Electricity can be exported or imported through a pipeline system. To facilitate the free movement and consumption of electricity and similar goods, a simplified procedural system has been established.

The transportation of electricity by pipeline is governed by EU Regulation 2454/1993. This requires that electricity that enters the EU territory, or that is already within the EU territory, be transported under the common transit procedure. The Hellenic Transmission System Operator determines the exact quantities of electricity traded in Greece and issues all relevant certificates.

Importers and exporters of electricity must follow a local clearance procedure under which they must submit a written request for approval to the customs office of Athens, Thessaloniki or Volos, as appropriate. Furthermore, the customs authorities must be notified of the arrival of the electricity at the specified location, which should be in the requisite form. The customs authorities then make available to the importers and exporters all necessary documentation.

The principles and regulations for the importation and exportation of electricity are the same. The deadline for submitting the total amount of imported or exported quantity of electricity to the customs office is the last working day of each month after the date of importation or exportation, and all relevant charges must be paid by the importers and exporters. The declaration must be accompanied by:

  • copies of the invoices for the purchase or sale of electricity;
  • the relevant certificate issued by the Hellenic Transmission System Operator certifying the exact quantities of imported or exported electricity; and
  • a written notification from the importer or exporter for the transmitted electricity.

One copy of the declaration is kept by the Hellenic Transmission System Operator and the other by the importer or exporter.

Customs charges for the importation of electricity apply for the quantity that will be consumed in Greece. However, if the electricity is to be forwarded to another EU member state or exported to a third country, then no customs charges apply. In order for exported electricity to qualify for a value added tax exemption, the following are required:

  • a copy of the declaration certified by the customs office; and
  • copies of the invoices for the sale of electricity certified by the customs office.

As soon as the export declaration has been registered, the relevant export licence is issued and the declaration is certified by the customs office.

Finally, the importer or exporter is obliged to keep a book detailing the incoming and outgoing electricity. The book:

  • must be kept for five years from the date of the last registration;
  • must have its pages numbered, with each page certified by the head office of the customs office prior to any transaction;
  • need not comply with any format requirements (ie, it can be either handwritten or kept electronically); and
  • must have any updates inserted no later than the last working day of the month following the importation or exportation, but always before the submission of declaration to the customs office.

For further information on this topic please contact Gus J Papamichalopoulos at Kyriakides Georgopoulos & Daniolos Issaias by telephone (+30 210 8171 500), fax (+30 210 6856 6578) or email ([email protected]).