It is the purpose of this guide to set out our understanding of the basic rules applicable to the charter of yachts in Greek waters.
On 14th April 2014 a new law was published in Greece titled Law 4256/2014 (G.G. A’ 92) “Touristic Yachts and other provisions”.
The law introduces significant changes to the legal and fiscal treatment of yachts operating for charter in Greek waters.
Highlights of the new law in respect of the charter of yachts include the removal of the requirement for yachts wishing to start and end the same charter in Greece to be in possession of a valid Greek charter licence and the creation of an online “Registry of Touristic Yachts and Small Vessels” .
At the moment our agents in Greece are awaiting further information regarding the implementation of the new rules from a practical perspective. In particular they await confirmation of when the electronic registry is going to be operational. Port authorities and customs have yet to be advised on how they should implement the new rules.
For the time being it is recommended that owners observe the previous rules until such time as the new electronic registry is operational and the implementation of the new rules becomes clear.
The previous rules applicable to the charter of a yacht in Greece were determined on whether or not the yacht was in possession of a Greek charter licence:
1. Charter yachts in possession of Greek charter licence
- To start and end yacht the same charter in Greece the yacht must be in possession of a valid Greek charter licence.
- A Greek charter licence can be held by any European Union (EU) registered yacht owned by an EU company or citizen.
- The prerequisite to apply for, renew and maintain a Greek charter licence is that the yacht will genuinely be engaged in bona fide genuine commercial charter activity. The authorities will expect a yacht operating under a Greek charter licence to be engaged in charter activity for at least 200 days within the 5 year validity period of the Greek charter licence.
- A Greek yacht charter company is able to enjoy tax free profit from its charter activity whilst any other EU company will pay tax on all profit generated in Greece unless its country of incorporation has a double taxation agreement with Greece.
- If the EU yacht owning company is not a Greek company it has to open a branch office in Greece. The branch office will obtain a local VAT number and will pay VAT in Greece on charter fees.
- The Greek VAT rate on yacht charter fees is usually 6.5% on charters of more than two days that are not static.
- Certain advantages are available to Greek registered commercial yachts in Greece namely:
– VAT exemption for the value of the vessel on purchase
– Marina and mooring fees in certain cases discounted
– Fuel in certain cases can be purchased without duty and local taxes
2. Charter yachts not in possession of Greek charter licence
- EU registered commercially certified and registered yachts that are not in possession of a Greek charter license and non EU flag commercial yachts holding a valid charter agreement may embark or disembark in Greece but not both, so if the charter starts outside the country it can finish inside and vice versa. Under such circumstances the law also stipulates that once a charter has commenced no guest may join or leave the vessel until either the charter has finished or the vessel has left the country.
- A ‘Dilotiko’ must be obtained at the first Greek port of arrival. This is a customs requirement and is applicable to yachts of both EU and non-EU registration. The ‘Dilotiko’ allows the yacht to remain in Greek waters without any restriction on its length of stay and for certain essential spares can be imported tax free.
Oceanskies are working closely with a leading firm of fiscal agents in Greece who can handle all necessary fiscal formalities.
These services can be performed on a stand-alone basis for Greece only or as part of the Oceanskies fiscal registration service providing a one stop shop for the fiscal support of yacht charter activities in all of the principal Mediterranean yacht charter jurisdictions.
Our fiscal agency services can be provided on a stand-alone basis to all yacht owners or in conjunction with one of our turn-key commercial yacht charter ownership and registration packages.
For further information concerning fiscal registration for yacht charter and yacht charter purposes please click on the following link to the relevant section of this website: