Legal & VAT Yacht Issues Luxury Yacht & Superyacht News

Great News for Yacht Owners in Italy

January 28, 2016

Written by Eva Belanyiova

Great news for the yacht owners in Italy have been announced by PG Legal, as the budgetary law, also known as the “Stability Law”, approved by the Italian Parliament on 28 December 2015, has abolished the tax on yachts having a length of or exceeding 14 meters.

Lady Sara yacht in Portofino Italy - Photo by Kasia Palac

Lady Sara yacht in Portofino Italy – Photo by Kasia Palac

The hideous tax was introduced by the Monti Government in 2013 in what was known as the “Save Italy” Decree (Decreto Salva Italia) as a measure aimed at – as the name of the provision suggests – saving Italy from dire straits at the peak of the global financial crisis.

With a view at restoring the lost faith in the economy and in the financial system as a whole, the Renzi Government has backed a serious of tax breaks that were enacted in the Stability Law including the “possession tax” (tassa sul possesso) on mega yachts. As a result, yacht owners of will no longer be required to pay the yearly tax.

Important Reminder for Yachts, Superyachts and Charter Yachts Visiting the Andaman Sea and Entering Indian Waters

January 25, 2016

Written by Eva Belanyiova

 An incident in 2015 in India, involving the unauthorised use of satellite telephone while a vessel was in territorial waters brought to light the need for captains and officers to be more aware of this ban.

Ko Phi Phi Island- Photo credit to Tourism Authority of Thailand

Ko Phi Phi Island- Photo credit to Tourism Authority of Thailand

“If any boat comes to Andamans with these SAT phones they will be kept under customs seal until the boat leaves the Indian waters”. Said Mr. Ratham. This is in accordance with DGS Order No. 02 of 2012 – the unauthorised use of Thuraya, Iridium and other such satellite phones which are banned in Indian territorial waters.

The legislation for this is Section 6 of Indian Wireless Act and Section 20 of Indian Telegraph Act. Port agents servicing vessels arriving at Port Blair and bound for Indian ports routinely make vessel Masters aware of this regulation. Yet, despite this forewarning (according to Steamship Mutual news) an incident occurred when crew were allowed to use the phone to make a number of personal calls.
Shore monitoring of transmissions by the local authorities identified the vessel and local police/customs initiated an investigation. The maximum fine for breaching the regulation is INR 1,000 and/or imprisonment for three years for each crew member involved.

In addition, it is important to state that breaches are taken as a state security matter leading to a complicated and time consuming investigation. Severe delays/detention of the yacht is likely, over and above the crew potentially facing criminal proceedings. Mr. Rathnam cautioned those in charge of entering visiting vessels to instruct all to closely follow the instructions of DGS Order No. 2. It is also recommended such phones be kept under their custody for as long as the vessel remains in Indian territorial waters.

Luxury yacht chartering one of key issues at 4th Opportunities in Superyachts Conference in Malta

November 30, 2015

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Luxury yacht chartering will be one of the key issues to be discussed at the 4th Opportunities in Superyachts’ conference. The event is set to run in the popular Mediterranean yacht holiday location – Malta on March 10, 2016.

Malta to host 4th Opportunities in Superyachts Conference - Photo by Clive Vella - Courtesy of Malta Tourism Authority

Malta to host 4th Opportunities in Superyachts Conference – Photo by Clive Vella – Courtesy of Malta Tourism Authority

Focusing on finance, insurance, tax, corporate ownership, brokerage, superyacht chartering, marinas, regulation, safety and security, the conference will once again bring together an international audience of yacht brokers, builders, marina operators, lawyers, corporate service providers, registries, tax advisors and accountants, as well as associations, for what has become a global yearly forum.

With a full program of cocktail parties, champagne roundtables and other networking opportunities, the event represents the perfect platform for business development and networking amongst decision-makers in the Superyacht industry.

