16 May 2012
Study reveals damage of Spanish Matriculation Tax on superyacht industry
By Lulu Trask
In the hope of showing the Spanish government and tax authorities the negative effect of Spain’s Matriculation Tax on the Spanish superyacht charter market, a group of Spanish maritime associations has prepared an Economic Impact Study.
The report found that out of the 1,189 yachts available for charter under worldwide yachting association MYBA, just 11 carry the Spanish Flag, despite 64 per cent of this being based in the Mediterranean. To add to this already damning statistic for Spain, the number of boats registered in Spain has fallen by 77 per cent since 2007.
The Economic Impact Study highlighted the superyacht’s importance within the nautical sector, providing large-scale transactions, and as a result the report has proposed three changes to the legislative and fiscal system in a bid to promote growth within the nautical sector:
1. Increase the tax free status for vessels from 8m to 12m
2. Make the purchase of yachts for commercial activity tax free
3. Create a development plan for the nautical sector
The report also outlines a 'three-outcome scenario' of revenue generated by the superyacht industry in the Balearics, dependent upon external factors. The report suggested that in the worst conditions, the yachting industry would generate approximately €100 million a year, while in the best conditions this figure would dramatically rise to a staggering €900 million. The most realistic scenario, which would see middle of the road conditions, would see the generation of €562 million per year.
In this latter and most realistic scenario, it was assumed that yachts would berth in the island for nine months of the year, and 80 per cent of spending (which was outlined as 80 per cent of crewing, supply, maintenance and refit – fuel, administration and charter income would be elsewhere) would be on the island itself.
An amendment of the tax law is to be formally applied for as a result of the lobbying undertaken by the various organisations. If successful, the charter market will be open to all EU-flagged yachts in possession of the relevant registration, safety and insurance documentation.
An evaluation of the Spanish Economic Impact Study, and the outlook for the Spanish industry will appear in Issue 134 of The Superyacht Report. To subscribe to The Superyacht Report please click here.
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