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Newsletter December 2009

INVESTMENT NEWS

FAST TRACK - Priority Licensing for Investors

Greece has enacted new legislation that accelerates licensing procedures for a number of investments, putting investors on a priority track, with Invest in Greece facilitating the application process to ensure swift and conclusive results.

“Fast Track”* is a new law that accelerates the licensing procedure for investments in Greece. “Fast Track” is applicable in energy, tourism, industry, advanced technologies and innovation projects and includes those investments which come under the investment law.
* Government Gazette, Volume 1, No. 122, July 21, 2009.

Criteria

To be included in the Procedure, the investments or business plans must meet at least one of the following criteria:
(a) the total value of the investment must be exceed two hundred million (200, 000, 000) Euro;
(b) the total value of the investment must exceed seventy five million (75, 000,000) Euro and two hundred (200) new jobs must be created concurrently with the investment;
(c) an amount of at least one million (1,000,000) Euro annually must be invested in advanced technologies and innovation projects, irrespective of the overall amount of the investment.

Invest in Greece A.E., operating as a one-stop-shop for investors, undertakes, on behalf of the investor, all procedures and licensing required for investments that meet the aforementioned criteria.

The Fast Track Procedure is comprised of the following stages:

Submission of Application

Investors applying for the inclusion of their plan in the Procedure must submit to Invest in Greece:
a) an application and a declaration permitting Invest in Greece to act on behalf of the investor in the Fast Track Procedure
b) a business plan for the investment, including a technical/economic study and a feasibility study;
c) an impact assessment of the investment on the Greek economy.

Within a peremptory deadline of fifteen business days from receiving the dossier, the investor is invited to a review meeting with regard to his application.

Review and Evaluation of the Application

After the investor submits the application, Invest in Greece reviews the business plan and the impact study and evaluates whether the criteria for inclusion in the Procedure are met.

If the investor submits a complete dossier, Invest in Greece must:
a) undertake the completion of all processes and licensing required for launching the implementation of the investment in the name, on order and on behalf of the investor, and
b) provide the investor with a progress time table within one month following the review meeting.

Next, the applicant investor is informed of the affirmative decision of Invest in Greece to forward his dossier to the Interministerial Investment Committee (IIC), which is composed of the Minister of Economy and Finance as Chairman, the Minister of Development and other competent government members, and has the responsibility for including the investment in the Fast Track Licensing Procedure as well as supervising and monitoring it.

Inclusion of investment in the Procedure

Following the inclusion of the investment to the Procedure by the IIC, and after the investor has been notified by Invest in Greece, the applicant investor submits a complete dossier with the documentation required for approving and issuing the relevant licenses to Invest in Greece, so that Invest in Greece can forward the relevant dossier to the competent services and organisations.

Submission of Documentation to the Competent Services and Organisations

Within a period of 15 business days from the notification of the decision by Invest in Greece to the competent services and organisations for the inclusion of the investment in the Fast Track Procedure, these organisations must determine whether the documentation dossier is complete. In any case, all elements of the dossier required, but missing, and any required clarifications and additions, must be described in detail in the relevant service’s response to Invest in Greece. These organisations have the opportunity to determine if the dossier is complete just once. Each time Invest in Greece receives such information it invites the applicant investor to complete the dossier and it forwards the additional material to the competent services. The dossier is examined by the competent services and organisations in absolute order of priority.

Issue of Licenses

After the dossier is examined by the competent organisations, the issue of each license required for the study, construction, financing, and operation of the investments included in the scope of the Fast Track Licensing Procedure is completed within the 3-month deadline that follows the notification of the decision by Invest in Greece regarding the inclusion of the investment in the Procedure to the services and organisations. If within this deadline the services and organisations have not proceeded to a legally justified refusal to issue the required licenses in writing, the licenses are considered as having been issued.

The Fast Track Licensing Procedure of each investment is concluded by a decision of the Minister of Economy and Finance, which is published in the Government Gazette.