The news the Spanish boating industry has been waiting for: 12% matriculation tax waived for larger charter craft

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Spain has officially extended its matriculation tax exemption to all charter yachts operating in its territory.

Previously just charter boats under 15m (49ft 2in) were exempt from the 12% levy, but the Spanish government has modified its duty laws to remove mention of this threshold.

The bill is not truly official until published in the Official Bulletin of the State, which is expected to happen next week.

“This is excellent news for the entire Spanish marine industry. This is the result of so many people’s efforts,” said Alex Chumillas Amat of Tax Marine.

“It is expected to see the effect of this measure on next year’s 2014 charter season.”

News that the Spanish government was seeking to harmonise some of its boating taxes with the rest of Europe broke in July, but this is the final confirmation many had been waiting for.

The exemption does not excuse charter operators from any of the obligations to register their boat, gain permits and satisfy authorities that the boat will be used solely for commercial purposes.

Nor does it affect the 12% tax that still applies to the sale of private boats over 8m to Spanish residents, but it’s still hugely welcome news to an industry damaged by the uncompetitive tax.

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