Significant increase in Superyacht Charter activity in Balearics

November 27, 2015

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

The amendment to matriculation tax that was passed by the Spanish Government in 2013 resulted in a significant growth of superyacht charter activity in the Balearics. The Spanish Superyacht Association (AEGY) has recently released a report showing that the number of yachts with licenses to charter in the Balearics has increased by 296% in the last two years.

Formentera - a beautiful Balearics yacht charter destination

Formentera – a beautiful Balearics yacht charter destination

In 2013, there were 29 yachts over 20m with licenses to charter in the Balearics. The number of yachts increased to 86 in 2015, with 37 of these measuring over 35m in length. The Association estimates that the total net revenue generated by these luxury yacht charters in terms of tax and local spending for 2015 is €12.5 million. This is far in advance of the amount raised by the matriculation tax on yachts over 24m in 2012 which, according to figures provided by the Spanish tax authorities, was zero for the Balearics and only 4m for the whole of Spain.

Diego Colon, President of the AEGY , said: “We are delighted to see such a significant increase in charter activity in the Balearics and we are confident that this will continue to grow in 2016. The Balearic Islands are enormously attractive to charter guests and it is significant that out of the eight major international brokerage companies six now have offices on Mallorca. We recognise that there is still work to do to ensure that the bureaucratic and fiscal procedures related to chartering and operating superyachts in Spain are simplified and streamlined, however we are confident that these statistics will strengthen and support our lobbying initiatives when dealing with local and national government.”

The report also states that there are 600 yachts over 24m available for charter in the Mediterranean, and anticipates that 100 of these will be registered for charter in Spain in time for the 2016 summer season. Moreover, there is a significant economic impact of yachts deciding to stay in the Balearics over the winter to undergo repair and refit.

New Marshall Islands YET Program for France and Monaco Superyacht Charters

November 09, 2015

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

The Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime (RMI) Administrator has developed a new program for superyacht charters called YET (Yachts Engaged in Trade) currently limited to France and Monaco, unveiled at the 2015 Monaco Yacht Show. The program is destined for private yachts measuring 24 meters or more that are eligible to obtain a valid Temporary Certificate of Registry (CoR) for YET, and which hold a valid YET Compliance Certificate, allowing the yachts to be engaged in temporary chartering.

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One of the reasons the RMI Administrator developed the program is that in European Union (EU) waters a yacht has historically been labeled either as a private yacht or a commercial yacht, primarily for fiscal, and more recently, for port State control (PSC) reasons. In order to engage in luxury yacht charters, the belief was that it is obligatory for the yacht to be registered as commercial. But this means the owner, in order to use his own yacht, must rent her at full market price and pay value added tax (VAT) on that charter.

Now, however, any eligible private yacht in the RMI Registry, carrying no more than 12 passengers while chartering, will be able to charter for up to 84 days per calendar year in EU waters. This is currently applicable only in French and Monegasque waters.

The yachts must either be in possession of a VAT paid certificate (if ultimately owned by an EU resident); or in the case of a non-EU owner, enter the EU under Temporary Admission in accordance with EU Customs regulations, which allows the yacht entry for up to 18 months. A Temporary CoR for YET may be issued by the Administrator once the VAT paid certificate or appropriate EU Customs documentation stating the period for which the yacht will be engaged in trade are submitted.

Highly Successful Quaynote Superyacht Conferences 2015

May 22, 2015

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

The first edition of the Quaynote Superyacht Conferences 2015 has been a huge success. Taken place from April 30 to May 1 in Palma, alongside the 2015 Palma Superyacht Show, the two-day conference program for superyacht professionals was attended by around 200 delegates.

Quaynote Superyacht Conferences 2015 Delegates

Quaynote Superyacht Conferences 2015 Delegates

Antonio Deudero, Director General of Balearic Ports and Airports, delivered a welcome speech to around 100 delegates from the international Superyacht industry. During his speech, he stressed the importance of the superyacht sector to the region’s economy, and confirmed his government’s commitment to continue supporting the nautical leisure sector and the infrastructure that supports it.

