MYBA 2020 Cancelled (COVID19)

Sanremo, 13th March 2020

MYBA 2020 officially cancelled. Please find below an extract from the Official Communication sent by MYBA Board today and our quick view about chartering on 2020 in the Med.

Further to our communiqué dated 5 March regarding the MYBA Charter Show, we would like to inform you that the MYBA Board held a conference call yesterday to further discuss the holding of the MYBA Charter Show in Barcelona in the current environment.  The Covid-19 virus situation has evolved rapidly over the last few days and, unfortunately, developments have not been favourable. The Board therefore finds itself in a Force Majeure situation vis-à-vis its contractual obligations and considers it is best not to proceed in these unprecedented circumstances. This is undoubtedly very disappointing news, however, taking into consideration the information that is currently available and the health of our Members and all Show participants being one of MYBA’s key priorities, it is not possible to ensure the Show is organised in the safe and productive environment that we are recognised for by the superyacht industry. The MYBA Charter Show team will be sending further details to those who have already registered and working to minimise any inconvenience caused by this unfortunate development. Thank you for your patience while we were assessing the situation and we look forward to a great Show in 2021. Kind regards MYBA Board

Well, let’s take the opportunity to make a quick summary and cast some light on what is happening in Europe and around the Mediterranean coasts. We all know that the situation of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) wreaked havoc on our lives. Right after China, Europe faced its first major outbreak as the number of reported cases in Italy grew from fewer to thousands in just few days. Officials locked down all the Italian Regions after a cluster of cases emerged in several towns located at the very North of Italy (nearby Milan). As a result, schools closed and sporting and cultural events were canceled. France did the same after just few weeks and schools and universities were closed on 9th March. Spain will do the same too starting by 16th March.

So all the EU countries are really dealing with this matter with every effort, conscientiously, strategically and supportively. We are confident that we will get through it very soon. In Italy we have this special figure of speech for situations like this “chi ben comincia, è a metà dell’opera” which the English know as “the first blow is half the battle“.

This is to say that the virus is spreading rapidly and the Mediterranean countries will surely get out of this nightmare before any other country around the world where the virus is starting to spread right now or has not started yet. Actually Italy is already half way and even further!

This should be a reason for all the yachting industry to feel encouraged to come to the Mediterranean for the summer season.

We really look forward to seeing our warm seas and cozy ports plenty of yachts during the summer.

We remain at your disposal for any possible clarification and please keep sending your inquiries to

Italian (and French) VAT reduction on Charters at issue!

Sanremo, 19th December 2019

The new Italian Budgetary Bill contains anti-avoidance provisions which specifically regard the VAT on the short hire of a boat. These provisions, which will enter into force on 1st April 2020, will involve any charter having fiscal relevance in Italy, commencing from that date onwards.

The VAT reduction on charters as practiced in Italy, France, Croatia, Malta, Greece and Cyprus would no longer be applicable as done up to now (i.e. cruising into international waters to obtain the application of VAT on just a portion of the Charter Fee).

The above as a consequence of the infringements proceedings started on 8th November 2018 and continued on 25th July 2019 (with the “July Infringement Package”) by the European Commission (more info at this link:

The EU Commission’s purpose is to harmonize the rules between all the EU Member States applying the general criteria contained in articles 56 and 59-a of the EU VAT Directive 2006/112/CE and so the reduction of VAT on charters will need to be calculated according to a new method.

Which one? What is the method?

The most credited one would seem to be a pro-rata reduction based on the cruising outside the European territorial waters, according to the real time or to the actual cruising miles spent at “high sea” (international waters), in accordance to the hereinbefore mentioned article 59-a.

The Italian and French Authorities are actually cooperating with the EU Commission in order to outline the new guidelines to be provided before the date of 1st April 2020.

Yacht Welfare has brought to the Authorities’ attention that the new rules to apply should be known as soon as possible as the charter market needs to receive responses and guidance in the shortest time in order to plan the upcoming Med charter season.

If meantime no clear guidelines will be provided within the deadline, we strongly recommend the Charter Industry to set up a safeguard procedure (so that all parties involved into a Charter Agreement can be safe and sound) which might consist in paying a security deposit for every possible balance of VAT due.

Stay tuned with us in the forthcoming weeks to know and assess the developments of this matter.

For any additional info or clarifications required please email us to

New VAT Guide 2019

The 2019 edition of the Yacht Welfare VAT Guide is finally released. You can ask your copy by sending an email to Our Team of Lawyers and Fiscal Advisors is always available to assist you during your Charter Season in the Mediterranean Sea.


