Relevant Articles For You

Greece Country Snapshot

FedEx Service Availability

International Service Availability* Export U.S. to Greece Import U.S. from Greece
Document/Package/Mail Services    
FedEx® International Next Flight
FedEx International First®    
FedEx International Priority®
FedEx International Economy®  
FedEx International Ground®    
FedEx International MailService®
     
Freight Services    
FedEx International Priority® Freight
FedEx International Economy® Freight  
FedEx Freight® Priority    
FedEx Freight® Economy    
FedEx International Premium®    
     
Distribution Services    
FedEx International Priority DirectDistribution®    
FedEx® International DirectDistribution  
FedEx International Ground® Distribution    
     
Value-Added/Industry-specific Solutions    
FedEx® Electronic Trade Documents    
Dangerous Goods    
Dry Ice    
FedEx Priority Alert™    
SenseAware®    
FedEx International Broker Select®  
FedEx® 10kg Box and FedEx® 25kg Box
FedEx® Third Party Consignee    
     
Greece Domestic Services No

*Availability of particular services may vary by origin and destination. Availability of particular solutions may vary by service selected. All services subject to the applicable FedEx Service Guide.

Country Information

Capital: Athens
Population: 10,787,690 (est.)
Language: Greek 99% (official), English, French
Weights and Measures: Metric
Currency: EURO (EUR)
Time Zone Greece operates on Greenwich mean time (GMT) plus 2 hours (GMT + 3 during daylight saving time). 
(GMT + 3 during daylight saving time).

Back to Top

Trade Group Member

Greece is a member of a number of international economic organizations including the:

European Union

Since 1957, the European Union allows for the free movement of goods between Greece and the other member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and Croatia. The European Union has numerous bilateral and multilateral agreements, such as the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (formerly the Multi-Fiber Agreement), PECO countries Agreement, Israel Agreement, Turkey Agreement, Baltic Sea countries Agreement, European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland). All these agreements are grouped under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization (WTO). All agreements ratified by European Union Executive Commission automatically apply to all EU member states. Exemption or reduced tariff is applicable only to qualified members under the agreement as originating goods.

World Trade Organization

Established in 1995, the WTO has a membership of over 140 countries. It is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world's trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters and importers conduct their business.

World Customs Organization

The WCO aids the national economic wealth and social protection of its members by promoting honest, transparent and predictable Customs. Established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council, the WCO is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations. With 164 Member Governments, it is the only inter-governmental worldwide organization competent in Customs matters.

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

The mission of OPCW is to implement the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention in order to achieve the OPCW's vision of a world free of chemical weapons, and a world in which co-operation in chemistry for peaceful purposes for all is fostered. In doing this, their ultimate aim is to contribute to international security and stability: general and complete disarmament; and global and economic development.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna

CITES entered into force on 1975 and now has a membership of 152 countries. These countries act by banning commercial international trade in an agreed list of endangered species and by regulating and monitoring trade in others that might become endangered.

Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer is a landmark international agreement designed to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. The treaty was originally signed in 1987 and stipulates that the production and consumption of compounds that deplete ozone in the stratosphere are to be phased out.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

The OECD groups 30 countries in an organization that, most importantly, provides governments a setting in which to discuss, develop and perfect economic and social policy. They compare experiences; seek answers to common problems; and work to co-ordinate domestic and international policies that increasingly, in today's global economy, must form a web of even practice across nations.

Wassenaar Arrangement

Established in order to contribute to regional and international security and stability by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilizing accumulations. Participating states, Greece included, will seek, through their national policies, to ensure that transfers of theses items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities, which undermine these goals, and are not diverted to support such capabilities.

Back to Top

General Import Clearance Information

Clearance Process

Imported goods are not legally entered until after the shipment has been released by Greek Customs. Greek Customs may pull any shipment at any time for review or investigation, which could result in clearance/delivery delays. NOTE: In addition to the Customs Department, importers should contact other agencies when questions regarding particular commodities arise. For example, questions about textile products should be forwarded to the Ministry of National Economy.The Importer of Record or a licensed Customs Broker may account for goods. According to the Importer of Record's profile FedEx GTS Greece will either provide notification upon arrival of shipments to the Importer's designated Customs Broker or clear and advance payment of any duties and taxes levied for the shipments on behalf of the importer.

Note: A Customs (entry and payment processing) account can be established at any customs office and by the importer himself for his shipments or by FedEx for all its customers. Currently only FedEx's account is being used. An air waybill may be used for qualifying standard clearance procedure merchandise (samples and low value shipments) arriving by air, but all other merchandise must be presented with a commercial invoice that contains all the data requirements of Greek Customs Department.

If it is desired to postpone the release of  the goods, they may be placed in FedEx's cage in a bonded warehouse until the documentation has been obtained for appropriate release. If the goods are not released from Customs within 5 days, they are reported to the Customs Office warehouse and abandoned or sent back to the origin at shipper's expense.

Most imports enter under MFN Rates (Most Favored Nation) rates. The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) lays out the rules for the utilization of preferential duties granted for imports from developing countries. Furthermore, the EU has entered a number of agreements with European and overseas countries which provide for preferential customs treatment of certain products of those countries. In order to be able to benefit from these lower tariff rates the goods have to be accompanied by certificates of origin as set forth in the agreements. In addition to import duties, imports are subject to other minor surcharges totaling less than 1 percent.

