08 February 2006

Greek diving opens up with new law

The new bill prepared by the Ministry of Mercantile Marine regarding recreational diving in Greece, is the outcome of the Hellenic Government's Strategic Plan for positioning Greece prominently into the world's scuba diving industry, and in addition for boosting the country's alternative tourism.

The new diving law is fully in accord with the EU Standards regarding recreational diving, which have actually been in force since early 2004. Moreover the unreasonable restrictions imposed in the past by archeologists are now being successfully modified and the concept of Diving Parks has been firmly established.

Notably, the legislative framework provides adequate environment protection, ensures the appropriate respect for the underwater precious antiquities, as well as the safety and adequate professional skills of the divers, who will enjoy clear waters, plus unique marine life and other hitherto unutilised underwater attractions.

An accreditation system consonant to EU directives is being established for the Scuba Divers' Training Programs, for the appropriate certification of various Diver Training Organizations, as well as for the Diving Services Providers. The Diving Services are classified according to their type, they are certified on an individual basis by an accredited products certification agency and each of them will be licensed by the competent Port Authority. There are now clear requirements as specified by law, to the effect that only those holding the necessary license will be able to provide Diving Services.

Moreover, the modus operandi for the Diving Industry is now clearly prescribed, appropriate records will be maintained at the Ministry of Mercantile Marine, and violators of the existing rules will be subject to severe penalties.

The Republic of Greece has several advantages as a holiday destination for divers: safety as a EU member, short flight distances for European travellers, excellent climate and long diving season, same currency with many other EU countries, and other amenities. The multitude of active European and American divers, as well as those aspiring newcomers who wish to experience the magic undersea world and receive competent training in scuba diving, will find themselves welcomed in the best possible environment for pursuing their exciting hobby.

Finally, the renewed availability of our Nation’s magnificent undersea world to the Diving Industry, necessitates its strict adherence to services of the highest possible quality, for the pleasure of our visitors and the prosperity of our society as well.

Source: PADI


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