The present “FAQs” is an unofficial document in English of purely explanatory  character for the procedure of the acceleration and transparency regarding the realization of Strategic Investments prescribed under Law No 3894/2010 of the Hellenic Republic, which was originally drafted, published and authenticated in Greek.

For legal or any other relevant purposes, only the authentic text of Law No 3894, as it appears in the Hellenic Government Gazette (Issue Number: 204, December 02, 2010), and its amendments (Law 4072/2012, Government Gazette Issue A 86, 11 April 2012 and Law 4146/2013, Government Gazette Issue A 90/18 April 2013) should be used. Whilst every effort was made to provide accurate information, “Enterprise Greece S.A.” cannot take responsibility for any discrepancies with the original. 

In 2010, Greece promulgated Law 3894/2010 on Acceleration and Transparency of Implementation of Strategic Investments, commonly referred to as the “Fast Track Law”. 

What are the basic criteria a private investment must meet for entry into Law 3894/2010?

For the purposes of the implementation of the provisions of this Law, Strategic Investments shall be construed as those productive investments which relate specifically to the construction, reconstruction, expansion, restructuring, modernisation or maintenance of existing infrastructure, facilities and networks: a. in manufacturing, b. in the energy sector, c. in tourism, d. in transport and communications, e. in the provision of health services, f. in waste management, g. in projects of high-end technology and innovation, h. in the education sector, i. in the culture sector, j. in the primary sector and the processing of agri-foodstuffs, and k. in the provision of services of the tertiary sector in general, provided that they meet at least one of the following conditions:
1. The total cost of the investment exceeds 100 million Euro
2. The total cost of the investment exceeds 15 million Euro, for investments in the industry sector in currently operating industrial zones or 3 million Euro for investments that are approved projects within the JESSICA fund context
3. The total cost of the investment is over 40 million Euro and concurrently creates at least 120 new employment positions
4. At least 150 new employment positions are created from the investment in a viable manner, or at least 600 employment positions are retained.
5. The investment cost exceeds 5 million Euro for the development of Business Parks.

What is the aim of Fast Track?

Fast Track provides an environment of transparency and security for the implementation of investments as it serves as a tool for the acceleration of the implementation procedure of strategic investments, whether these involve investments from the private sector or public private investment partnerships. The Fast Track procedure accelerates the licensing process through the shortening of deadlines by setting new and exclusive deadlines (with which the public administration must comply).

What is a Strategic Investment according to Fast Track?

For the purposes of the implementation of the provisions of this Law, Strategic Investments shall be construed as those productive investments which generate quantitative (i.e. budget, employment positions) and qualitative (i.e. the promotion of innovation, protection of the environment) results of major significance for the national economy overall, and which facilitate the country's exit from the economic crisis. The Fast Track procedure is a unique procedure for the implementation of strategic investments. It is not designed to include every investment plan into its provisions. It concerns large scale projects which have positive multiplier effects on our country's economy. It concerns investments that highlight and advance the strategic geopolitical advantage of Greece on the world map.

Is it mandatory for a Strategic Investment to be included in Fast Track?

A private investment enters the Fast Track procedure only if a) the candidate investor desires so, b) meets the requirements of the law and c) is approved as strategic by the Interministerial Committee of Strategic Investments (I.C.S.I).

How does Fast Track ensure an accelerated process, given the overregulation and bureaucratic hurdles that exist in many public administration procedures?

Because it introduces a new and complete set of rules, procedures and obligations for the Public Sector. Key among those are the 45-day deadline on most licenses and the granting of absolute priority in the queues. The procedure is in accordance with the Greek Constitution as well as European Union Legislation.

What is the ultimate objective of the Fast Track legislation?

The ultimate objective is clear: All investments in Greece may be carried out fast, in a transparent way and to the benefit of the country’s economy and society. Greece, first and foremost, aims at capitalising on its strategic advantages so that investment becomes the main driver of economic growth and development. Fast Track, in practice, will lead to beneficial and advantageous results, consolidating the investment procedure in Greece. The Fast Track procedure will initially operate as a pilot application, resulting in the simplification and acceleration of licensing procedures and, ultimately, in the implementation of the entire gamut of business activities in Greece.