As an example of the recent growth in The Balearics, partly due to the relaxation of the previously punitive matriculation tax on charter yachts, Deudero mentioned that superyacht charter bookings had increased by 52% during the last four years, and that 2000 additional jobs had been created in the local refit as well as repair yards since 2008.

Rob Papworth, the Superyacht Refit Group chairman of ICOMIA (International Council of Marine Industry Associations), was also one of the key speakers during the event. Rob stated that the overall objective of his working group’s activities was to “bring certainty to refits,” and pointed to figures from his association’s recently completed survey which showed that 853 Superyachts (over 24 metres) were refitted around the world in 2014, constituting approximately 20% of the global fleet.

Cocktail Party at Port Adriano Superyacht Marina

Cocktail Party at Port Adriano Superyacht Marina

At the end of Day 1, the delegates and participants could enjoy the lovely roof terrace of the Melia Palace Atenea Hotel during a cocktail party, sponsored by the paint company Jotun Iberica.

Day 2 switched to the ‘Future for Captains and Crew‘, with a good number of knowledgeable speakers and panelists covering development of careers in yachting, and regulatory, licensing and compliance issues for the operation of Superyachts. The day finished with Round-Table sessions including: MLC in relation to superyachts, The changes in matriculation tax and the impact of Spanish Chartering, Onboard training, What steps do captains and crew need to take to ensure yacht security? And how to network for career success.

In the early evening, courtesy of the management of Port Adriano Superyacht Marina, delegates were transported to El Toro for a fabulous cocktail party and a look around the Philippe Starck-designed facilities. Subsequently, on Saturday, May 2, a group of delegates enjoyed an organised day at the Son Gual Golf Course.

Speaking for Quaynote Communications and YachtMedia who jointly organised the conferences and the golf day, Peter Franklin of YachtMedia said:Based on the excellent feedback we have received from delegates and sponsors, we have already decided to run a second edition alongside next year’s 2016 Palma Superyacht Show, and will be announcing the actual dates very soon!”

TheYachtAttorney supervises entire transaction of new 46m Baglietto Motor Yacht MISTER T

May 21, 2015

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Based in Frankfurt, Germany, CPS Schließmann Wirtschaftsanwälte, TheYachtAttorney, have successfully counselled and accompanied the entire transaction of the brand new 46m Baglietto motor yacht Mister T (hull 10216) in all legal, economic, as well as tax issues under Malta Flag. The company will further guide superyacht Mister T at least the next 24 months.

New 46m Superyacht MISTER T by Baglietto

New 46m Superyacht MISTER T by Baglietto

The premium flag of Malta provides private super yachts with plenty of benefits. Due to substantial changes in legislation on EU level and individual ratifications on the national level of EU Member States, especially Germany, the special Malta Tax Schemes can only be addressed by entirely new and complex individual corporate and legal structures, Prof. Schließmann developed with his international team.

Prof. Dr. Christoph Schließmann represents one of the most respected and awarded specialist attorneys in SuperYacht market in EU and guiding owners as well as builders. He is presently supervising over 20 large yacht transactions.

Thailand Yacht Charter: A special superyacht charter license

May 14, 2015

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Earlier this week, the representatives of Thai government as well as the local marine industry gathered at Phuket City Hall to discuss how to develop the fantastic Thailand yacht charter destination – Phuket as the maritime hub in Asean. All agreed on the need for a special superyacht charter license.

Royal Phuket Marina in the lovely Thailand yacht holiday location

Royal Phuket Marina in the lovely Thailand yacht holiday location

“There are many superyacht owners who would bring their superyachts to Phuket if they could charter them while here, but currently the regulations deter them. I know many people who charter superyachts around the world for in excess of USD100,000 per week, and this revenue could come to Phuket if some changes are made. Introducing a charter license for superyachts who wish to charter in Thailand will fix the current problem and will significantly increase charter revenue for the country,said Mr. Gulu Lalvani, Chairman of Royal Phuket Marina.

