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Greece

List of Documents/Authorizations

Documents required to start a fish farm in Greece

Based on the Government Gazette 2284 05/07/2017, the required documents issuing the issuance, renewal or modification of a license for the establishment and operation of aquaculture units are determined. These include:

  1. Pre-approval of lease of water area: the interested party submits to the competent Directorate of Rural Affairs of the relevant Decentralized Administration:
    • Application of the individual or legal person
    • Short technical and economic report
    • Map of the wider area on a scale of 1: 50,000, where the location of the requested water area will be noted
    • Topographic diagrams of the requested water area as well as the location and layout of the facilities by a qualified mechanical member of TEE.
  2. The Directorate of Agricultural Affairs of the Decentralized Administration, submit the file for opinion to the competent services.
  3. After the issuance of the pre-approval decision for lease, the interested party submits to the Directorate of Rural Affairs of the relevant Decentralized Administration a file with the following supporting documents, for the granting of a license for the establishment and operation of a floating aquaculture unit:
    • Application of the interested individual or legal person.
    • An Environmental Impact Study (EIA) acoompanied with the necessary supporting documents (including the issuance of a Decision approving Environmental Terms). Prior to the submission of the EIA, the process of opinion may be optionally followed by the submission of a file for the Preliminary Determination of Environmental Requirements (PPPA). In the case of installation and operation within a protected area of ​​the NATURA 2000 network, the provisions of Article 10 of Law 4014/2011 shall also apply.
    • A statement of the designer or of the interested body with the necessary supporting documents, as these are specialized in the joint ministerial decision No. 50129/1392 / 26.9.2013 (Β ‘2405).
    •  The supporting documents concerning the water use permit, where required. in the case of the use of seawater and / or in the case of extraction of water from the sea, regardless of the distance from the shore no water use permit is required.
    • For the land units which serve as support facilities, a certificate of ownership or a lease contract or a decision to grant real estate or a relevant contract for the use of third party facilities is submitted on a case-by-case basis. Building permit or similar approval from the urban planning, if required, is submitted after the issuance of Approving Decisions of Environmental Terms.
    • In cases of land areas that fall under the forest legislation, the provisions of Law 998/1979 (A ‘289) and of the decision no. 15277/2012 (B’ 1077) are applied.
    • If the boundary lines of the seashore and the beach have not been determined in the area of ​​establishment of the unit, the interested body shall submit a copy of the relevant application for their determination, which would have been previously submitted for this purpose. If the seashore and the beach have been allready pre-determined, the Official Gazette of their publication is submitted.
    • For the construction of greenhouses for the of aquaculture and / or for the above-ground tanks regardless of their construction materials, a certificate of deviation from the building standards is needed.  
    • Documents relating to health control for livestock-fish and their products.
  4. In order to grant a license for the establishment and operation of a water farming unit exclusively in land breeding facilities, the interested party submits to the Directorate of Agricultural Affairs of the relevant Decentralized Administration a file with the following supporting documents.
    • Application of the individual or legal person.
    • A certificate of ownership or a lease agreement or a decision to grant real estate as well as a building permit or similar approval from the competent urban planning, are required. The building permit or similar approval is submitted after the issuance of AEPO. Especially in the case of forest areas, an act of characterization of the area where the installation of the project is proposed (as well as its conclusive), or determination of the forest form of the area, according to the current provisions of the forest legislation for these concessions. In such cases (forest areas) the provisions of law 998/1979 (A ‘289) and of the decision no. 15277/2012 AEPO (Β’1077), as applied.
    • If the boundary lines of the seashore and the beach have not been determined in the area of units’ ​​establishment, the interested body shall submit a copy of the relevant application for their determination, which has been previously submitted for this purpose. If the seashore and the beach have been pre-determined, the Official Gazette of their publication is submitted.
    • For the construction of greenhouses for the aquaculture and / or for the above-ground tanks for fish farming, regardless of their construction materials, a certificate of deviation from the building standards.
    • Short technoeconomic report.
    •  Map of the wider area on a scale of 1: 5,000, where the location of the land area of ​​the facilities will be noted.
    •  A site layout plan on a scale of 1: 200 to 1: 1,000 with illustration of the proposed projects and installations by a qualified mechanical engineer of TEE.
    • An environmental Impact Study (EIA) with the necessary supporting documents, for category A ‘units of Law 4014/2011 (A’ 209), in which the issuance of a Decision for the Approval of Environmental Terms is required. Prior to the submission of the EIA, the process of opinion may be optionally followed by the submission of a file for the Preliminary Determination of Environmental Requirements (PPPA), in accordance with the provisions of Law 4014/2011.
    • The relevant statement of the designer or the interested body with the necessary supporting documents, for water cultivation units of category B ‘of law 4014/2011, which are subject to Standard Environmental Commitments (PPD).
    • The requiring documents concerning the water use permit, if necessary. No water use permit is required in the case of the use of seawater and / or in the case of extraction of water from the sea, regardless of the distance from the shore.
    • The documents relating to health control for the livestock-fish and their products.
    • Travel permit or certificate of closed installation by the Fisheries Service of the relevant Regional Unit, concerning the cases of using species unfamiliar to the local environment. (In order to secure this document, the interested party submits a relevant request, with a technical report file to the Fisheries Service of the relevant Regional Unit.
  5. The Directorate of Rural Affairs of the Decentralized Administration shall formally fill officially the file of the supporting documents with the pre-approval of the lease of the water area and by turn forward it to the competent services.
  6. Having all permits/ approvals issued and the interested party submitted the construction permit or the appropriate approval of the competent urban planning and as well the proof of the process of the seashore and beach determination, the Directorate of Rural Affairs propose to the Secretary General Decentralized Administration the issuance of the license for the establishment and operation of the aquaculture unit.
  7. The Directorate of Agricultural Affairs of the Decentralized Administration transmits the file of supporting documents to the competent services.

