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IoM Shipping Registry Hails Breakthrough With Spain

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
27 February, 2015

The Isle of Man Shipping Registry has noted positive developments for the superyacht sector, with a deal brokered with authorities in Spain.

Recently a number of Isle of Man-flagged yachts were lost from the Ship Register because Spain would not recognize the Isle of Man as an EU flag and therefore prevented Isle of Man-flagged yachts from undertaking commercial charters starting and finishing in Spain.

At the end of 2013, Spanish authorities made it possible to apply for an exemption from the 12 percent matriculation (boat registration tax), which had traditionally deterred commercial yachts from chartering out of Spain. At this time, it was only possible for EU-flagged vessels to obtain a charter license in Spain.

The Manx Shipping Registry reported that, in October 2014, Spanish legislation was amended to open the market to all commercial vessels, with the caveat that it must be proven that no similar EU-flagged vessel is available for charter at the time the booking is taken. It is understood that a letter from a reputable charter broker confirming this will satisfy the requirement. A first Manx company has now satisfied the appropriate requirements and obtained the first Balearics Superyacht Charter Licence for Non-EU Flagged Vessels, with the door opened for several more such agreements.

Dick Welsh, Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry, commented: "We are delighted to hear that the situation has now been resolved, with the first yacht charter license being obtained for an Isle of Man yacht since the legislative changes. Yachting organizations [in] the Isle of Man and in Palma have gone to a lot of work and effort to secure these very important charter licenses. Their hard work should see more and more yachts taking advantage of the Isle of Man registration with the restored availability of charters in the Mediterranean."

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