Circulation Tax in Greek Waters

greece sailing

Greece recently announced a new law that enforces taxes for circulation in sea. Anyone who thought of sailing through Greek waters this year will first have to read the following information concerning the tax.

The tax applies to small vessels of all nationalities, commercial or leisure that are over 7 meters in length and want to sail or moor anchor in Greek waters. The tax allows circulation for one calendar year only and the annual charges are:

For 7 to 8m vessels 200€
For 8 to 10m vessels 300€
For 10 to 12m vessels 400€

Every vessel over 12m is charged with 100€ per meter and have two option to reduce costs. The owners can either pay 10€ per meter per every month they stay in Greek waters or have a 30% discount on the annual fee if they are permanently based in Greece.

The circulation tax is valid for the whole period that was covered by the payment but it is not repayable in case the vessel is taken outside the country.

The law derived from two years of conversation that revealed two main oppositions: tourism versus taxation need. Since the law became definite many owners with boats based in Greece have decided to leave Greek waters, while others are seeking concessions for specific boat categories in order to avoid relocating.


  1. Normally I’m opposed to new taxes (which hurts our competitiveness) but in this case it might be a good thing

    introducing this sort of tax discourages ships from entering Greek waters. While granted less ships means less potential spending, it also means less ships to keep track of when it comes to illegals..

  2. How is this tax going to be enforced in remote island anchorages…it isn’t. It will cause tourism to float away towards neighboring friendlier waters with lower fuel, food, and accommodation taxes. This is ND ministerial one upmanship to see who can raise more tax revenue. Pure selfish self-interest petty bureaucrats seeking credibility at the expense of businesses.

  3. Another crazy tax, expecting the tourist yachties to pay through the nose. They already pay high marina fees, buy fuel & many items here & spend money in tavernas, restaurants & bars. They will now sail through Greek waters to cruise the Turkish coast. “Since the law became definite many owners with boats based in Greece have decided to leave Greek waters”. This is the first of the exodus, there will be many more. The Turkish charter & flotilla fleets will stay in their own waters, so this tax will deprive the government of revenue not increase it. It will only be the few rich that can afford to pay, as most yachties do not have this extra cash.

  4. This tax reminded me when I visited NYC some years ago. The city had placed a high tax on cigarettes and proudly claimed in the media the drop in tax revenue indicated a sharp drop in smoking. What really happened was black marketers were purchasing cigarettes in bulk in low tax states and selling them on the NYC streets cutting out the tax entirely. The stupid liberal politicians could never admit their error least they be laughed out of office.

  5. Oh well that will explain why 60 odd yachts have now left from a large charter company!!
    I think we will following them! as i am sure other yachts will follow and leave Greece never to return, what a shame for the population.
    This is absurd to pay for another country TAX that the populous does not what to pay!!
    Also this TAX is against the EU laws…no outer EU country has this law who do the Greeks think they are?

  6. This year I spent €4500 in local Greek business in the course of just 5 weeks sailing. This year because of this tax I will spend ……….. 0
    The cost of this tax increases the cost of my short holiday by more than 10% and I simply cannot justify it. Not only will the Greek government not get my Circulation Tax but local tavernas, fuel suppliers, yacht chandlers and supermarkets will miss out too.

  7. I wonder when the governemnt will start taxing the Big Greek Ship Owners who control at least 15% of the worlds merchant fleet and only 10% of all there fleet sail under the Greek flag to avoid their patriotic duty of paying taxes to their homeland…
    The purpose of targeted taxes is to improve the services and competiveness of what you are taxing – does anyone believe the taxes they will receive will achieve its intended purpose??
    Yet again, no foresight and lack of leadership of Greek governance has failed Greece and its people.

  8. I don’t think it is foreigners tax – it’s a tax for everyone. By taxing the foreigner you’re simply deducting funds from being spent on the people – instead it’s being given directly to those that will steal it.

  9. Or when they will stop calling them Hellenes? Stop showing interest in them as anything other than tax crooks and unpatriotic

  10. Since I stay on my yacht in Greece for the hole year I spend approximately
    30 000€ a year here. This is Norwegian money I add to the country every year. Why should I pay a extra tax? Isn’t it enough?