The procedure currently in force for the issuance of a license for the establishment and installation of aquaculture in Greece includes the submission of the requiring documents to the Directorate of Rural Affairs, the submission of a file for the Preliminary Determination of Environmental Requirements, the use of a mechanical engineer, the issuance of Approving Decisions of Environmental Terms, the requiring documents related to the health control for aquaculture species and their products, act of area’s characterization where the installation of the project in case of forest areas, the application for determination of the boundaries of the seashore and the beach, the movement permit or a certificate of closed installation by the Fisheries Service of the relevant Regional Unit for the cases of using foreign species, and others, are proposed.

To expand the activity and productive innovation of the industry, it is necessary to simplify the administrative procedures, by giving emphasis on the simplification of licensing procedures and the reduction of the required time and cost. It is therefore proposed a one-stop shop at the Directorate of Rural Affairs of the relevant Decentralized Administration which will be responsible for obtaining the necessary supporting documents from the competent construction service and the Fisheries Service, as well as for obtaining the necessary justifications. Also, the Identification of the Environmental Requirements, the water use permit, the issuance of Approving Decisions of Environmental Terms, the act of characterization of any forest area, and the determination of the shoreline and the beach boundaries. The supporting documents for the approval of the lease of water area and for the granting of a license for the establishment and operation of the aquaculture unit will be submitted simultaneously to the Directorate of Rural Affairs.

