MYBA, The World Yachting Association, has worked hand-in-hand with Ince & Co to amend an item of French legislation that was considered to be detrimental to the superyacht charter market in France. At the turn of the year French government published the ‘Décret Etat d’Accueil’, this directive made it necessary for yachts chartering in French territorial waters to submit a declaration of cabotage that included details of crew employment and social security arrangements on board.
“Our, and MYBA’s, main concern was that charters in France would be subject to the Décret Etat d’Accueil,” explains Jean-Philippe Maslin of Ince & Co. “The directive would have required a declaration of activity 72 hours prior to charter, published employee contracts translated into French, as well as indicating that employees would be subject to registering with French social security unless they could show that they were registered in another EU social security.”
The net-result of this directive on the French charter industry would have been extremely negative. The news prompted MYBA and Ince & Co to act quickly in order to negate the issue, upon contacting the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) it was not long before other industry associations, such as the ECPY, GEPY, PYA and IYM joined the action.
Rallying against the Décret Etat d’Accueil proved to be successful and a number of the yachting provisions were removed from the directive.
“We managed to secure automatic exemption for commercial yachts who meet the 70 per cent rule,” continues Maslin. “If yachts can show that they benefit from the VAT exemption that comes as a result of complying with the 70 per cent rule [and produce a statement to this effect] it means that, de facto, you will not have to submit a cabotage declaration.”
The ‘70 per cent rule’ refers to commercial yachts needing to conduct 70 per cent of their trips outside of French territorial waters in order to meet the criteria needed for VAT exemption.