Sanremo, 14th April 2019


The French Customs Office has released important dispositions and clarifications about yachts engaged in commercial and transport activities (e.g. charter).


The French Customs Office confirms that every US built boat having commercial registration and officially imported in European Community before the 22nd of June 2018 will be exempt from the payment of the 25% customs duty on the boat’s return in Europe if all the standard import formalities will be executed (the same formalities and practices arranged before the 25% rule).

The same principle applies for boats exported from EU before the same date (Export Declaration is required. In absence of this Declaration an alternative proof of exportation has to be provided).

All the boats having completed the import back to the European Community can benefit from FCE/ICE (French Commercial Exemption / Italian Commercial Exemption) advantages according to the +70% rule.

If the boat has been imported under the FCE/ICE regime in 2018, it is still required to provide the proofs attesting its qualifications to take advantage of the same benefits (+70% international voyages).

Therefore, we confirm that any and all US built boats falling within the below listed cases:

1. never imported before the 22nd of June 2018, or

2. imported before the same date but having changed the Owning Company (sold/purchased)

are subject to the application of the 25% customs duty.


Besides, all US built boats never imported before the 22nd of June 2018 will have the possibility to perform commercial activities (Charter) under Temporary Admission status, whether the boat is registered as commercial or private (in the latter case only if the Flag Registry admits this condition).

However, there are specific restrictions to the above frame:

a. the impossibility to have EU resident Charterers

b. at present not all the EU Members States still permit a boat under Temporary Admission to execute commercial activities (Charter).

In regards to non US built boats (EU or non-EU) registered as commercial and to coming to Europe to execute commercial activities (Charter), which are under “Import Status”, the FCE/ICE benefits apply to all those non-EU boats (as well as to some EU boats in specific cases: more info will follow) intending to execute commercial activities (Charter). This is the only case in which the Charterer can be a EU resident.

Concerning the non-EU boats which will not be imported (both Commercial and Private registered), they will only have the possibility to execute Charters under the regime of Temporary Admission and will not be entitled to charter to EU resident subjects.

As far as is concerned to side boats (chase-boats/tenders) having own registration and which are employed to attend the mother ship (main vessel), we are still waiting for the necessary clarifications by the Customs about the possibility to charter said chase boats to EU residents.

All the hereby listed rules and information provided might be subject to variations by the Customs Office.

Therefore please always contact us to know if something has been changed, integrated or just updated.

For any additional info or clarifications required please email us to

You can download the complete version of this news below:


Owning Companies identified for VAT in Italy by a Fiscal Representative are not required to be accredited to the SDI – Interchange System (SDI – Sistema di Interscambio ) for the e-invoicing procedure introduced by the Italian Tax Authority (Agenzia delle Entrate) starting from January 2019.

Law Decree N. 119/2018 (art. 15) amends the Italian regulation that introduced the mandatory electronic invoicing starting from 1st January 2019 (art. 1, para. 6 of Law Decree no. 127/2015) according to Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/593 from 16 April 2018 – which authorized Italy to the widespread use of electronic invoices – specifying that the obligation applies only to subjects established within the State (Italy) and not to foreign subjects identified for Italian VAT purposes, but not residing therein. This amendment implements what had been anticipated by the tax Agency in its Circular Letter no. 13/2018.

Therefore Owning Companies do not have the obligation to issue electronic invoices (e-Invoice).

This means that the actual procedure does not change and each invoice relevant to VAT due on Charters – having fiscal applicability in Italy – will still need to be issued in hard copy (paper format).

Please note that all the paper invoices issued by suppliers will need to contain the following wording: “copia cartacea della fattura” (translated: hard copy of the invoice). This will allow the Owning Company to still be able to deduct the VAT debited by the supplier. A “courtesy-copy” of the same invoice can be sent by the supplier to the client in digital format (e.g. pdf file sent by email).

A full explanation of the e-Invoicing in Italy can be consulted on the EU official website or visiting the following link:

For any questions or additional info please email us to

Italy VAT Guide 2018

The new Italian VAT Guide for 2018 is now online.
Please feel free to download it here or below.
Stay tuned and make sure to comply with the rules.
We remain always at your disposal for any sort of clarifications.
Any need please email us to

YW VAT Guide Italy 2018

Sojourn Tax in Croatia 2018

Please find below the recent NEWS released by our Croatian partner MYS Yachting.

