Matriculation Tax….. The Final Word !!!!!

The following email was received from Pat Bullock of Network Consultants, who are experts in Marine Legal and tax administration.

“I would like to take the opportunity of offering everyone a clear and hopefully concise update on the situation here in Spain regarding the Matriculation Tax on Charter Yachts:

The Tax Bill, which includes the amendment of the Matriculation Tax on Charter Yachts, has now been passed on all levels of Spanish Government; by Congress and Senate.
It is just now awaiting the final formality of being published in the Government State Bulletin which should have happened within the last few days, and it will become law the day after publication.

The amendment is simply removing the 15 metre limit for charter yachts to be able to apply for exemption from the tax, which will enable all correctly registered charter yachts to apply for the exemption.

The requirements for exemption have to be met; mainly that the owning company or the contracted agent is registered with the Spanish Tax Office and no private or personal use is allowed.

It is essential that the Corporate and Tax set-up is done correctly and efficiently to comply with Spanish Tax Law, avoid any risk and also to be most cost and tax effective for the owning company.
I am in meetings with the Tax Specialiists at the law firm, Garrigues, here in Palma and they are preparing formal advice as to the best way of setting up this process.

Also, apart from complying with the Fiscal Laws, it is necessary to comply with Spanish Maritime Law, which requires Charter Licences to be issued by the Maritime Authorities.

Below, I have written a brief resumè of the requirements for the Charter Licence. The main item to be noted is that, according to Spanish Maritime Law, yachts used for commercial purposes must have an EU Flag.

I am of course delighted with the now positive result of the lobbying which so many people have been involved with and invested so much time in. After so many years of difficulties, we can now open up the whole of the Spanish coast to charter clients who want to enjoy cruising in Spanish waters.

In the Balearic Islands, two different Charter Permits are required:
– The Balearic Government Department of Transport Authorisation to Charter (Annual)
– The Spanish Maritime Authorities Charter Permit (Renewable when Major Certificates Expire or Quarterly when full time crew on board.)

Compliance with two separate pieces of legislation is required:

– Fiscal Legislation requiring:
o obtaining a Spanish Tax I.D. number;
o Registration with the Spanish Tax Authorities;
o Exemption from Matriculation Tax Certificate;
o on-going quarterly VAT/Tax returns.

– Maritime Legislation requiring:

o that the vessel has EU Flag;
o Registered for Commercial Use,  
o the relevant “Commercial Seaworthiness Certificate” issued by the Flag State.
o Compulsory Third Party Insurance and Passenger Liability Insurance


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