Charter regulations in the Balearics

From September, Spanish charter regulations have changed, and there is now a free market for all flags. Lorenzo Vila, Director of Port Andratx-based easyboats talks us through some of the recent changes.

Lorenzo comments, “Although applicable to boats 14 metres (45 foot) upwards, this legislation is clearly targeted at superyachts, the sector most likely to be non-EU-flagged, and has some interesting terms and conditions. It states that a charter licence can be obtained provided there is a lack of available EU-flagged with similar characteristics. One would assume this is easily circumnavigated by bringing hull colour, interior décor, tenders and toys, and so on into the equation.

However, the ruling also states that the yacht must comply with technical, legal, administrative and fiscal requirements,” continues Lorenzo. “Fiscal is the key word here, the superyacht would have to have its taxes paid in-line with Spanish requirements. In light of this, I believe the legislation is only good news, and economically viable, for boats who decide to base themselves in the Balearics for a full season – not for those who want to dip in and out. It certainly won’t make a great deal of difference to the pool of charter yachts available to easyboats.”

Lorenzo finishes, “Combined with recent positive rulings on matriculation tax, it’s clear that Spain is trying to make things easier for the nautical industry, however, it’s too late for this season and it will take some time for us to feel the effects. Also, not even specialist nautical lawyers are completely certain of all the new rules, and many superyacht captains would still rather not take the risk – this could mean continuing to embark guests in France rather than Spain. This superyacht industry has a massive economic trickledown effect across the whole tourism sector, and Spain must wise up to that before the 2015 Mediterranean season gets underway.”

By Maarten Janssen / photo by Maarten Janssen /



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