“We would like to simplify and clarify the Sojourn Tax fee structure for private and commercial vessels in 2018 as we have noticed that there is still a lot of misunderstandings and misinterpreted information circulating in the marketplace.” Please read and note:

According to the Croatian Sojourn Tax law implemented on the 1st of January 2009 the sojourn tax is the income of Croatian tourist boards used for the improvement, development and promotion of Croatia as a tourist country.

The sojourn tax must be paid by owners of private vessels and their guests, and by the guests on board commercial vessels.


The private vessel owner(s) or his/her guests pay the sojourn tax for themselves and all persons spending the night on that vessel, on a lump sum basis. A vessel is defined as any vessel over 5 m in length with built-in beds, used for rest, recreation or cruising, which is not a nautical tourism vessel (charter yacht). The lump sum of the sojourn tax is paid at the vessel’s entry into Croatia, or, if the vessel is already in Croatia, prior to departure from the marina or port, and the tax is paid in the harbourmaster’s office. The harbourmaster office shall issue a sojourn tax receipt. The invoice for the paid sojourn tax must always be on the vessel, and the master of the vessel must present it upon request of an authorized person. The sojourn tax fee depends on the length of the vessel and the period of time the sailors will stay on board the vessel:


5 – 9 m 9 – 12 m 12 – 15 m 15 – 20 m Over 20 m
up to 8 days HRK 130
(18 Eur)
HRK 400
(55 Eur)
HRK 500
(68 Eur)
HRK 650
(88 Eur)
HRK 950
(128 Eur)
up to 15 days HRK 240
(33 Eur)
HRK 700
(95 Eur)
HRK 950
(128 Eur)
HRK 1200
(163 Eur)
HRK 1800
(244 Eur)
up to 30 days HRK 400
(55 Eur)
HRK 1200
(163 Eur)
HRK 1600
(217 Eur)
HRK 2000
(270 Eur)
HRK 3000
(406 Eur)
up to 90 days HRK 950
(128 Eur)
HRK 2900
(392 Eur)
HRK 3850
(521 Eur)
HRK 4800
(649 Eur)
HRK 7200
(973 Eur)
up to 1 year HRK 2000
(270 Eur)
HRK 5800
(784 Eur)
HRK 7700
(1041 Eur)
HRK 9600
(1298 Eur)
HRK 14500
(1960 Eur)



If a commercial vessel is coming to Croatia after starting the charter in a non-EU country (e.g. Montenegro), or if the charter has started in Croatia, the guests on board the vessel pay a sojourn tax of 1,08 EUR per person for each night that they spend on board the vessel in Croatia.

If a commercial vessel is coming to Croatia after starting the charter in an EU country (e.g. Italy) guests on board the vessel pay the lump sum of the sojourn tax depending on the length of the vessel and the period of time the guests will stay on board the vessel (same as in private vessels).

Based on the above, we would like to advise charter brokers who are booking charters in Croatia to inform their clients accordingly, and masters of vessels that are planning to do their summer season in Croatia to speak about this to their charter representatives (e.i maritime agent, charter company) and make sure the above is understood in order to avoid incorrect payments and overcharges.

Please note:

1. The crew on board both private or commercial vessels are exempt from paying sojourn taxes.

2. The payment of the sojourn tax for guests on board commercial vessels should be handled by the local charter representative (i.e. maritime agent, charter company). The master of the vessel will provide the fee to the representative from the APA prior to the guest’s departure.

For any additional clarification please do not hesitate to email us at

Cayman Islands (YET) in Italy

According to Shipping Notice 03/2017 released on 19st December 2017 by the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands, pleasure yachts registered in the Cayman Islands are now finally allowed to obtain Yacht Engaged in Trade Certification (YET). This certification includes a Yacht Engaged in Trade Certificate of Compliance (YET COC) and temporary Certificate(s) of British Registry for a Yacht Engaged in Trade (temp COBR YET) enabling the yacht to charter up to 84 days per calendar year in European (EU) waters. Please find hereby a quick summary of what the YET programme is:

A YET can be defined as a yacht of 24 metres or more in load line length, holding a valid Certificate of Class, which is voluntary compliant with all applicable commercial standards and regulations; which has obtained and maintains a Yacht Engaged in Trade Certificate of Compliance, allowing the yacht to obtain temporary Certificate(s) for a Yacht Engaged in Trade, and therefore to engaging in up to 84 days of charter per calendar year with no more than 12 passengers.

