At the end of 2013 the Spanish Government amended the law relating to the much maligned matriculation tax which made chartering in Spain so prohibitive. The amendment resulted in an increase in charter activity in the Balearics in 2014, however it has not been until the end of this summer 2015 season that it has been possible to assess the real impact.
The Spanish Superyacht Association (AEGY) has recently produced a report using figures provided by MYBA and all the leading brokerage houses. The report shows that the number of yachts with licences to charter in the Balearics has increased by 516% in the last two years.
In 2013 there were 29 yachts over 20m with licences to charter in the Balearics; this figure increased to 86 in 2015 and 37 of these yachts were over 35m. The Association estimates that the total net revenue generated by these charters in terms of tax and local spending for 2015 is €12.5 million. This is far in advance of the amount raised by the matriculation tax on yachts over 24m in 2012 which, according to figures provided by the Spanish tax authorities, was zero for the Balearics and only 4m for the whole of Spain.
Diego Colon, President of the AEGY commented “We are delighted to see such a significant increase in charter activity in the Balearics and we are confident that this will continue to grow in 2016. The Balearic Islands are enormously attractive to charter guests and it is significant that out of the eight major international brokerage companies six now have offices on Mallorca.
We recognise that there is still work to do to ensure that the bureaucratic and fiscal procedures related to chartering and operating superyachts in Spain are simplified and streamlined, however we are confident that these statistics will strengthen and support our lobbying initiatives when dealing with local and national government.”
The report states that there are 600 yachts over 24m available for charter in the Mediterranean and anticipates that 100 of these will be registered for charter in Spain in time for the 2016 summer season. It also makes reference to the consequential economic impact of yachts deciding to stay in the Balearics over the winter to carry out repair and refit, thus creating much needed jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is 22%.
The Asociación Española de Grandes Yates was created to promote and defend the interests of companies involved in the large yacht sector. In particular the Association addresses issues related to Flagging; VAT and Matriculation Tax; Import Procedures; Inspection and Registration of Pleasure and Commercial Yachts; Charter Legislation; Ports and Marinas and their installations; Manning Requirements and Professional Training.