The Greek Ministry of Finance has issued two highly-anticipated decisions. The first relates to the import and export of goods from entities based outside of Greece. The second decision concerns the procedures that must be followed for a change of the name, address or de-registration of a foreign entity which had been registered for VAT in Greece.

According to the provisions of Ministerial decision POL.1113/2013, any entity based in the European Union may register for VAT in Greece following a new procedure, without having to appoint a tax representative. In the above decision there was no provision in cases where the foreign entity changes its name or registered address. There was also no provision for de-registration from the Greek register. Since 2013 many foreign companies have followed the new method of registration however, when they have tried to de-register, they found themselves trapped and “obliged” to submit NIL VAT returns.  The latest Ministry of Finance decision amends and complements the Ministerial decision POL.1113/2013, providing the exact steps which must be followed to solve the above issues, and makes the whole process of VAT registration complete and easier.

A new Ministerial decision which is linked with the POL.1113/2013 refers to situations where a foreign entity is willing to import goods in Greece. There is no obligation to appoint a tax representative and the custom clearance process can be executed by obtaining a Greek tax/VAT number following the provisions of POL.1113/2013.

These decisions take effect from this month - November 2016 - and entities should prepare and submit the relevant applications as described in the Appendix of the said decision.

Taking into account that upon submission of the relevant declaration, it takes only two days to obtain the tax/VAT number from the competent authority, Greece offers an attractive package to all EU-based entities targeting the growth of Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports.