At the end of 2013, the Spanish government amended the law relating to the matriculation tax, which made chartering in Spain prohibitive. The amendment resulted in an increase in charter activity in the Balearics in 2014, but this summer’s season shows the real impact.
The Spanish Superyacht Association (AEGY) has produced a report using figures provided by the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA) and leading brokerage houses. The report shows that the number of yachts with licences to charter in the Balearics has almost tripled in the past two years.
In 2013, 29 yachts over 20m had licences to charter in the Balearics. In 2015, it was 86, and 37 of them were over 35m. AEGY estimates that the total net revenue generated by these charters in terms of tax and local spending for 2015 is €12.5 million.
The amount raised by the matriculation tax on yachts over 24m in 2012 was zero for the Balearics and €4 million for the whole of Spain.
“We are delighted to see such a significant increase in charter activity in the Balearics, and we are confident that this will continue to grow in 2016,” said Diego Colon, president of AEGY. “The Balearic Islands are enormously attractive to charter guests, and it is significant that out of the eight major international brokerage companies, six now have offices on Mallorca.
“We recognise that there is still work to do to ensure that the bureaucratic and fiscal procedures related to chartering and operating superyachts in Spain are simplified and streamlined, however we are confident that these statistics will strengthen and support our lobbying initiatives when dealing with local and national government.”
The report states that there are 600 yachts over 24m available for charter in the Mediterranean and anticipates that 100 of these will be registered for charter in Spain in time for the 2016 summer season. It also makes reference to the consequential economic impact of yachts deciding to stay in the Balearics over the winter to carry out repair and refit, thus creating much needed jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is 22 percent.