Thai Government targets Superyachts

Thai Government targets Superyachts

Boasting breath-taking cruising grounds and the best marina facilities in the region, Thailand is the destination of choice for superyachts coming to Asia. On average 50 superyachts currently reach Phuket each year and with amendments to the current rules and regulations this number is expected to increase significantly as more superyachts are encouraged to visit Phuket and Thailand, delivering revenue direct to the local economy.

The superyacht charter license could be for one year. This would attract more superyachts to Phuket, and allowing them to charter while here will provide a lot of revenue to Phuket and Thailand. We hope to have this in place for the next High Season,” commented Mr. Chula Sukmanop, Director-General, Thailand Marine Department.

Pushing for positive changes in Phuket yacht charter industry

April 22, 2015

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Tourism Minister Kobkarn is pushing hard to achieve positive changes in the Phuket yacht charter industry. A special task force has been formed, supposed to prepare suggestions for changes to visas and superyacht charter regulations, with deadline by 2016. Gordon Fernandes and Captain Charlie Dwyer of Asia Pacific Superyachts have proudly shared updated news below of changing regulations for Superyachts, released in the Phuket Gazette newspaper earlier this month.

Superyachts in the fabulous Phuket yacht charter location, nestled in Thailand - Photo by Asia Pacific Superyachts

Superyachts in the fabulous Phuket yacht charter location, nestled in Thailand – Photo by Asia Pacific Superyachts

As mentioned by Ms Kobkarn during an exclusive interview for Phuket Gazette: “The task force comprises officials from relevant government agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Immigration Bureau. We are working together to come up with suggestions for changes to visas and other regulations that would be best for the country,” she said. “This includes changes that will boost the chartering of foreign-flagged superyachts in Thai waters.”

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has pledged his full support for bureaucratic changes to help boost marine tourism,Ms Kobkarn added. “Minister Prajin confirmed that he had met with PM Prayut, who he said pledged his full support for improving all aspects of marine tourism, including yacht and superyacht charters.”

Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul

Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul

Ms Kobkarn said she could not unveil any more details as any proposed changes had yet to be finalized. “This is an important issue, as any changes will affect different types of visas and businesses. We must also consider internal security and safety measures a top priority, but I will support the changes suggested because it means a lot for tourism,she said. “We hope to have new rules in place by the end of this year to help secure the island’s position as the top yachting destination in the region.

These changes are aimed to help boost marine tourism in the fabulous Thailand yacht charter location – Phuket, including the push for a multi-million-baht harbor expansion at the Deep Sea Port at Ao Makham, as well as the expansion project plans to improve connectivity with other major tourist cruise line ports in the region, such as Singapore and Vietnam.

Ms Kobkarn added:Current regulations allow only one-year concessions to operate ports, but we are looking at what can be done to allow long-term concessions,she said. “We are looking at becoming attractive hosts for yachts, cruise liners and superyachts – all for long-stay, not just short stays. This is what we aim to do and I hope to have a clear picture set by the end of the year.”

Bright Future for Cuba Yacht Charter

April 10, 2015

Written by Eva Belanyiova

The 2015 Superyacht Summit organised by the U.S. Superyacht Association, held in West Palm Beach, Florida in March, saw a great discussion regarding the current and future state of the Cuban tourism industry in relation to Cuba yacht charter and yachting tourism in general. Although the non-American crew and private yachts can travel to Cuba, the recent announcement of the changes in travel restrictions for Americans are expected to increment the amount of charter yachts visiting Cuba in he future.

Cuba - Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board - Yachting

Cuba – Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board – Yachting

As reported by The Triton, during a Superyacht Summit session entitled “Cuba:The Last Frontier” a panel of yachting industry professionals suggested a rise in yachts visiting Cuba, aiding not only the local yachting industry but the local economy as well. It seems that the biggest impact is expected in the Cuban yacht charter industry. There are number of private yachts visiting Cuba each year, however charter yachts are limited due to the legal restrictions on Americans.

