“As deputy chairman of Nautica Italiana I am in charge of gathering and analysing data relating to the service and tourism sectors of the superyacht industry, two very important areas,” begins Alberto Amico. “Although as an organisation we were only established a year ago and have had very little time to implement change, we have already begun prioritising certain topics and studying them to action at a later date.”
Of the topics that Amico highlights as being top of his priority list, fiscal, bureaucratic and financial problems are foremost in his oratory. While being extremely candid about the nature of the problems found in Italy, he also points out that it is unfair to tar all agencies, customs officers, coast guard and marinas with the same brush
“Sometimes there are isolated cases that see yachts using bad agencies; some agencies, or employees within those agencies, use superyachts as a way of trying to overcharge with respect to what is correctly due,” he continues. “In particular instances this is a cultural problem, but it is also a problem of rules and transparency.”
The solution, Amico suggests, is to create a code of practice that agents, associations and clients - as well as any other individuals or companies that may require it - can use to ensure that everyone involved is singing from the same hymn sheet. Whether or not individuals or institutions choose to adopt the code of practice is another matter, but should they not it would serve as a negative indicator for future clients.
“Within the code of practice agents will be able to say whether or not they are going to act in respect of it, but conversely there will be a process of control and feedback to ensure the code of practice is upheld,” explains Amico. “You have to have proper information travelling both ways - if clients have a point of reference in a given situation and agents know there is a process of feedback, then a number of issues can be avoided.”
As well as producing a formalised code of practice, Nautica Italiana is proposing that a ‘Golden Label’ is adopted that anticipates inspections ashore instead of at sea. The implementation of this label would aim to drastically reduce the amount of bureaucracy necessary when cruising in Italy by ensuring that a vessel’s papers and fiscal position are pre-checked and cleared in a database before arriving in port.
Much of what Nautica Italiana hopes to achieve hinges on its ability to continuously monitor the industry. On 7 September, at the Cannes Yachting Festival, Nautica Italiana introduced delegates to the ‘zero edition’ of a market study conducted by Deloitte Financial Advisory and Fondazione Altagamma. The zero edition, while focussing on a global market overview, highlights Nautica Italiana’s commitment to implementing change based on solid data and analysis. Amico explains that the process is by no means complete, with the study due to continue and grow in its scope over the coming years.
“We’re trying to do something that will be incredibly transparent and we are engaging with all the industry’s major operators to show the yachting community that we are committed to positive change,” he concludes.