Relative high tariffs apply to textile, automobile, consumer electronics, cereal, meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and tobacco.  

EU Feed & Food Products

The European Commission introduced increased controls on the import of feed and food products from Japan which might have been affected by the recent incident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Be aware that these items will certainly incur delays and possibly also additional costs due to examination and investigation of their source. Certification and advance warning is required in order to allow the processing to proceed correctly. The measure will be valid from March 27 2011 until March 31, 2014 and will be reviewed by the European Commission on a monthly basis until further notice. This applies to concerned items either originating in or consigned from Japan.  

EORI Scheme

The EU legislation requires all member states to adopt the Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) Scheme.

All Economic Operators (who are defined as persons natural or legal whose businesses are regulated by Customs legislation) need to use a unique EORI reference number in all electronic communications with Customs and other government agencies involved in the international movement of goods be it export, transit or import operations.

A unique EORI number will be allocated to each Economic Operator in the EU, to be used in all member states in which they operate. This EORI will be used for making import, export and transit declarations.

Failure to provide an EORI number at the FedEx clearance locations when exporting out of, or importing in the EU in your name will result in customs clearance delays. For more information visit the EU Commission website on EORI.

Document Requirements

Several different forms of documentation may be required for shipments to Greece. Exporters are required to present two commercial invoices, one bill of lading and three copies of a certificate of origin for all shipments. Other certificates are necessary for exporting pharmaceutical goods, perishable foods, live animals and some medical goods. Some of the documentation required may be:

Import Licenses

Certain products require special documents: food products need a certificate of health in Greek; electric materials and construction equipment/machinery need a certificate of conformity to EU directives; grapes, alcoholic beverages and tobacco need a certificate of authenticity. Certificates of origin may also be required if the origin can in any way be attributed to a country subject to quantitative or other restrictions Importers apply for import licenses at the Ministry of National Economy or the respective agency that controls the commodity. A commercial invoice that includes freight and insurance, the C.I.F. price, net and gross weight, and an invoice number must accompany the license application. Customs accepts commercial invoices by fax. The license, once granted, is normally valid for six months but may be extended if adequate justification is provided. Goods that are shipped to a Greek customs area without proper import licenses or declarations are usually subject to considerable delay and may run up substantial demurrage charges. Prior to making shipments, exporters should ensure that the importer has obtained the necessary licenses.

Sanitary Certificates - Animal and Plant Health Inspections certificates are required from the importing country for the importation of living plant material, including plants, plant products and seeds into Greece. Health inspection requirements also govern the importation of animals and parts of animals, including meat products, skins, hides and similar products, marine mammals, fish, crustaceans, or mollusks and parts thereof. New-to-market food products require a special approval that is granted by the General State Laboratory. Products complying with the Food Code do not require a special permit to be imported and marketed in Greece, with the exception of seeds, meat and poultry products, nuts, and dairy products. In order for a seed variety to be imported into Greece it should be listed in the European Variety Catalog. If not, it must be registered in the national Catalog of Greece, which requires tests taking 2-3 years, depending on variety and species. Certain certificates required by the EU must accompany seeds. Most of these certificates are obtained by providing the proper documentation to Ministry of Agriculture.

Pharmaceutical Certificates - Pharmaceutical imports require a special approval that is granted by the National Pharmaceutical Organization. New-to-market food products require similar approval by the General State Laboratory.

Bills of Lading - No special regulations

Certificates of Origin - Certificates of Origin maybe required for the importation of textile products valued at or over 45 Euro. Exceptions from this includes: textiles products falling under section XI of the Nomenclature, marked and mutilated samples; luggage made up of textile materials, canvas bags, bona-fide gifts and personal effects. The country of origin is required to be stated on the Commercial Invoice. If preferential duty is being claimed, supporting documents such as a Form A is required. 

Certificate of Origin Form A - A Certificate of Origin Form A may be required for goods under formal entry claiming preferential duty or exemption under the various agreements of Generalized System of Preferences. It should be produced at the time of entry and must be in the possession of the Importer at the time of entry. Origin of the goods must be detailed on the commercial invoice.

EUR 1 form Import - An EUR 1 form may be required for goods under formal entry claiming preferential duty or exemption under various bilateral agreements by the European Union countries and some specific countries or groups of countries. It should be produced at the time of entry and must be in possession of the Importer at the time of entry. Origin of the goods must be detailed on the commercial invoice.

EUR 1 form Export - An EUR 1 form from the European Union to some countries is used to claim preferential duty or exemption under the various agreements as per the above paragraph.

Quotas - Quotas have been assigned by the European Union to specific countries for specific products, which allow for the controlled importation of specific products.