Cuba - Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

Cuba – Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

Once the restrictions have been dropped, Cuba has a great potential of becoming a popular destination for American charter clients. Although the island is currently able to accommodate yachts up to about 150 feet only, there is plenty of areas to anchor out, not to mention the various areas to explore. Cuba represents a fantastic destination for charter guests seeking adventure and excitement, and something new to discover in addition to the popular Caribbean.

Cuba holidays  - Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

Cuba holidays – Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

A law to eliminate tourism restrictions for the American travellers to Cuba has been proposed, however it still needs to be voted on. Currently all Americans can travel legally to Cuba, however with some limitations. When it comes to visiting Cuba aboard a boat/yacht, the vessel must have less than 10% American components, has to be registered outside of the U.S.; and there has to be a reason for its visit such as an environmental or professional research, or attendance of an event. Some expect the restriction to be dropped in about a year’s time, some longer. One thing is for sure, eliminating these restrictions will have a positive effect on the Cuban yacht charter industry as well as the local tourism industry in general.

Cuba - Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

Cuba – Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

About Cuba Yacht Charter

“The most beautiful land eyes have ever seen” Christopher Columbus, 1492.

What better way to explore this fascinating island, situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, than on a luxury Cuba yacht charter? Cuba represent the largest country in the Caribbean, offering plenty of interesting destinations and a colourful culture. The island offers a beautiful array of landscapes, from green valleys to imposing mountains. It has hundreds of spectacular sandy beaches and crystal clear waters to cruise through.

Cuba - Aerial  - Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

Cuba – Aerial – Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

One of the many places to visit in Cuba include the province of Holguin. It is a breath-taking rugged mountainous region, renowned for its undulating hills and exquisite beaches and a fantastic place for diving enthusiast with lovely diving sites and a variety of beaches, lagoons and bays waiting to be explored. The city of Holguin is also well worth a visit with La Periquerra (parrot cage) being one of its highlights. It is a historical museum where Spanish colonial troops hid behind the building’s barred windows during a native attack in 1868. Visitors on a Cuba charter yacht have the exclusive opportunity to visit Cayo Saetia, a tiny island, approachable by sea or helicopter only, which is home to imported animals like antelopes, buffalo or zebras.

Cuba - Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

Cuba – Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

Travellers on a Cuba yacht holiday should not miss a visit to Havana. Havana represents the largest city in the Caribbean and for centuries it served as a gateway to the Gulf of Mexico. Havana’s historic centre, Old Havana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, with the city’s firs building dating back to 1519.

Cuba - Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

Cuba – Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

Trinidad de Cuba is another destination with ancient palaces and colonial architecture which has remained unchanged. It offers magnificent Caribbean beaches contrasted by the Escambray mountain range. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site from 1983 is the colonial town and nearby Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills).

Said to be one of the most Caribbean cities on the island of Cuba is the second largest city, Santiago de Cuba. The city saw a large influence by immigration and trade from the Caribbean islands and is particularly known for its carnival .

Cuba - Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

Cuba – Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

Cuba’s almost 6000-kilometre coastline is dotted with about 200 sheltered bays, more than 4,000 keys and islets and 588 kilometres of beaches. Both the Atlantic and Caribbean sides of the island are sheltered by coral reefs, one of which belongs to the second-largest reef, originating in South America. When it comes to sailing and waters sports, Cuba has it all!

Cuba - Beaches - Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

Cuba – Beaches – Image credit to Cuba Tourist Board

When planning for your next Cuba yacht vacation, make sure to choose a yacht broker that has access to all the yachts… And choose a company that works for you personally (not the yacht owner) and has your best interests at heart – like CharterWorld. We are the largest professional broker specialising in luxury yacht charters and we are the most dedicated – as evidenced by our happy customers here.

For additional information on Cuba yacht availability and personalised itineraries, please get in touch with our experienced charter agents who will be pleased to assist you in planning your next dream holiday.