The end of the Spanish Yachting Matriculation Tax

Great news for the Spanish Yachting Industry. “Patience is a virtue”: this could be the slogan of the Spanish Yachting Professionals.

On Tuesday 28 June 2013 the Spanish Ministry of Finance, announced that a new Law will be enacted soon that will abolish the Matriculation Tax (“IEDMT”) for all yachts over 15m in commercial use.

Established by the Special Tax Act in 1992, the tax applied to all pleasure yachts over 8m in length registered under Spanish flag and all yachts over 15m chartering in Spanish waters (including foreign flagged yachts having a base in Spain or used temporarily by Spanish residents in territorial waters).

Spain is the only country levying such kind of tax on commercial yachts which was seen as a huge loss of competitiveness by the Spanish Yacht Charter Industry. It seems that the study and report commissioned in July 2012 by the Mediterranean Yacht Broker Association (MYBA), Asociación Nacional de Empresas Náuticas (ANEN), Asociación Española de Grandes Yates (AEGY) and the Asociaión de Empresas Náuticas de Balearaes (AENB), which revealed the damaging knock-on effects of Spain’s tax system on the yachting sector and on its economy in general coupled with the lobbying activities led by the professionals of the sector and Patricia Bullock finally produced a successful result after so many years of effort.

As highlighted by the Government this good news will certainly encourage more yachts to visit and cruise Spanish waters.

Matriculation tax will be over but VAT at 21% will still be charged on all charters starting in Spanish waters and a Charter Licence  will be required to be able to start and/or terminate a Charter in Spain. Owners will still need to be very attentive as using commercial yachts in Spain for private use, or beneficial owner’s use - even if paying for the charter - could create some VAT / Tax liabilities.