Commercial Invoices - Invoices are required for all dutiable shipments relating to commercial transactions between companies and companies, companies and individuals, regardless of the value. Commercial invoices should show freight, insurance and similar charges as separate items when applicable, regardless of the INCOTERM used on the transaction. It must be in Greek for export shipments or accompanied by a translation. It can be in any official language for import shipments and, if required by customs, must be accompanied by a translation. A party who is knowledgeable of the transaction, must furnish translation, if requested. Specific invoice details are required for a number of commodities including the following:

  • Textiles - the fabric breakdown, whether knit or woven and, for clothing articles, the gender
  • Marked/mutilated samples - the words "mutilated samples" or " marked samples, not for resale" as applicable
  • Software on CD's and floppy disks - The value of software must be shown separately from software support

All acceptable non-document shipments require a commercial invoice on company letterhead. Electronic invoices are not accepted.

Dangerous Goods Certification - Some goods will, in addition to the standard documentation noted above, require DG certification. Examples: Perfumes, Liquor, Chemicals, etc.

Air Waybill - An air waybill or carriers certificate (naming the consignee for customs purposes) is required as evidence of the consignee's right to make entry.

Declaration of Antiquity - A declaration must be shown on the invoice for goods over 100 years old. The statement must include the words " circa date" followed by the year of manufacture whether known or estimated.

Customs Valuation

All goods categorized, as non-document commercial goods shipped to Greece must have a proper value declared and proper description provided which should convey the shipper's intent related to the goods as well as any special processing requirements that exist for the goods shipped. Everything has a value, whether or not a transaction took place. Failure to properly document value of any goods will result in delays and or additional fees as deemed necessary in addition to warehouse fees.  

Import Duties Import Duty Rate

Greece, like most member states of the European Community, bases its Harmonized Tariff Schedule on the TARIC (Integrated Tariff of the European Community) which is issued by the Commission and the Member States for the purpose of applying Community measures relating to import and exports, and-when necessary- to trade between member sates. The TARIC also serves as a basis for the working tariffs and tariff file of Greece and other Member States.Greek customs values shipments at C.I.F. prices. Import duty rates are divided into two classifications: Most Favored Nation (MFN) and General. Import duties are calculated on ad valorem basis, i.e. expressed as a percentage of the value of the imported goods. There are three primary entry types for importing into Greece:

  1. Standard clearance procedure
  2. Simplified clearance procedure
  3. Simplified declaration procedure

The first two procedures apply to all shipments regardless of value; the third one applies to shipments of commercial samples valued below 45 EUR or gifts valued below 23 EURO and/or to negligible value shipments below 22 EURO and provides Duty and Tax relief. Below is a summary of the new rules for EU deminimis value that enter into effect December 1, 2008:

  • A commercial shipment below 22 Euros: no duty and no VAT collected.
  • A commercial shipment between 22 Euros and 150 Euros: no duty but VAT is collected.
  • A commercial shipment over 150 Euros:duty and VAT are collected.

It is recommended that before you send Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) shipments to Greece verify the local customs/VAT requirements at the EU destination country.

Antidumping

Under strict enforcement of unfair trade laws, Customs will assess antidumping duties or countervailing duties. Antidumping duties are assessed on imported merchandise sold in Greece (EU) at less than the normal price of goods in the manufacturer's home market (also called fair market value).  

Excise Duties

Excise duty rates may also be applicable on certain items such as alcohol and tobacco. For further information, please contact the Greek Customs Office. Excise taxes are assessed against certain commodities, which are normally identified as "luxury" goods. The excise tax is normally assessed against tobacco products, perfumes and alcohol products but can also be assessed against other goods as deemed by Greek regulations. A 12% admissions tax is applied on all motion pictures.  

Additional Duties Countervailing

Countervailing duties are assessed to counter the effects of subsidies provided by a foreign government for merchandise exported to Greece resulting in artificially low prices that are detrimental to Greece and other European Union member states industries.

Watch Duty Rate

Watches imported into Greece are subject to classification and duty assessment based on a per item basis. The actual duty and the final rate of duty are determined based on the classification of the watch at the time of entry processing with customs.

Import Taxes

In addition to duties, goods imported into Greece are also subject to a value-added Tax (VAT) which is generally charged at one of three rates:

  1. The reduce rate of 13% applicable to foodstuff, medical equipment for disabled persons, medical services and admission to sporting events.
  2. The standard basic value added tax is at a rate of 23%, VAT is payable on the sum of the value of the goods, plus insurance, plus freight cost and any other duty amount the goods may be subject to.
  3. The reduce rate of 6.5% applicable to books, newspapers, pharmaceutical products and hotel accommodations.

Customs Fees Invoice Fee

Customs in some situations will assess additional fees based on the invoices provided for a shipment. The fee is usually levied if they deem them necessary as part of the terms of entry due to the size of the shipment and the related large number of invoices provided by the shipper for his goods.

Examination Fees

Additional fees can be assessed on some commodities to cover the expense of performing the examinations and or testing required as a condition of the goods entry into the commerce of Greece. Commodities affected: cosmetics, drugs and medicines, artwork.

