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Yachting in Spain: Controversial Spanish Boat Tax Will Stay for Now

Photograph of an inflatable boat with a Spanish flag overlaid on top of the photo. Rocky coastline in the background.

UNLAWFUL PRACTICE

Only weeks after the European Union Court of Justice declared the Spanish Boat Tax an “unlawful practice,” Spanish authorities made it clear they plan to ignore the guidance laid down by the EU.

 

PALMA CONFERENCE

At a recent conference in Palma, representatives from the Balearic region’s nautical industry discussed the contentious Spanish boat tax issue, and its effect on Mediterranean yacht charter vessels engaged in business in Spanish waters.  The tax also effects non-commercial pleasure boats as well. 

Photograph of the coastline of Mallorca. Turquoise water with dark patches of deep blue. Rocky coast. Sand beach.

 

 

BOOSTING REVENUES

The conference was intended to look for ways to boost nautical sector revenues in the Balearic islands.  The primary point of discussion was the scrapping of the Matriculation (ISDMT) Tax which is judged to deprive ports in Mallorca and Ibiza of €10 million per weekend during high season.

 

SPANISH BOAT TAX

Javier Campillo, Chief Tax Inspector for the Balearics, said the Spanish boat tax is here to stay.  This is to the dismay of the attendees.  Spain’s Matriculation Tax will continue to apply. Specifically to all Spanish-registered yachts.  Including those on the Canary Islands Register (REBECA).

“This is unfortunate news for the luxury yacht charter market, and the superyacht owners eager to engage in commerce in Spanish waters,” states Jana Sheeder, President of SailAway Yacht Charters and 1-800 Yacht Charters.  Sheeder points out a legal challenge of  the Spanish position would be difficult.  “Even though the Spanish boat tax breaks the principle of freedom to provide services in the European Union, it is not actually illegal. The EU can declare the tax to be against principles and therefore unlawful, but it lacks the authority to declare the tax illegal.”

 

THE TAX EXPLAINED

The Spanish boat tax first drew widespread condemnation in May when the boating community in Spain and the Balearic Islands staged a daily protest of the tax during the Palma Boat Show.  Over the nine-day show, at noon of each day, yacht owners blasted their horns in the Bay of Palma to raise awareness of their lobbying.

The Spanish tax authority will continue this until further notice. Specifically, to charge a Matriculation Tax of 12 per cent.  That is on the value of all Spanish-registered vessels.

For now, the stand-off between the Spanish government, the Balearic authorities, and the European judiciary will continue.

 

HOW TO RENT A YACHT IN THE BALEARIC ISLANDS

Come explore the islands of  Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza, and Formentera.  In specific, the archipelago known as the Balearic Islands.  Contact the 1-800 Yacht Charter destination specialists at https://www.1800yachtcharters.com/book-now-contact-us/ today.

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Ms. Jana Sheeder is President of 1-800 Yacht Charters. Providing The Superyacht Experience(tm) since 1976. Private luxury yacht charter vacations in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Bahamas, South Pacific, South Florida, Miami and The Florida Keys, Italian Rivera, Belize. Megayacht charter company focused on generosity, Pay It Forward, Random Acts of Kindness, Giftivism, giving back to the ocean, to the needy, and the environment with every superyachting charter. Providing eco-friendly alternatives while on yacht charters and known for 6-star customer service, experience, and generosity.

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