It is true that the fiscal landscape in Europe has changed significantly over the past decade, as outlined in a recent TCR article featuring the most pertinent changes to VAT in the EU that affect charter operations. With chartering in Europe becoming more complicated and, in some cases, more expensive, many believe that the changes may create some new non-EU chartering destination trends. During the Antibes Yacht Show, The Crew Report heard from Janet Xanthopoulos, head of the yacht department at Monoeci Management SAM, who spoke about the non-EU destinations that are becoming more appealing and why.

Credit: Owner of Twizzle

“Montenegro may offer the best place to embark in the Adriatic,” begins Xanthopoulos. “At present no VAT is applied to charters starting in Montenegro and duty free fuel is available for all yachts.” In order to obtain a ‘Cruising Permit’, the owning or managing company of each yacht must issue a ‘Letter of Appointment’ or ‘Power of Attorney’ stating that the captain has full authority over the vessel and crew for which he is in command. “This letter, or POA, has to be notarised, and any notary will be accepted,” adds Xanthopoulos. “No apostile is necessary.”

With Slovenia close by, this may also provide another convenient and easy option for charter yachts. “There are no specific rules for chartering here, no VAT on charters and duty-free fuel is available,” say Xanthopoulos.

At present, no VAT is applied to charters on foreign flagged yachts in Turkey. “A transit log will be required for visiting yachts or a Turkish charter licence to be able to embark and disembark passengers in Turkey without the need to visit one port outside Turkey,” explains Xanthopoulos. “There are new regulations for non-Turkish yachts starting their charter in Turkey; if guests embark outside of Turkey and then cruise to Turkey, there is no change in the usual ‘clear-in’ procedures. On the other hand, for those wishing to embark directly in Turkey to charter in Turkish waters, the yacht is obliged to ‘clear-out’ of the country immediately and visit one port outside of Turkey and then return to Turkey, ‘clearing-in’ to a port different from the one they ‘cleared-out’ of. Each and every time a commercial yacht ‘clears-in’ to Turkey, a fee of 30USD per metre will be charged.”

“The future will tell us how new measures in the EU will have a real impact on the charter business.”

In addition to this all yachts, regardless of status, will be able to take on duty free fuel this year in Turkey. “The only condition being that upon the completion of bunkering operations, the yacht must ‘clear-out’ of Turkish waters,” she adds.

Further afield in Asia, whilst a number of countries have or are starting to recognise the benefits of operating a VAT and duty free temporary importation scheme for pleasure yachts, others have yet to distinguish between pleasure yachts, pleasure yachts in commercial use and commercial vessels and develop some proper charter regulations. “Cruising in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand has recently become much easier and cheaper since the introduction of new temporary administration schemes,” says Xanthopoulos. “There is no apparent limit for Singapore, between 90 days to a maximum of three years in Indonesia and between 6 months to two years in Thailand.”

“The future will tell us how new measures in the EU will have a real impact on the charter business,” concludes Xanthopoulos. And with easier regulations elsewhere, she may be correct in her hunch. It may be unrealistic to think that the Med will ever lose its prestige, but perhaps the industry will start see a trend of other charter destinations emerge that captains should be open to.