It appears that there are fellow citizens who are unaware of the changes, with the risk that as we approach the heart of the tourist season, the magnitude of the disruption will increase.
Reactions were caused on Sunday at the port of Limassol, when citizens realized that it was decided to implement a new policy this year by the Deputy Ministry of Shipping, regarding the personal belongings that can be carried by passengers traveling by vehicle on the Limassol – Piraeus line. It seems that there are fellow citizens who are unaware of the changes, with the danger that as we approach the heart of the tourist season, which is the months of July and August, the magnitude of the disruption will increase.
According to passenger complaints to “K”, when some passengers, who were to board the ship yesterday, Sunday, June 18, with their vehicle, were starting to arrive at the port of Limassol from 07.00 in the morning to travel at 12.00, they unexpectedly found themselves , as, as they state, they had not received relevant information previously. As they stated, they were informed about this upon their arrival at the port of Limassol, where they were given a form by the sponsoring company, which, among other things, included the information that all personal belongings should only be in travel suitcases, which would they were all taken to the baggage check. Merchandise or other personal items are also not allowed, except for hand luggage, while the transport of edible and drinkable items inside the ship is prohibited.
Passengers traveling in vehicles are not allowed to carry goods or other personal items, except hand luggage.
Based on the same information, a warning was given to passengers yesterday Sunday, that they could return to their homes the personal items that were outside the travel hand luggage (e.g. televisions and other electrical devices) and return back to the port no later than 10.00 am or they would miss the ship. As “K” is informed, some passengers, who arrived about 15 minutes late at the port of Limassol, were not allowed to board the ship.
Due to the above, a disturbance was created, with several passengers leaving one after the other for their homes, to return personal belongings, which according to their travel experience last year, they took for granted that they were allowed to be inside the vehicles. The passengers who contacted “K” wonder why Greece does not apply the same policy for those traveling from Piraeus to Limassol and the Republic of Cyprus proceeded with this decision.
The event also caused reactions. that this year the passengers were forbidden to carry on board containers of food and drink.
The form, which the contracting company of the Limassol – Piraeus line gives to passengers at the port of Limassol, so that they can be informed about the new policy for transporting personal belongings.
What does the Deputy Ministry of Shipping
For its part, the Deputy Ministry of Shipping responds that the passenger public has been informed about the new regime for transporting personal belongings, especially from the information provided when booking tickets online on the website of the ship's sponsoring company .
In his statements to “K”, the official of the Deputy Ministry, Zacharias Kapsis, said that the Deputy Ministry took care to check that the company complies with its obligation to inform the public in prominent places on its website, about the terms and conditions of the trip, and this during the steps of buying a ticket. “Also on April 10, 2023, when a press conference was held in Larnaca, the sponsoring company asked the traveling public to read carefully before booking their tickets, the terms and conditions,” added Mr. Kapsis.
For better and faster control
Regarding the reasons why, while last year and the first year of operation of the Limassol – Piraeus line, the prohibitions that apply this year were not applied, Mr. Kapsis referred to the fact that last year the line was operating for the first time and in the middle of the season ( June 19). As he explained, this year the Deputy Ministry of Shipping, together with other related Services and Government Departments, had a large number of meetings, where it was decided, in view of, among other things, the safety of the traveling public and their vehicles, that only hand luggage should be transported, so that their control becomes more effective and faster, both by the Police and by the Customs Department. At those meetings, the finding, both from Customs and the Police, was brought forward that some passengers were carrying in the vehicles quite a large amount of belongings, which did not justify the purpose of recreation, but indicated a commercial activity. In fact, in this way the control was also hindered, since the dogs could not enter the vehicle and detect, checking if there are explosives or drugs.
Last year, the example was indicative, according to Mr. Burning of a vehicle that contained 10 – 15 items, such as air conditioners and other electrical appliances. The official of the Deputy Ministry stressed that the Cyprus-Greece maritime passenger connection is a service of General Economic Interest, subsidized by the Republic of Cyprus, for the transport of passengers and their accompanying vehicles, and one cannot transport anything else that has to do with commercial activity.
In relation to the ban by the contracting airline on the transport of edible and drinkable items inside the ship, as well as the distribution before boarding of the relevant form with the prohibitions, Mr. Kapsis said that the Deputy Ministry did not has been informed and will investigate.