The Greek government recently passed a new law which prohibits yachts not in possession of a Greek commercial licence from commencing AND ending charters in Greek waters.
OCEDA’s ultimate goal remains to ensure all yachts globally are able to cruise in Greece’s incomparable cruising grounds and is committed to providing and delivering solutions to ensure a smooth and stress-free yachting experience.
How to charter in Greek waters - With a Greek Commercial Licence
Foreign flagged yachts in possession of a Greek commercial licence are able to start and end charters within Greece freely without restriction.
OCEDA can assist owners in obtaining commercial licences and in light of the new law a number of clients have already instructed us to proceed in obtaining a Greek commercial licence for their yachts. Licences can take two months to be issued therefore the process should begin well in advance of the summer season.
VAT at the rate of 9.6% (12% for yachts limited to domestic voyages) will arise on charter fees for yachts operating with a Greek licence in Greece.
As a result of lobbying by OCEDA and other key industry players, there is talk of changes to simplify the process of obtaining a Greek commercial licence, but this is yet to be confirmed and we remain bound by the current laws.
How to Charter in Greek Waters - Without a Greek Commercial Licence
Yachts without a commercial licence intending to charter in Greece can continue to do so subject to the start and end of the charter taking place outside of Greece. We have solutions in place for clients considering such options to ensure the entry and departure into Greece is effected smoothly from Saranta, Albania and Bodrum and Izmir in Turkey.
OCEDA can help plan charters starting and ending outside of Greece and can handle all formalities and provisioning in Albania and Turkey.
While it is frustrating to have to begin and end a charter outside Greece it’s not all bad news!
Charterers will have unconditional access to competitively priced duty-free fuel in Turkey and Albania. Duty-free fuel is also available once a commercial yacht is in Greece.
Charterers will not pay VAT on charter fees for the time spent in Greece.
Supply & Demand of Greek Licensed Charter Yachts
The new law is bound to affect supply and demand in the local charter market where there will not be enough yachts to satisfy demand.
An estimated breakdown of the currently available Greek licensed charter fleet is:
Under 20 yachts over 40m
Under 10 yachts over 50m
Under 5 yachts over 70m
It is safe to predict that these yachts will NOT be able to cover the demands of charterers looking to charter yachts over 40m in Greece this summer.
Zea Marina, a D-Marin marina in Athens
Home Porting in Greece
Perhaps the time has come to consider Greece as an ideal location to base your yacht since beyond being able to compete in the Greek charter market there are numerous other benefits:
Competitively priced marina berthing options with high-end facilities in Athens.
Greek shipyards offer the most competitive rates throughout the Med costing 30-40% less than other European yards with highly skilled and experienced workmen.
Greek yards are renowned for their high quality work with plentiful examples of such work including the extensive refit carried out to the 46m Feadship Ancallia refitted in Perama which was awarded the “Best Rebuilt” Superyacht Award in 2015.
Diverse and spectacular cruising grounds to explore and enjoy.
Easy access to Athens’s marinas and shipyards from airport (30-45 minutes) with Athens airport being well-connected internationally.
General annual operation costs including crew salaries 25-30% less than Western European standards.
Duty-free fuel readily available to all commercial yachts.
Mild and pleasant weather throughout off-season months.
Safe destination with very low terrorism threat.
OCEDA is a niche yachting company offering turn key services including sales, charter, full yacht management and agency services.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or require advice on cruising in Greek waters.
*Image credit: Greek flag at the Parthenon by George Rex