Practical Boat Owner: Greek authorities have drafted new legislation in the way they charge a tax on all boats in their waters – and again the Cruising Association (CA) is again working with them to introduce a fair system for all.

 

The Greek Government brought out the new TPP (Cruising) tax 18 months ago which imposed a new duty on all private and commercial craft using Greek waters – but the system of paying the tax was never properly introduced.

At that time the CA negotiated significant changes to the bill and managed to change the way Port Police interacted with yachtsmen – removing the need to report to Port Police except once a year.

The gist of the new legislation is similar to the original TPP but has gone back to the basic premise of an annual tax payable from January to December from where the TPP stated.

Chris Robb, a CA member who has sailed in Greek waters for many years, said: ‘Now this new tax has been announced we intend to try to work with the current Greek Government to make sure the rates of tax are fair and that the method of collection is simple and easy for us to comply with.

‘But the first point of contention is that in the rates they have announced, you will see a huge jump between an 11.9 metre boat and a 12.1 metre boat. This rate jump is in my view unacceptable.

‘The Cruising association, as we did last time, will endeavour to co-operate with the Greek Government to produce a fair and easy to pay tax.  From the draft bill it appears that everything that we managed to agree last time has been forgotten – with one exception, that under 12 metre boats can pay by the month.

‘There are a lot of unknowns in the draft bill which we will seek to get answers to. We assume that they will try to have this Tax in action by the New Year.’

See article at Practical Boat Owner

Yachting Monthly World: Sailors, beach-goers and other water users are being asked to help out with the Great British Beach Clean from 16-19 September 2016.

 

The Marine Conservation Society is asking for sailors, as well as other beach-lovers to volunteer to join them on the beaches for the Great British Beach Clean in September.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) wants to tackle the huge quantity of litter washing up on the UK’s shores, and the charity says it cannot do it without public support. They urgently need volunteers to take part in the UK’s biggest beach clean and litter survey, which takes place on the third weekend in September.

In 2015, just over 6,000 volunteers cleaned 340 beaches, recording the largest amount of litter per kilometre – a staggering 3,298 pieces.

MCS Beachwatch Manager, Lauren Eyles says it’s crucial we do something to tackle rising litter levels:

‘Over the last decade, we’ve recorded a huge hike in the amount of litter found on our beaches – up by over 65 per cent. We need help and anyone can simply volunteer to take part.’

This year’s MCS Great British Beach Clean takes place on the 16, 17, 18, and 19 September, and will involve thousands of volunteers taking to the beaches all and around the UK coast. They’ll clean up and record the rubbish they find. The event is being supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said:

‘It’s really important for everyone to learn about the dangers of marine litter and I’m delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting the Marine Conservation Society who are tackling this important cause. I would urge anyone who has the time to spare to take part in this beach clean.”

Some of our best-loved marine wildlife is under threat from hazardous litter in our seas. Hundreds of species of marine wildlife accidentally eat, or become tangled up in litter – and it’s also hazardous to people.

Find out more at www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch  or telephone 01989 566017.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK charity dedicated to the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. MCS campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, and protection of marine life. Through education, community involvement and collaboration, MCS raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas and promotes individual, industry and government action to protect the marine environment.

MCS provides information and guidance on many aspects of marine conservation and produces the annual Good Beach Guide, the Good Fish Guide on sustainable seafood, as well as promoting public participation in volunteer projects such as The Great British Beach Clean and Basking Shark Watch. www.mcsuk.org

See article at Yachting Monthly World

Practical Boat Owner: Two men who sailed a yacht carrying almost a tonne of cocaine across the Atlantic have been sentenced to more than 34 years in prison.

 

Sailing the yacht were Raymond Aalders, 47, and skipper, Hendrik Brugmans, 69, both Dutch nationals. National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators found evidence that Brugmans was paid 1.2 million Euros for making the trip.

They were both arrested after the yacht Golem was intercepted by a Border Force cutter off the coast of Rye on 31 August 2015.

At the time of its interception the Golem had it’s navigation beacon turned off and was noticeably listing to one side.

The 56ft yacht was escorted into Dover marina, where a search by specialist Border Force teams revealed hundreds of packages of drugs concealed in specially made hides in a workshop, water tank, and underneath benches.

In interviews with NCA officers they both admitted sailing the vessel from Curacao in the southern Caribbean. The boat’s destination was believed to have been the Netherlands.

Forensic tests on the packages revealed the cocaine was 70 percent pure, and if adulterated and sold in the UK would have had a potential street value of around £120 million.

Both Brugmans and Aalders pleaded guilty to importing class A drugs and were sentenced today at Maidstone Crown Court to 20 years and nine months and 14 years respectively.

Matt Rivers from the NCA’s border investigation team said: ‘These two men were involved in an audacious plot to smuggle millions of pounds worth of high purity class A drugs into Europe.

‘Their reckless attempts to avoid detection by breaching sailing regulations could have had extremely dangerous consequences.

‘It is believed the final destination of the boat was to be the Netherlands but given the sheer scale of this seizure, it is likely that a large amount of the drugs would have ended up being sold on the streets of the UK.

‘The NCA will continue to work with Border Force to disrupt the organised criminals involved in trafficking cocaine to Europe and the UK.’

See article at Practical Boat Owner

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Categories: Yacht smuggling

Yachting Monthly: Sailors, beach-goers and other water users are being asked to help out with the Great British Beach Clean from 16-19 September 2016.

The Marine Conservation Society is asking for sailors, as well as other beach-lovers to volunteer to join them on the beaches for the Great British Beach Clean in September.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) wants to tackle the huge quantity of litter washing up on the UK’s shores, and the charity says it cannot do it without public support. They urgently need volunteers to take part in the UK’s biggest beach clean and litter survey, which takes place on the third weekend in September.

In 2015, just over 6,000 volunteers cleaned 340 beaches, recording the largest amount of litter per kilometre – a staggering 3,298 pieces.

MCS Beachwatch Manager, Lauren Eyles says it’s crucial we do something to tackle rising litter levels:

‘Over the last decade, we’ve recorded a huge hike in the amount of litter found on our beaches – up by over 65 per cent. We need help and anyone can simply volunteer to take part.’

This year’s MCS Great British Beach Clean takes place on the 16, 17, 18, and 19 September, and will involve thousands of volunteers taking to the beaches all and around the UK coast. They’ll clean up and record the rubbish they find. The event is being supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said:‘

It’s really important for everyone to learn about the dangers of marine litter and I’m delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting the Marine Conservation Society who are tackling this important cause. I would urge anyone who has the time to spare to take part in this beach clean.”

Some of our best-loved marine wildlife is under threat from hazardous litter in our seas. Hundreds of species of marine wildlife accidentally eat, or become tangled up in litter – and it’s also hazardous to people.

Find out more at www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch  or telephone 01989 566017.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK charity dedicated to the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. MCS campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, and protection of marine life. Through education, community involvement and collaboration, MCS raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas and promotes individual, industry and government action to protect the marine environment.

See article at Yachting Monthly

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