Yachting News » Business » Yachts to be Included in French Wealth Tax

Yachts to be Included in French Wealth Tax


The knocks just keep coming and just as quickly as there is doom there is hope. Never has there been a time of such utter confusion and uncertainty for yachting in France and the industry is growing weary of misinformation and fog. The latest issue concerns wealth tax, as a rather exasperated Thierry Voisin explains in a statement from ECPY:

Updated 15 October: 

In the last four years, France has broken all records concerning changes to the regulations applicable to yachts:

  • 2013: Application of VAT on charter operations in the middle of the season

  • 2015: Withholding tax at the source for charter operators.

  • 2016: Amendment of the VAT exemption rules on yachts commercially registered and taxation of fuel.

  • March 2017: Decree related to Art. 31 of the Social Security Code requiring French resident seafarers to pay social security contributions to ENIM (or a country with a reciprocal arrangement)

  • October 2017: ISF - French wealth tax for yachts

We do not know of any other activity in France that has had to face so much regulatory instability as in yachting. The application of the ISF (or the increase in the annual tax for yachts or the tax on moorings...) will not affect only French flags and French residents; this is a rule that will impact the whole yachting industry.

The French yacht owner will leave yachting and the foreign yacht owner will avoid French waters. The consequences will be dramatic both socially and economically, and without benefit to anyone! Yachting is an international activity and no one is the hostage of any one country; French officials should perhaps remember this. Already the current perception of yachtng in France is not good and, with this new development, it can only get worse. 

Update on ISF/ TAX

The draft amendment submitted by the group La République en Marche concerning the taxation of yachts is currently being examined by the Chamber of Deputies.
This proposal is not based on any economic or social reasoning. Yachts owned by French residents will be taxed to finance the SNSM (Salvage marine association).

  1. In 2017 SNSM will have a surplus of almost €3 million.

  2. SNSM's model is based on volunteers; the financing by taxation brings into question the principle of this beautiful association.

  3. The financial revenues forecast from this amendment are in the order of €10 million, based on the fleet of 40 yachts currently under review. The forecast does not take into account French shipowners resident in France who will leave yachting due to a tax that only exists in France. 

  4. The Amendment provides for the inclusion of commercial vessels within the scope of taxation. This is incoherent and in contradiction with all the principles that prevailed when the annual fee or passport fee was introduced.

  5. The €10 million in forecast revenues should be compared to the hundreds of millions of turnover lost by companies that maintain and repair the units concerned.

  6. It should also be taken into account that the decline in turnover will be accompanied by job losses.

  7. Finally, France's image continues to deteriorate on the international yachting market. The damage at this level is difficult to quantify but what is certain is that it will take years to restore confidence and encourage yachts to frequent French waters.

Thierry Voisin
ECPY President

In French:

Yachts & ISF: L’instabilité règlementaire continue en France

Dans les quatre dernières années, la France a battu tous les records concernant les changements règlementaires applicables aux yachts:

  • 2013: Application de la TVA sur les opérations de charter en pleine saison 

  • 2015: Prélèvement à la source auprès des opérateurs de charter.

  • 2016: Modification des règles d’exonération de la TVA sur les yachts enregistrés au commerce et taxation du carburant.

  • Mars 2017: Art. 31 du code de la sécurité sociale (nouveau décret) obligeant les marins résidents français à s’affilier à l’ENIM ( sécurité sociale française des marins)

  • Octobre 2017: ISF pour les yachts

Nous ne connaissons pas une activité en France qui ait été confrontée à autant d’instabilité réglementaire telle que le yachting

L’application de l’ISF (ou l’augmentation du droit annuel aux yachts ou l’augmentation des taxes portuaires…) ne touchera certainement pas seulement les pavillons français et les résidents français. C’est une mesure qui va impacter tout les yachts et ce ne sera pas sans conséquences.

Il faut donc s’attendre à que face à cette instabilité réglementaire les armateurs français mettent le sac à terre… et que les armateurs étrangers fuient les eaux françaises
Ceci entrainera des conséquences encore une fois dramatiques pour l’industrie au niveau économique et social sans aucun progrès dans que domaine que ce soit. Le yachting est une activité internationale n’en déplaise a certains qui limitent leur point de vue a l’hexagone et à l’international personne n’est l’otage d’un pays, nos dirigeant ferait bien de se le rappeler. Pour le yachting l'image de la France qui est déjà bien dégradée va avec ce nouvelle épisode (ISF) se déliter encore un peu plus.

Thierry Voisin
Président ECPY

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