Exchange Controls

NONE

Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT's)

Technical barriers or non-tariff barriers to trade, as they are sometimes known, can cause many problems for exporters looking for new markets for their products. These barriers can be in the form of regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures. The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade tries to ensure that these barriers do not create unnecessary obstacles. To obtain further information on Technical Barriers to Trade as well as Notifications on Technical Regulation and Conformity Assessment Procedures, go to http://www.wto.org/index.htm

Consular Fees NONE

General Import Clearance Information The importation of certain classes of merchandise may be prohibited or restricted to protect the economy and security of Greece and other EU member states, to safeguard consumer health, well being, and to preserve domestic plant and animal life. Some commodities are also subject to an import quota or a restraint under bilateral trade agreements and arrangements. In addition to Customs requirements, many prohibited or restricted imports are subject to laws and regulations administered by other Greek Government agencies for which the Greek Customs Department is the enforcer. These laws and regulations may, for example, prohibit entry; limit entry to certain points; restrict routing, storage, use; require treatment, labeling or processing as condition of release. Customs release only takes place when the additional requirements are met. These requirements apply to all importation types, including shipments made by mail. The exporter should make certain that the Greek importer has provided proper information to (1) permit the submission of necessary information concerning packing, labeling, etc. and (2) ensure that necessary arrangements have been made by the importer for entry of the merchandise into Greece.

Back to Top

Greece Import Prohibitions

The following commodities are prohibited into Greece: 

  • Atlantic red tuna fish (Thunnus Thynnus) originating from Belize, Panama, and Honduras
  • Toys and games containing copper sulfate
  • All forms of asbestos fibers
  • Certain U. S. Beef Hormones
  • Rubber erasers that are similar in appearance to food products that are easily ingested
  • Medical thermometers containing mercury intended for human consumption
  • Illicit Narcotics and Drugs
  • L-trytophane and any items having L-trytophane as an ingredient
  • Dangerous Goods as defined by IATA (Intl. Air Transport Association)
  • All products containing the biocide dimethylfumarate (DMF)

Due to the risk of contamination with E coli bacteria possibly linked to the recent outbreaks in Germany and France, the emergency measure prohibits the immediate effect the importation of seeds and beans from Egypt to all EU countries. The commodities are:

Rocket sprouts
Beetroot sprouts, radish sprouts
Leguminous vegetables, shelled or unshelled, fresh or chilled
Dried leguminous vegetables, shelled, whether or not skinned or split
Soya bean sprouts
Soya beans, whether or not broken
Sugar beet seed
Lucerne (alfalfa) seed
Vegetable seeds
Mustard seeds, for sowing
Other mustard seeds
Other oil seeds and oleaginous fruits, whether or not broken
Fenugreek seed
Lucerne (alfalfa) sprouts

Back to Top

General Import Restrictions

The following items are not acceptable for carriage to any international destinations unless otherwise indicated. (Additional restrictions may apply depending on destination. Various regulatory clearances in addition to customs clearance may be required for certain commodities, thereby extending the transit time.)

  1. APO/FPO addresses.
  2. C.O.D. shipments.
  3. Human corpses, human organs or body parts, human and animal embryos, or cremated or disinterred human remains.
  4. Explosives (Class 1.4 explosives are acceptable for carriage to Canada, Germany, France, Japan, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. Note: United Arab Emirates only allows Class 1.4 explosives to be shipped hold-for-pickup to the FedEx Express facility in Dubai).
  5. Firearms, weaponry and their parts (acceptable between the U.S. and Puerto Rico).
  6. Perishable foodstuffs and foods and beverages requiring refrigeration or other environmental control.
  7. Live animals including insects, except as provided in the Live Animals section in the FedEx Service Guide. (Call the FedEx Live Animal Desk at 1.800.405.9052).
  8. Plants and plant material, including cut flowers (cut flowers are acceptable from the U.S. to selected points in Canada and from Colombia, Ecuador and the Netherlands to the U.S.).
  9. Lottery tickets and gambling devices where prohibited by law.
  10. Money (coins, cash, currency, paper money and negotiable instruments equivalent to cash such as endorsed stocks, bonds and cash letters).
  11. Pornographic and/or obscene material.
  12. Shipments being processed under:
    1. Duty drawbacks claims unless advance arrangements are made.
    2. Temporary Import Bonds – acceptable under the FedEx International Broker Select option, for initial import only.
    3. U.S. State Department licenses
    4. Carnets
    5. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration export permit.
    6. Letters of Credit. Shipments subject to Letters of Credit are generally prohibited, with the exception of shipments subject to Letters of Credit calling for a “courier receipt”, as defined by Article 25 of UCP 600, shipped using the FedEx Expanded Service International Air Waybill.
    7. Certificate of Registration shipments (CF4455).

    You may be able to ship these items via FedEx International Controlled Export, FedEx International Premium, FedEx International Express Freight (IXF) or FedEx International Airpot-to-Airport (ATA). For information on FedEx International Controlled Export, call International Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say “international services’). For information on the other services listed call FedEx Express Freight Customer Service at 1.800.332.0807.

