Toulon Bay still on course to become international centre for yachts

Toulon Provence Méditerranée (TPM) has reiterated its desire to transform Toulon Bay into an international centre for yachting and yacht refits, despite encountering difficulties in the past 12 months.

TPM, which became the Port Authority for Toulon at the start of 2017, set the objective of making Toulon Bay an internationally recognised centre of competence just under 10 years ago, but it has found progress hindered this year by two issues that have struck the yachting community in the French Mediterranean.

The first, a decree issued in July 2017, concerns the social contributions of seafarers who reside in France for more than three months, and the second, of European origin, is an application of a 2003 directive imposing a new tax on petroleum products. Both of these issues are on-going situations that require due diligence, but TPM has made it clear the partial regeneration of Toulon Bay is continuing to move forwards regardless.

To demonstrate the progress being made, TPM has now announced a yachting dimension in all of its major projects. This includes, among others, eight berths under long-term lease for 50m yachts beside the future 422m cruise quay - a refurbished port area to accommodate two very large vessels in the western part of the bay - and the rebuilding of port infrastructures at Bois Sacre to allow the installation of Monaco Marine’s seventh shipyard, which will double the port’s current capacity.

In a press release, TPM commented, “Whatever the outcome of these difficult discussions [with authorities about the social contributions of seafarers and the attempt to impose new tax on petroleum], I would like to clarify here that the port authority in Toulon will not change its course. The goal is to make Toulon, with the quality of its professionals, an internationally renowned centre of competence of yacht maintenance and refit.”

It continued, “Most of the projects we have talked about will be operational by 2018 or at latest by spring 2020. I want it to be clear: Toulon Port Authority will not hesitate to play its public role as an investor and facilitator, but nothing can replace the strong involvement and dynamism of the shipyards, the shipping agents and our yachting partners. We will demonstrate our confidence in the future together.” 

For more information, visit Toulon Provence Méditerranée.

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