Only charter boats less than 15m were exempt from the 12% levy; however the Spanish government has modified its duty laws to remove this threshold, extending the exemption to all charter yachts operating in Spanish waters.
Judith Estrella, owner of Charter & Dreams commented, “Before the tax exemption, only 15 yachts over 24 meters were operating in Spain. This summer, this figure was doubled and next summer we expect this number to triple, meaning that we'll have approximately 50 superyachts with licenses to charter in Spain.”
Until the beginning of this year, only Spanish-flagged yachts and the few foreign flags that had paid the 12% matriculation tax had the possibility to own a Spanish charter licence and operate in the privileged Balearics Islands. This made Spain the only Mediterranean country charging matriculation tax for charter vessels.
Thanks to pressure from the yachting industry, at the beginning of 2014, the Spanish government opened a window for chartering in Spain without having to pay the high matriculation tax. As expected, this change has had a positive impact on the amount of charter yachts exploring the Spanish islands.
Speaking about the more unusual Spanish destinations, Judith Estrella said, “Superyachts already visit Mallorca and Ibiza in the Balearic Islands, but often forget Menorca, which is the most virgin island of the three. Beaches and coves are framed in green surroundings and, surprisingly, they are relatively unoccupied.
“On the other hand, when superyachts visit Barcelona to enjoy its architecture and food, only two hours cruising to the north lies the beautiful Costa Brava. With fishing villages, crystalline waters and superb gastronomy, it is without a doubt an essential stop for superyachts.”
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