  13. Hazardous waste, including, but not limited to, used hypodermic needles or syringes or other medial waste.
  14. Shipments that may cause damage to, or delay of, equipment, personnel or other shipments.
  15. Shipments that require us to obtain any special licenses or permit for transportation, importation or exportation.
  16. Shipments or commodities whose carriage, importation or exportation is prohibited by any law, statute or regulation.
  17. Shipments with a declared value for customs in excess of that permitted for a specific destination. (See the Declared Value for Carriage and Limits of Liability section in the FedEx Service Guide).
  18. Dangerous goods except as permitted under the Dangerous Goods section of these terms and conditions.
  19. Processed or unprocessed dead animals, including insects and pets. Taxidermy-finished hunting trophies or completely processed (dried) specimens of whole animals or parts of animals are acceptable for shipment into the U.S.
  20. Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odor of any kind.
  21. Wildlife products that require U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service export clearance by FedEx prior to exportation from the U.S.
  22. In-bond shipments destined to or being withdrawn from a Foreign Trade Zone or bonded warehouse, unless the FedEx International Broker Select option is selected for U.S. import shipments, or the FedEx International Controlled Export service option is selected for U.S. export shipments.

Not withstanding any other provision of the FedEx Service Guide, we are not liable for delay of, loss of damage to a shipment of any prohibited item. The shipper agrees to indemnity FedEx for any and all costs, fees and expenses FedEx incurs as a result of the shipper’s violation of any local, state or federal laws or regulations or from tendering any prohibited item for shipment.

Back to Top

Greece Restrictions

The importation of food products containing meat or milk products for personal consumption is prohibited unless accompanied by the necessary documentation from the official veterinary services of the country of origin. Infant milk, food and special foods required for medical reasons can be imported under the condition that these products do not require refrigeration before opening, that they are packaged proprietary brand products for direct sale to the final consumer, and that the packaging is unbroken.

Dry Ice

Dangerous Goods as defined by IATA Guns and weapons - strictly controlled by license

Wildlife - controlled by CITES and health restrictions 

An EU-wide ban has been placed on the commercial import of all Seals, Walruses and Sea Lion products. Any products containing such items (either processed or unprocessed, deriving or obtained from seals, walruses and sea lions, including meat, oil, blubber, organs, fur skins and raw fur skins, tanned or dressed including fur skins assembled in plates, crosses and similar forms, and articles made from fur skins) unless you have a permitted exemption that is subject to customs declaration requirement. For further information, please contact your local FedEx Customer Service Representative

Back to Top

Special Import Provisions

Temporary Imports: Including Repaired Articles or Articles for Repair

Articles consigned for temporary import traveling under Carnets, goods for display, goods for demonstration, goods for exhibition, goods for repair, goods for incorporation into other articles and goods imported for further processing and re-export are not acceptable for importation into Greece via FedEx IP Service. These articles require special processing and customs clearance, which are not handled under the express carrier operation commitments. Clearance delays could be experienced on entries lodged for these types of shipments.

Goods may be transported in-bond to another point of entry for clearance by re-manifesting (infrequent) to that location, by using house air waybills or by using T docs (EU transit system). A bonded carrier is required to transport the shipment from the point of arrival to point of clearance. Arrangements for transporting the merchandise to an interior point in-bond may be made by the consignee, by the customs broker or by any other person having sufficient interest in the goods for that purpose.

Free Trade Zones/Warehouses

Greece has three free-trade zones, located at the Piraeus, Thessaloniki, and Heraklion port areas. Goods of foreign origin may be brought into these zones without payment of customs duties or other taxes and remain free of all duties and taxes if subsequently transshipped or re-exported.

Similarly, documents pertaining to the receipt, storage, or transfer of goods within the zones are free from stamp taxes.

Handling operations are carried out according to EU regulations 2504/88 and 2562/90. Transit goods may be held in the zones free of bond. The zones also may be used for re-packing, sorting, and re-labeling operations. Assembly and manufacture of goods are carried out on a small scale in the Thessaloniki Free Zone.

Personal Effects

Personal belongings of Greek (EU) citizen residents are entitled entry free of duty. Personal belongings taken abroad, such as worn clothing, etc. may be shipped back to Greece and receive free entry provided they have not been altered or repaired while abroad and prior ownership can be proven. The shipping documents should be clearly marked "Greek Goods Returned" with the reason why clearly stated and with the goods identified as personal effects.

Items such laptops, watches, PC's, cameras, tape recorders, Camcorders, video players, CD and DVD players or other articles that may be uniquely identifiable by serial number or permanently affixed marking, should be documented on owner declaration at the Customs Office at the port of exit, at the time of export or when physically carried abroad. This declaration will expedite free entry of these items upon return. The declaration is valid for any future trips as long as the information on it remains legible. Registration must be made in person.

The importation of food products containing meat or milk products for personal consumption is prohibited unless accompanied by the necessary documentation from the official veterinary services of the country of origin. Infant milk, food and special foods required for medical reasons can be imported under the condition that these products do not require refrigeration before opening, that they are packaged proprietary brand products for direct sale to the final consumer, and that the packaging is unbroken.

Samples

Samples may qualify for duty free entry if:

  • They are of negligible value (EUR 45 or less),
  • They are for solicitation of orders for the goods of the kind represented by the sample,
  • There is not more than one sample of each style or quality in a consignment,
  • The goods are supplied directly from abroad,
  • They will be consumed or destroyed during demonstration and are packaged and properly marked in a manner which precludes their being used as other than samples. IE: foodstuffs, non alcoholic beverages, perfumes and chemical products

Samples imported into Greece are subject to the same documentation requirements that apply to ordinary commercial shipments and require a value for customs declaration purposes on the shipping documents or commercial invoices.

