- Operations - New Greek e-charter permission platform

By SuperyachtNews in collaboration with A1 Yacht Trade Consortium S.A.

New Greek e-charter permission platform

Rosemary Pavlatou, president, HCPY, discusses the digital application procedure allowing foreign-flagged yachts to charter for up to 28 days annually…

The launch of the e-charter permission platform by The Greek Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy in December 2023 was warmly welcomed by most of the yachting industry in Greece and abroad. With an annual rate of some 650-plus non-Greek yachts visiting the country every year, it is simple to see what Greece has lost over the past decades by not harnessing the potential income for the country from this flow of vessels.
In every other EU country these yachts were likely to visit for charter, the expectation was that they would pay a hefty amount in VAT. The refusal in Greece to allow this to happen is incomprehensible in fiscal terms so it is with huge pleasure for many that the law has finally been implemented allowing VAT to be collected, steamlining previously unwieldy bureaucracy not seen elsewhere in the EU.
The further prohibition of these yachts from either starting a charter or finishing one in Greek waters did nothing to alter the numbers of yachts in Greek waters nor the number of charters carried out, it just served to make some people feel better while the possible income from the embarkation period was lost as was valuable VAT income. It did nothing to deter the number of visiting yachts and it is worth mentioning that neighbouring countries Turkey and Albania flourished due to the previous legal framework of Greece.
The eastern Mediterranean is an increasingly attractive destination for international yachts, so it seems clear that the Greek government will see some substantial income this season from tax on these yachts. The new legislation will make clear the rights of these yachts and will create a new stream of income for Greece – a long-awaited stream of income.
It will increase not only the government’s coffers, it will also boost the economic development of innumerable small and large businesses throughout the country. While Greek-flagged crewed yachts are largely Athens based, non-Greek yachts spread their spending throughout the country, helping less developed areas and smaller businesses to thrive. 
The current legislation will allow foreign-flagged yachts to charter in Greek waters for up to 28 days per calendar year. This is a start but so many yachts want to spend more time than that in Greece, and this short period of time will do nothing to help realise the government’s declared aim of offering Greece for homeporting. A substantial increase in the time permitted is the only way this can be realised. There will be questions of where this homeporting can happen, as Greece has a chronic shortage of marina space. Until that is solved homeporting on any scale will remain a distant dream. 
But for now Greece will at last show its hospitable face to foreign yachts and welcome them during the summer season – and be richer for it, in every way.

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New Greek e-charter permission platform


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