A new Greek tax affecting thousands of British boat owners in Greece has moved a step nearer to being introduced, the Cruising Association (CA) reports – but possibly at a lower level than originally thought.

CA member, Chris Robb, has been working with Greek authorities to try to persuade them to make the tax fairer and more workable than originally announced.

When the tax became law in the late summer this year, boat owners were facing a tax of €40 monthly or €480 annually for up to 11.9 meters and €121 monthly or €1452 annually for 12.1 meters boats, a large increase for similar boats, and €140 monthly or €1680 annually for 14 metre boats. The price per meter over 12 metres is €10 per meter per month. Yachts paying annually in advance will get a 30% discount.

Ongoing discussions this week have now moved towards boat owners paying only when sailing or motorboating in Greek waters and not if the boat is not in commission, either in marinas or ashore. Originally owners would have been required to lodge their Papers with the Port Police, whose systems may not be up to the job of storage; in our view this was unacceptable.

Stavros Katsikadis, chairman of the Greek Marinas Association, who has been working with Chris Robb to either reduce or alleviate the new tax for boat owners, said: ‘We were told that any change in favour of the marinas is not easy at all, as they get a lot of pressure from EU committees to collect the fees as soon as possible.’

Chris Robb said: ‘The discussions seem to be getting near to implementation now. We want to ensure that the tax is fair and most importantly, easy for yachtsmen to pay if and when it is implemented. The Greek Government is under extreme pressure from the Troika to raise funds, so we are not confident that there will be many compromises in the tax, we can but only hope that they will have listened to our ideas on an easy-to-use implementation.’

Canna Harbour. Credit: Steve Goldthorp

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