  1. Approval of the water area’s lease: the interested party submits to the competent Directorate of Agricultural Affairs of the relevant Decentralized Administration:
    • Application of the interested individual or legal person.
    • Short technicoeconomic report
    • Map of the wider area on a scale of 1: 50,000, where the location of the requested water area will be noted
    • Site layout plan of the requested water area as well as the location and layout of the facilities by a qualified mechanical engineer.
  2. The Directorate of Agricultural Affairs of the Decentralized Administration, transmits the file for opinion to the competent services.
  3. After the issuance of the pre-approval decision for lease, the interested party submits to the Directorate of Rural Affairs of the relevant Decentralized Administration a file with the following supporting documents, for granting a license for the establishment and operation of a floating aquaculture
    • Application of the individual or the legal person.
    • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) with the necessary supporting documents.
    • Designer’s relevant statement of the interested body with the necessary supporting documents, as they are specialized in the joint ministerial decision No. 50129/1392 / 26.9.2013 (Β ‘2405).
    • For the land support facilities of the unit, a certificate of ownership or a lease contract or a decision to grant real estate or a relevant contract for the use of third-party facilities is submitted on a case-by-case basis. Construction permit or similar approval from the competent construction service, if required, is submitted after the issuance of AEPO.
    • In cases of land areas that are subject to the forest legislation, the provisions of Law 998/1979 (A ‘289) and of the decision no. 15277/2012 as valid
    • For the construction of greenhouses for the farming of aquatic organisms and / or above-ground tanks for the farming of the aquatic organisms, regardless of their construction materials, a certificate of deviation from the construction provisions.
    • Documents relating to health control for aquatic animals and their products.
  4. In order to grant a license for the establishment and operation of a water farming unit exclusively in land breeding facilities, the interested party submits to the Directorate of Agricultural Affairs of the relevant Decentralized Administration a file with the following requiring documents:
    • Application of the individual or legal person.
    • Certificate of ownership or lease agreement or decision to grant real estate as well as a construction permit or similar approval from the competent construction service, if required.
    • For the construction of greenhouses for the aquatic organisms’ farming and / or above-ground tanks for the aquatic organisms’ farming, regardless of their construction materials, a certificate of deviation from the construction
    • Short technoeconomic report.
    • Map of the wider area on a scale of 1: 5,000, where the location of the land area of ​​the facilities will be noted.
    • Site layout plan of the requested water area as well as the location and layout of the facilities by a qualified mechanical engineer.
    • Environmental Impact Study (EIA) accompanied with the necessary documents, for category A ‘units under the Law 4014/2011 (A’ 209), in which the issuance of a Decision for the Approval of Environmental Terms is required
    • Urban planning layout of a scale of 1: 200 to 1: 1,000 with illustration of the proposed projects and installations by a qualified mechanical engineer.
    • Relevant statement of the designer or the interested body with the necessary supporting documents, for water farming units of category B ‘of law 4014/2011, which are subject to Standard Environmental Commitments (PPD).
    • Documents relating to health control for aquatic animals and their products.
  5. The Directorate of Rural Affairs of the Decentralized Administration shall formally fill in the file of the documents with the pre-approval of the lease of the water area and forward it to the competent services.
  6. After the issuance of all permits / approvals, and after the interested party submits the construction permit or the appropriate approval of the competent construction service and the receipts for the determination of the seashore and beach (if required), the Directorate of Rural Affairs proposes to the Secretary General of the Decentralized Administration that the permit for the establishment and operation of the aquaculture unit be issued.
  7. The Directorate of Agricultural Affairs of the Decentralized Administration submits the file to the competent services.

Financing opportunities/tools/instruments available for the aquaculture sector in Greece

