Stricter laws, crackdown on foreign-flagged pro vessels plying Greek waters

Monday, 11 December 2017 23:46
UPD:12/12/2017 00:27
ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ/Παντελής Σαίτας
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By A. Tsimplakis

[email protected]

A "cabotage-like" situation now exists in terms of foreign-flagged pleasure craft plying Greece's waters, with a recently ratified bill including a provision banning even "one-way trips" by such professional vessels.

The ban comes three years after a stricter framework was enacted for foreign-flagged vessels - sailboats, tour cruisers, mega-yachts etc. - going from one Greek destination to another, and in the wake of the imposition of a recent vessel levy, one of numerous austerity measures that comprised last year's "tax tsunami".

One the one hand, market analysts told "N" that the crackdown on foreign-flagged professional craft may severely dampen interest in marina concessions in Greece and dissuade vessels from Greek waters.

Conversely, sources close to the relevant shipping and maritime policy ministry pointed out that the stricter framework aims to combat illegal - i.e. off-the-book - vessel leasing and bootleg sea tours in Greek waters.

Dozens of fines were imposed by the coast guard over the past summer on the operators foreign-flagged vessels suspected of organizing tours and cruises in Greek waters without the necessary licenses, especially tax codes.

Two of the requirements, amongst the more costly, are for an operator to open a company sub-branch in Greece and to acquire a professional license in the country.  


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