It is 8 weeks today since we arrived in Greece to pick up our new boat. We bought it in February and started the proceedings to remove it from the Greek Ships’ Registry and register it in Australia.
We filled in all the forms needed for Australia in March before we left, duly signed by a Justice of the Peace who confirmed we were who we said we were and paid $80 for them to send the Registration by courier when it was done.
We filled in all the forms needed for Greece and paid $80 to send them back via a courier so there was no hold up.
We had an email , when we got to the UK, that another form needed to be filled in for Greece so we went to Swiss Cottage in London to sign them with a Greek Notary Public.
On 10 May we arrived in Greece to find nothing was happening. The agent for the Charter Company who owned Olive said that all the forms had been sent but the two women in the office in Piraeus that did all the ship registries were snowed under due to all the boats coming over from Turkey. She was trying to bribe them, with promises of a box of Quality Street, to do ours but no luck so far.
Over the next 4 weeks we visited the agent’s office on numerous occasions. We tried various strategies learnt on management courses over the years to ‘progress’ our application: Andy did his tough sales management style; I did my touch-feely nursey thing but both to no avail.
On 31 May we were told the Greek de-registration from was ready! But it had to be translated. And the translator was snowed under.
On 5 June the Greek de-registration form was sent to Australia but they refused it as it looked fake. No stamps or headed paper.
On 22 June a new Greek de-registration document was issued with stamps and everything. HOORAY!!
On 23 June it was returned as the name of the sellers on the Bill of Sale was not the same as the name on the De-Registration document. BOO!!
The Sellers then got various pieces of identification proving that they were one and the same and we sent that back on 24 June. The Australian Registry accepted this and, on 26 June, finally posted our Australian Registration, via a express courier. HOORAY!!!
On 29 June the agent informed us that she had found out that she had to apply for the boat to be taken out of the Greek COMMERCIAL Registry and for this had to fill out 12 forms and we had to pay a fee of 1000 euros, 450Eu for the Customs agent, Customs charges and her fee and 550Eu for the revocation (?) fee. She has filled in the forms but we are waiting for them to be returned and did not know how long it would take. BOO!!
On 3 July we still had not received our Australian Registration and e mailed the Ships Registry who e mailed the courier, TNT, for a tracking number. We heard today that they cannot tell us when it will be delivered because……wait for it….. the system has been ‘hit by a cyber attack’. Yes, you read that correctly. HIT BY A ****** CYBER ATTACK!!!!
For those of you who still are, thank you for listening.
I feel the frustration, but you are, hopefully sailing around some beautiful bays and meeting up with lovel supportive friends too. Another chapter for that book!
Sailing round beautiful bays, Jacki?? Of course not! That would be illegal without Aus Registration! And we wouldn’t want to do anything like that would we?!!
Oh Jane, if it weren’t true, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a made up story. It’s such a horrendous saga. How could any couple so genuine, so experienced and so obliging have to put up with such BS?
In this day and age of technology Jane, it’s an appalling situation you two find yourself in. No wonder Greece are in dire straits financially, it’s a 3 ring circus!
So tell me, Keith, Marc and I were wondering this yesterday – are you still paying marina fees or are you on the anchor?
Thinking of you both. 😎
The boat was in the water when we got here,Lauren, so we’ve been sneaking off to bays and little villages where there are no Port Police! Some friends here who had to wait too, were out of the water in a boatyard and and the yard wouldn’t put them in until they come out of Greek Registry!
Jane when we bought FA in Croatia the current owner who ran a charter company allowed us to use the yacht. He signed a Stat Dec and legal other docs giving us permission to sail FA whilst we waited for the Aussie registration to come through. It took 4-6 weeks and during that time we sailed around Croatia. He had our money and we sailed a boat that was not yet in Aussie registration. It was a crazy trust thing and it worked. But FA was Austrian registered, not Greek or Croatian. If we had understood then how useful it is to have a Eu registered boat we would have kept it that way. I feel for you both. The bureaucracy is madness.
OMFG! That sounds incredibly painful. Bureaucracy gone mad!!!
Goodness! Just keep all the paperwork/correspondence and if all else fails you have done everything you possibly can to sort this out…. you are patient people – hang on in there! Sending hugs xx
Jane this is now absolute bo!!ox and I don’t know how you and Andy keep calm.
I’d be on to the broker who arranged the sale and ring his neck by now. This is crazy you paid for a sailing boat 6 months ago that you cannot sale or move. Totally disrupting your holiday and life.
Compensation from somewhere is required!!
Hang in there and we hope to see you soon.