Chris Borg, Managing Director of Boston (Malta) Limited recently attended the Opportunities in Business Jets and the Opportunities in Superyachts conferences that were held over two days at the Westin Dragonara Resort in Malta.

The conferences provided an excellent forum for industry professionals to discuss various developments, including business, VAT and regulatory issues. It also provided a good opportunity to network with new and existing contacts.

Chris was one of the panellists on the VAT panel at the Superyachts Conference. The topic of the discussion was ‘How will the VAT changes affect yacht chartering (and purchase) in different countries?’ and  panellists discussed how their jurisdictions have tackled new VAT regulations.

Following the close of the conference a post-conference cocktail party took place at the Palazzo de Piro in Malta’s old capital of Mdina.

Recent changes to Superyacht VAT regulations include:

Spain

• Matriculation tax now applies to private yachts over 8 meters. There was a modification late last year that removed the 15 meter limit for exemption from tax for all charter yachts operating in Spain
• The EU directive allows EU vessels to charter freely, however, Spain has literally interpreted this to means the vessel has to have an EU flag. The flag determines the nationality of the vessel.
• There is a flat rate of 21% VAT on all charters
• In Spain owning companies have to have an EU flag. An EU owning company can be registered as a non-resident company.

France

• The VAT treatment on charters is clear since 15/07
• If the owning company is based in the EU you need to have a VAT number. Non-EU companies can appointment a fiscal representative to carry out VAT formalities
• Except for chartering, the French authorities are still applying the French commercial exemption,

Italy

• VAT is applicable on charters starting in Italy and the yacht owning company must be registered for VAT.  For non-EU owners a fiscal representative needs to be appointed (they are jointly and severally liable)

If you would like further information on any of the points above please do not hesitate to contact Chris Borg (cborg@boston.com.mt) or Rachael Kelly (rkelly@boston.co.im)