BUSINESS

Scrapping night shift at Thessaloniki customs raises concern

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Shipping

Business representatives are expressing concern over the impact on exports of a decision to eliminate the night shift at Thessaloniki port’s customs service.

The Exporters’ Association of Northern Greece (SEVE) slammed the “surprise” move by the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE), saying it was incompatible with free market principles.

“Officials must finally decide if they are on the side of a free economy, growth and an export mentality or of statism and a civil servant mentality,” it said.

The Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the decision undermined the northern port’s growth prospects.

The decision was also criticized by the head of the city’s federation of shipping agents, Vassilis Kambakis, who said it would seriously damage exports.

AADE said port operations were not affected by the move, adding that ongoing investments at the port, whose management was recently taken over by a German-led consortium, could lead to a review of the decision. It added that parties can still have their goods cleared during the night at their own expense.

The decision was published in the Government Gazette on August 10 and came after an almost year-long strike by night shift customs officers.

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