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Implementation of VAT (TVA) on Yacht Charters in France

25 January 2013

Yacht owners chartering in France have in recent years benefited from the French Commercial Exemption (FCE) rules applied to the charter of commercially registered yachts.

These rules were laid down by a customs administrative note (“Bulletin Officiel des Douanes” n°6603, dated 24th June, 2004)  which in turn enabled commercially operated yachts to be imported into France at a zero rate of VAT and for subsequent charter activities originating in French ports to be supplied without VAT being charged. Further advantages included the ability for commercial yachts  to take on duty free fuel and benefit from tax free supplies.

Unfortunately for the commercial yacht charter market the FCE regime has been under threat as a result of France being taken to task at EU level in the form of infringement proceedings requiring them to take steps to end what is seen as a form of relief that conflicts with wider EU convention.

A notice posted by the EU commission on 21st November, 2012 formally confirmed to France that their VAT exemption on charter yachts in France was not compliant with EU VAT rules and required France to take steps to remove the exemption from its tax legislation. A further letter was issued in early January requiring France to comply within two months.

Tom Becker of Oceanskies who is a native French speaker spoke with our contacts at the Direction des Services Fiscaux (Alpes Maritimes) and the Direction Regionale des Douanes (Nice) this morning in an effort to ascertain whether there is yet any formal guidance available on how France will be amending its regulations in view of the EU commission notice.

Although formal guidance is yet to be published the message received from both officials was that France will certainly be complying with the commission notice but in a way that where possible will hopefully retain some sympathy to the commercial charter industry possibly in the form of a reduced rate of VAT being applied.

We therefore suggest that it would be prudent for the owners of yachts that are intending to charter commercially in French waters to consider their present arrangements and prepare potentially for the need to become VAT registered in France.

We here at Oceanskies will continue to liaise with the French authorities and will endeavour to keep our clients updated on developments.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

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@oceanskiesltd

25 March 2020 at 07:58

Here is a batch of Tonnage Plates for yachts we are registering with @RedEnsignGroup under British flag here @oceanskiesltd HQ awaiting courier despatch. These plastic strips are an important part of the yacht registration process #yachtregistration #yachtregistry pic.twitter.com/5xGR7f0Xo3

@oceanskiesltd

17 March 2020 at 07:43

A beautiful start to the day again here @Oceanskies in St. Peter Port Guernsey were we are pleased to welcome the latest @sunseeker_int Sunseeker 50 Predator #Guernsey @guernseyharbours @locateguernsey @vistguernsey #PositiveVibes pic.twitter.com/rajLtbGriM

@oceanskiesltd

16 March 2020 at 13:42

On this sunny Monday we are pleased to welcome this beautiful @Sunseeker_Intl 76 Yacht to @gsyharbours which is undergoing @RedEnsignGroup registration with Oceanskies - Anyone would think its Summer! #yachtregistration #yachtlife #Guernsey @LocateGuernsey #PositiveVibes pic.twitter.com/gy0sguWV5S

@oceanskiesltd

11 March 2020 at 16:55

Today we have been Northern France visiting an incredibly busy @Lagooncats factory near La Roche sur Yon for the tonnage survey of a newbuild Lagoon 46 sailing catamaran undergoing @RedEnsignGroup registration by Oceanskies #lagooncatamaran #yachtregistration #tonnagesurvey pic.twitter.com/rwmKAuzOvX

@oceanskiesltd

10 March 2020 at 17:21

Today Duncan has been in a sunny and warm Monaco for the tonnage survey of an @PrincessYachts Princess 82 undergoing red ensign registration by Oceanskies - we are a leading yacht registration agency working with the world’s best yacht registries #yachtregistration #tonnagesurvepic.twitter.com/PUl9Sy4L9a9a

@oceanskiesltd

04 March 2020 at 06:53

Very pleased to act as agents for the visit to @gsyharbours of a @Sunseeker_Intl 76 Yacht @PrincessYachts Y78 #Sunseeker #SunseekerYachts #SunseekerFamily #Princess #princessaroundtheworld #Princessyachts #Guernsey @VisitGuernsey pic.twitter.com/Y3Tk7X8paE