New Investment Law
With the Fast-Track adopted in 2010 (Law 3894/2010), Greece provided the international and Greek investment community with a stable and transparent set of investment rules, procedures and administrative structures for the implementation of large scale public and private projects. Through the Law, critical factors that have inhibited major investments in Greece were abolished. Bureaucracy, the complexity of legislation, and opacity, all of which used to deter investors and significantly delay the implementation of large scale projects, was eliminated.
Under the new Law "Creation of a Development Friendly Environment for Strategic and Private Investments" (4146/2013), the successful Fast Track Law has been enhanced and broadened, simplifying the licensing procedure—an important initiative for strategic investments.
The new Fast Track Law streamlines the licensing procedure for Strategic Investments, making the process easier, smoother and more attractive. It is important to note that the Fast Track process is already in effect and operative and that the new, current law is an amended and enhanced iteration, responding to market needs.
Key features of the new Law include:
- The General Secretariat for Strategic and Private Investments will undertake all licensing procedures, including the issuance of certain licenses internally. The licensing system for investment plans is facilitated through the establishment of a General Directorate of Strategic Investments
- The framework of Strategic Investments is broadened, and given that supporting companies already in operation is considered crucial for the national economy, they may also be included in the Strategic Investments framework. For example, companies that currently operate in Greece can apply for induction in the process if their business plan guarantees the retention of at least 600 jobs
- The role of the Interministerial Committee of Strategic Investments (I.C.S.I.) is reinforced
- Invest in Greece can propose to the I.C.S.I. the submission of investments that have significant positive impact on the Greek economy even though they may not fulfil some of the criteria set by the law
- A more efficient and legally robust process for handling requested deviations (planning, building terms)
- Tax incentives, such as ensuring a stable tax regime and granting tax exemptions and 10% discount on the special duty imposed on some licenses
- Abolition of the letter of guarantee
- Installation Permit and Operation Permit issued within one month
- In the event a permit is not issued within the required deadline, the Minister for Development is authorized to issue it within one month
- The granting of residence permits for executives of Strategic Investments and their families. In parallel, third-country citizens and their family members, who proceed in buying property in Greece, the value of which exceeds 250.000 Euros, may obtain residence permits
- Centralised mapping of licensing procedures is established for the first time