Free Zone

Free Zones are special areas, usually near ports or airports, for the storage of imported goods under beneficial customs conditions. When goods are held in a Free Zone, import duty, VAT and excise duties are suspended on goods imported from outside the European Community until the goods are released into free circulation or are assigned another customs destination.

PCDC operates and provides its services within the Free Zone of Piraeus port, ensuring the optimum tax and customs advantages for its customers. Simplified procedures of import and export combined with special tax and customs regimes, lead to quick and effective management of cargo with the least possible cost and least possible time.

Free Zone Advantages

The Free Zone through its privileged tax and customs regimes provides:

  • Direct receipt and unstuffing of containers imported into PCDC without customs formalities, payment of VAT, excise duties or importation duties until the final destination of goods is defined
  • Improved cash-flow management via suspension or exemption of VAT or Import duties
  • VAT exemption on goods destined to another EU member state
  • Better flexibility in the selection of destinations for the products
  • Simplified procedures that minimize the time and cost of transactions

Privileged Tax and Customs Regimes

  • Under Regime 42 a simplified procedure is established for importation of non-Community goods harmonized always with the European Community Law for not paying VAT to the Customs Office during the goods importation but paying it to the country of the goods final destination in the EU. The VAT will be payable at the destination country where the products will be consumed.In particular, Regime 42 provides:
    • Import of goods from 3rd countries without payment of VAT with direct delivery to another member state of the EU
    • VAT is paid at the destination country during the sale
    • Intra-community transactions monitored by the Authorities until VAT payment at destination
    • Simplified customs procedures for the importers on condition that:

    – They are AEO certified or have a representative that is AEO certified

    – Shipment of goods to another Member State is based on a contractual agreement for performing continuous flow of imports

The regime Deferment & Reverse VAT is of interest to group of companies that wish to import goods and to circulate them free within the E.U without paying VAT at the Import Customs. The specific regime allows suspension of VAT for sales inside the country for 10% of the total turnover.

The obligation to pay VAT is transferred from the supplier to the final purchaser of the goods in the country where the goods are consumed under the following conditions:

  • Pre-condition is that the company or its representative is AEO certified
  • Annual turnover limit (100 mil. €)
  • An appropriate record of compliance with customs requirements

This is a newly established Customs Regime. Under the regime (07), importing companies, registered in Greece or any other EU country, or companies registered in non EU countries but having a general fiscal representation in EU, may pay Import Duties and defer the VAT payment of goods set in free circulation in EU. These goods may be kept either in companies’ warehouses or in third party warehouses, under the condition that the company, or the customs representative and 3PL warehouse keeper holds a license AEO-C and AEO-S (customs simplifications – safety and security). Secondly, domestic goods, that are supplied B2B and are subject to customs warehousing regime, are exempted from VAT.

This Regime offers flexibility in VAT handling:

  • In case of sale of goods within Greece, the corresponding VAT will be paid by the time goods are leaving the warehouse to final consumer, unless consumer is also VAT exempted.
  • In case of intracommunity trade, the community tax provisions regarding the VAT deferment are implemented (VIES, etc.), again the VAT will be payable at the destination country where the products will be consumed.
  • In case of exportation of goods, no VAT is due.

In the case of domestic goods, the regime is directly applicable to deliveries of cargo (e.g. ship supplies, agricultural products, etc.) to the Free Zones and does not require the transitional adjustment period foreseen for installations outside the Free Zones.

The national legislation (Circular 1026/2016) on Suspension of Value Added Tax on the entry of goods into the Free Zone has the purpose of  strengthening the transit trade in our country, by upgrading the operation of the Free Zones, where in its premises the storage of domestic goods is permitted provided that they are subject to export or delivery to another EU Member State.

Therefore, domestic goods which are delivered to the Free Zone under the terms and conditions set out in the relevant European Union and national legislation are exempted from value added tax.

PCDC as an administrator of the Free Zone, may register the Entry Form for Domestic Cargo in the Free Zone which serves as an exception to VAT payment during the entry of cargo into the Free Zone, via a simplified procedure, which allows access to any interested party that complies with some basic requirements.