Fuel smuggling worth €250m annually, sector authority notes

Manipulated petrol station pumps, adulterated fuel and a lack of inspections by authorities, all persisting Greek fuel market problems, are contributing to illicit fuel trade worth as much as 250 million euros, annually, local industry authorities have noted.

This development has had a major negative impact on the local market. Over the past decade, heating fuel tax has risen sharply from 21 euros to 280 euros per ton, the fuel sector’s annual aggregate revenue figure has dropped by 600 million euros, more than 3,000 petrol stations have gone out of business, and annual volume-based consumption has shrunk by 40 percent, from 11.4 tons to 6.9 million tons.

An inflow-outflow monitoring system for petrol stations, introduced in 2014 as a measure to counter fuel smuggling, has not yet been fully implemented despite costing hundreds of millions in private and public-sector money.

A plan to install GPS systems on fuel trucks as a means of monitoring their movements has remained pending. Technical details and procedures concerning this measure have yet to be established.

Fuel smugglers have been left to roam without restriction, Roberto Karahannas, head of SEEPE, the Hellenic Petroleum Marketing Companies Association, noted yesterday during a presentation of fuel market developments.