Illicit shipping fuel trade persistent, latest measure a step back

Illicit shipping fuel trade in Greece remains a persisting issue despite a series of measures implemented by a succession of governments since 2002 to restrict movement by vessels of smuggled fuel.

In a latest initiative, the finance ministry is preparing a rule, which, if implemented, will nullify preceding measures, subsequently permitting, once again, the use of floating refueling means of any capacity without any restriction of movement.

Adoption of this rule will effectively facilitate the avoidance of special consumption tax payments on shipping fuel purchased.

Special consumption tax on shipping diesel is 410 euros per cubic meter, roughly the current market value of the fuel, while this tax on mazut is 38 euros per ton.

Relatively recent rules, introduced in 2015 and 2016, requiring shipping companies to install certified fuel inflow-outflow monitoring systems as well as GPS technology, have not yet been fully implemented and, subsequently, proved insufficient to stop illicit shipping fuel trade.