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How long can a non-EU boat stay in Greece?

By Peter Karas — last modified May 19, 2013 07:35 PM

Published: 2013-05-18 23:00:00
Countries: Greece

I have kept a US flagged boat in Greece on and off since 1985.

I store the boat during the winter at Olympic Marine in Lavrion (on the southern tip of mainland Greece).

In 2012, just prior to my departure for Greece, I injured my knee and was not able to sail that summer.  I did however go to Greece later that year and I went to the customs office in Lavrion to ask whether or not I would be liable for VAT when I came to Greece the following year.  Normally, I take the boat to Turkey for a few days every summer and get a new transit log when I return.  I leave the transit log at customs every year before I return to the US.  According to the folks at customs in Lavrion I am not liable for VAT since my boat was out of commission during the time it was at Olympic Marine and therefore the 18 month limit on foreign flagged boats had not expired.

It's important to remember that another customs official in another port may have a different opinion.  It should also be noted that the officials at Lavrion have started to become a bit suspicious of non-EU boats whose owners are of Greek decent.  They asked for numerous documents to prove that I was in fact a US resident including voter registration card, property tax bills, etc.

Peter Karas
S/Y Daphne

(Editor's Note: See http://www.noonsite.com/General/EuropeanUnion/VAT for full details of the TI procedure in the EU)

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