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Greece’s Boat Owners Raise Red Flag Over New Law

Recreational sea craft owners are calling on the government to postpone a VAT requirement – voted to law last month – for a year, claiming it will have a detrimental effect on marine tourism at the current moment.

The said regulation sets out the terms and conditions for the operation and activities of tourist and recreational craft, boats and watercraft, and does 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.

Four of Greece’s leading recreational boating bodies – the Greek Yachting Association (GYA), the Greek Professional Yacht Owners Bareboat Association (SITESAP), the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association (EPEST), and the Hellenic Yacht Crew Association (HYCA) – said this week that the decision to double VAT on charters from 12 percent to 24 percent is catastrophic referring to a clause which allows those operating in “high seas” and carrying out 60 percent or more of their pre-set journey in international waters to be exempt from the increase.

The professionals are citing the competition from Turkey and Croatia, where fees are very low, as their largest problem, followed by the fact that itineraries and timetables depend on the client and are thus not fixed.

It should be noted that an electronic registry on, which opened last year, will be fully operational in December 2021, providing 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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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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