The ELTA administration has decided to arbitrarily impose a “Customs Clearance” even on small value packages, which are tax-free, since they come from third countries and are transported via the Greek Post.

The relevant ELTA circular, issued on 21 January 2020, stipulated that, from now on, any item cleared even if its value is below 22 euros, which is the tax-free threshold, will be subject to a “Customs Duty”, the amount of which was set at EUR 15. These items valued at less than 22 euros were free to pass without any duties.


The ELTAs apparently decided to raise revenue and cover their deficit by imposing a ‘Customs Clearance Fee’ of 15 euros per package which is causing an incredible distortion. That is, a purchase from ebay, or any third-country online store, of an item costing 2,5 5 10 Euros, which was and is tax free, by the decision of ELTA would pay an additional 15 Euros!

According to customs legislation, purchases from third countries are tax-free up to EUR 22, and for higher value markets, the corresponding duties and VAT are levied.

The relevant extract from the ELTA circular is characteristic.

“Enforcement of customs duties on postal items, which are released Royalty by the Customs Authorities.

The postal items are presented to Customs, where at the stage of their sorting the customs officials separate the “free” items from those to be submitted to Customs (in accordance with the applicable provisions of EU and national law).

On the basis of the above Decisions and in conjunction with Board Decision 1.1.2 / 13499 / 011.03 / 12-07-2019, all items selected by the customs officials were presented to the Customs and after the completion of the procedure were released. , excluding duties or taxes, will be charged, with the Special Customs Clearance Fee, which is set at € 15, (€ 12.10 + VAT). This fee will cover the administrative costs of the EATA for the implementation of the customs procedure envisaged under the aforementioned CMAS. These items will be affixed with the usual yellow label of the Customs Clearance Office (GETA), where only the amount of “Customs Clearance” to be collected will be displayed in the “ELTA Charges for Customs” field. ”.

Also from the special fee list…. it became clear that the “hike” of 15 euros applies to objects valued from 0 to 150 euros, while:

  • For objects valued from 150 to 500 euros, the Customs Duty is set at 20 euros,
  • For items ranging from 500 to 1,000 euros the Customs Duty is set at 25 euros.
  • For higher value items the Customs Clearance Fee is set at 50 euros.

The cancellation

Following the shock and finding that the move of ELTA, a postal company, to interfere with customs legislation, AADE decided to intervene and in its circular to request ELTA to immediately cancel the imposition of a “Customs Duty”.

ELTAs are expected to issue a brief and relevant announcement announcing that the hike is being recalled and returning to its previous status, which does not provide any additional burden when purchases are of cif value, up to 22 euros.

It should be noted, however, that purchases from three countries, especially China’s e-shops and ebay have increased sharply in recent years, with about 15,000 parcels coming in daily, which are “customs free” with the green sticker, but due to the green sticker, of volume, cannot be handled directly by ELTA officials.

Delivery delays thus reaching or exceeding two months are thus observed.

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