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The Greek government is launching a new package of measures to stop 'leakage' of ships and tonnage from the Greek flag to registers outside the European Union. The new measures also aim to strengthen the competitiveness of the Greek seafarers.

According to the Greek Shipping Ministry, fourteen years after the previous legislation, the government is proceeding with necessary steps to modernize the institutional framework of the Greek shipping industry.

The new measures remove disincentives and the streamlining of procedures regarding the selection of the Greek flag. They will also be included into the existing stable and constitutionally enshrined institutional framework for the registration of oceangoing ships.

The aims are to provide more flexibility in crew employment conditions, reflecting international best practices in the foreign crew tax regimes, as well as promote maritime training.

Commenting on the new measures, Shipping and Island Policy Minister, Ioannis Plakiotakis, said that:

Although Greek shipowners maintain the country's world leadership, today only 16.7% of the Greek-owned tonnage flies the Greek flag. This has adverse consequences for the image of the country, as well as for maritime employment and maritime know-how

He also added that the package sets new bases for the development of Greek shipping, to meet with the modern conditions.

In addition, the measures aspire to give new life to the Greek register, by registering new Greek-owned oceangoing ships, in order to put a hault on a declining course of more than 30 years.

We want to send a strong message to Greek shipowners that the Greek government is close to them, listens to their needs and that the blue and white, with the quality features and flexibility it provides through the new measures, is the most reliable choice Mr. Plakiotakis concluded.