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Credit: Michael Mann

Greece to allow non-EU-flagged luxury yachts to charter in Greek waters

22 February 2024 • Written by Holly Overton

The Greek government has officially launched its "e-Charter Permission" system that allows non-EU-flagged vessels to charter in Greek waters for the first time. Under previous legislation, foreign-flagged yachts had to be owned by a company with a Greek branch of business in order to qualify for a Greek charter license. 

The new e-Charter permit allows foreign-flagged yachts measuring more than 35 metres LOA to start and end charters in Greece for a maximum of 28 days a year. 

According to the Greek Ministry of Shipping, there are two types of permissions available: Charter Permission for a complete charter contract executed entirely within Greek territory; and Charter Permission Plus for contracts beginning or concluding in Greek waters. The flexibility allows for a more diverse range of yacht chartering options, accommodating various itineraries and preferences.

The exception is that applying yachts cannot be wooden-hulled and the owner or operator of the yacht cannot have a permanent establishment in Greece and must be registered for VAT. The new legislation also includes a Special Charter Fee calculated on how many days the yacht will be in Greek waters. 

Following much canvassing by yachting agents both locally in Greece and further afield, the Greek government began to reconsider the restrictions in place and eventually voted through a bill on 19 April 2022 to allow superyachts to obtain a temporary charter license.

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