The European Committee for Professional Yachting (ECPY) is petitioning the French government over what the industry association has identified as a catastrophic legislative proposal.
On Jan. 20, the French Senate presented a bill to tax yachts cruising and anchoring in 322 “managed marine areas.” The government has proposed to impose a mooring tax on any vessel moored inside a Marine Protected Area: a tax of up to 100 euros per day for a 5m motorboat, and 300 euros for a 15m yacht.
According to the ECPY, the law shall apply to the following :
* On the mainland from June 1-Sept. 30 for areas attracting few visitors.
* For areas attracting large numbers of visitors on the mainland and overseas, year round.
* In managed areas, including national parks, Natura 2000 areas, protected marine areas.
* Each administration will decide which areas under its management shall be covered by the law
* For yachts, the tax is capped at 20 euros per day per linear meter
It is proposed to come into effect in the summer of 2016.
Initially, the National Assembly rejected the bill recognizing its impact on the yachting industry. The areas make up about a quarter of France’s territorial waters. But the government revised and resubmitted the bill, which passed its first reading in the Chamber of Deputies in early March. It must now be presented to the Senate to be discussed and amended before returning to the Chamber of deputies for the final reading.
“We have lost the first battle,” the ECPY said in a statement. “Now we must renew our efforts to block the anchorage tax provisions from being passed by the Senate and afterwards by the Chamber of Deputies. To achieve this, we must prove we represent a large body of yachting professionals opposed to the law.”
The ECPY has compared the bill, known as NOTRe, to legislation introduced in Sardinia in 2006, which is credited with reducing yacht traffic by 50 percent over three years. The group started a petition to oppose the law.