Good news this season for all boat and yacht owners looking to cruise in Italian waters and moor in the country’s marinas. A VAT reduction is now in place throughout 2015.
The standard VAT rate in Italy is 22%. Usually when you apply for a quote for your stay, most marinas quote ex-VAT, meaning you have to add this 22% on top of the fee for your stay in a harbour. Now, as published in Italy’s official journal (Gazzetta Ufficiale) on 30th
December 2014 “tourists” now benefit from a VAT tax break and only have to pay 10% VAT when renting a berth in Italy
“temporarily”or for “transit” purposes in Italian marina resorts.
Effectively, all yacht or boat owners, or even charterers, owning or using a boat for leisure, whether they live abroad or in Italy, benefit from this tax reduction
. This VAT reduced rate is also in place for letting hotel rooms for instance. Other watercraft, like fishing trawlers as an example (which are boats clearly used as a business, not for leisure) are still to pay the standard value added tax.
The benefits of this recent Italian fiscal law are only applicable to transiting boats. For instance, the purchase of new long term berth leases in Italy is still subject to 22% Italian VAT, as such purchases cannot be considered as rental contracts and cover periods of several years. However, it is thought that people who have invested in these berths all along Italy’s coastline will indirectly benefit, with rental rates being more attractive to their transiting tenants and thus boosting the occupancy of newly built marinas.
Many boats and yachts are going to see their berth rental costs reduced thanks to this revision of the application of the VAT, under which a transit berth can very well be a berth rented for an entire month or even a full season. Ultimately, as long as the rental period does not exceed 11 months (less than a year) you are eligible for this special 10% VAT.
Of course, many will say it is little compared to the overall costs of owning a yacht, but it is definitely a step in the right direction, whereby the Italian authorities show its yachting industry and the world, it values the contribution of visiting boats to their economy. In perspective, this is highly encouraging news for Italian boating whilst France is currently trying to pass a new tax on anchoring - which is still very unclear and concerns maritime protected areas which are often the most popular locations in which to moor) – and whilst Spanish revisions and possible exemptions to the matriculation tax are still extremely confusing, even to experts on the subject.
>> Access Berths in Italy
MooringSpot, April 2015.