In January we informed our readers of a new Italian yacht tax signed into law in December 2011. Effective May 1, 2012, the tax will assess a fee for each day a yacht is in service in Italian waters.
Superyacht industry experts, like Jana Sheeder, President of SailAway Yacht Charters, and others, urged Italian authorities to analyze the economic impact of the pending legislation. "Our concern was the quest for increased tax revenue might have a far-reaching effect on both the charter industry, and ancillary businesses that support yachting such as marinas, fuel brokers, shipyards, and tourism offices," said Sheeder. "Even if you exclude charter revenues, support-related industries on their own generate €200,000,000 in annual revenue."
To their credit – the Italian lawmakers listened…
On Tuesday, February 21, the 10th Commission of the Italian Senate for Industry, Commerce, and Tourism passed the Grillo and Cutrufo amendment to the Italian berth tax legislation. The amendment stipulates the berthing tax will only be applied to Italian citizens who own a vessel, even if the yacht flies a foreign flag. Foreign citizens who own a boat or Mediterranean yacht charter vessel are exempt from this tax, regardless of their length of stay in Italian waters.
Fulvio Luise, President of Federagenti Yacht Division, expressed his satisfaction: “The passing of this amendment is an important recognition to the economic impact the yachting industry has in Italy and we look forward to welcoming new and returning megayacht clients to Italian waters this summer.”
Sheeder echoed Luise's sentiments: "This amendment will allow Italy to continue to compete on an equal playing field with neighboring countries for the charter sector of the Mediterranean yachting market. We're hopeful that the Italian yacht charter market will continue to flourish for many more years."
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