legal and then they reduced it to 325.

In future one needs to hand the log in at the nearest customs office for safe keeping and to prove that you are not using the yacht, so one could in actual fact “stretch” your 6 months log over a year or more should you not be sailing.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jun 01, 2015 11:17 AM

Non-EU cruising boats only get 6 months cruising in Greece now in every 12 months. The good news is that the transit log rules state that if your boat is "laid up for the winter" (in other words, in a marina or boatyard and vacated and not active), this time does not count towards the 6 months. Be sure to hand in your transit log to Customs when leaving your boat for the winter, and keep marina or boatyard receipts to prove that you were not on board.
If however you remained on board over the winter, it is very likely you will be penalized. Official fees are 88€ for out of the deadline exportation plus 14€ for each day you have stayed in Greek waters after the 6 month deadline.
Good luck!

Wdragon says:
May 21, 2015 09:16 PM

We entered Greece in Sept 2014 on our Non EU registered yacht and we from South Africa. The 6 months cruising permit expired in March 2015 and now we are led to believe that we will not be able to extend our stay? And even more worrying is the mention of penalties ! Any idea of the amount of these penalties and what i should do?

Scarcity says:
Oct 02, 2014 05:27 PM

We spent two months cruising the Ionian, and waters around Athens this 2014 summer. We found some excellent service providers, engineers, electricians etc who were both competent and interested in the customer. Our experience with marina staff and management however, left much to be desired. Overall, imagine you were in Africa with a few brilliant spots in between. The Greek waters remain outstanding sailing/cruising grounds on many levels but, generally, the local industry is completely uninterested in the customer. This is sad.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 01, 2014 03:30 PM

Posted on behalf of Bruce Hops:
We are at present in Galaxidhi and have discovered that the DEKPA has been (re) introduced for all boats above 7 meters. The 10 meter rule hasbeen cancelled. We sail a 31ft. sloop - DEKPA price €29,35. The port seems much more busy than in the past.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jun 30, 2014 03:07 PM

Re. the Stephanielee posting above and payment of a 945 euro tax.
Similar incidents reported this year have shown that the boat had paid a backlog of non-EU boat cruising tax (old style). That tax will be replaced by the new tax as and when it is introduced. The Ministry of Maritime have still not decided when they are going to start enforcing the new cruising tax. Keep up to date on this new tax at

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jun 26, 2014 02:33 PM

Posted on behalf of SY Funny Girl: 12 June, 2014
We are back at our yacht (Funny Girl), for the summer in Greece.
We had our boat wintering at Aktio marina, very close to Preveza, at their drystanding. It is, for us, a very good place, also you can sand your boat etc. and every boat has his own electricity and water connection.
Hauling in and out of the water goes quick and professional and at the time you want.
Then we went to the port authority, we get a friendly explanation that our insurance needs to be updated to the latest Greek insurance law (Greek law 4256/14). The lady officer let us go but we had to promise that we should contact our insurance company about this. The lady also told us that maybe another port station could make (more) trouble about this.
Then the famous DEPKA form, she gaves us two stamps, one for the fact that we landed in the water this Tuesday and another one with a validity for a whole year, and....... we have for this whole year never to go to a port police station or other authorities.
At my question what to pay, she said "you do not have to pay anything". The next question from me tax for boats?? she replies "no NOTHING".
This all was in a friendly atmosphere.
Peter Terhaar
sy / Funny Girl
Jeanneau Sun Oddysey (Dutch flag)

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jun 20, 2014 12:55 PM

On behalf of Stephanielee;
We received a receipt for the 945 euros. We are 13.1 metres and we entered Greece May 15th 2013. The boat has been out of the water for the past 10 months.

DIMANT says:
Jun 04, 2014 07:43 PM

The law has been changed since 2012.First of all the invoice should be given by the Customs office since the flag in non an EU country.If you had stayed in Greece for the last 9 months and you have paid the tax then you don't pay a new tax. Can you please tell me the ship's length in order to find out the right amount of money you have to pay? And furthermore I need to know when you entered the Hellenic seas for the first time.


Stephanielee says:
Jun 04, 2014 03:18 PM

We are an Austalian registered yacht and entered Sami in May 2013. We wintered the boat in Levkas and on returning in May 2014 we went to collect our transit log at the Port office. They required us to pay the cruising tax of 945 euros. We paid this in cash at the local tax office. I think this is for the past 6 months and the next 6 months. I am not entirely clear exactly which period we have paid for. So it seems it is a requirement depending where you are and at what office you go into! Stephanie James

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 15, 2014 02:11 PM

Posted on behalf of Michael Lutz - Catamaran Swanie
Many cruisers have heard of the new Greek Cruising Permit for non-EU citizens. For our boat it would have cost about 400 Euros for 3 months. We just entered Greece the end of April, 2014 and no mention was made of this permit. Remember that every port of entry and every officer is different, but clearly this requirement is not uniformly enforced at this time.

ray fuller
ray fuller says:
Apr 04, 2014 10:30 AM

April 2014.
We were launched on Tuesday 1st April from Cleopatra MArina.
We visited the Port Police as required. Our papers were duly inspected and stamped, end of story. No money was requested or changed hands.
It would seem that this CRUISING TAX that we have all spent the winter worrying about is not going to happen this year, if at all.
The problem seems t be that it is uncontrollable and un enforcable at the moment.
The rumor is that the Port Police have refused to become involved with collection.
This is our personal experience so far, and is also confirmed by talking to numerous locals who are like us not in favor of this ill thought out scheme.

Ray & Mandy
SY Josephine.

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Jan 14, 2014 10:20 AM

Note that as US citizens, you are only permitted to stay in the whole of the Schengen Area (which includes Greece) for a total of 90 days in a six month period. As you discovered, over-stays incur substantial penalties and will also affect any subsequent visit to a Schengen Area country.

A non-EU boat can remain in the EU for 18 months before having to leave (or officially import the boat). A short, documented visit to a non-EU country will ‘re-set the clock’ for another 18 months.

The 6 months refered to by the Greek Customs official, is the initial Transit Document (log/cruising permit) issued at the first port of entry and only applies to Greece. It is extendable to 18 months.

The Noonsite Team

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Jan 14, 2014 09:56 AM

We entered Greece on our boat at Samos in 2013 and got our 90 day visas for US citizens. But the customs official was explicit that we now had 6 months in Greece. So we stayed for 4 months and ran into trouble in Mitilini on Lesvos when checking out. They said we overstayed for one month and the fine was 600 Euros per person, paid then or when we next re-entered Greece in the next four years. We suspect the customs official might have been referring to the boat having 6 months, but we are not sure. This was a bittersweet ending to a grand circumnavigation of the northern Aegean Sea.

Michael A. Lutz

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