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Establishment restrictions

GREECE

Since 2014

Chapter Business mobility  |  Sub-chapter Quotas, Labour Market Tests, Limits of Stay
Law 4251/2014
For contract service suppliers (CSS) there is a duration of stay of six months, but renewable under exceptional circumstance. For intra-corporate transferees (ICT) and for independent service suppliers (ISS) there is a duration of stay of one year.
Coverage Horizontal
Source
  • OECD STRI: http://www.mfa.gr/images/docs/ethnikes_theoriseis/codification_of_legislation_en.pdf
Establishment restrictions

GREECE

Since 2005

Chapter Business mobility  |  Sub-chapter Quotas, Labour Market Tests, Limits of Stay
Law 3386/2005, Article 17, 19
No direct quota applied. However, job posts per area of expertise, county and duration of employment which can be taken up by a foreign service provider are reported at regional level from which a so-called Joint Ministerial Decision is made, which defines the maximum number of residence permits for work allocated each year to foreign workers by type and duration of employment, together with other details (Article 17, 19). Furthermore, although no formal quotas are applied, there are nonetheless restrictions in the number of employees for intra-corporate transferees (ICT), which may not exceed 5% of national employees, which is a de facto quota.
Coverage Horizontal
Establishment restrictions

GREECE


Chapter Competition policy  |  Sub-chapter Competition
State-owned enterprise
The Hellenic Telecommunications Organization S.A. (OTE) is the incumbent telecommunications provider in Greece. Although the company was privatized in 2001 and the Greek state has been gradually reducing its participation in OTE's share capital, Greece still owns 10% of OTE's share capital. OTE is now called Cosmote.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Establishment restrictions

GREECE

Since 2006

Chapter Competition policy  |  Sub-chapter Competition
Local Loop Unbundling
Since the enactment of the Law 3441/2006, all the types of services of electronic communications have been fully liberalized and can be provided by any enterprise fulfilling the relevant conditions of the law and regulations. However, last mile access in Greece is still owned by the incumbent Cosmote.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Establishment restrictions

GREECE


Chapter Intellectual Property Rights  |  Sub-chapter Copyright
Copyright inadequately enforced
It is reported that intellectual property rights' enforcement regime suffers from resource challenges that result in court delays, postponements of hearings and a lack of deterrent sentences.
Coverage Horizontal
Establishment restrictions

GREECE

Since 2002

Chapter Intellectual Property Rights  |  Sub-chapter Copyright
Directive 2001/29/EC (The Copyright Directive)

Greek Copyright Law 3057/2002
In the European Union, there is no general principle for the use of copyright protected material comparable to the fair use/fair dealing principle in the US. Directive 2001/29/EC defines an optional, but exhaustive set of limitations from the author´s exclusive rights under the control of the “three-step test”. This is a clause in the Berne Convention that establishes three cumulative conditions to the limitations and exceptions of a copyright holder’s rights. The Directive has been transposed by Member States with significant freedom.

Almost all the existing limitations in Greek copyright law are included in the catalogue of limitations of Article 5 of the Directive.
Coverage Horizontal
Establishment restrictions

GREECE


Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Other restrictive practices related to foreign investment
Liability for the transmission of online content
Online broadcasting license holders are liable for the transmission of online content and are subject to the revocation of their licenses in case of infraction.
Coverage Online broadcasting
Establishment restrictions

GREECE

Reported in 2014

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Screening of investment and acquisitions
Law 89/1967 on the establishment in Greece of foreign commercial and industrial companies, with amendments and modifications
In Greece, investments in most sectors remain subject to screening. In fact, additionally to the requirement that foreign investors must obtain prior approval for investment projects, the Law 89/1967 provides for the right to condition the provision of a service on a license (Art. 10), to restrict the provision in certain regions of the country (Art.11) or limit the duration of the license (Art. 12) when there is a national interest justification.
Coverage Several sectors, including telecommunication sector
Fiscal Restrictions

GREECE

Reported in 2014

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
Payment Modalities
Foreign, as well as local bidders, must quote and accept payment in Euro, unless otherwise specified in the tender documents.
Coverage Horizontal
Source
  • US Commercial Service, "Doing Business in Greece: 2014 Country Commercial Guide for U.S. Companies", 2014
    https://www.slideshare.net/devkambhampati/dr-dev-kambhampati-doing-business-in-greece-2014-country-commercial-guide-for-us-companies
Fiscal Restrictions

GREECE

Reported in 2014

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
Limitation on foreign participation
It is reported that Greece imposes onerous qualification requirements on companies seeking to bid on public procurement tenders. Companies must submit documentation from competent authorities indicating that they have paid taxes, have not been in bankruptcy and have paid in full their social security obligations for their employees.

