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Greece

Environmental rules

Updated 12/2011

Legal requirements

Some small and medium-sized businesses may be subject to laws on areas including air pollution, solid and liquid waste, water usage, and noise pollution. The main legal framework is as follows:

Environmental control

Relevant legislation, both at national and community level, is available on the website of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

Land development

The National Centre for the Environment and Sustainable development, a non-profit organisation operating as a private entity and supervised by the Ministry of Environment, is responsible for land development.

Waste management

The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate change is responsible for waste management, while the Hellenic Solid Waste Management Association (HSWMA) focuses on promoting the use of acceptable solid waste management methods and systems and the cultivation of the relevant scientific methods and applications with a view to contributing to sustainable development.

Chemicals

Acting as a service of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the General Chemical State Laboratory (GCSL) owns the laboratory equipment required to perform a wide range of laboratory tests and also helps solve complex scientific and technical issues arising occasionally with regard to protecting public health, the environment, and consumers' interests.

Water

Being a service of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the General Chemical State Laboratory (GCSL) owns the laboratory equipment required to perform a wide range of laboratory tests and also helps solve complex scientific and technical issues arising occasionally with regard to protecting public health, the environment and consumers' interests.

Climate and air

The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change provides a Daily Report of Air Pollution Levels for the information of all citizens.

Noise protection

The relevant Greek legislation has been adapted to the relevant Community legislation and is available through the following website:

Nuclear protection

The Hellenic Scientific Society for the Protection of the Environment is actively involved in the protection of the environment from nuclear waste.

Inspections

The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change operates a Special Environmental Inspectorate. Environment Inspectors may perform autopsies on all public or private projects or activities subject to the provisions on environmental protection and may carry out tests and measurements.

Energy Audit

The Energy Audit for buildings was introduced in Greece via the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations (EPBR) and via Presidential Decree on Energy Inspectors, as well as the recommendation of the Special Energy Inspectors' Service.

The regulatory framework in question establishes a new energy regulation providing clear instructions and guidelines for the energy-efficient design of buildings, allowing for quick and inexpensive inspection of buildings.

More specifically, Presidential Decree 100/2010 "Energy Inspectors for Buildings, Boilers, Heating and Air Conditioning Units" (Government Gazette 177/A/6.10.2010) envisages for the establishment of a body of Energy Inspectors to conduct energy audits, while Presidential Decree 72/2011 "Formation, administrative - organisational structure and staffing of the Special Energy Inspectors Service" (Government Gazette 132/A/2010) establishes a control procedure.

Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum environmental legal requirements at their own initiative.

Administrative procedures

Declaratory procedures

The  Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, the  officers responsible for approving the establishment, operation or performance of work or activity, and the  Environmental Quality Control Teams are responsible for inspections.

There are  three types of inspections:

  • Inspections during environmental licensing
  • Inspections for keeping to environmental conditions
  • Inspections in the case of protest

Waste management

The relevant forms for appropriate waste management procedures are available at the following website:

What is more, the identification form for the collection and transportation of hazardous waste   (required under the relevant legislation) is available at the website below:

Chemicals

The audit process for the implementation of the provisions of the REACH Regulation relating to the registration of hazardous chemicals upon their import.

The relevant forms are available at the website below:

Permits and licences

In Greece, the responsibility for environmental licensing and inspection of industrial activities belongs to the Central of Regional Office   of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, which is responsible for its adoption.

Licensing procedures vary depending on the type of company, its size and location.  To obtain a licence you have to:

  • determine your company's work sector (i.e. to what extent your business is allowed to set up activities in a particular region);
  • have pre-approved location;
  • submit all necessary documents to the Department of Industries of the competent Prefectural Administration.

The following website describes the aforementioned procedure in detail:

It is also possible to pre-approve   project licensing. Through pre-approval (which is not of the same importance as a normal licence), interested parties may proceed to opening tax trade up until control is carried out and a proper licence is issued.

Resources

The EnviroHelp website provides information on environmental laws and obligations to which small and medium-sized companies have to comply.

The  Athens Chamber of Handicrafts provides information on enterprise siting and licensing issues:

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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