Gibraltar scraps import duty on yachts over 18m

And duty on boats under 18m slashed from 12% to 6%

Gibraltar has scrapped import duty on boats over 18 metres and slashed the duty on smaller boats from 12% to 6% in an attempt to stimulate its leisure boating sector and encourage long-term berthing.

Fabian Picardo, chief minister of Gibraltar, made the announcement as he delivered his first budget this week. Previously, boats weighing less than 80 tons were hit with the 12% duty, while boats heavier that this could be imported duty-free – meaning leisure boats lost out.

Ross Astengo, business development manager at Gibraltar’s Ocean Village Marina, welcomed the move, saying: “The Government is sending a clear message that there is no longer an incentive for resident vessel owners to keep their yachts outside Gibraltar.”

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Big-spending superyachts are the main target of this duty cut, as they require significant land-based services when docked. Politicians are also hoping to attract disaffected Spanish boaters steering clear of the 12% matriculation tax.

Astengo added: “If Gibraltar attracts even just a small percentage of the long-term berthing required by the superyacht sector, we will receive economic stimulus in a sector that, despite competitively priced berths and tax-free fuel, remains relatively untapped.”

Albert Mena, tax partner at Hassans, the largest law firm in Gibraltar, said: “The very nature of our importation laws dissuaded resident vessels owners, including high net worth individuals, from importing and berthing their vessels in Gibraltar. The new budget measures should attract these vessels to Gibraltar.”

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