All managing directors and board members of companies that want to participate in procurements must submit certifications from competent authorities that they have not engaged in fraud, money laundering, criminal activity or similar activities. It is difficult for foreign firms to comply with these requirements due to the lack of or difficulty to find competent authorities in their home countries which issue these types of certifications.
Coverage Horizontal
Source
  • USTR, 2014 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/2014%20NTE%20Report%20on%20FTB.pdf
Fiscal Restrictions

GREECE

Reported in 2014

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
Local Content Requirement
Public tenders may have a stipulation that foreign bidders must submit their offers in a venture with a local company. In major projects, the utilization of local resources (engineering services, manpower supplies, manufacturing, or assembly) is reported as an important factor in bid evaluations.
Coverage Horizontal
Source
  • US Commercial Service, "Doing Business in Greece: 2014 Country Commercial Guide for U.S. Companies", 2014
    https://www.slideshare.net/devkambhampati/dr-dev-kambhampati-doing-business-in-greece-2014-country-commercial-guide-for-us-companies
Fiscal Restrictions

GREECE

Since January 2015

Chapter Taxation & Subsidies  |  Sub-chapter Discriminatory tax regime on online services
Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 1042/2013 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 282/2011, Mini One-Stop Shop (MOSS)
The European Regulation No. 1042/2013 amending the Council Implementing Regulation No. 282/2011, declares that from January 2015, all supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services will be taxable at the place where the customer belongs. These include, inter alia:
- images or text, such as photos, screensavers, e-books and other digitised documents e.g. PDF files;
- music, films and games, including games of chance and gambling games, and of programmes on demand;
- online magazines website supply or web hosting services distance maintenance of programmes and equipment;
- supplies of software and software updates advertising space on a website.

Both EU and non-EU suppliers have to register for VAT purposes and comply with the relevant obligations of the Member State where the customer is established, has his/her permanent address or usually resides. This may be burdensome as there are 81 VAT rates across the 28 EU countries and the rates may vary between 3% (Luxembourg) to 27% (Hungary) across member states. Furthermore, member states impose varying thresholds at which companies must begin paying VAT, ranging from EUR 0 to EUR 60,000.

As an alternative to obtaining multiple VAT registrations in each Member State where a supplier has a customer, affected suppliers may be able to opt to account for VAT across the EU via a a web-portal in the Member State in which they are identified. Hence, the system, known as the Mini One-Stop Shop (MOSS) scheme, allows taxable persons to avoid registering in each Member State of consumption.
Coverage B2C suppliers of telecommunications, broadcasting and electronically supplied services
Fiscal Restrictions

GREECE

Reported in 2013

Chapter Taxation & Subsidies  |  Sub-chapter Discriminatory tax regime on digital goods and products
Directive 2001/29 (EU Copyright Directive)

Law 2121/1993 on Intellectual Property and Neighbouring Rights (art. 18), last amended in 2003
The EU Copyright Directive allows “fair compensation” for copyright owners. As a result, several Member States have imposed national levy systems.

In Greece, importers or manufacturers are liable for payment upon import or distribution by the manufacturer. 6% rate applies on all products/devices’ import price for audio CD-R, audio CD-RW, DAT, mini disc, DVD-audio, digital audio recorders – MP3 players, Hifi CD writer (consumer), music mobile phones, DVD-R, CD-RW Data, DVD writer PC (external), CD ROM recorder PC (external), TV with recorder (hard disc), DVD recorders (with or without Hard disc), hard drive media players, digital cameras with SD cards, game consoles, mini discs, compact flash memories, smart media memory cards, jazz drives mobile phones (except music mobiles).
Coverage Storage media and devices
Trading restrictions

FINLAND

Since 2002

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Online sales
Act on Gaming

Finnish Lotteries Act
The Finland 2002 Act on Gaming made RAY (one of three organisations that form the Finnish government’s monopoly on gaming) is the sole official provider of online gambling for the mainland. However, because of better odds and prizes, many mainland Finns switch RAY and Veikkaus (the Finnish National Lottery) to PAF (Play among Friends), causing officials at RAY to push for legal action. The government stepped in again to intervene, deciding to allow both organisations to operate concurrently.

It is reported that the Finnish government deters its citizens from gambling outside the borders of the country, but there is no legal framework in place for them to prevent or act against such activity. Due to complaints from foreign gambling operators to European authorities, between 2006 and 2013, Finland was among nine EU member states whose gambling legislation was under investigation by the European Commission for potentially being over-restrictive with regards to EU free trade laws (IP/06/436). These proceedings concerned the cross border provision and marketing of sports betting services. In 2013, the Commission concluded that the new Finnish Lotteries Act is compatible with the EU law and closed the investigation.
Coverage Online gambling
Trading restrictions

FINLAND


Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Online sales
Restriction on online sales
Advertising spirits online is banned and Finnish sellers are not allowed to sale alcohol online. However, Finnish citizens can import alcohol from foreign online alcohol providers.
Coverage E-retail