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News: increased pollution fines in Greece

14 February 2020

Further to an update from N Goyios – A Nassikas law firm, members are advised that there has been a significant increase in the levels of fines which can be imposed on shipowners in the event of oil pollution in Greece.

In more common pollution scenarios, ie which are not deemed to cause a serious detrimental effect to the marine environment, the maximum fine has increased from €60,000 to €100,000.

In cases of serious pollution, the maximum fine has increased from €1,200,000 to €2,000,000.

Where the pollution is caused deliberately in order to benefit the interests of a company or other legal entity then, on top of the fine imposed above, an additional fine can be imposed. The maximum level of this additional fine has increased from €500,000 to €800,000.

A daily fine for each day exceeding the date/deadline set by the authorities for the 'rehabilitation' of pollution has increased from up to €8,804.11 to up to €15,000. In practice it remains to be seen if the daily fines will be imposed, and instead the authorities may only apply a single fine.

The same fines also apply to pollution caused by substances other than oil.
There is no definition of what would constitute a serious pollution incident thereby attracting a larger fine. This would be decided on a case by case basis by the authorities. We understand, however, that this could include pollution over a large area, or which has a clear and negative effect on the marine environment, or which impacts the tourist industry.

Members requiring further information on this topic should direct their enquiries to either their usual contact at the club, or to the author(s).​