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Yacht Charter In Spain - The End of Matriculación Tax

29 June 2013

The Spanish Consejo de Ministros (Council of Ministers) have formally announced that it will end the imposition of matriculación tax currently payable on the hull value of yachts over 15 metres in length that charter in Spanish waters.

The announcement was made on the 28th June, 2013 through the issue of an official bulletin titled: 'El Gobierno eliminará el “impuesto de matriculación” para las embarcaciones destinadas al alquiler'.

A copy of the bulletin can be downloaded here:

130628 NP IMPUESTO_MATRICULACION

Spain has historically levied an additional tax on certain means of transport in addition to VAT known as Impuesto Especial sobre Determinados Medios de Transport  which is more commonly known as 'matriculación tax'.

The tax consists of a one-off payment of 12% on a yacht's total value which represents a considerable burden on acquisition particularly when added to the Spanish VAT which is also payable at the prevailing rate (currently 21%).

The tax has resulted in yacht charter activity in mainland Spain and the Balearics remaining subdued in comparison to the activity taking place in the rest of the Mediterranean with the majority of charter yachts avoiding Spanish waters for fear of the imposition of the tax.

Oceanskies are monitoring these ongoing developments in Spain with great interest and we welcome some good news at last for the yacht charter industry.

We understand that a final approval to the change has to be given by the Spanish parliament but that it is hoped that that this can be achieved by the autumn.

It will be interesting to see whether the requirement to hold a Spanish charter licence will still apply under the new regime.

It would appear that matriculación tax will remain payable on private yachts greater than 8 meters in length registered in Spain and/or used in Spanish waters by individuals or companies who are Spanish resident and/or deemed to be established in Spain.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

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