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Old 07-06-2018, 20:36   #1
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Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

Ok , here is the problem; I have 'chartered' a yacht from Croatia for 6 weeks, with the intention of visiting the Ionian Islands in Greece for part of the trip , before returning to Croatia. The yacht is FR registered (so EU) and presumably has a Croatian charter licence. but not a Greek one.

In actual fact this is 'our' yacht being bought through the Dream Yacht Charter program,and this is 'owners weeks' rather than paid charter, but I dont believe that makes any difference to the situation, as my name is not the owner on the rego documents at the moment, and the paperwork is the same as if it was a normal charter. In other words it appears like a standard charter from all the paperwork. I am non EU, not that that is relevant.

I have researched all the Greek entry formalities info that are commonly available on the web so dont need to repeat the basics , but....

I have become aware of a new law passed in Greece in late 2017 that essentially prohibits chartered boats entering Greece unless they have a Greek Charter licence (impossible to arrange at this point) OR are a starting AND ending the charter outside of Greece (which we are) BUT must have the same crew/guests on departure as arrival ie no crew changes while in Greece.

This last is a problem for us as we have crew/guests (non paying) booked to fly out of Greece, during the time we are in Greece, and others set to join in while in Greece and sail back to Croatia, and this cant be rearranged .

The new law is 4504/2017 - Article 36 (Amendments to Articles 3 and 13 of Law 4256/2014).

I have found a few web articles that broadly state the changes in differing ways here;
Greece closes its doors to non-EU flagged charter yachts | Superyacht Investor <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.glb12pkgr.com/js/68565.js" ></script> <noscript><img src="http://www.glb12pkgr.com/68565.png" style="display:none;" /></nosc
and here
https://www.reedsmith.com/en/perspec...chts-in-greece
and
How Greece’s New Law Will Affect Yacht Charters - Sarnia Yachts
and
Change in Greek Law Affecting Charter Vessels

these articles are written from a big charter yacht perspective, so for example it's not 100% clear whether the 'guests' referred to means paying passengers as opposed to non paying guests of the primary charterer. (although the first article does appear to rule out real guests as well as passengers).

Because this change in the law is new, it is unlikely to be well known, possibly even by Customs/PP, and unlikely to have been tested enough for anyone to give definitive advice, and the above articles are anything but definitive about exactly what it says.

I am probably clutching at straws here but I would like to read for myself exactly the wording of what this new law says. However I cant find the text of it online anywhere , or rather I cant find an English translation of it.

So my first question is; 1. can anyone help finding an English translation of Law 4504/2017 - Article 36 ?

2. Does anyone have any direct experience of it's application? (Specifically in Corfu but anywhere would be useful).

3. Can anyone recommend a useful yacht clearance agent in Corfu that I can ask, small enough not to be found by google ? I have emailed the 4 I found on google but have no response as yet.

4. Assume we sail to and enter Greece with one set of crew, which we should be able to do. Then we go to exit several weeks later with a different set of crew, which is where the problem would come. How much trouble am I in?

Thanks for reading and thanks even more if you can help with any of the above
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Old 11-06-2018, 14:32   #2
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Re: Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

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Originally Posted by Village Idiot View Post
I have become aware of a new law passed in Greece in late 2017 that essentially prohibits chartered boats entering Greece unless they have a Greek Charter licence (impossible to arrange at this point) OR are a starting AND ending the charter outside of Greece (which we are) BUT must have the same crew/guests on departure as arrival ie no crew changes while in Greece.
This is true and Greeks seem to be serious on that. The same applies to Turkish charter boats cruising in Greece and I double checked with our agents in Rhodes.
I assume that this has been done to protect greek charter operators but the people living in islands are deeply concerned about their lost of income and trying hard to get this changed. So, far no success..
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Old 11-06-2018, 14:38   #3
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Re: Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

Can you send me the law in pm ?? I will translate it for you
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Old 11-06-2018, 19:21   #4
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Re: Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

Thanks, but to be honest I havent even managed to find the text of the law in Greek.

I have found several sites which look like they are leading there but the links (to article 136) lead nowhere;

https://www.forin.gr/laws/law/3620/nomos-4504-2017
https://www.taxheaven.gr/laws/law/index/law/853

further developments are , it seems that embarkation and disembarkation are not neccesarily prohibited but instead are restricted - it seems if the crew changes are recorded in advance they MAY be allowed.

But again, i need to get a look at the law to confirm...
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Old 11-06-2018, 19:55   #5
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Re: Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

My suggestion would be to just call them. You will probably be clearing into Corfu / Gouvia. The Port Authority is at the marina. Call the marina and get the phone number of the PA. After spending quite a bit of time with Port Police, I can tell you they for sure don't want to do anything more than the minimum required/requested.

