Boats moored in, or even visiting, Corsica could be stung by a €20 per metre per day tax under new plans

Boatowners in Corsica could be subject to a new mooring tax, under plans approved by the French parliament.

The new levy will apply to boats moored in the Bouches de Bonifacio and the Scandola reserve, but could in theory be expanded to cover all protected marine areas in France. This includes 50% of the Corsican coast and 24% of the mainland coast.

Corsican MP Paul Giaccobi put forward the proposal, which was voted in by a majority of 43 to 27 on March 4. The amount of tax payable has not yet been confirmed, but previous plans had suggested €20 per metre per day.

Reaction from within the French boating community has been largely negative, with many suggesting that the move will put off foreign visitors.

The French Federation of Nautical Industries (FIN) was particularly vocal, criticising a “divorce between leisure boaters and those in charge of the environment, whereas leisure boaters are in fact major players in safeguarding the marine environment.

“Now boaters may consider that extending protected marine areas, a measure they have supported, is a threat to their freedom,” the FIN statement adds.

There are more than a dozen marinas on Corsica, the largest of which is Port Charles-Ornano, with 850 berths up to 35m (82ft).