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Greece: New Cruising Tax - Latest updates

By Cruising Association — last modified Jun 30, 2014 04:12 PM
Cruising sailors in Greece now face increased costs as the Government impose a new tax on all leisure and commercial tourist craft. The Cruising Association are following this new "proposed tax" very closely and are in direct contact with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Aegean who are responsible for implementing this tax. The CA have been seeking a number of concessions and the latest situation can be seen at their website.

Published: 2014-06-01 10:00:00
Topics: Cruising Information
Countries: Greece

Greece: New Cruising Tax - Latest updates

Preveza in the Ionian: © Ionian Marine

For detailed information about this tax, as well as a translation of the new law and lastest updates see http://cruising.org.uk/news/greektax. This web page is kept up to date as material comes in from the Greek Ministry of Finance who have ordered this tax.

An Overview of the New Greek Tax for Yachts

Why the tax?

The aims of the tax are to 'strengthen public revenue' and to 'correspond to the type and charges made by neighbouring countries, but not to act as a disincentive to tourists.'

Who will be taxed?

Leisure boats over 7m LOA afloat in Greek waters.

Boats stored ashore do not have to produce receipts for this tax – they are treated as if they were not in Greek waters.

This tax applies to all boats including non-EU boats.

When will the tax start being collected?

Whilst the tax is effective as of 1 Jan 2014, it will not be collected until a new on-line tax collection sytem - "TAXIS" - is in operation, and agents appointed to collect this tax have been trained. The system should be working by May, however no cruisers have reported any mention of this tax yet. No penalties will arise before this new deadline. Boats will not have to produce receipts for the tax until the collection system has been working for a period.

How do I pay?

Multiple methods of payment are being arranged: on-line; through port police, tax offices and agents; and possibly through banks. Cash, credit or debit cards can be used by most collecting methods.

What do I pay?

The LOA defined in your registration documents will be used in calculations, rounded up to the nearest tenth of a metre.

Boats of 12m and Less

These boats pay a single fee on arrival in Greece or on launching. This will permit them to cruise for the rest of that calendar year in Greek waters. There are three bands: 7.1m to 8m, €200; 8.1m to 10m, €300; and 10.1m to 12m, €400.

Boats 12.1m or More

The full rate of tax for these boats will very rarely have to be paid. For a full calendar year it is €(100 x LOA) - or €1,240 for a 12.4m boat. Two options exist to reduce this payment:

  1. Pay per month at €(10 x LOA) or €124 for 12.4m. This is recommended for boats spending less than seven months a year in the water. Seven months in the water (April to October) would then cost €868. It is not clear if it is possible to pay for 3 or 4 months ahead, or whether one payment each month will be needed.
  2. If the boat spends more than 11 months a year in Greek territory, (afloat or ashore) it pays 30% less than the full rate. That is the same as paying for 7 separate months (€868 for 12.4m) but more convenient and flexible. This may be a suitable option for full time live-aboards

Notes

Boats over 12m which try to evade paying this tax face a harsh penalty if caught – they have to pay twice the full annual rate due.

Owners and users are jointly and severally liable to pay the fee.

Vessels over 12m “permanently based in Greece” (criteria to be defined) may obtain a 30% discount from the annual fee.

Receipts for fees must be carried with ship's papers, and may be asked for at any time. The receipt is valid for the period pre-paid, and remains valid even if the boat leaves Greek waters and returns.

There are no rebates for boats leaving Greek waters, whether hauling out, or by going to another country.

The CA is seeking clarifications of the law, and concessions for categories of sailors most affected. The need for concessions for boats currently afloat in Greece is already recognised, and the CA have been told that no penalties will be payable until the collection system is working smoothly. They have also been told that regulations for leisure boats are being revised. Review http://cruising.org.uk/news/greektax for updates.

It is possible that implementation of this tax will lead to questions about how much time you, personally, spend in Greece. People planning to spend more than 182 days per 365 days in Greece are, by EU definition, tax residents of Greece. We strongly recommend that potential Greek tax residents review the following effects:

a) the need to make tax returns
b) the need to prove you are importing money into a Greek bank account
c)  the fact that valuable assets (such as a boat) are taxable above certain thresholds.

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Ernest E Vogelsinger
Ernest E Vogelsinger says:
Jan 19, 2014 03:14 PM

Does this really mean tha if my boat is

12m - tax is 400,-
12.5m - tax is 1.250.- ?

Where's my chainsaw...

