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.
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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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.
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.
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.
To the dismay of the attendees, Javier Campillo, Chief Tax Inspector for the Balearics, said the Spanish boat tax is here to stay. Spain’s Matriculation Tax will continue to apply 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 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.
Until further notice, the Spanish tax authority will continue to charge a Matriculation Tax of 12 per cent of 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.
Come explore the islands of Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza, and Formentera – 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.
This entry was posted in Destinations News and tagged Mediterranean yacht charter, Jana Sheeder, president of 1-800 Yacht Charters, yacht charter Spain, Mallorca, taxes to charter yachts, Palma yacht charter, REBECA, Spanish boat taxPosted on