Why do you state that the Fast Track procedure also ensures transparency in the investment implementation procedures?

In the case of strategic PPP investments, Fast Track provides that these shall be implemented through open international tenders in accordance with EC/Community legislation. In addition, a specific assessment procedure provided for in Greek legislation abolishes distortions, subjective evaluations and mechanisms that favour corruption. Within this framework, committee procedures for strategic investments, which could affect the result of an assessment, through subjective evaluations, are abolished.

In the case of private investments, the Fast Track procedure protects investors from any "outside" intervention to its administration. The procedure, provided that the investment is viable and solvent, introduces exclusive deadlines which the Public Administration is obliged to follow.

{sliderWhat are the “exceptional” provisions of the Fast Track procedure regarding tax relief?}

Fast Track grants a 10% discount to the paravolo special duty and allows for special tax incentives to be applied for, such as ensuring a stable tax regime. There will be no tax relief without approval by Law. This competency of the Parliament is exercised within the context of tax symmetry provided by the Constitution.

What administrative structure will manage the Fast Track procedures?

Fast Track provides for a new administrative structure where the Interministerial Committee for Strategic Investments (I.C.S.I.) bears the responsibility of investment approval, "Enterprise Greece SA" is the responsible authority for the evaluation of the investment dossier and the General Secretariat of Strategic and Private Investments is responsible for the licensing procedures through the newly established General Directorate of Strategic Investments. The I.C.S.I. also has the overall supervision of the Fast Track procedure.

What is the impact of the Fast Track procedure on environmental protection?

The main objective of the Fast Track Law is to promote investments that create added value for the country and preserve the existing national wealth, of which the environment is a vital part. The Law makes clear the need to accelerate the implementation of Strategic Investments in full accordance with the need to protect the environment. The task of the Law is not the abolishment of the existing environmental legislation, but to create a regime of fast processes. Wherever a specific processing time line is provided, the deadline is shortened. This acceleration has also been deemed as essential in the past and has been accordingly applied, in cases of major national priority.

Please illustrate the Fast Track procedure with some examples.

Take the example of a private investor who plans to include an investment in the Fast Track process. The investor prepares a detailed business plan, pays the 10% of the Management Fee* as a deposit and submits all the necessary documents to Enterprise Greece SA. Enterprise Greece evaluates the plan within 15 working days and submits an opinion to the I.C.S.I. If approved by the Committee, the investor pays Enterprise Greece the remaining 90% of the Management Fee* provided for by the law, and submits all the supporting documentation for licensing. Enterprise Greece then submits all the relevant documentation to the General Directorate of Strategic Investments that will operate as a one-stop shop for the investor to receive all the necessary licenses for the realisation of the investment.

* The total Management fee equals 0.2% of the budget of the investment and can be between 100,000€ and 300,000€.

Does the Fast Track procedure overlap with any other development framework?

It is important to note that the Law does not include or foresee any funding possibilities, only the acceleration of licensing procedures. It is not related with development programmes such as the NSRF (National Strategic Reference Framework) or the Investment Incentives Law. The Fast Track procedure offers a stable, transparent, objective and efficient framework for licensing and tender procedures.

What happens when an investment plan is not approved by the Interministerial Committee for Strategic Investments?

If an investment plan is not approved for inclusion in Fast Track Law (3894/2010) by the Interministerial Committee for Strategic Investments, the deposit of the Management Fee is not refunded and the prospective investor may continue the effort on licensing through the conventional legal investment framework (non-Fast Track). (Note: the practice of a non-refundable deposit of the Management Fee acts as a financial filter and safeguard to ensure the credibility of submitted business plans)

Does new employment refer to permanent, annual employment positions or are seasonal positions also eligible?

Jobs, for the purposes of this Law, shall be deemed to be employment positions that serve continuous needs, as well as permanent positions of seasonal employment which consistently serve recurring seasonal needs.


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