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Greek Boats Used in ‘High Sea’ Navigation VAT Exempt

Photo © Anthony Kitsopoulos

Photo © Anthony Kitsopoulos

Recreational boat owners operating in “high seas” will be exempt from VAT, according to amendments made to a ministerial decision by Greek Shipping Minister Fotis Kouvelis and Alternate Finance Minister Katerina Papanatsiou.

According to clarifications made to the regulation which sets out the terms and conditions for the operation and activities of tourist and recreational craft, boats and watercraft, vessels used for navigation on high seas will be exempt from VAT.

Only recently, the government announced plans to do away with tax-deductibles on the purchase and operations of recreational watercraft. The decision foresees 24 percent VAT on purchase, as well as taxation on all services provided, which until now were exempt.

pixabayMore specifically, recreational sea craft owners operating in high seas will not be obliged to pay VAT when:

  • The predetermined sea route traveled between the port of departure and the port of arrival or between two ports is greater than 12 nautical miles,
  • In the case of set routes or day itineraries, when the distance traveled from the port of departure and back is greater than 24 nautical miles, irrespective of intermediate ports,
  • In cases when for a specific period in the year vessels carry out 60 percent or more of their pre-set journeys in high seas (open waters) or to international destinations,
  • When boat owners can provide mapping of travel, data and information extracted from satellite navigation or transponder systems meeting IMO standards and via the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE) application,
  • When data is confirmed via the shipping ministry’s e-registry upon submission of printed or electronic declaration of arrival via the application.
© Maria Theofanopoulou

Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

The electronic registry on, opened for use on November 15, but will be operating in its complete form in December 31, 2021. Once fully operational, the platform will be able to provide a complete profile of all registered vessels including owner data, outstanding issues and payments, ship status, number of charter days, its features, seaworthiness certificates, insurance etc.

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