The provisions for the BOFIP (Bulletin Officiel des Impots) as of 29 January 2020, which put an end to the flat-rate VAT reduction system, have been cancelled this morning by a new BOFIP ref 30 March 2020, which allows the flat-rate reduction, applicable under the former BOFIP, to apply after 31 March 2020.

"The new rule should have been applied on charter contracts concluded from 30 March 2020," explains SOS Yachting. "As the changes made to the conditions for determining the taxable base have been withdrawn, the VAT lump sum reduction (20 per cent on 50 per cent of the charter fee) is still applicable in the case of cruising in international waters."

This is confirmation of the unofficial announcement made on Friday 27 March. This decision, which is linked to the economic context created by the COVID-19 health crisis, will certainly be re-examined when the crisis is resolved.

ECPY, which called for this measure, thanks the tax authorities and the government for this decision, which should help to encourage yachts to come to French waters for the 2020 season. Our team is working closely with the Administration to facilitate and create the necessary conditions for yachts to come to Mediterranean in 2020.

Speaking with Thierry Voisin, president of SOS Yachting France, he highlights how important it is that the French government does what it can to aid the yachting market and encourage owners and charter guests to visit France during the 2020 season. Voisin remains hopeful that there will be at least some access to yachting in France by June, although a return to yachting normality may take a little longer.

"It is incredibly important that, as well as ensuring it is cost effective for owners and guests, we inspire confidence in our clients," says Voisin. "I firmly believe that if governments can provide the necessary systems and confidence, that our clients will want to return to yachting as soon as they can."

In order to encourage this returrn to normality, Voisin, through the ECPY, is in further talks with the French authorities to put a further halt on the implementation of new anchorage laws that have been drafted to protect sea plants in French waters. In their current guise the proposed new laws are not fully understood by the market and may create an unnecessary hinderance to a market that is trying to find its feet once again.

According to SOS Yachting, UCINA Confindustria Nautica (Italian Marine Industry Association) is in dialogue with the Italian authorities to postpone the application of the new VAT laws in Italy, as has been done in France.

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