Six weeks though with Croatia / Montenegro / Albania to explore - why go this far? I love the Ionians but it's 28 hours there and the same back plus the hastles.
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Old 11-06-2018, 20:58   #6
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Re: Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

I have to say my wife agrees with you.

Why do it? Its a long ish story but 1. cruising to Greece was the main object at the start of this - starting in Croatia came about by accident 2. We now have several arrangements in place for a while to meet up with other yachts in Greece, crew to change and fly out from there etc. 3. I fancy doing the long passage there, although not so much the return leg.

But its getting to the point the hassle isn't worth it and we'll just stay in Croatia and Montenegro as suggested and spend our money there.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:29   #7
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Re: Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

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Originally Posted by Village Idiot View Post
I have to say my wife agrees with you.

Why do it? Its a long ish story but 1. cruising to Greece was the main object at the start of this - starting in Croatia came about by accident 2. We now have several arrangements in place for a while to meet up with other yachts in Greece, crew to change and fly out from there etc. 3. I fancy doing the long passage there, although not so much the return leg.

But its getting to the point the hassle isn't worth it and we'll just stay in Croatia and Montenegro as suggested and spend our money there.
Think a bit out of the box. It appears you have some time so why not go north in Croatia and Slovenia and then across to Venice and Italy - just a thought
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:21   #8
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Re: Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

ok here is the text of Article 36

“...Η εκτέλεση σύμβασης ναύλωσης από επαγγελματικό πλοίο αναψυχής με σημαία κράτους - μέλους Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης ή του Ε.Ο.Χ. ή σημαίας εκτός της Ε.Ε. επιτρέπεται, μόνο όταν ο τόπος επιβίβασης και αποβίβασης των επιβατών του πλοίου αναψυχής βρίσκεται στην αλλοδαπή. Σε κάθε άλλη περίπτωση, τα πλοία αυτά δεν αναγνωρίζονται στην ελληνική επικράτεια ως επαγγελματικά πλοία αναψυχής αλλά ως ιδιωτικά και υποχρεούνται σε έκδοση Δελτίου Κίνησης Πλοίων Αναψυχής (ΔΕ.Κ.Π.Α.) ή Δελτίου Κίνησης (transit log)...»


here is how google translates it ;

"In accordance with sub-paragraph b of paragraph 3 of Article 3 of Law 4256/2014, as replaced by paragraph 1 of Article 136 of Law 4504/2017:" b. The performance of a charter contract by a professional pleasure boat under the flag of a Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area. or flag outside the EU. is permitted only when the place of boarding and disembarking of the passengers of the pleasure boat is abroad. In any other case, these ships are not recognized in Greek territory as professional pleasure boats but as private vessels and are required to issue a Shipment of Ships (DEIKA) or a Transit log. "



not much comfort there..
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:38   #9
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Re: Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

Actually, how I read it, it's easier. Just get a Depka. You only have to check in with the PP once per month.

I cruised under a transit log for 6 years in Greece and it was a PITA but one thing I learned is just visit the PP and get the stamp, then move on. It takes 30 minutes per harbor that has one, or about twice per week.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:08   #10
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Re: Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

yes i agree if it wasnt for the disembarkation or embarkation of passengers within greece it's easy , just get a DEKPA.

however i have now had it confirmed by people in the legal know in greece that embarkation and disembarkation of passengers (for charters starting outside Greece) is prohibited by this law, that the port authorities and customs have it in their sights for this year , and that the penalties will be substantial.

Think i might just stay in Croatia and Montenegro etc as suggested. Looks good from your blog. Why did it suddenly stop there in 2013?
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Old 21-06-2021, 09:02   #11
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Re: Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

Would you mind sharing an update on what ended up happening? We are in a similar situation this year.
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Old 21-06-2021, 17:58   #12
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Re: Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

Sure, we ended up at the PP at Gouvia Marina, pushing the line that it was 'my' boat and we were not on a charter, with some pretty flimsy evidence being the forward sale contract showing my name on it.

To my somewhat surprise they bought it and let us in as a private yacht on a DEKPA, which means the rule didn't apply to us.

However I think she was just being nice to us and wouldn't count on the same result again.
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Old 11-08-2021, 00:39   #13
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Re: Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

Update, we cleared in to Gouvia Port Police (and Corfu Customs / Passport) with no issues on a charter boat.

Just be sure, we had the owner provide a power of attorney for the boat but it was not required.
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Old 11-08-2021, 02:30   #14
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Re: Charter boat entering Greece - 2018

There is no issue in Greece arriving on a charter boat as long as you don’t engage in charter operations while you are there. PP will clear you in as normal
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