Amendments made to controversial new tax in protected marine zones leads to online petition.
TheFrench Parliament recently passed an amendment to its controversial mooring tax that will affect leisure boats mooring in protected marine areas managed by local authorities.
For now, the bill only concerns protected marine zones managed by territorial authorities – the south of Corsica and the Pyrénées-Orientales, a region in southwest France on the Mediterranean coast.
But by 2020, the marine zones are expected to represent more than 50% of the French coast. This poses an intolerable threat to all players in the French leisure boat market. They have unanimously denounced the new measures, stating that the sector is a major contributor to the French economy and that it accounts for over 44,000 direct jobs.
French marine industry federation FIN held a press conference on March 19 that brought together nine of the country’s main leisure boat associations such as shipyards, ports and marinas, sailors, boat owners, fishermen and more.
Together they have launched an online petition at www.merlibre.fr with the catchphrase “the sea is free”. The site was developed “to collect the signatures of those who wish to support the defence of the values of the users of the sea” and has already gathered almost 10,000 signatures.
A second online petition organised by Editions Larivière (publisher of Neptune Yachting, Motor Boat and Voiles magazines) has also attracted more than 13,000 signatures at http://bit.ly/1BduIEP.