1. National funding

  • National Aquaculture Development Program: A national development program is being implemented in the field of aquaculture, which is referred to as the National Aquaculture Development Program (NADP). The NADP, in the framework of the Common Fisheries Policy of the European Union (EU), includes the national development objectives, in accordance with the directions of the urban spatial planning plan. The NADP is approved by the Minister of Rural Development and Food decision, following the opinion of the National Council of Aquaculture (NCA) of the article 3. The priorities of the NADP are:
    1. The sustainable development of aquaculture, so as to be a key lever for the development of the primary sector and the Greek economy in general, by improving the productivity of the existing aquaculture units, expanding their activity and promoting innovation.
    2. Establishing relationships with other users, especially in the coastal zone, to eliminate the conflict of interest phenomenon and make an effective use of land.
    3. The simplification and the update of the institutional licensing framework, the control of activity and the relationships between administrative and production bodies, for the efficiency’s enhancement and for the creation of a friendly environment to attract new private investment.
    4. The stimulation of research and innovation
    5. The promotion of social equality and cohesion through:
      • encouraging the involvement of all stakeholders (management, aquaculture, wholesalers, retailers and consumer associations) in the decision-making process regarding the development policy of the
      • the production based on high standards and nutritional value, which meet the modern nutritional needs of consumers and
      • the increase of the job vacancies for scientists and labor, especially in border areas and remote islands (LAW 4282 / Government Gazette A 182 / 29.08.2014).
  • Marine time & Fisheries Operational Program 2014-2020 (https://www.espa.gr/el/pages/staticOPMaritimeFisheries.aspx): The vision of OP focuses on the strengthening of the environmentally sustainable, efficient in terms of resources, innovative and competitive fishing and aquaculture, as well as on the promotion of blue growth and marine skills in Greece. Objectives of the OP form:
    1. The improvement of the competitiveness of aquaculture and the processing industries.
    2. The sustainability of marine fishing and the sustainable development of areas traditionally dependent on fishing.
    3.  The protection and the restoration of the marine environment and of the living resources, the control of fishing activities, the collection of fishing data and the improvement of the awareness for the marine environment’s conditions
  • Innovation in aquaculture of the Marine time & Fisheries Operational Program (https://www.espa.gr/el/pages/ProclamationsFS.aspx?item=3535): The Program is addressed to research organizations (HEIs, ATEI, Research Centers, Technological bodies) according to the Law 4310/2014 and the Law 4386/2016 as in force, and to aquaculture companies for the projects’ implementation aimed at:
    1. developing technical, scientific or organizational knowledge concerning aquaculture farms, which will specifically reduce the impact on the environment, will reduce the dependence on fishmeal and fish oils, will strengthen a sustainable use of water resources, will facilitate or improve livelihoods or will facilitate to the new sustainable innovative production method.
    2. developing or introducing to the market new types of aquaculture with good market prospects, new or significantly improved products, or improved management and organization systems
    3. investigating the technical or economic feasibility of innovations, products or processes.

2. Private funding

Business and private equity financing is relatively underdeveloped in Greece. There are 21 mutual fund ventures in Greece (members of the Hellenic Capital Funds Association54) with about € 1.2 billion under management, but only a few of the funds are currently open for investment. However, investment in business capital in Greece was close to 0% of GDP in 2016 and, despite the emergence of a vibrant entrepreneurship and of the ecosystem technology’s financing over the past five years, mutual funds remain extremely low compared to those of other European countries (European Investment Bank, 2018)

As part of the private funding, there are institutions that promote the development of aquaculture companies. Indicatively, the following are mentioned:

  1. Blue Hackathon: Patra’s science Park, with the support of the Blue Innovation Hub, organizes the Blue Hackathon for the development of ideas in the fields of Blue Development, such as aquaculture, fishing, coastal and maritime tourism, etc. The Blue Hackathon can be attended by young people, students, new teams – startup companies or in general those who are interested in developing pilot applications in the fields of Blue Development. The awards include the ability for businesses to join a pre-incubator phase and to use the co-working space and the workshop for 2 months (https://bluehackathon2019.weebly.com/).
  2. Blue Growth Marine Challenge: The maritime and water economic activities in order to make full use of their potential, synergies, innovation and sustainability principles are needed. The Blue Growth Marine Challenge is looking for original innovative business ideas for any products and services within the frame of Information and Communication Technologies, Environmental Protection and Energy Saving, Fisheries, Sustainable Maritime Tourism, Water Use, Transportation & Logistics. The awards include business services worth 5,000 euros and free admission to an incubation / acceleration program (http://www.bluegrowth.gr/).

In addition, banking institutions in Greece provide financial instruments to aquaculture companies.

3. European grant funding

The development of aquaculture companies in Greece realized through the European funding is promoted via the Operational Program “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation” with Special Actions in “Aquaculture” – “Industrial materials” – “Open innovation in culture” (www.espa.gr/el/Pages/ProclamationsFS.aspx?item=3473). The action “Aquaculture” is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the framework of the OP “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (EPANEK)” of the NSRF.

The action aims at the cooperation between some dynamic companies and the Research and Dissemination Organizations for the support of research and of the technological development and innovation projects whose research results are utilized and integrated into value chains.