To charter a recreational vessel, the following documents are required: a certificate by the competent tax authority (i.e. a certificate of starting or modification of business scope issued by the competent tax office in accordance with the Greek Tax Procedure Code) and registration in the relevant Registry by the competent authorities of the Ministry of Shipping and the Aegean.
Chartering can be done by the owner or operator, or following the written consent of the owner or operator, by an agent or tourist office or freight forwarder. The charterer must have a Greek VAT number.
The minimum charter duration shall be eight (8) hours. The start and end of chartering is evidenced by the charter agreement based on the place and time of delivery and re-delivery of the vessel indicated therein. It is possible to conclude two full charter agreements within twenty-four hours (from 00.00 to 23.59 on the same day), which shall be considered as one (1) day for the purposes of calculating the minimum charter days.
The exclusive use of recreational vessels for leisure trips – cruises is repealed; therefore they may be used for training purposes or racing etc.; however the ban on a) transferring people on fare or goods and b) partial charter is maintained.
Greek- or EU-flagged tourist passenger vessels carrying up to ninety-nine (99) passengers may also be chartered under a full charter agreement.
Until the Registry is completed and becomes operational,
a) recreational vessels having a licence under Law 2743/99 which was in force on 14/01/2014 may still be chartered without requiring a new licence or another process. These licences shall remain in force until the date of submitting the application to register the vessel in the Registry. Likewise, the validity of the detax book (fuel) for motor vessels is also extended.
b) ecreational vessels not licensed under Law 2743/99 (new entrants) or those having a licence that expired before 14/01/2014 may be chartered after having obtained a licence by the Ministry of Shipping and the Aegean, issued provisionally for the transitional phase until the Registry becomes operational. This licence shall remain in force until the date of submitting the application to register the vessel in the Registry.
c) Licences under Law 2743/99 whose term, as aforesaid, has been extended, as well as any new licences granted provisionally, shall be kept on board and presented to the competent authorities upon request.
d) For charters commencing at a Greek port, it is necessary to have the charter agreement approved, regardless of whether the recreational vessel is chartered with or without a captain and crew. The approval may be obtained at any Port Authority. Approval of the charter agreement is granted within forty-eight (48) or seventy-two (72) hours in case the next day is the weekend or a public holiday, before commencement of the charter. The approval does not require any shipping documents; however, it is necessary to provide a clear copy of the licence.
In case of charter commencement abroad, the charter agreement shall be approved by the Port Authority of the first Greek port of call.
e) The charters (for ships that have an obligation to complete a minimum number of charter days) shall be registered regularly, based on the approved charter agreements, in the Recreational Vessels Information Special Form (EEPSEPA) by the Port Authority of permanent mooring. The charter agreements concluded entirely abroad may be approved at any Port Authority and registered by that Port Authority in the EEPSEPA, in the first available slot, whether preceding the last entry, until the end of the year concerned.
f) During the charter term, the recreational vessels must have copies of the relevant charter agreements with lists of passengers, which are not required to be stamped by the Port Authority. Any passenger changes must be noted in the list of passengers, however it is not required to be reported to the Port Authority.
Caution: According to the provisions of Law 4250/2014 (A 74), it is no longer required to submit certified copies of public documents, clear copies of the originals are enough. Furthermore, the physical presence of the owner or the operator or captain or commander is not required. The acts referred to in the first part of Law 4256/2014 (A 92) may be carried out through a legally authorised representative.