Saturday, 4 July 2009

Bringing dear old Betsie with me - laws governing importation of your vehicle(s) to Greece

Why not. This is particularly releveant to citizens of any country in the European Union. Since the whole idea behind the European Community was to encourage the free movement of capital, goods and people within the Union, it would seem fair that you would not be penalised for bringing your car with you. Wrong, I am afraid. This has been a bone of contention between the Greek State and the European Commission for years and a lot of progress has not been made.
A series of complaints to the Commission and a number of petitions lodged with the European Parliament revealed that the Greek authorities are not applying Directive 83/183/EEC properly with regard to cars and that this is causing many problems for European citizens.
Instead of granting the "tax exemption" for cars laid down in the Directive, Greece
currently taxes cars brought into Greece by individuals moving to Greece from
another Member State at a rate of one fifth (20%) of the tax normally paid before a
car can be put on the road in Greece. Furthermore, only one car per family qualifies
for the reduced rate whereas the Directive stipulates that an exemption should apply
to every car actually used in the former country of residence by any member of the
family transferring his "normal residence" to another Member State.
Secondly, the Greek authorities apply a restrictive interpretation to the concept of
"normal residence". On the one hand, Greek nationals who have left the country to
live and work in another Member State for a number of years are regarded by the
Greek authorities as residents of Greece even if their centre of interest has been
moved to another Member State. People in this category returning to live in Greece
are therefore charged Greek taxes on an imported car because Directive 83/183 is
considered as non-applicable in their case.
In contrast, where non-nationals are concerned, there are cases where, as proof of
transfer of normal residence, the Greek authorities require the production of a long term residence permit for Greece. However, such a residence permit often takes
more than six months to obtain, in which case, instead of attributing this delay to their own officials, the Greek authorities attribute it to the persons concerned by
prohibiting them from using their vehicles for more than six months or even by
impounding vehicles on the grounds that no tax has been paid on them.
The Greek authorities failed to comply with the Commission’s formal request to
change their law and practices (see IP/02/1036 of 11 July 2002)."

No comment!

1 comment:

  1. wow so troublesome....
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