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Sardinia Luxury Tax on Mediterranean Yacht Charter Vessels Abolished

During the recently concluded industry-only Mediterranean Yacht Charter show in Genoa, Italy, it was announced that the 3 year old Sardinia Luxury Tax has been abolished.

The repeal of the Sardinia Luxury Tax is especially good news to charter enthusiasts considering a Mediterranean yacht charter vacation this summer. The law stipulated that mega yacht and superyacht vessels berthed in any port in Sardinia had to pay up to €15,000 Euros for their sojourn.

Children swim in water next to island of Sardinia

Fulvio Luise, Managing Partner of Luise Group, made the announcement at the Genoa gathering of 65 megayacht charter vessels and dozens of yacht charter brokers and yachting journalists. Said Luise, “This is a very significant step forward for everyone who works in the yachting and luxury sector in Sardinia.”

On Wednesday, May 6, 2009, the local regional government of Sardinia approved
Article 2 of the Financial Regional Act. The approval of this act effectively cancels the law known as the “luxury tax” in Sardinia. This tax, in effect since 2006, was felt throughout the tourism industry and had a serious negative effect on the local tourism economy.

Il Consorzio Rete dei Porti Sardegna (The Consortium of Sardinian Touristic Ports) is pleased about the cancellation. In a released statement, the consortium said, “In the past three years, there has been a decline of approximately 50 per cent in the number of yachts present in Sardinian ports. This tax had a visibly negative result on Sardinia’s image as a premier vacation destination worldwide.”

As other regions in the Mediterranean were actively trying to promote their regions, in
particular with regards to high quality tourism, the tax in Sardinia had an opposite effect.

“Despite our best efforts in the past three years to help clients understand this tax, we faced enormous challenges and incurred a drop of approximately 20-25 per cent each year in superyacht vessels traveling to Sardinia,” stated Renato Azara, Managing Partner of Sardinia Yacht Services. “We have been working very closely with the local authorities for the past three years, first in trying to have modifications made to the law, and secondly in its cancellation. We were successful on both points.”

The megayacht industry, especially as it relates to luxury yacht charter, is an important
economic component of Sardinia’s tourism industry. Owners of mega yacht and superyacht vessels attending the Genoa show expressed pleasure.  As one owner stated, “We now have a positive relationship with the local authorities, and they have a full understanding of the potential of this market for Sardinia.”

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