  11. I’m. A lover of things Greek and have kept our old sailing boat in the ionian for many years because we could just about afford to keep her there,sadly this new tax will be the end of an enjoyable time for us and all the family members that have visited us in the summer months.Even if we could afford this tax on top of trying to run our boat it leaves avery nasty taste in the mouth for us and I’m sure for thousands of others..To bring In a tax to discourage the very income that potentially could have helped the economy is sheer madness,I honestly cannot believe this has been passed by intelligent thinking people. The loss of our small boats income may not seem much but times by the thousands who will feel the same as us and simply need to leave because of the cost plus all the families that would have come …..words fail me they really do!
    Good luck to the Greek people and I hope things eventually turn around and the tourists are actually encouraged to come rather than the opposite.
    Epharisto Poli

  12. Goodbye Greece, hello Turkey. It’s already cheaper to visit Turkey then Greece and now, it’s even more so. This tax will chase thousands of boats out of Greece and tens of millions of Euros in tourist spending. Then, much like the gas tax, the idiot class that Greeks elect and leads Greece will wonder what happened when they don’t raise the taxes and tourism is down.

    Greeks never fail to be the stupidest people on the planet.

  13. Because you are a fool spending your time in a country run by military grade fools.

    Do you know how to find Turkey on a map? Go there and save half the money you spend in Greece.

    This is advice from a Greek who is so fed up with Greece, I want it to fall apart at the seems so we can rebuild it properly.

  14. Are you the same Dean the anti-German RACIST idiot and troll who is now infamous on the Greek net?

  15. This is just one of the European laws that Greece totally ignores & is let to get away with it. Why have laws that the EU fail to enforce on a country that has no regard for them whatsoever but is given all they ask for?

  16. Very well said my friend. This must be the MOST stupid idea to date, & there have been many more before it. But wait a minute. Thousands of EU citizens that have homes in Greece & lived or spent 6 months there, have now left as they were expected to pay a tax for breathing Greek air & for the “privilege” of being there.
    See Keep Talking Greece 13th May

  17. This is also very bad for TR sailors who visit nearby islands many times every year. I believe TR cruisers spends good money in many islands. TR & GR Customs are both terrible places for wasting time, paying a lot and creating distresses not only for Turks or Greeks also for everybody. Every yacht entering to Greece from TR waters were already paying about 60 Euros (Transit log etc.) per entrance… I understood this is not enough and I have to pay more 150 Euros for my 15meter yacht. I was paying multiples of this price to restaurants, bars, beachs, shops etc… This is very bad for us, we have to stop to visit Greece with our boats many times each year.

  18. I have lived in Greek waters off and on for 14 years. All year round. This means that I pay Marina fees, I buy diesel, I use local tavernas, I use the supermarkets for provisions, I use the chandlers for spare parts. I estimate that I put 25,000 to 30,000 euros into the Greek economy each year. I do not drain the local economy by claiming any benefits, so the money is all profit to Greece.
    Suddenly, I find that I am expected to pay 1,200+ Euros extra per year for the privilege of staying in Greece. I shall vote with my hull, and leave Greece and give my money to some other country.
    In the marina I’m staying at the moment, over 90% will be joining me in my decision. The marina is up for sale, due to the austerity measures, can you see any takers?
    I don’t know the number of private boats, of all nationalities, are currently moored in Greece, but if the same percentage leave, then I think the knock on effect will be catastrophic to the Greek Maritime Tourist Industry, the towns and villages on the coast, and eventually the Government coffers!

  19. I can quote the Italian case: one year ago the government announced a similar circulation tax hitting all boats in Italian waters. In a month all the foreigners had already booked a berth in Croatia or France. Two months later the Gov. made a U turn and changed the tax into a possession tax for Italian yacht owners only. The damage was already done and one of the most remarkable industry of the country is now on its knee . Besides that all the money indirectly linked to boat tourism (restaurants, harbours, shops, hotels, craftsmen etc…) simply halved . The revenue loss has been twenty times greater than the actual output of the idiot tax.
    The Greek circulation tax will surely be abolished before the touristic season, but it will be too late.