Shipping minister promises 'restructuring' of decision imposing VAT on goods, services supplied to non-oceangoing vessels

Wednesday, 24 October 2018 22:39
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By A. Tsimplakis
[email protected]

Shipping minister Fotis Kouvelis this week promised “restructure” a recent decision applying VAT on goods and services supplied to non-ocean-going vessels and craft, such as ferry boats.

The EU-mandated measure was recently imposed via a joint ministerial decision – by the shipping and finance ministries – and based on an EU directive that does not exclude Greece.

According to Kouvelis, an out-of-Parliament choice for the shipping portfolio in the most recent Cabinet reshuffle, the Commission did not take into account the very insular nature that characterizes Greece, with its scores of inhabited islands.

Among others, he promised the “restructuring of the ministerial decision” in cooperation with the finance ministry.

Speaking at the Piraeus chamber of commerce, Kouvelis, an attorney by training and a veteran leftist politician, also said continued deliberations over a master plan submitted by the Cosco-run Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) deals with “wider commercial activities around Piraeus”, and entails concerns over retail sector competition, labor relations and even environmental protection.

PPA’s leadership has called for an acceleration in the process to approve the wide-ranging master plan, with certain reports even citing references to “delays”, in the process, made by the Chinese embassy in Athens to the government side.

Cosco is a state-owned and Shanghai-based multinational shipping and port management company. It won an international concession to purchase a majority stake of the Piraeus Port Authority and assumed its management in August 2016.

Among others, in representing the municipality of Piraeus, the port city’s mayor, Yannis Moralis, has tabled his administration’s opposition to the creation of a shopping mall within the port authority’s premises and regarding building co-efficients for new construction.  

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