GREECE

Logistic and forwarding services in Greece

Greece

Capital City
Athens

Population
11,2 Mio.

National languages
Greek

Currency
Euro (EUR)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 243 Mrd.

GNP per person
USD 21’617

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 906 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 168 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Greece

Relations between Switzerland and Greece are close, reflecting a long tradition between the two countries. They cover a variety of fields such as the economy, energy, culture, tourism and cooperation in the field of migration.

Economic cooperation

The balance of trade has long been positive for Switzerland. It exported goods worth CHF 794 million to Greece in 2015. Major exports include pharmaceuticals, watch and clock industry products, chemical products and machinery (4%).
At the end of 2014, Switzerland was the eleventh largest foreign investor in Greece, mainly in trade (44%), industry (42%), and the hotel and restaurant sector (6%).  There are around 60 Swiss companies in Greece employing roughly 9,400 people.
In the long term the continuing presence of Swiss firms will depend on whether Greece returns to growth.  An area of potential for Swiss investment is renewable energies. The bilateral movement of persons in mid-2012 was scarcely affected by the economic and financial crisis. The availability of Swiss financial sector products in Greece has been stable.
Greece is a favourite destination for Swiss tourists. Each year some 400,000 Swiss holiday in Greece, making a significant contribution to the Greek economy.

 

Business language

Modern Greek, English, German, French.

Dimensions and weights

Metric system.

Currency

National currency: €
ISO code: EUR

Customs tariff (for non-EU goods)

Harmonised system. Customs clearance based on the transaction value.

Import control

EU goods are freely available. Five copies of invoices in German, French or English including all customer information are required on import for non-EU goods. Invoices must also include a price declaration (“We hereby declare that the prices stated in this invoice are the current export market prices for the merchandise described therein and that these prices are true and correct”). There are authorisation obligations in particular for pharmaceuticals, pesticides and certain electronic devices. The following are examples of products which are subject to a registration obligation: cosmetics, detergents, cleaning products and cleaning agents.
Standard VAT rate: 23% (reduced rate: 13/6,5%). Reimbursement of VAT paid is possible.
Special VAT area: Berg Athos (third territory, 13%).

Terms of payment and tenders

Where possible request an irrevocably confirmed bank letter of credit, otherwise “documents against payment” (D/P). Payments to a specific destination are possible, but the maximum interest rates must be taken into account in this case. Tenders and invoices must correspond exactly, freight and insurance must be indicate separately. Approval of short-term Hermes cover for all deliveries to Greece with a payment term of up to two years.

Designations of origin

Regulations on labelling (in Greek), in particular with regard to the actual origin of the goods (compulsory information on all commercial invoices). Special regulations apply to conserves, cans of food, alcohol and household devices.

Marking/labelling

All shipments of goods which are transported to Burundi, Rwanda, Zambia, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo via Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, must also be clearly marked with a blue cross on the package on the standard marking side, the bars of which are at least 30 cm long, otherwise a special sorting fee will be charged. The amount of this fee is not yet known. The colours vary depending on the country of destination: Burundi – black, Rwanda – yellow, Zambia – green, Tanzania – red, Democratic Republic of the Congo – blue. (Where applicable ask the importer.) Clear, permanent and clearly visible note indicating the weight of shipments with a gross weight of 1.000 kg or more.

Packaging

No regulations for designations of origin on goods and boxes. All products imported into or prepacked in Greece must include the following information in Greek:

– name, address or trade name of the representative, importer or prepacker;

– type of product the packaging contains;

– net weight or volume in the case of liquids;

– the specific country of origin and, if prepacked in Greece, the designation “Prepacked in Greece”.

Products for which there are already labelling regulations such as foods and pharmaceuticals are exempted from these measures. The EU Directive sets out that packaging materials made of wood must be manufactured from round logs. This EU regulation goes beyond the necessary treatment set out in the ISPM 15 standard.

Goods samples and catalagues

Duty free if there is no retail value.