A tax introduced this year on big yachts entering Greek waters hasn't deterred any from coming despite some confusion over how it was to be paid, with the wealthy still pouring in this summer and cruising to the popular islands.
The fee, called TEPAI, began in May and applies to vessels bigger than seven meters (22 feet) and is payable prior to or upon entry into Greek waters at a monthly rate of eight euros per meter (for yachts over 12 meters (39 feet.)
With Greece an increasingly popular super yacht destination, many of the local yachting community were concerned that the tax might keep them away but it hasn't happened, said the site Superyacht News.
Having now been in force all summer, however, the tax seems to have been largely accepted by captains and owners due to the fairly insignificant rate applied and the prior warning that was given, the report said.
“When the cruising tax entered into force, we were initially worried about the impact it might have on visiting yacht numbers, but we have found that nobody has complained about it,” Victor Kalahari, Agency Manager at G&K Yachting told the site. “Some yachts even paid for a number of months ahead of time.”
Mike Brewer, Agency Manager at A1 Yachting, said no yachts have been discouraged by the tax. “The newly-introduced tax proved to be more of a confusion than an objection to visiting yachts, as well as a lot extra work for their agents,” he said.
“The only hitch encountered was when vessels confirmed the payment to be made and then had a change of orders, payment could not be reclaimed from the government. Generally speaking there was no objection to the tax; yachts were advised well in advance so they knew what to expect but had to be reminded close to the end of each month for the upcoming month’s payment.”
The report said figures showed there was no impact, with an increase in super yacht arrivals of 10.75 percent over 2018 with the favored destinations being Corfu, Athens, Kimonos, Cephalic and Rhodes.
According to the data, there was a 10 per cent increase in super yacht arrivals in most destinations compared to 2018, with the exception of Crete showing a 50 percent increase as people who can afford to be on a super yacht and the owners don't care about the tax.