SuperyachtNews.com sat down with key stakeholders in the Balearics' superyacht industry to discuss the current fiscal and political landscape in Spain. Hosted at Astilleros de Mallorca, the group discussed the state of the Spanish yachting industry and key projects they are working on.
First on the agenda was to discuss the positive progression of the Spanish charter market since its exemption from the Matriculation Tax. It seems that, with brokers increasingly recognising Spain as a charter destination, together with the current political situation in the eastern Med, the demand for charter yachts in the Balearics far outweighs supply.
Key Balearics industry stakeholders
“It is still a very niche market and charter yachts should take advantage of that,” says Barbara Müller, senior charter broker at Ocean Independence, explaining that there are currently only five yachts over 50m actively available for charter in the region.
Diego Colón de Carvajal, general director of Astilleros de Mallorca, believes that the future for the Balearics will be determined by the expansion of the port of Palma. “We need to focus on expanding our lifting capabilities from our current maximum of 70m to 100m,” he explains.
This will only be facilitated by the Port Authority, who are increasingly open to working with the superyacht sector. Recent figures estimated that 50 per cent of its total income came from the yachting industry.
“It is still a very niche market and charter yachts should take advantage of that."
The recent change of government – in the Balearics and nationwide – has presented challenges to growth, but Diane Franklin of E3 Systems is sure that there is better awareness on all levels of the positive impact of the nautical sector. “In order to improve public opinion, we are increasingly trying to reach out to young Spanish people, to educated them on potential careers in the sector,” she says.
It was acknowledged that the Palma Superyacht Show, held this year from 28 April to 2 May, is helping to improve public opinion of superyachts and, as a result, will help the sector in terms of its treatment by the authorities.
Going forward, Miguel Angel Serra Guasch, maritime lawyer at Garrigues, believes the most important thing for the industry will be to have a bigger presence in Brussels. “The next thing we will need to have a voice in is the implementation of the new Customs Code, which will affect the entry of yachts,” he cautions.
A full report of the meeting will be published in issue 169 of The Superyacht Report, out in April.
The Superyacht Management Meeting: Fiscal will be taking place on 26 April 2016 in Barcelona. Focusing on 'Operating in Spain', the event will provide a comprehensive overview of operational matters in Spanish waters.