Reinforcing passenger rights, changes to the scheduling of hydrofoils and high-speed sea craft as well as to the charter of private pleasure boats are among the main amendments made by the shipping ministry to a digital policy ministry bill tabled in parliament last week.
Aiming to improve the functioning of Greece’s passenger shipping and in efforts to expand passenger rights in accordance with EU law, Deputy Shipping Minister Nektarios Santorinios presented the amendments which include obligation by the ferry/ship operator to transport passengers to their final destination on another route in case of ship delay. Should the delay exceed 90 minutes, operators are required to provide a light meal and refreshment to passengers, who can also request their money back for the purchased ticket.
Meanwhile, the amendment foresees sanctions imposed in cases of violation of existing legislation on charter of private pleasure boats, providing for local port authorities to impose additional penalties in case of breach of existing legislation on illegal chartering of private pleasure craft. According to Santorinios, illegal charters will be detained and the violator required to pay the fine on the spot or submit a letter of guarantee set at twice the fine.
Under the same bill, hydrofoil and high-speed sea craft companies will be required to announce their schedules together with ferries and conventional ships on January 31st each year in order to facilitate coastal travel.