The importation of food products containing meat or milk products for personal consumption is prohibited unless accompanied by the necessary documentation from the official veterinary services of the country of origin. Infant milk, food and special foods required for medical reasons can be imported under the condition that these products do not require refrigeration before opening, that they are packaged proprietary brand products for direct sale to the final consumer, and that the packaging is unbroken.

Designer Samples (Textiles)

Apparel manufacturers importing samples of apparel for the manufacturing of similar goods in Greece can bring one sample of each style duty free into Greece. A shipment may contain several different samples, as long as there is only one sample of each kind. In order to enforce this condition, Customs requires that the style number of each sample appear on the commercial documents. The commercial invoice must contain in the product description, the intent of and the shipper that the goods are intended as samples. Failing to provide this information clearly will result in normal consumption entry with duty and taxes assessed.

Gifts

Articles consigned as "Unsolicited Gifts" are acceptable and will be allowed entry free of any duty or VAT providing the shipment is valued at less than 45 EURO, originated from and consigned to an individual, and are individually wrapped. Multiple gifts can be consigned in one shipment so long as the individual parcels enclosed are individually tagged with the recipients name, are individually wrapped and the value does not exceed the per person limit of 45 EURO. Shipments consigned to companies as gifts for an individual may be denied entry as gifts. They will be subject to full duty and VAT. Generally, most articles can be consigned as gifts, except those articles noted prohibited or restricted for import (see General Import Prohibitions and Restrictions).

The importation of food products containing meat or milk products for personal consumption is prohibited unless accompanied by the necessary documentation from the official veterinary services of the country of origin. Infant milk, food and special foods required for medical reasons can be imported under the condition that these products do not require refrigeration before opening, that they are packaged proprietary brand products for direct sale to the final consumer, and that the packaging is unbroken.

Back to Top

Standards

Greece has established specific certification for certain products. This "homologation" involves cumbersome product testing by approved laboratories. However, a product that meets the standards and certification requirements of any other EU country can be imported and sold in Greece without further testing. Greek homologation requirements remain in force for computer keyboards and screens, dot matrix printers, teleprinters, medical equipment, electric typewriters, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles, bicycles, pleasure boats, gas connectors, etc.

Greece uses NP EN ISO 9000 Standards, which are equivalent to ISO 9000 standards. Exporters must demonstrate through a certifying entity that the products offered meet equivalent quality standards.

Greece allows the entry of used equipment, material and goods. However, they are subject to the same standards concerning safety as apply to any new import. Additionally, there may exist regulations specific to the particular type of equipment, such as computers and peripherals, that is being imported.

Labeling, Marking Requirements

Country of Origin Marking

Generally all products must be marked according to EU directives. Imported goods need to be marked with an indication of origin. All imported products sold directly to the public must be marketed with the label "Made in" in Greek. False indication of origin is prohibited. Generally all products directly sold to the public must have their labels or markings translated into Greek especially the composition and usage instructions and should indicate clearly its validity and the name and address of the importer.

There may be special requirements for some products such as pharmaceuticals, detergents, tobacco, fertilizers, alcoholic beverages and foodstuffs containing preservatives and colorings. There are also special requirements for the packaging and labeling of dangerous or toxic products.

There are no special requirements for marking the outside of cases for shipment to Greece except that weights, when marked, should be in kilograms. Dangerous products must be marked according to the instructions of the UN. When marking is not feasible, such as when the article is too small or marking would in some way damage the merchandise, then the packaging or container that will reach the final consumer must be marked.

The following are specific categories of goods, for which marking, labeling, and/or testing requirements are applicable in Greece: Foodstuffs: The Ministry of Health and Welfare sets human consumption standards for the preparation, residual content and storage media for virtually all classes of foodstuffs. The labels on the container must include the product designation, a list of ingredients, the weight or volume, dates (manufacturing, packing, minimum shelf life, and expiration dates), directions for food preservation (if applicable), identification of the firm involved (manufacturer, packer, or importer) and the country of origin. If the original label is not in Greek, a similar one must be prepared in Greek and be firmly affixed to the container. Milk products, margarine, chocolate and soaps have other, more technical labeling requirements. Wines and other alcoholic beverages must meet Greek standards.

Textiles: Customs and point-of-sale regulations require that all textile goods and ready-made clothing have a Greek label. Standard Greek textile nomenclature and content requirements must be stated on the label. Requirements relating to textile content, labeling and packaging are specific and extensive. Manufacturers' trademarks, duly registered, are permitted on textile products.

Drugs, Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics: These goods are subject to technical inspection and registration by the The Ministry of Health and Welfare prior to entry. There are also detailed marking and labeling requirements, somewhat similar to those for foodstuffs, which include detailed chemical composition.

Fertilizers and Fungicides: Imported fertilizers must be registered with the local Agriculture Ministry Office. Inspection and analysis will be performed prior to customs clearance. The Ministry of Agriculture must approve all printed advertising and publicity materials, and labels must be in Greek and include detailed precautions.

Firearms: The Ministry of National Economy must clear all firearms, and they must bear a stamp of certification.

