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Tag Archives: Ask the Yacht Charter Pros

Ask the Yacht Charter Pros: How to Pay Less VAT (Tax) on a France Yacht Charter Vacation?

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“I’m planning a 10 day private yacht charter in St. Tropez and the South of France in July. My broker say VAT is 20%. That’s seems a lot. Is there way to not pay this?”
Xavier E, Barcelona, Spain

Answer provided by Jana Sheeder, President 1-800 Yacht Charters:

“The bad news, Xavier, is all charters that take place in a European Union (EU) country are subject to VAT (Value Added Tax). However, we have good news as well – there is a simple, legal strategy that can cut your VAT expense in half.

Instead of paying 20%, this strategy will reduce your VAT to 10% of your base charter fee – a significant savings!

VAT EU logo yacht charter france
Each EU country can set their own level of VAT on commercial yachts for hire. In France, if the yacht undertakes a coastal cruise in French territorial waters, the VAT is 20% of the base charter fee (the base fee is the cost to rent the yacht before factoring in other running expenses such as food, dockage, etc.). So, for example, if you began your charter in Saint Tropez, and cruised along the Côte d’Azur and concluded your trip in Antibes, you would incur a VAT expense of 20%.

However, IF you plan a portion of your charter to cruise in international waters, your legal responsibility for VAT drops to 10% – a savings of 50%!

So how do you do this? Here’s how: When you are planning your itinerary with the yacht’s captain prior to the commencement of your charter, let the captain know that you would like to, “visit a port that requires you to cruise in international waters and beyond the coast of France.”

You could, for example, leave the French coast and cruise to the island of Sardinia. This is approximately a 5-7 hour cruise from the South of France.

{TIP: ask your captain to undertake this crossing overnight, while you and your guests are sleeping. Then, when you rise in the morning, you’ll be able to spend a full day, or longer along the coastline of this fabled Italian island before heading back to France}.

So there you have it – with a little strategic planning, a slight deviation in your St Tropez yacht charter can result in big savings; possibly thousands of Euros depending upon the cost of your charter.”

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Photograph of Jana Sheeder sitting on a yacht

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters and 1-800 BAREBOAT

Have a question about a yacht charter vacation?

Submit your question to me, and our team will help you.

If we print your question in our blog, we’ll send you a complimentary Eco-tote bag.

Email me at info@1800yachtcharters.com.

Thank you and keep those questions coming!!!

 

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Yacht Charter Pros Answer – Will New Rules In British Virgin Islands Impact Private Yacht Charter Guests?

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In what appears to be a case of “Security versus Tourism,” the British Virgin Islands (BVI’s) have initiated a new policy wherein everyone coming into the territory by sea is now required to present himself/herself IN PERSON to immigration authorities.  This includes guests on both bareboat yacht charter and superyacht charter vessels.

The policy takes effect immediately…

New immigration rules in BVI require yacht charter travelers to check in with security in person

According to a government spokesperson, Her Majesty Customs of the Virgin Islands has, “…taken this step to minimize the potential entry of criminals, firearms and illegal substances into the territory.”

Will the revamped policy affect charter passengers?  Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, explains how the new procedure differs from prior requirements: “In the past, only the captains of yachts were required to disembark and take with him or her all of the passports of the onboard guests. Now everyone is required to present themselves with their passports and their belongings.”

No one disputes the sovereignty of the local authorities to safeguard their islands and residents. Still, for an island economy that depends heavily upon charter yacht tourism, the new policy seems a bit draconian, especially when there is little evidence to suggest tourists, and not local residents of the US and British island chains, are responsible for any uptick in criminal activity.

So, are local authorities barking up the wrong tree?  Sheeder thinks so.  She questions the necessity to impose upon well-heeled travelers who have already been “pre-screened” through the yacht charter reservation process. “The idea that firearms and illegal contraband will be brought ashore by luxury yacht charter guests is misplaced,” says Sheeder.  “Clients sign a charter agreement that clearly outlines firearms, narcotics, and contraband are not permitted onboard.  Furthermore, being in possession of such contraband can lead to the immediate termination of the charter – without refund.”

If any illicit materials are discovered by the crew, the yacht will proceed to the nearest port, where the guests will be escorted off the yacht. With so much at stake, there seems little need to further screen these guests and their crews upon entry into the BVI.

How will the new regulations impact yacht charter tourism in the BVI?   It’s too soon to tell, as the new rules went into effect September 1st.  It is possible charter vessels will simply bypass the British portion of the Virgin Islands and modify their itineraries to focus solely on the US and Spanish Virgin Islands, where captains can still clear the passports for all onboard guests.

British Virgin Islands government administration building where cyacht charter guests must check in

 

In the the short-run, Sheeder is confident the impact upon charter clients can be minimized.  “We pride ourselves in delivering the superyacht experience. We will offer our clients alternative destinations in the US and Spanish Virgin Islands, and throughout the Caribbean.  For those clients who still wish to explore the BVI, we know we can rely on the captains and crew.  If they need to carry the luggage and escort the guests into the immigration office and back to the yacht, we know that they will do so in the most efficient, professional, and friendly manner.”

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