ODC Country Clearances
Information for Travellers
Personnel accountability in Greece is a high priority for the mission here in Greece. With demonstrations, potential criminal/terrorism activity, and the economic crisis, there is a significant possibility that we may need to contact individuals on short notice. To ensure 100%, 24/7 accountability, all travelers--no exceptions--must provide the requisite APACS information (para 3 below) and receive the Force Protection Detachment briefing (para 7 below).
1. Entry Requirements: Please carefully review the requirements for entry, as contained in the DoD Foreign Clearance Guide, found at https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil/fcg.cfm.
2. Country Clearance: All official travelers are advised that an approved country clearance is required prior to travel. Members must complete the application in the Aircraft and Personnel Automated Clearance System (APACS) at https://apacs.dtic.mil/apacs/ Requests should be submitted early (30 days in advance of travel, where possible). Even if your travel plans are tentative, we recommend submitting early (you can always amend your APACS request subsequently).
3. APACS Requirement: Contact Information: No country clearance will be granted unless the passenger provides emergency contact information. In APACS, under the "traveler" tab, and "travel notes", all travelers must provide emergency contact information (see example below). If your travel plans are uncertain, include as much information as you can, with a note that you will subsequently update the information in APACS.
Emergency Contact Info:
My In-Country Cell Phone: 011-30-694-474-0000
10-13 Feb 2015: Billeting, NSA-Souda Bay; 011-30-28210-21601
14 Feb 2015: Divani Hotel, 2, Vas. Alexandrou Ave, Athens. 011-30-210-720-7000
15-16 Feb 2015: TBD--will update APACS.
My Home Unit Supervisor/Commander: Lt Col Rob Rand, 78 ABW/CESN, DSN 497-1234; email@example.com
4. Official Travel - Military Members: In rare situations, some military travelers have reported travel disruptions (delays/denial) because airline officials or immigration officials were unaware of the NATO Status of Forces Agreement. The NATO Status of Forces Agreement permits military members on official business to enter Greece without a visa provided they have both (a) identification (ID card or official passport) and (b) DoD and NATO travel orders. DoD travel orders alone are insufficient---NATO travel orders are also required. The travel approving official must sign the NATO travel orders (see template at https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil/static/natoform.pdf)
If you encounter difficulties, we recommend relaying the following information with the agent:
• The NATO Status of Forces Agreement, Article III, Sections 1 & 2, which state that military members are exempt from the passport and visa requirements:
• The Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs visa instruction guide (p.13), which exempts NATO SOFA military members from the requirement to have a visa.
Please also promptly report the difficulties to the ODC legal advisor at [+30] 210-721-2951 (switchboard).
5. Non-NATO SOFA Personnel: DoD personnel who are under Chief of Mission (Ambassador) authority (such as personnel assigned to the Office of Defense Cooperation or Defense Attaché Office) are not governed by the NATO Status of Forces Agreement. These personnel require a diplomatic passport and diplomatic visa. Please see the Foreign Clearance Guide and discuss with your sponsoring unit.
6. In-Country Support: TDY personnel in Greece are expected to be largely self-sufficient (i.e., utilizing home unit resources and support). Personnel that require support of the Embassy (including ODC & DAO) may be required to execute an International Cooperative Administrative Support Services (ICASS) memorandum of understanding, providing for reimbursement.
7. Value-Added Tax (VAT) Exemption: Permanent party and TDY personnel are VAT-exempt under the NATO SOFA and bilateral agreements. If (a) the purchase is in excess of €70, and (b) the individual has a signed memo from the ODC Chief or the NSA Souda Bay Commanding Officer , then the vendor (hotel/rental car company) will not require payment of the VAT. For more information, please contact your sponsor at ODC or NSA Souda Bay."
8. Force Protection/Security: All personnel are required to complete level one Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection training. All personnel also require a briefing from the Force Protection Detachment, Greece. The briefing should be completed prior to travel or immediately upon arrival. Contact Mr. Brown at
BrownBJ2@state.gov or [+30] 210-720-2245/2313.
Please also review the Department of State, Country Report on Terrorism (http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224822.htm). Personnel are advised to maintain a heightened degree of vigilance toward potential threats. Review Embassy warden messages and demonstration alerts at http://athens.usembassy.gov/warden_messages.html and http://athens.usembassy.gov/demonstrations3.html. USEUCOM has issued the following guidance to component commands, regarding uniform wear:
"U.S. European Command, on Monday [10 Nov 2014], directed its component commands to limit the wear of military uniforms by service members when they are off DoD installations. We continually assess threats to our forces with and alongside our host nation counterparts and take appropriate measures based on those assessments. We will not get into the specifics of those threats nor the assessments. EUCOM has taken this step based on our firm commitment to make every possible effort to ensure the safety and security of our service members, civilians and their families." - Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, spokesman, U.S. European Command
9. Emergency Contact: In case of emergency, accident, or suspicious/criminal activity, contact the Embassy Receptionist (24/7) at [+30] 210-720-2490/2491 or Marine Guard Post One: [+30] 210-720-2484/2483.
10. Countering Trafficking-In-Persons: In the 2014 Department of State report (http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2014/index.htm ), Greece is identified as a Tier 2 country where third-country women and children are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor, and men are subjected to forced labor. TDY personnel are directed to refrain from supporting illegal activities and to report any potential violations and human rights abuses to the Defense Attaché Office [+30] 210-721-2951 (switchboard) or DoD Inspector General Hotline [DSN 312-664-8799; Comm 703-604-8799].