However, on 12 September 2014, a new decree entitled ‘Sblocca Italia’ (Unblock Italy) was published on the ‘Gazetta Ufficiale' introducing a new law that makes marina resorts equal to open-air hospitality businesses. In “facilities conceived for stop-overs and overnight stays for tourists inside their berthed boats”, a reduced 10 per cent VAT rate will be applied. This is the percentage that has always been applied in other sectors of the tourism industry in Italy.
“The good news is that the new VAT rules will be put in force by national law and not individually by regional authorities, so the new VAT rate on marinas will be valid on all Italian marinas,” reassures Ezio Vannucci, partner at Moores Rowland Associati, and representative of SOS Yachting. “The new VAT rate will be applied by marinas from the date which the ‘Sblocca Italia’ decree enters into force.”
At the moment, the decree’s validity is limited to 31 December 2014, but Vannucci believes that it is likely to be extended in the new year. “The limit of the decree is that the benefit has a short life, but hopefully it will be renewed in 2015 as otherwise there would be no point," says Vannucci. "The Italian Government intend to continue the benefit in coming years, including it in the ‘Legge di Stabilità’ (Stability Law) for 2015.”