Will Leroy
Will Leroy says:
Jan 21, 2014 07:53 AM

Change of plans. We have decided not to go to Greece now or anywhere this massive tax is. Taxes is money you get nothing for and if other countries gouge this much I will forget sailing the entire Med. Are they nuts?

wolf meier
wolf meier says:
Jan 21, 2014 07:03 PM

i think it is only fair to collect this tax as lighthouse dues.greece is the last country to collect anual money. boats have a lot of freedom in greece,look at croatia and turkey

seasunstories
seasunstories says:
Jan 21, 2014 11:27 PM

So we will not go back to Greece until this tax will remain.

tollywho
tollywho says:
Jan 28, 2014 09:30 PM

I have skipped Croatia because of the high costs, Turkey for their strange rules and hoped for Greece...until now. Sailing an older 15m catamaran...no oh no. With that cost I will stay out of that part of the Mediterranean...or maybe out of all.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 26, 2014 11:26 AM

Fee Clarification as it currently stands:
Boats of 12m and less pay a single fee on arrival or on launching. This permits them to cruise throughout that calendar year in Greece. There are three bands: 7.1m to 8m, €200; 8.1m to 10m, €300; and 10.1m to 12m, €400. CA has so far been unable to negotiate a lower rate for shorter visits to Greek waters.

Boats over 12m are notionally due to pay at least 3 times as much. For a calendar year, the fee would be €(100 x LOA) or €1,210 for a 12.1m boat. However, very few boats need to pay this, since there's an option to pay per month afloat at one tenth the yearly rate ̶ €121 a month for 12.1m.

The CA expects further news about changes to Port Police procedures. As soon as these are known, details will be posted on the CA public web site - cruising.org.uk/news/greektax

sailorcap
sailorcap says:
Feb 28, 2014 02:13 PM

What can I say....it´s never fun paying fees and things that makes cruising more expensive. We cruisers often take things for granted. I have sailed the south pacific twice and the caribbean once. Some countires have no fees, some have low and some have higher.

Panama (Immigration and cruising permit) 6 months 330 USD = 660 USD/yr
Galapagos (2/4 people onboard) one month: 950 USD
Greece one year: about 850 USD for a 12 meter boat

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Apr 08, 2014 01:31 PM

Posted on behalf of Ray Fuller - SY Josephine
April 6th 2014
We launched our boat on April 1st from Cleopatra marina, Preveza.
As required we visited the port police and presented our papers, which were duly inspected and stamped.
No money was asked for or changed hands.
Talking to both locals and fellow cruisers it would seem that there is a fair possibility that this tax is not going to happen this year or possibly at all!
The problem is that the Government have no means of collecting it. The rumor is that The port Police have refused to act as tax collectors as they consider that this is not one of their duties.
We are currently cruising (slowly) from the Ionian towards the Agean. The weather is glorious and so do not let this proposed tax put you off from visiting this wonderful cruising area.
I will post on here any changes to the situation should they occur.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 24, 2014 10:13 PM

Following comment taken from Marmaris Bay Cruisers: http://cruisingtips.net/mbc/
In response to an email I sent to a number of Greek marinas suggesting that the new cruising tax was not in their best interest (OK, they might be aware of that), a Dodecanese marina replied as follows:

"Thank you for your email, we would like to inform you that although details regarding the circulation tax are unclear as always, we do know for a fact that the tax has neither been implemented nor will it ever be in the future.
Every year a new circulation tax appears, but every year it is ignored and never implemented. So far we guess that this is just a bubble to show a higher predicted annual income thus producing a more “appealing” annual spread.
Thus far none of our customers have ever paid any tax up to now. Therefore there is no need to worry as this year will be the same as it has been since 2004, and the same may occur next year and the year after.

"We therefore hope to see you sailing in Greece and enjoy the sun and the light and we assure you that you will not have any surprises!"

pkaras
pkaras says:
May 29, 2014 10:03 PM

Beware of the Egyptian Fishing Boat Tax! I just returned from Greece after a 3 week sail aboard my 10m catamaran. I picked up my transit log at customs in Lavrion and I was pleased to learn that the new cruising tax has been delayed. However when I visited the port police prior to departure I was informed that I owed a 671euro tax on my US flagged boat. It was explained to me that this was an old tax that I should have paid years ago and that I could not leave until the tax was paid. Rather then argue I paid the tax and left. Later with the help of a friend I visited a government website and looked up the law that was noted on my receipt. Evidently this law was enacted in 1999 and targeted Egyptian fishing boats that were fishing in Greek waters at that time. Near the end of the text there is a paragraph that allows the authorities to impose this tax on other none EU boats. I know of no one other than the port police in Lavrion who are imposing this tax. In fact I know of no
one who is even aware of this tax but if imposed I imagine that it could be the last straw for some non EU cruisers. Perhaps the worst part of this story is that I could not pay this tax in Lavrion but had to drive 30 minutes to Koropi, find the tax office, find the correct person who collects this tax, go to a bank for a draft (they can not accept cash) and then return to the tax office with my payment. I had a car and speak Greek but it was still an ordeal. I can't imagine what a hassle this would be for most foreign cruisers. On the positive side this tax only has to be paid once. I only hope that there is not a Lybian fishing boat tax lurking somewhere in the Greek tax code! Regards, Peter Karas S/Y Daphne

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