The sun is shining on the Balearics in the form of new legislation set to simplify and streamline procedures for superyachts wishing to charter in these Spanish waters.
In October 2013 we saw a partial lifting of the Matriculation Tax, and consultation has been ongoing with input from the National Association of Nautical Employers (ANEN), the Spanish Association of Large Yachts (AEGY) and the Asociación de Empresas Náuticas de Baleares (AENB).
Back in 2012, among others, the Worldwide Yachting Association (MYBA) sponsored an Economic Impact Study which highlighted the importance of superyachts within the nautical sector as well as their contribution to the wider economies of Spain, Italy, Greece and France.
MYBA has played an active role in the process ever since, in this case supporting and collaborating with AEGY to lobby further changes in Spanish legislation.
Key features of the Decree due to come into force this autumn:
The continued possibility to charter yachts registered outside the European Union, as well as countries not signed up to the European Economic Area (EEA), under the terms of the preceding legislation.
Until the decree comes into effect, these yachts will need a licence from the Directorate General of Ports and Airports of the Balearic Islands Government.
The documents required of the owner remain unchanged, although the translation of documents from a foreign language will no longer be necessary.
Only on inspection can the authorities require translation, but this is at their discretion. For any public documents, translations must be sworn and the documents must be previously certified by apostille (international certification comparable to notarisation in domestic law).
Statements of responsibility and any renewals requested after 1 January 2017 will now be valid for two years instead of one under previous legislation, but licences or renewals requested before 1 January 2017 will still be valid for just one year.
Yachts registered on the Special Register of Vessels and Shipping Companies (Canary Islands) may also engage in charter.
The decree will establish a Balearic Registry of Charterers and Yachts, a public registry of yacht-owning companies which have filed a statement of responsibility, in an effort to control any illegal chartering, typically involving smaller vessels.
Speaking about the impact this will have at ground level, Marta Iglesias, MYBA Board Member and Charter Broker with Camper & Nicholsons in Palma, comments,
“Registering for charter in Spain, whilst still cumbersome in terms of paperwork, is becoming an easier process, as the authorities start to get more familiar with the different flags and international registrations. The demand for superyachts in Spain is there, and we need many more yachts to accommodate all inquiries.”