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Old 11-10-2015, 05:56   #1
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Good news for non-EU flagged boats in Greece

In August 2014 the Cruising Association (CA) was made aware that Greece had unilaterally scrapped the EU-wide rules on temporary importation and substituted instead a 6 month in 12 month rule for non-EU flagged yachts. The CA immediately protested through their contacts in the Greek government that this action was illegal under EU law.

The Greek election in January 2015 interfered with this dialogue and by April 2015 when no further progress had been made, the CA lodged a formal complaint with the European Commission. The CA's case was that Greece's action was not only illegal but would seriously impact yachting tourism.

In early September 2015 the European Commission advised the CA that the Greek government had agreed to return to the EU-wide rules on temporary importation of yachts. A copy of the Greek Ministerial Directive implementing this was forwarded to the CA. The stated date for implementation was the 1st October 2015.

The second Greek election in late September 2015 occurred before the Ministerial Directive could be published in the Government Gazette and thus become law. The CA has been making repeated attempts to establish when this Ministerial Directive will be 'gazetted'. However, reports from CA members indicates that the port police in Greece are already implementing the directive so it has clearly been published in some form.

The EU-wide rules allow non-EU flagged yachts to stay in EU waters (including Greece) for up to 18 months. On application this can be extended to 24 months. The EU rules specify no minimum time that a yacht must leave EU waters before returning for another 18 months. Proof of having left EU waters may be required of course.

The change in the Greek position has been brought about solely through the actions of the CA yet the outcome benefits not just CA members but all non-EU flagged yachts (owned by a non-EU national). The CA's policy of engaging with the Greek government whilst insisting that international agreements must be observed has again produced positive results for all cruising sailors.
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:24   #2
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Re: Good news for non-EU flagged boats in Greece

Does this mean that they will not impose that stupid cruising tax?
I had written off greece because of that, of course there is the new problem of 17 million Muslim refugees that are going to make much of the EU a rough place to visit.
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:50   #3
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Re: Good news for non-EU flagged boats in Greece

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Originally Posted by sailnow2011 View Post
Does this mean that they will not impose that stupid cruising tax?
I had written off greece because of that, of course there is the new problem of 17 million Muslim refugees that are going to make much of the EU a rough place to visit.
The change to the rules on non-EU flagged boats does not affect the TPP (the new cruising tax). That said, the TPP has never been introduced and I hear on the grapevine that it may never be.

The refugee issue is a non-issue. Except in very specific locations (mostly around Kos and Lesbos) you'll not see any at all, either at sea or on land. Greece is moving them on from the tourist areas pretty smartish now.
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Old 13-10-2015, 23:37   #4
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Re: Good news for non-EU flagged boats in Greece

Thank you for your post as this affects my boat Australian Registered ,
Would you perhaps know if I could sail from Greece to Albania and back to reset the 18 month clock .?
Cheers
John The Greek
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Old 13-10-2015, 23:47   #5
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Re: Good news for non-EU flagged boats in Greece

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Thank you for your post as this affects my boat Australian Registered ,
Would you perhaps know if I could sail from Greece to Albania and back to reset the 18 month clock .?
Cheers
John The Greek
Yes you can. The EU rules (which Greece is respecting again) do not specify how long you have to leave the EU to qualify for a new 18 month Transit Log. One night away would thus be enough. Be sure to get some paper evidence from Albania to prove that you did in fact leave the EU. I doubt a plotter log or photo of your GPS would be accepted. A formal port fees receipt, marina receipt, or even a restaurant receipt, would probably do.
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Old 18-12-2015, 13:55   #6
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Re: Good news for non-EU flagged boats in Greece

We did that this year in our Australian yacht "Penelope". From Corfu to Sarande and back. Stayed a month in Albania as we had Schengen issues. Really enjoyed Albania.

Anyway, the 18 month clock was restarted.
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