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.’
Motorboat & Yachting: Foreign sailors in Turkey must now carry a passport valid for at least 60 days beyond the “duration of stay” of their e-Visa or Residence Permit, the Cruising Association warns.
Passport Control Officers will be checking all entries and departures. The e-Visa website only states that the travel passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the intended first date of travel, which is the start date of the visa.
The Visitor’s Visa allows multiple visits totalling 90 days in any rolling 180-day period, so if you make multiple visits throughout the full 180-days the CA advises to ensure your passport is valid for 240 days beyond the date of intended first entry.
Those wishing to stay in Turkey for periods longer than a Visitor’s Visa allows must obtain a Residence Permit. This is only available for periods of three to 12 months for the category of temporary visitors.
The confusion resulting from differing document requirements for a Residence Permit has been addressed during 2015 with the introduction by the Foreigners’ Department of a Central Appointment System. This online system aims at achieving uniformity of documentation throughout all 81 Provinces.
This system is now mandatory, and requires submission of various details electronically and, for the first application, a request for an appointment at a local office in Turkey. The originals of the documents must then be presented by the applicant or authorised representative, although renewal can be solely online.
Pratical Boat Owner: Entries are now open for World Cruising Club’s new ARC Channel Islands 2016 rally following a packed launch event at the Southampton Boat Show.
More than 50 people gathered at the RYA lounge to learn more about the new rally, which will be taking place in August 2016.
Run in association with RYA Active Marina and with the support of Hamble School of Yachting and Practical Boat Owner magazine, ARC Channel Islands offers a mix of preparation advice and support from a lead boat, combined with a cruise-in-company and social activities ashore.
About the rally
Premier Marina in Gosport will host the start of ARC Channel Islands 2016 with a welcome supper, safety checks and Skippers Briefing organised before the fleet set sail for the first leg to Cherbourg on Saturday 20 August.
Following the full day sail, rally yachts arrive in the French port to celebrate a successful Channel crossing with a welcome reception to share their experiences, and crews will have the following day to explore the town and visit the local market.
After the passage to Cherbourg, the distances between stopovers are between 30-50nm as the rally visits Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney; the days are planned to combine pleasant sailing with time to explore ashore and meet up with other crews over a rally meal or sundowner on arrival.
The overall route and daily schedule is adaptable for prevailing weather conditions and rally staff will be on hand throughout to deliver the shoreside programme, including an island tour of Guernsey and visit to the Second World War Military Hospital, as well as a ride on the Alderney railway.
The fleet will return to Gosport following an overnight sail from Alderney, and conclude the rally with a farewell dinner on Saturday 27 August.
Crews joining ARC Channel Islands will receive the peace of mind of being part of an organised event; enjoying social and sightseeing activities with others in the fleet along with time to independently explore.
The entry fee includes all berthing for the duration of the rally, GPS satellite tracking of each yacht, the support of a lead boat and World Cruising Club staff on hand throughout the rally.
Aside from the focus on safety and support, there is a comprehensive social programme encouraging the camaraderie between crews to quickly develop during the rally. RYA membership is included in the entry fee for those not already members and discounts are available for existing RYA members.
Guy Malpas, RYA yachting development manager, said: ‘The RYA Active Marina scheme aims to help boat owners gain more from their boats, and this rally is an excellent opportunity for both novice and experienced sailors to hone their skills on a challenging but enjoyable passage. We are pleased to be supporting this rally, and hope it is encourages more people to get afloat and use their boats.’
Entries are open
The first 10 boats to enter ARC Channel Islands will be automatically entered into a prize draw to win a set of recommended charts and pilot books, courtesy of Imray.
The set, worth £270, will equip any sailor with every publication they could need for a cross channel trip. In addition, all confirmed ARC Channel Island entries can save up to 30% on selected charts and pilot books through Imray once they have signed up to the rally.
Due to space restrictions, ARC Channel Islands is limited to 25 boats and places will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served basis’. We anticipate the rally to be popular and encourage those interested to enter early to secure their place.
The entry fee is made up of a boat fee and a crew fee payable for each person onboard the boat. Boat Fee: based on LOA as follows:
- 8.23-12.00m £475 + VAT* = £570**
- 12.01-14.00m £525 + VAT* = £630**
- 14.01-18.29m £575 + VAT* = £690**
*VAT at the prevailing rate on date of entry ** with VAT at 20% as at date of publication
Catamarans: There is a berthing supplement for catamarans of £130 relative to LOA as shown above.
