Marina Port Vell was the site for a roundtable event with top industry players where recent changes to the matriculation tax laws were discussed. The focus was to share the most up-to-date information in order for companies in the superyacht industry to provide the best advice to their clients, as well as understand how these laws will continue to affect the maritime sector.

Chaired by Norma Trease of Salamanca Group, the event included presentations by Miguel Angel Serra of maritime law firm Garrigues and CEO of S.O.S. Yachting, Alex Mazzoni, who handles legal and fiscal issues for charter yachts in the Mediterranean. A lively discussion followed where experts identified benefits to the yachting industry from the changes to the taxes and conceived practical ideas of how to move forward, including the update of economic impact data since chartering in Spain has begun.

The published changes, or exceptions to the matriculation tax, include the ability for owners to use their commercially registered yachts in Spanish waters (with a proper charter contract and payment of charter fee), and allowing EU and non-EU vessels to register for charter licenses to operate in Spain. These changes have been promoted with the help of Spanish maritime associations including AEGY, ANEN and Barcelona Nautical Cluster.

“The beneficial changes to the matriculation tax and its interpretation have caused confusion and are not yet fully understood by the yacht marketplace, nor by localised Spanish tax officials, which has resulted in some companies recommending to avoid Spanish waters,” says Norma. “But the future of chartering is Spain looks better and better; as long as required paperwork is handled correctly and the Spanish government continues to recognise the importance of the yachting sector to the economy of Spain’s maritime economy.”

Issuing charter licenses requires a paperwork trail and several businesses are already helping yachts acquire these licenses – these include yacht agencies, tax advisors, maritime attorneys and companies such as S.O.S. Yachting and Tax Marine Barcelona that specialise in providing fiscal solutions to charter yachts in Spain, or consultancies such as Network Marine Consultants. “An estimated 70-plus yachts up to and above 65m have already applied for and received charter licenses for Spanish waters, and this number is expected grow exponentially in 2015,” says Norma.

Resources for matriculation tax and charter licence advice include:

Evolution Agents / Beatriz Alonzo bea@evolutionagents.com

URÍA MENÉNDEZ Guillermo Canalejo Lasarte guillermo.canalejo@uria.com

Tax Marine BCN / Alex Chumillas alex@taxmarine.com

IntraMarine / Katherine Colgan katherine@intra-marine.com

Network / Patricia Bullock p.bullock@networkmarineconsultants.com

BWA Spain / Antonella della Pietra a.dellapietra@bwayachting.com

S.O.S. Yachting / Alessandro Mazzoni alex.alexmazzoni@gmail.com

Garrigues / Miguel Angel Serra Miguel.Angel.Serra@garrigues.com

Ordanza-Abogados / Leon von Ordanza leon@pmconsulting.info

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