New measures to promote the Greek flag

Photo: Dimitri Houtteman - Unsplash dimitri-houtteman-aR8kcIogZew-unsplash.jpg
The Greek government is promoting a package of new measures aimed at halting the steady 'leakage' of ships and tonnage from the Greek flag to registers outside the European Union, as well as seeking to strengthen the competitiveness of the Greek seafarer.

Explaining the move to boost the attractiveness of the Greek flag, the country’s Shipping Ministry said in a statement: “Fourteen years after the previous legislation, with huge and continuous changes in international maritime transport, the government, consistent in its commitments, is proceeding with necessary steps to modernise the institutional framework of the Greek shipping industry.”

It is noted, the new measures, at the core of which is the removal of disincentives and the streamlining of procedures related to the selection of the Greek flag, will be incorporated into the existing stable and constitutionally enshrined institutional framework for the registration of oceangoing ships. The new measures provide greater flexibility in crew employment conditions, reflect international best practices in the foreign (non-Greek) crew tax regimes and promote maritime training.

Shipping and Island Policy Minister, Ioannis Plakiotakis, pointed out that “although Greek shipowners maintain the country's world leadership, today only 16.7% of the Greek-owned tonnage flies the Greek flag. This has adverse consequences for the image of the country, as well as for maritime employment and maritime know-how”.

He pointed out "The package we are announcing aims to reverse this image. We are setting new bases for the development of our shipping, which meet the modern conditions. At this point I want to thank the leadership of the ministries of Finance and Development and Investment, as well as the administration of NAT [Seamens Pension Fund] for constructive cooperation.

“The first reactions of the social partners to the competitiveness measures were very positive. Our aim is to give new life to the Greek register, by registering new Greek-owned oceangoing ships, in order to stop a declining course of more than 30 years. Today, more than 4,000 Greek-owned ships fly a flag other than the Greek one".

Plakiotakis concluded: “We want to send a strong message to Greek shipowners that the Greek government is close to them, listens to their needs and that the blue and white [the colors of the Greek flag], with the quality features and flexibility it provides through the new measures, is the most reliable choice.

“We look forward to the positive response of the Greek shipping community, ship ownership and seafaring, so that in a time of challenges this national goal can be achieved.”

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