- Whole Rally Crew Fee – non-RYA member £195
- Whole Rally Crew Fee – RYA Member £145
- Whole Rally Crew Fee – Child aged 6 – 18 on 31 July 2016 £75
- Single Leg Crew Fee £75
What do the entry fees include?
Before the rally
• Comprehensive rally information accessed through the Member’s Area of www.worldcruising.com providing advice about participation/equipment
• Pre-rally newsletters
• Full support of World Cruising Club staff prior to rally to aid preparations
• Attendance at a full day preparation seminar, held spring 2016 (two places per boat entry)
• One year’s RYA membership for each crew member aged 18 or over (non-RYA members only)
• Savings of up to 30% on selected charts and pilot books through Imray
Pratical Boat Owner: If you are cruising in Italian waters and have a tender and outboard motor, you may need to change your insurance details immediately or risk being fined, the Cruising Association (CA) advises.
An Italian government body ISVAP (L’Istituto per la vigilanza sulle assicurazioni private e di interesse collettivo) or (Institute for the supervision of private insurance and collective interest) is requiring a new yacht liability certificate of insurance (blue card) for boats which takes immediate effect.
This is the Liability certificate that is in Italian and is provided by your insurer when cruising in Italian waters and which proves that you have compulsory liability insurance in place.
The only changes to the old liability certificate is that it now formally requires the serial number of the tender and the outboard and boat skippers can be fined if they do not have the correct documents. The new wording from the Italian government has already been implemented by Lloyds of London and through Lloyd’s Italy.
CA member, Rob Stevens, MD of Topsail Insurance, said that even prior to the new ISVAP requirement, some of his clients had already been fined for not having the tender and outboard serial numbers noted and he was immediately issuing the new updated Italian document that complies to the amended regulations.
Rob said: ‘The tender and outboard details have now been formally adopted into the certificate by ISVAP and all insurers will need to include the new format in their documentation in order to ensure that boat skippers are not fined for having incorrect documents.’
But the Cruising Association (CA), which has hundreds of members sailing in Greece, warns that the law also calls for certificates of insurance giving higher values.
All vessels under 300gt now need insurance of €50,000 per passenger and not less than €500,000 per event to cover civil liability for bodily harm or death of passengers and third parties due to collision, crash, sinking or any other cause.
Civil liability for material damage needs insurance cover of €150,000.
The old limits (which most policies currently cover) were €300,000 for bodily injury or death, €150,000 for third-party, and €90,000 for sea pollution.
The new law follows the new Greek cruising tax which charges all boat owners using Greek waters – up to 400 euros for boats under 12m and up to 100 euros x the metre length of boat for a full calendar year. The higher rate can be reduced if the boat spends less than seven months a year in the water.
Also, if the boat spends more than 11 months in Greek territory – afloat or ashore – owners can claim a 30% reduction on yearly rates.
A system for making payment of the tax is expected to be in place sometime in May but a period of transition will follow when penalties are very unlikely. The relaxation of port police procedures is already in effect.
Multiple methods for paying are being arranged: on-line; through port police, tax offices and agents; and possibly through banks. Cash, credit or debit cards can be used by most collecting methods.
The Cruising Association (CA) has been busy working with Greek authorities to reduce the effects of the new legislation and many of its suggestions have been taken on board. So far, the following has been confirmed:
- *All EU boats cruising in Greece need a DEKPA (Cruising Bulletin) and that remains permanently valid.
- *Once the Greek tax payment system (TPP) is in force, the DEKPA will be used to register the boat and payments of the TPP. It is still unsure how this will work except that there will be a central on-line registry.
- *While the boat remains in Greece, the DEKPA only needs to be presented to port police once a year. We are still checking what happens when only a month’s tax has been paid for boats more than 12m.
- *Boats should carry an up-to-date crew list and report any changes to immigration control.
- *Permission from the port police is no longer needed on arrival in harbour, to haul out, re-launch or to leave harbour.
- *Licences are no longer required for fishing from a boat.
- *The port police only need to be contacted if there is an accident or injury at sea, but they have the right to visit the boat to check payment of dues.
- *All insurance certificates need to show the revised cover.
Boats of 12m and less pay a single fee on arrival in Greece or on launching. This will permit them to cruise for the rest of that calendar year in Greek waters. There are three bands: 7.1m to 8m, €200; 8.1m to 10m, €300; and 10.1m to 12m, €400. After a transition period, boats over 12m which try to evade paying this tax face a harsh penalty if caught – they have to pay twice the full annual rate due.
The Cruising Association updates its public web site news item on this subject as soon as new information is received – see http://cruising.org.uk/news/greektax to keep up to date.