ICOMIA has played a crucial role in joining forces with its member, Marina Punat, to help remove barriers to trade in Croatia’s marina sector.
On 31 July the Croatian Customs Administration – the organisation within the Ministry of Finance managing economic development and customs and excise duties – announced all Croatian marinas will be released from the strict bonded-warehouse regime that was crippling the marina sector.
Marinas will no longer be considered collateral in Croatia's VAT rule for non-EU yachts and as of 1 August 2017, liability and responsibility for reporting departure information to Customs will be the sole obligation of the berth-holder.
European law allows foreign non-EU vessels to remain in the Croatian/EU customs territory for up to 18 months from the date of entry without applying import requirements including VAT and customs duty on the value of the vessel. These vessels are treated as temporary imported goods, and when the period expires, the responsible person for the yacht must follow one of the permissible procedures under EU law.
Previoulsy, marinas in Croatia were deemed as bonded warehouses. This meant the Croatian Customs Authority required marinas under its jurisdiction to act as guarantors for VAT and import duty on the value of the yacht for non-EU vessels in case the berth-holder failed to comply with customs regulations.
This made Croatian waters less attractive as a cruising ground, effectively applying VAT penalties to non-involved but local-parties which also negatively impacted Croatian businesses.
Negotiations with the Customs Administration were led by the Croatian Association of Marinas, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the Croatian Employers' Association and Marina Punat, who jointly sought the advice of ICOMIA (the International Council of Marine Industry Associations), of which Marina Punat is a member. ICOMIA provided help and support to the campaign by confirming the non-existence of similar practise in other countres in the EU, and urging the release of marinas as collateral.
“For Croatia’s marinas, the bonded warehouse scheme meant there was a constant risk of paying customs debt for a third party, plus lots of unnecessary administration” said B. Renata Marević, Marina Manager of Marina Punat. “Thanks to ICOMIA we have reached the cancellation of this status – and for Croatian marinas that means doing business is much easier, unnecessary additional risk has been removed and we are in fair market competition with other EU marinas. ICOMIA has played an important, perhaps crucial, role and together we are stronger!”
Global Advocate for Marinas
A global advocate since 1966, ICOMIA is the international trade association representing the recreational marine industry worldwide. The ICOMIA Marinas Group (IMG) was born out of ICOMIA`s recognition that ensuring boat owners a safe and convenient place to berth or launch their vessel is vital to the future of the industry. IMG’s mission is to improve the quality of the recreational boating experience through the development of marinas, yacht harbours, boatyards and small boat launching ramps.
“The problems related to the successful development and management of marinas are very similar all over the world” said Roberto Perocchio, IMG Chairman. “The powerful and global influence IMG has is vital when reviewing technical and administrative problems and finding the appropriate solutions for the benefit of the global boating industry”.