The Greek government has implemented its new cruising tax, also called the TEPAI, which was initially set to be introduced in early April. The news was issued by the UK-based Cruising Association (CA), many of whose members will likely be visiting Greek waters later this year.
The tax was first proposed in 2014, but its introduction, the CA reports, was beset with issues from the outset. “These ranged from the lack of any method of registering or paying the tax, despite promises that all would be in place, to the proposed manual system comprising duplicate forms at the Port Police and Customs which couldn’t be used as they had no stock.”
Christopher Robb, who has been liaising with the Greek authorities on behalf of CA members, advises caution when entering information through an internet browser that uses ‘autofill’, as it overwrites the field with the wrong information.
“For example, at least 50% of boats are now called by their owner’s name,” he says, “but the author’s yacht is now called ‘Mr’ as the boat name was overwritten by the autofill which has been incorrectly programmed on the Greek system. Several other problems have been reported and the CA is actively monitoring the situation with the Ministry.”
In response, the CA has insisted on a PR campaign to aid the yachting community. From the outset, it has insisted that there is proper publicity for all tax changes affecting the yachting community. For the first time, the Greek government has endeavoured to oblige, providing a master document of how the tax works in the form of an FAQ document. This will be available online and will be used by the Port Police to help them in their training. The CA hopes that this will help make dealing with Port Police around Greece more consistent.
The CA has a joint understanding with the Ministry for new questions and answers to be added to the FAQ’s to cover unexpected situations, with updates to be regularly published online.
The CA also constantly updates Greek regulations on its own website. More information about the tax is available at www.aade.gr/polites/etepai
By David Robinson IBI PLus