Motor Vehicles: Each vehicle will be inspected for engraved serial numbers on both the engine and chassis. If one of these is not available, Greek customs levies a special charge for stamping the number.

Tires and Tubes: All tires and inner tubes must be marked with a serial number. For agricultural products, labeling requirements are fully harmonized with the EU labeling system; however, the labels must be in Greek.

CE Marking

The CE (Conformité Européenne) Marking is required to be displayed on regulated products offered for commercial sale on the European market. It indicates that a product complies with applicable European Directives related to health, safety, environment and consumer protection. Because the CE Marking identifies products that meet a common set of criteria established and adopted by the 15 CE members, the CE Marking on your products will permit them to move freely in commerce throughout the European market. The manufacturer, or authorized representative, is responsible for placing the CE Marking on compliant products. The common CE Marking logo is placed on the product, product literature or packaging as described in each Directive. Articles regulated under the European Directives that are not properly marked when imported are subject to delay in customs and may not be cleared for consumption.

Eco-labels

In March of 1992, the EU Council approved law 880/92 establishing a community-wide system for granting Eco-labels (green label) to products that voluntarily satisfy environmental standards.

The EU's objectives in setting up a system for issuing green labels are twofold. The labels inform consumers of products that are environmentally safer than others in all aspects of a product's life cycle. Furthermore, they improve the design, production and marketing as well as increase the use of products that have low or non-adverse effects on the environment and that use natural resources wisely.

The EU hopes that these objectives will increase the standards of health, security and the condition of the environment of the EU countries. Products imported into the EU that wish to obtain a green label must follow the same strict criteria as EU members.

Back to Top

General Export Clearance Information

Clearance Process

Exporting from Greece requires

  1. Export Compliance
  2. Knowledge of your commodity
  3. Proper documentation including permits, licenses and related certificate of origins
  4. Pre-shipment requirements from the destination country

Export documentation requirements vary depending on the value of the goods, destination of the shipment and if the goods are controlled, prohibited or regulated. Goods that must be reported require a bill of lading/air waybill, an SAD (Single Administrative Document) export declaration, a commercial or a pro-forma invoice, as well as any export permits, certificate, licenses required for controlled, prohibited or regulated goods. All controlled, regulated commodities require an export permit regardless of the value. It is extremely important that all documents tendered for export clearance processing are accurate in every way. Incomplete or inaccurate documentation may result in lengthy delays in customs processing and may result in warehousing and other customs fees.

Document Requirements

EUR 1 form Export - An EUR 1 form from the European Union to some countries is used to claim preferential duty or exemption under the various agreements as per the above paragraph.

Export Permits - Specific export permits are for commodities subject to export controls. The Ministry of National Economy is the government office for dual use exports (commercial items that may have military applications). The export of hunting weapons is subject to a license by the Ministry of Public Order. Other departments and agencies have regulatory jurisdiction and issue licenses for controlled substances and precursor chemicals, for endangered fish and wildlife species, for defense services and articles, for arms and munitions, for nuclear material, equipment and technology, for fuels, for drugs and medical devices. Before exporting these items, special licenses must be obtained from customs office to insure that the items are not part of the national heritage of Greece. License requirements are dependent upon an item's technical characteristics, the destination, the end-use, end-user and other activities of the end-user. Specific questions pertaining to commodity licensing requirements should be directed to the lead agency. Agency information, telephone number and basic commodities that might require export permits could be identified by accessing the Department and agency web sites listed in the profile.

General Export Clearance Information

Back to Top

Greece Export Prohibitions

The following commodities are prohibited out of Greece:  

  • Atlantic red tuna fish (Thunnus Thynnus) originating from Belize, Panama, and Honduras
  • Toys and games containing copper sulfate
  • All forms of asbestos fibers
  • Certain U. S. Beef Hormones
  • Rubber erasers that are similar in appearance to food products that are easily ingested
  • Medical thermometers containing mercury intended for human consumption
  • Illicit Narcotics and Drugs
  • L-trytophane and any items having L-trytophane as an ingredient

Back to Top

General Export Restrictions

The following items are not acceptable for carriage to any international destinations unless otherwise indicated. (Additional restrictions may apply depending on destination. Various regulatory clearances in addition to customs clearance may be required for certain commodities, thereby extending the transit time.)

  1. APO/FPO addresses.
  2. C.O.D. shipments.
  3. Human corpses, human organs or body parts, human and animal embryos, or cremated or disinterred human remains.
  4. Explosives (Class 1.4 explosives are acceptable for carriage to Canada, Germany, France, Japan, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. Note: United Arab Emirates only allows Class 1.4 explosives to be shipped hold-for-pickup to the FedEx Express facility in Dubai).
  5. Firearms, weaponry and their parts (acceptable between the U.S. and Puerto Rico).
  6. Perishable foodstuffs and foods and beverages requiring refrigeration or other environmental control.
  7. Live animals including insects, except as provided in the Live Animals section in the FedEx Service Guide. (Call the FedEx Live Animal Desk at 1.800.405.9052).
  8. Plants and plant material, including cut flowers (cut flowers are acceptable from the U.S. to selected points in Canada and from Colombia, Ecuador and the Netherlands to the U.S.).
  9. Lottery tickets and gambling devices where prohibited by law.
  10. Money (coins, cash, currency, paper money and negotiable instruments equivalent to cash such as endorsed stocks, bonds and cash letters).
  11. Pornographic and/or obscene material.
  12. Shipments being processed under:
    1. Duty drawbacks claims unless advance arrangements are made.
    2. Temporary Import Bonds – acceptable under the FedEx International Broker Select option, for initial import only.
    3. U.S. State Department licenses
    4. Carnets
    5. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration export permit.
    6. Letters of Credit. Shipments subject to Letters of Credit are generally prohibited, with the exception of shipments subject to Letters of Credit calling for a “courier receipt”, as defined by Article 25 of UCP 600, shipped using the FedEx Expanded Service International Air Waybill.
    7. Certificate of Registration shipments (CF4455).

