Spain’s borders continue to open up for commercial superyachts as, following the highly publicised reforms of the matriculation tax, measures introduced in the 2014 General State Budget Law (22/13) will allow owners of charter vessels to use the vessels themselves.

This latest development is yet another boost to the country’s reinvigorated charter market, which has for many years been hampered by irreconcilable legislation. And according to Garrigues Abogados’ Miguel Angel Serra it has “eliminated one of the greatest obstacles to conducting charter business in Spain. Namely the requirement for the craft itself to be actually and only used for rental activities, laid down to be able to benefit from the familiar exemption for sailing charters.”

Craft registered to other EU states that are chartered by Spanish domiciles, or crucially, Spanish registered companies for a period of less than three months will be exempt from the matriculation tax. If the vessel is in use for more than three months the tax will be applied to the additional proportion of time it spends in Spanish waters. When this rule is activated vessels will incur a three per cent rate for the first 12 months, two per cent for the next 12 months and one per cent over 25 months.

Commenting on these “important changes”, Tax Marine Spain’s Alex Chumillas said, “This new provision is a very important change compared with the existing previous situation, which did not allow a single use of the yacht by the ultimate owners, and relax the requirements to keep the matriculation tax relief.”

According to Chumillas, “It is expected that a binding opinion from the Spanish Directorate of Tax (Direccion General de Tributos) will be published in the next month, clarifying the terms and conditions of how these provisions will be implemented.”

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Miguel Angel Serra will be among the speakers at the forthcoming Superyacht Fiscal Management Meeting. Join us for this insightful event in Monaco; 15th April. For more information or to register please contact Suzie Hine by emailing or calling +44 (0)207 801 1014.

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