Law 4256/2014 on “Touristic Yachts and other provisions” abolished the requirement commercial pleasure yachts were previously under in order to hold a valid Greek charter license which was for any charter to start and end in Greece and instead replaced it with the obligation to register with a special online “Registry of Touristic Yachts and Small Vessels”.
For this purpose, Commercial pleasure yachts are defined as pleasure yachts with a capacity up to 49 passengers, disposing of sufficient and adequate habitation spaces for the passengers, for the use of which the parties enter into a full charter contract.
Until the abovementioned Registry becomes operational, the procedure which was applicable prior to the adoption of the abovementioned law applies, and thus yachts either registered with a Greek flag or an EU flag, must apply for a charter license, if they wish to both embark and disembark passengers within Greek waters.
Law 4256/2014 provides that the following registration requirements be met for chartering a pleasure yacht:
- Obtaining of a Greek Tax registration Number through the establishment of a branch office (for non- Greek companies)
- Registration in the special Registry of Touristic Yachts and Small Vessels held by the Ministry of Mercantile Marine and Aegean (or for the time being, application for a charter license, as above).
Pleasure yachts under the flag of a Member State of the European Union (EU) and of the European Economic Area (EEA) may be chartered in the same way as those under the Greek flag, under the registration conditions mentioned above.
For pleasure yachts under the flag of a non-EU or EEA State, additional conditions apply, specifically:
- they must be manufactured mainly of metal or plastic, and
- have an overall length of more than 35 meters; and
- have a carrying capacity of more than twelve (12) passengers.
Commercial pleasure yachts must fulfill per 3- year periods, starting on the day they are registered in the above Registry, a minimum number of charter days, as follows:
(A) 105 days/3 years for bareboat charters (i.e. without captain and crew)
(B) 75 days/3 years if chartered with captain and crew
(C) 25 days/3 years for those determined as traditional, regardless of whether they are being chartered bareboat or not.
The above requirements are reduced for ships aged over 5, 10, 15 and 20 years.
The commencement and termination of the charter is based on the charter agreement and on the place and time of delivery and re-delivery of the yacht.
The minimum charter duration is eight (8) hours per day and are allowed up to 2 charter agreements within the same 24-hour period. Charters executed on the same vessel within the same 24-hour period are considered as 1 charter day for the calculation of the minimum charter days.
N.E.P.A. : THE GREEK MARITIME COMPANY FOR PLEASURE YACHTS
The Maritime Company for Pleasure Yachts (in Greek: Ναυτιλιακή Εταιρεία Πλοίων Αναψυχής) (hereinafter referred to as “N.E.P.A.”), is a commercial company whose exclusive object is the acquisition, exploitation or management of pleasure yachts under the Greek flag which are qualified as commercial, in accordance with the provisions of law 4256/2014.
The incorporation document (articles of association) of the N.E.P.A. must be in writing, signed by at least two subscribers and submitted to the Registry of Maritime Companies of Pleasure Yachts.
The N.E.P.A. is established for a specific period, which is defined in its articles of association, and which cannot exceed 30 years.
The minimum share capital of a N.E.P.A. is 10 000 euros, which is subscribed by the subscribers and paid in full, at the time of incorporation. The minimum nominal value of each share is 1 euro.
The shares of the N.E.P.A. may be either registered or issued to the bearer.
Only citizens or legal entities of EU or EEA member- states may acquire property rights on shares of a N.E.P.A., however the articles of association may provide that citizens or legal entities from countries which are not members of the EU or EEA, may acquire such rights in shares representing in total less than 50% of the share capital.
The N.E.P.A. is managed and represented by a board of directors, composed of at least 3 members, either natural persons or legal entities, who need not be shareholders in the company. The members of the board of directors are elected by the general meeting of shareholders, with the exception of the first members, stated in the Articles of Association.
The representatives of the NEPA are required to pay social insurance and pension contributions, subject to obtaining an exemption in case they are under another insurance system in another member- state of the EU.
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