    You may be able to ship these items via FedEx International Controlled Export, FedEx International Premium, FedEx International Express Freight (IXF) or FedEx International Airpot-to-Airport (ATA). For information on FedEx International Controlled Export, call International Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say “international services’). For information on the other services listed call FedEx Express Freight Customer Service at 1.800.332.0807.

  13. Hazardous waste, including, but not limited to, used hypodermic needles or syringes or other medial waste.
  14. Shipments that may cause damage to, or delay of, equipment, personnel or other shipments.
  15. Shipments that require us to obtain any special licenses or permit for transportation, importation or exportation.
  16. Shipments or commodities whose carriage, importation or exportation is prohibited by any law, statute or regulation.
  17. Shipments with a declared value for customs in excess of that permitted for a specific destination. (See the Declared Value for Carriage and Limits of Liability section in the FedEx Service Guide).
  18. Dangerous goods except as permitted under the Dangerous Goods section of these terms and conditions.
  19. Processed or unprocessed dead animals, including insects and pets. Taxidermy-finished hunting trophies or completely processed (dried) specimens of whole animals or parts of animals are acceptable for shipment into the U.S.
  20. Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odor of any kind.
  21. Wildlife products that require U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service export clearance by FedEx prior to exportation from the U.S.
  22. In-bond shipments destined to or being withdrawn from a Foreign Trade Zone or bonded warehouse, unless the FedEx International Broker Select option is selected for U.S. import shipments, or the FedEx International Controlled Export service option is selected for U.S. export shipments.

Not withstanding any other provision of the FedEx Service Guide, we are not liable for delay of, loss of damage to a shipment of any prohibited item. The shipper agrees to indemnity FedEx for any and all costs, fees and expenses FedEx incurs as a result of the shipper’s violation of any local, state or federal laws or regulations or from tendering any prohibited item for shipment.

Back to Top

Greece Restrictions

Dangerous Goods as defined by IATA

Dry Ice

Guns and weapons - strictly controlled by license

Wildlife - controlled by CITES and health restrictions

Back to Top

Regulatory Contact Information

Branch or Agency Name Areas of Responsibility

Ministry of Economy and Finance
5-7 Nikis Street
105 63 - Athens

  • Financial administration of the country.
  • Proposing the economic and financial policy of the government.

Ministry of Economy and Finance
Department of Customs

5-7 Nikis Street
105 63 - Athens Phn: 30-210 328 60 51 Fax: 30-210 328 60 94

  • Overseeing and controlling the passage or merchandise at the coasts, borders and airports.
  • Duties and taxes associated with importation and exportation

Ministry of National Economy
5-7 Nikis Street
105 63 - Athens

  • Regulates export laws
  • Enforces trade restrictions
  • Regulates arms and ammunitions
  • Controls trade of munitions
  • Controls trade of dual-use goods

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1, Acadimias Street
106 71 - Athens Phn: 30-210 368 31 20 Fax: 30-210 368 31 28

  • Promotes trade
  • Monitors trade compliance

Ministry of National Defence
Pentagon
Mesogeion, Athens

  • Military Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force)
  • National defense
  • Control of weapons, explosives and other articles of war.

Ministry of Transportation and Communications
13, Xenofontos Street
105 57 - Athens

  • Plan and construct public infrastructure (roads, etc.)
  • Coordinate and promote transportation and telecommunication development.

Ministry of Agriculture
2-6, Acharnon Street
104 38 - Athens

  • Controls the inspection of imported and exported seeds, pesticides, vet medicines, and fertilizers
  • Drafts rules and regulations concerning the inspection and quarantine of imported and exported seeds, pesticides, vet medicines and fertilizers
Ministry of Health and Welfare
17, Aristotelous Street
104 33 - Athens
  • In charge of coordinating the establishment of environmental standards.
  • Responsible for controls relating to the environment

Ministry of Public Order
4, P Canellopoulou Street
101 77 - Athens

  • Responsible for export controls relating to hunting weapons

Ministry of Culture
20-22, Bouboulinas Street
106 82 - Athens

  • Responsible for cultural heritage and the arts

Hellenic Foreign Trade Board (HEPO) 86 Mar. Antypa Street
GR-163 46 Helioupolis

  • Inspection and testing of packaging materials and products
  • Certification of packaging materials and products

 

Back to Top

Did you find this article helpful? yes no See more of this type of content