By A. Tsimplakis
Roughly 50 vessels exceeding 50 meters in length are expected to be added to Greece’s mega-yachting sector if the existing cabotage regime is lifted for third country registries (outside the EU and EEA).
Under the present (and strict) legislative framework a pleasure craft registered outside the EU-EEA cannot be hired for trips within Greece, even for a one-way journey.
Greece’s coast guard in 2017, especially over the summer months, engaged in a “safari” against illegally hired pleasure craft and yachts. One result, according to Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association president Antonis Stelliatos, was the sharp increase in pre-bookings for the coming season for Greek-flagged vessels.
According to Stelliatos, discussion is underway with the relevant shipping ministry and other related entities in order to allow all types of vessels to field a legal commercial presence in Greek waters. He reminded that Greek- and EU-flagged professional craft can legally be hired in Greek waters by acquiring a professional license that is now issued within a week.