Matriculation Tax Exemption and Charter Permits for EU Commercial Yachts Operating in Spain
After a long fight and many years of lobbying, on Thursday 17 of October 2013 the Spanish Congress of Deputies finally approved the Tax Bill number 121/000054 which was also published in the Government State Bulletin Boletín Oficial Del Estado on 30th October 2013. Amongst others the Tax Bill approves the removal of the 15metres limit which will allow EU commercial yachts operating in Spanish waters to apply for the Matriculation Tax exemption.
It is to say though that the tax has not been eliminated – just the limit for the exemption. The requirements for applying for the exemption still have to be met.
VAT at 21% will still be charged as well on all charters starting in Spanish waters and a Charter Licence will be required to be able to start and/or terminate a Charter in Spain. Owners will still need to be very attentive as using commercial yachts in Spain for private use, or beneficial owner’s use - even if paying for the charter - could create some VAT / Tax liabilities.
The yacht owning company directly - if it sets up a Company or a Branch Office in Spain- or via its registered agent / Fiscal Representative would need to proceed as follows:
1. Apply for the two below Charter permits:
a) Authorisation to Charter from the Balearic Government Department of Transport ;
b) Charter Permit from the Spanish Maritime Authorities.
2. Register with the Spanish Tax Authorities and apply for a Spanish Tax I.D. number;
3. Apply for Matriculation Tax Exemption;
4. File on-going quarterly VAT/Tax returns.
In order to apply for the Charter permits and Matriculation Tax exemption the yacht should:
Be registered under an EU Flag;
Be registered and used for Commercial Use (no private use allowed);
Be in compliance with insurance requirements including Spanish Third Party Liability and Passengers coverage during charters;
Be in compliance with the radio and safety equipment as per Flag State requirements;
Be in compliance with the Statutory and International Certificates as per Flag State and or Class requirements (Yachts below 24m will need to be surveyed by the Spanish Maritime Authorities in and out of water) ;
Comply with the Minimum Manning Certificate when required by Flag State;
Comply with Flag State requirements as far as Crew Qualifications/Certification is concerned.
Six to eight weeks would be required to register the company with the Spanish Tax Authorities, obtain the Charter Licences and apply for the Matriculation Tax exemption.
Please contact us should you require any further information.
Monoeci Management SAM will be providing occasional news updates to the yachting industry throughout the year.