Government rules out 12 per cent levy on leisure boats over 15 metres operating in the charter sector
The Spanish marine trade association, ANEN, has announced that the Council of Ministers of Spain has done away with the matriculation tax on leisure boats operating for charter.
Until now, leisure boats used for charter used to pay up to 33 per cent in tax: a 12 per cent registration tax (for boats over 15 meters in length) coupled with 21 per cent VAT.
The “tax package” announced today, comprises the elimination of the 12 per cent tax on leisure boats or nautical sport craft, new or used, dedicated exclusively to charter activities and above 15 meters in length. It follows the recent announcement that France was to introduce VAT into charter. Spain has traditionally been the only country in the region to apply not only VAT but also this special registration levy.
“The involvement and support that we have received the past few years from Spanish Merchant Marine, has been fundamental in the achievement of this change," said Carlos Sanlorenzo, ANEN’s secretary general. "With the assistance of the current team managed by Rafael Rodriguez Valero, the Tax Ministry has approved the elimination of matriculation tax for nautical charter, hence understanding that not to penalize the activity will bring forward greater benefits for the economy beyond the collection of a tax,” Sanlorenzo added.
ANEN explains in a statement that the matriculation tax will still be applied to pleasure boats over 8 meters intended for private use, however, as a result of the changes applied to the charter sector “we understand that undoubtedly it will be a reference to continue modifying taxation in our industry and adapt our regulation to that of our neighbouring countries”.
In Spain, the recreational boating industry totals 107,434 (direct and indirect) employments and amounts to 5,690 million euros in net added value. The Spanish charter industry is primarily based in the Balearics. The 12 per cent registration tax has traditionally acted as a deterrent for international charter players to operate non-Spanish fleets in Spanish waters; the move opens business opportunities in the larger (15m-plus) charter vessel segment.
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