The Cruising Association which has been working on behalf of boat owners in France, Sweden and the UK, reports that there will be concessions for those with boats more than 12m long and that the Greek government will completely revise the current system of port police procedures.
There are several steps boat owners can take to minimise the impact of the tax which, although it became law on January 1, will not be implemented until an on-line fee collection process is up and running, probably sometime in March.
CA member, Jim Baerselman, who has cruised in Greek waters for more than 30 years, and who has been negotiating for the CA with the Greek Ministry for the last 3 months, explained the Length Over All (LOA) defined in boats' registration documents would be used in all tax calculations, rounded up to the nearest tenth of a metre. Boats stored ashore would not have to produce any receipts for the tax until they launch.
Boats of 12m and less pay a single fee on arrival or on launching. This permits them to cruise throughout that calendar year in Greece. There are three bands: 7.1m to 8m, €200; 8.1m to 10m, €300; and 10.1m to 12m, €400. CA has so far been unable to negotiate a lower rate for shorter visits to Greek waters.
Boats over 12m are notionally due to pay at least 3 times as much. For a calendar year, the fee would be €(100 x LOA) or €1,210 for a 12.1m boat. However, very few boats need to pay this, since there's an option to pay per month afloat at one tenth the yearly rate ̶ €121 a month for 12.1m.
"These monthly payments are the recommended option for boats over 12m which spend less than seven months a year in the water. For a typical 4 month season (May, June, August, September), €484 would be payable if the boat can be put ashore for July. For a full seven months (April to October) €847 would be payable."
Under present rules, a boat over 12m which stays more than 11 months a year in Greek territory (afloat or ashore) is entitled to a 30% discount from the annual fee. That's the same as paying monthly for 7 months. This option is useful for live-aboards who stay afloat all year.
The CA also asked if boats could be laid up afloat and not have to produce receipts. The Greek Ministry of Maritime Affairs said this might be possible if boats handed in their papers, and were moored in specified locations, such as registered marinas.
Two concessions the CA requested have been agreed: 1. No penalties will be enforced until the tax collection system has been in operations for some time. 2. For those currently wintering in Greece, there will be a transitional period for the first year. ‘We understand this is to allow a tax free departure for those planning to leave Greek waters immediately.'
The CA expects further news about changes to Port Police procedures. As soon as these are known, details will be posted on the CA public web site - http://cruising.org.uk/news/greektax