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Yacht Charter In Spain – The End of Matriculación Tax (Update)

17 October 2013

We are pleased to report that the Spanish Congreso de los Diputados has formally adopted Bill 121/000054  which contains legislation ending the imposition of matriculación tax currently payable on the hull value of yachts over 15 metres in length that charter in Spanish waters.

The law has now been finalised having been published in the Official State Bulletin resulting in the new rules entering into force on the 31st October 31, 2013. See here for the official text:

BOE-A-2013-11331 Matriculacion Tax Yachts Spain

By way of background, 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.

It should be noted that whilst the removal of matriculación tax currently payable on the hull value of yachts over 15 metres in length that charter in Spanish waters is welcomed it is important that the owners of yachts planning to charter in Spanish waters are aware that they will have to hold a permit issued by the Spanish maritime authority in addition to a second additional permit issued by the Balearic transport authority in cases where they will charter in the Balearics.

To obtain the permits the owner will have to comply with various aspects of Spanish fiscal and maritime legislation.

Fiscal legislation compliance will require the owner to hold:

  • Spanish tax identification number
  • Spanish VAT registration
  • Matriculation tax exemption certificate

Maritime legislation compliance will require the vessel to hold:

  • An EU commercial registration
  • Valid certificate of commercial compliance
  • Satisfactory insurance
  • All standard vessel certification where applicable, (i.e. MLC, ISM etc. etc.)

Oceanskies can assist with these formalities in partnership with local customs agents in Spain.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

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