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When about to enter, sail or charter your own yacht in Greek waters:
Customs & port police
- When entering Greece all yachts must clear with port authority, customs and health as well as immigration and currency control.
The ship's papers - including a passenger and crew list - will be inspected by the port authority, then customs will issue a transit log, renewable after six months but valid for one year. which allows the yacht to sailing in Greece. The transit log should be issued only to non-EU vessels, or to EU vessels wishing to purchase fuel at duty-free prices.
At subsequent ports this transit log may be inspected by the port authority. When leaving Greece, the transit log is returned to customs.
- Yachts must carry their original registration document and ship's radio licence and one member of the crew requires a certificate to operate the radio/VHF. For EU boats, proof of VAT status is also required. The original insurance certificate and a Greek translation showing third party insurance with the amounts in figures. The minimum amounts are 293470 EURO liability for death or injury by sinking, collision or other cause for crew and third parties, 146753 EURO for damage, 88041 EURO for pollution. The skipper must have an International Certificate of Competence.
- The nights should be spent on board - and not in hotels inland for instance - if not, the harbour master and immigration should be notified. Individual passports are not stamped on entry into Greece by yacht, nor is this required for departure with the same yacht. However, if leaving by another means (by air), the stamps are required by immigration at the point of exit.
- Fishing is only allowed with a snorkel at certain areas. Fishing with scuba gear is prohibited.
- Also to protect archaeological sites, scuba diving is restricted. Permission should be sought locally.
- You as the registered yacht owner should be on board. Yet, if a relative or friend fills in your place, make sure to ask the port police for the proper documentation.
- Chartering by foreign yachts is allowed since 2002, but your yacht should be inspected and certificated according to Greek law, a proces that involves a huge amount of red tape.
- Hauling out a yacht requires authorisation of the port police.
- When entering Greece, cats and dogs require health and rabies inoculation certificates issued in the country of origin, not more than 1 year previously for dogs, 6 months for cats, and not less than 6 days before arrival.
- Foreign yachts can buy fuel duty-free, with customs approval, at stations that are marked by yellow & blue diagonal stripes.
- The Greek courtesy flag as well as the Q flag must be flown in the correct manner (position, size, condition).
- A visa is not required for a visit of up to three months for nationals of the EU, Andorra, Antigua, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, St Kitts and Nevis, South Korea, San Marino, Switzerland, Taiwan, the USA and Zimbabwe. Entry may be refused if there are Turkish Cyprus stamps in the passport.
Please note that even the Greeks contradict themselves when interpreting these laws. The various guides also disagree at (minor) points, plus the European Union has put a lot of pressure on the Greek government to adopt less protective regulations, hopefully changing regulations in the near future. This pressure was already successful in 2002 and 2004.
- All Non-Greek Boats (over 7 metres):
There is a charge of 5.80 EURO per metre, payable at the first Port of Entry. This is called a "Circulation fee". If planning to stay in Greek waters 12 months or more, the same fee will buy you a permit called "Private Pleasure Yacht Permission for Stay and Maritime Traffic Document". It is valid for 3 years and is a single-sheet A4 document.
In 2002 an additional flat charge of 15 EURO was introduced for actually issuing these permits. This is called the Port Police charge.
The penalty charge for re-entering Greece within 30 days has been withdrawn, although the "Circulation Fee" will still be due.
At present there is no further news on what action the EU Court is planning regarding the refusal by the Greek Government to abandon this illegal tax.
- All Boats:
The third charge is 30 EURO for a DEKPA - Private Pleasure Maritime Traffic Document. This is a 6-page A3 booklet, which must be presented to, and stamped by, the port authority on entry to, as well as exit from, each port visited. It is valid until all 50 boxes are stamped. This charge is applied to all yachts including Greek-flagged ones.
- Non-EU Boats:
For non-EU registered boats after 90 days, there is a charge of 14.67 EURO per metre and they must obtain a formal "Transit Log". This charge is levied at the end of each 90 day period, and it appears that if the yacht leaves Greece before the end of 90 days the charge will not be made.
Possible other charges:
All public harbours now charge a mooring or anchoring fee based on the tonnage and length of the yacht, usually about 6 EURO for 11m. Boats from EU countries pay lower fees than those from non-EU countries, while Greek flagged boats pay even less. There is a basic fee charged at every port for completing the paperwork. A lower fee is charged for anchoring. In most ports these fees are charged even if stopping for provisions only, or even to buy fuel. Re-launching fee of 7.34 EURO. A fee is charged by customs for each fuel delivery.
More on entering with a non-Greek yacht: Greek Waters Pilot.
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