A group of yachtsmen and nautical business owners, together with private and professional boat captains including recreational sea fisherman, are determined to express their disappointment with the local and national authorities in Spain and The Balearic Islands in regards to the matriculation tax, in a passionate and very practical way. The frustration that has brought them to this point has been caused by the ignorance and lack of support that has been evident for so many years, with regard to nautical activities and their valuable contribution to tourism and the general economy in Spain and the Balearic Islands. The group has decided to make themselves heard in the way that they know best, which is to blast their yacht horns for one minute at 12.00 noon, on every day of the Palma International Boat Show. (Starting on 30th April through to 8th May).
They believe that this is the very best way to attract attention and to publicly share the frustrations that have fermented in the nautical leisure industry for many years. This despite numerous requests, lobbying and constant pleas to the local and state authorities pointing out the vital necessity to bring the nautical industry into line with present times, and to harmonise it with the same conditions enjoyed by Spain’s European competitors.
In overview the demand is for the elimination of the 12% registration (matriculation) tax, which has been suffocating the Spanish nautical leisure industry for many years, and the simplification of all certifications and legislation appertaining to the use of recreational and charter yachts.
These actions and the required urgency in implementing them are fully endorsed and supported by the main yachting and water sports associations representing boat owners, users and also marine service providers across the whole spectrum of the industry. These include: The Balearic Federation of Nautical Business Associations (FENIB), The Balearic Nautical Business Association (AENB), The Spanish Association of Recreational Boat Users (ANAVRE), The Spanish Large Yachts Association (AEGY), the Balearic Recreational Yachtsman’s Association (ADN), and the Spanish Recreational Fisherman’s Association (CEPRR). The last one alone represents around 17,000 members in Spain!
The presidents of the major yachting business and boat owners associations have all added their comments in a resounding endorsement of the protest on behalf of their members.
Sr. Tomeu Bestard who is president up FENIB the umbrella federation that unites all of the nautical business associations in The Balearics said; “Our federation gives the maximum support to this protest. It is a peaceful demonstration by people who love the sea and whose dedication has helped to develop the nautical industry and thus the creation of employment. And by yachtsmen who justifiably demand that the public administration treats the boat owners and (nautical) companies as true citizens of Europe, with equal rights and obligations. All of us in the nautical sector have been demanding this for too many years. Now the yachtsmen will have the word, demanding their legitimate rights.”
Sr. Miguel Ángel Santander, who heads up the Balearic Recreational Yachtsman (ADN) said : “Our intention with this protest is to bring the reality of yachting in the Balearics and Spain closer to that of the rest of Europe.”
And Sr. Jaime Darder, President of The Spanish Association of Recreational Boat Users commented; “For the first time the recreational boat users and the nautical companies join forces to focus the attention of the politicians towards a situation where, unless something is done, yachting will become impossible in Spain.”