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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.”


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

Thank you and keep those questions coming!!!


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Big VAT Increase For Greece Yacht Charter Fleet Takes Effect

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A new, higher VAT (Value Added Tax) rate went into effect for all charters that commenced after July 20, 2015 in Greek waters.

greece yacht charter yacht hire rent yacht

The new legislation [N.4334 (??? ?’ 80/16-07-2015)] raised the overall VAT from 13% to 23%, however, lower rates apply to certain charters, based upon the duration of the hire.

There are two VAT categories for charters lasting 3 days or longer:

  • Category I – vessels licensed to perform international cruises: 9.2% (previously 5.2%).
  • Category II – vessels licensed to perform long range cruises within Greek waters: 11.5% (previously 6.5%).

For short term charters, up to 48 hours, there are no discounted rates, and full VAT of 23% is due (previously 13%).

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, points out the new VAT rates affect ALL charters taking place after July 20, 2015 – even if the charter agreements were signed in prior months.  “With the current economic crisis in Greece, we’ve been anticipating  some form of VAT austerity,” says Sheeder. “With each charter agreement we prepare, we add a clause indicating that the charterer is responsible for any increase in VAT – this way, there are no surprises.  The more details we cover with our clients, the smoother their Superyacht Experience will be.


QUESTION TO YOU:  How will the increase in VAT on private luxury yacht charter vacations in Greece effect the number of yacht charters?  Will clients seek alternate destinations or, “grin and bear it” to enjoy a Greek yachting holiday?

Let us know your thoughts, and we will share your comments with our readers AND send you a free complimentary Eco-tote bag!  Email your comments (and your mailing address!) to

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Greece Increases VAT — Will Greek Yacht Charters Cost More?

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First the bad news – recent legislation in Greece has led to an increase in the country’s VAT rates.

Now for the good news – the increase is small, and depending upon the duration of your superyacht experience, the “effective rate” should have a minimal effect on most Greek yacht charters this summer.

A new VAT rate of 24% has been announced for Greece, and it will affect all yacht charters commencing on or after June 1st, 2016.  The old rate was 23% – making the maximum increase 1%.

Drawing of magnifying glass with Greek numerical characters and the word VAT underneath


While 24% VAT sounds sky-high, don’t fall out of your chair just yet:  there are significant built-in discounts that can reduce the effective VAT rate by up to 60% – depending upon the duration of your charter vacation.




Here’s the math:


I)  Charter duration of 3 days or more.

Luxury yacht charter vessels performing international cruises have a discount of 60%.  This makes the effective VAT rate 9.6% (up from 9.2%).

Charter vessels cruises within Greek waters will earn a discount of 50%, setting the effective VAT rate at 12% ( previously 11.5%).


II)  Charter duration up to 48 hours.

This is where you get hammered as a charterer for taking a day excursion or a trip shorter than 48 hours.  There is NO discount, regardless of where the vessel cruises.  A full VAT of 24% is due (instead of the previous 23%).


Picture of Rhodes Greece with a superyacht cruising by in front of the island






In summary – avoid short-term charters in Greece if you can.  As long as you can extend your charter beyond 48 hours, the impact of the effective change in VAT is less than 1%.  Mykonos and Santorini here we come – Opa!!!


For information about renting a luxury charter yacht in Greece, or anywhere else in the Mediterranean this summer, contact 1-800 Yacht Charters at  +1.800.922.4824 (toll-free North America) or +1.305.253.7245 (international), use our online inquiry form here, or email

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New Croatia Yacht Charter VAT Regulations

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Photo of harbor full of anchored sailboat hulls



Back in January, 2014, we alerted our clients to new rules regarding a VAT increase imposed on Croatia yacht charter rentals.  At that time, the government increased the VAT rate from 10 % to 13%, to help combat the country’s economic woes.

To offset this tax burden, we encouraged our clients to commence their charters in nearby Montenegro, then cruise into Croatian waters, tax-free.

Alas, good things sometimes come to an end…

Effective this month, new regulations take effect and eliminate the loophole that allowed tax-free cruising in Croatia.



In February, the Croatian Ministry of Maritime Affairs announced the regulations that govern the Croatia yacht charter market would be amended to, “…bring the regulations in line with other European Union Member States.”  The main change was the imposition of VAT on charters starting outside of Croatia.

As succinctly  explained by 1-800 Yacht Charters company president,  Jana Sheeder,

“As of May 1st, 2018, charters commencing outside Croatia that then cruise into Croatia, will now have to pay 13% VAT on the time spent in Croatian waters.”


The new regulations are not retroactive.  Thus, any charters booked prior to the regulation change are exempt.



On a positive note, other regulation changes designed to encourage an increase in yacht charter Croatia activity will also go into effect.  The government has lifted the restriction that banned non-European Union charter yachts under 40 meters from chartering in Croatia.  As explained by Rory Jackson of SuperyachtNews, “These restrictions, which prohibited non-EU commercial vessels under 40m chartering in Croatia, had been implemented to bolster the domestic market. However, they proved to be more costly than beneficial.”

Non EU flagged yachts under 40 meters will need to secure a charter license to operate in Croatia. The license will be required even if the charter starts outside Croatia.

Are you considering a private yacht charter vacation in Croatia or elsewhere in the Mediterranean this summer?  Click for a sampling of superyachts available this summer.

Come enjoy The Superyacht Experience as only 1-800 Yacht Charters can deliver!

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