Greece - Selling and buying
Reaching the consumers
In 2009 and 2010 many small shops have closed because they could not cope with falling demand and rising consumer prices. As a result, department stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets are becoming key components of industry retail sales in Greece, particularly in the context of the economic recession which is currently affecting the country.
- the largest is the group Marinopoulos (20% owned by Carrefour) which had a turnover of 1.458 billion Euros in 2003.
- Followed by the group Delhaize-Alpha Vita Vassilopoulos with a turnover of 901.6 million Euros in 2003.
The other visible trend is the development of discount supermarkets. Thus, the German hard discount group Lidl recently set up in Greece. Mostly discount supermarkets like Makro (in Greek) and Baazar Discount are found here. However, the discount market remains relatively small in size as it represented only 6% of the food distribution market in 2004.
Until 2000, the non-food distribution market was mainly dominated by national groups but the trend has completely changed since then : international groups have started making investments. Thus, the British group Currys (specialized in electrical home appliances) took over Kotsovolos, Fnac has set up in Athens in 2006 (commercial center The Mall Athens) and Ikéa opened its first store in 2001.
Market access procedures
Greece maintains nationality restrictions on a number of professional and business services, including legal advice. These restrictions do not apply to EU citizens. Visit this website for more information on trade barriers
For higher values, you must deposit at the Customs office:
1) a brief declaration (air or maritime manifest) to conclude the collection of the goods.
2) a common law declaration (SAD, single administrative document), as well as the accompanying documents to allow their clearance.
The SAD form can be obtained from Chambers of Commerce or an approved printer. A computerized Customs clearance platform (SOFI: International freight computer system) can be accessed in Customs offices or in some Chambers of Commerce.
In the case of deliveries and purchases within the European Community, the declaration of exchange of goods (DEB) or Intrastat declaration must be sent to the Customs service.
As part of the "SAFE" standards advocated by the World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union has set up a new system of import controls, the "Import Control System" (ICS), which aims to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the customs territory of the EU. This control system, part of the Community Program eCustomer, has been in effect since January 1, 2011. Since then, operators are required to pass an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs of the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the customs territory of the European Union.
Organizing goods transport
Greece has 2,500 kilometers of railway on two main routes: Athens-Thessaloniki and Athens-Corinth-Patras-Kalamata. The state-owned Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) controls the railways and has begun a gradual program of modernizing and expanding the existing network in cooperation with the EU. Rail transport accounts for 4% of passenger traffic and 1% of the freight transported only.