The main benefit of the program is flexibility; owners do not have to choose anymore between purely private or commercial registration. Owners can now use their yacht privately whilst being able to offset some of the running costs by offering their yacht for charter. Unlike commercially registered vessels, owners need not sign a charter agreement nor pay VAT on their own use. Unlike yachts operating under the switching regime, there is no need as well for switching between pleasure and commercial registration every time yachts change their mode of operation and use, nor to proceed with export/import formalities, leave the EU and visit a third country port each time yachts switch between pleasure and commercial use.

To be eligible to register as YETs, a yacht must either be in possession of a Value Added Tax [VAT] paid certificate or other document proving that the yacht has a VAT paid status; or operate in EU waters under the Temporary Admission [TA] regime in accordance with EU regulations meaning the yacht can enter and stay in EU waters for a period of up to 18 months without being liable to pay VAT on the hull. This second option is only available for yachts ultimately owned by non-EU residents and owned by non-EU Companies.

Pleasure yachts in possession of a valid Yacht Engaged in Trade Certificate of Compliance (YET COC) should expect to be inspected and audited as commercial yachts. Furthermore, private yachts operating under temporary Certificate(s) for a Yacht Engaged in Trade (and not only under private certificate of registration) shall be subject to inspection and control measures under the Paris Memorandum of Understanding.
For the time being pleasure yachts which are operating under a temporary YET certificate can only start their charters in Monaco, France and in Italy under certain conditions.

Please find below a quick summary of the most important points about YET:


The purpose of this Shipping Notice is to define the procedure to be followed for a Pleasure yacht registered in the Cayman Islands to obtain Yacht Engaged in Trade certification.


This Shipping Notice is applicable to all Cayman Islands registered pleasure yachts that seek to charter in EU waters, which have a VAT paid status or operate under Temporary Admission regime in EU waters.

This Shipping Notice also sets out the technical requirements necessary to qualify as a Yacht Engage in Trade.


At the present, the Cayman Island Shipping Registry offer yachts two means of registration:

  1. full registration ‘pleasure’ and
  2. full registration ‘commercial’

The Yacht Engaged in Trade (YET) program has been developed as a new dual use operation program to offer a third means of registration for commercially compliant yachts. This is to allow owners the flexibility they require to operate their yacht privately with the option to charter their yacht for up to 84 days per year while taking into account EU VAT and Port State Control requirements.

Yachts meeting the requirements of this Shipping Notice will be issued with:

  • a Cayman Islands Yacht Engaged in Trade Certificate of Compliance (YET COC) and
  • temporary Certificate(s) of British Registry for a Yacht Engaged in Trade (temp COBR YET) covering the charter periods or periods of commercial promotion. These certificates authorize yachts to charter for up to 84 days per calendar year in European (EU) waters.

Yachts wishing to engage in trade activities are required to be in compliance with:

  1. the Merchant Shipping (Vessels in Commercial Use for Sport & Pleasure) Regulations, 2002;
  2. the applicable sections of the Large Yacht Code;
  3. this Shipping Notice; and
  4. all other applicable and international requirements.


  1. Ultimate Beneficial Owners can privately use their yacht without losing the option to charter the yacht on an occasional basis to offset the annual running costs
  2. Eliminates the need for switching between pleasure and commercial registration every time the yacht is to change its mode of operation and use
  3. Eliminates the need to proceed to export/import formalities and the need to leave the EU and visit a third country post each time the yacht is to switch between pleasure and commercial use
  4. Ultimate Beneficial Owners do not need to sign a charter agreement when using their own yacht on a private basis
  5. Ultimate Beneficial Owners do not need to pay VAT on their own use
  6. No risk of substantial penalties for extensive pleasure use
  7. VAT Exemption is available on works for non-VAT paid yachts (inward processing relief regime)
  8. The 18-month Temporary Admission allowance period is paused each time the yacht is used as a Yacht Engaged in Trade (YET) and placed under Temporary Admission for Commercial Activity (TACA YET)


  1. The yacht must be 24 metres or more in length
  2. The yacht must be in possession of a Cayman Islands Pleasure Certificate of British Registry (Pleasure COBR)
  3. The yacht must successfully undergo an initial Compliance Verification survey in accordance with section 6 of this Shipping Notice
  4. The yacht must comply fully with the requirements of the relevant chapters of the Large Yacht Code
  5. The yacht must be classed by a Classification Society recognised by the Administration
  6. The yacht must operate in full commercial compliance at all times, whether engaged in trade or not; including full commercial compliance with all applicable national requirements and international Conventions’
  7. Yachts with a gross tonnage of less than 500, shall implement a Safety Management System as per the requirements of the Large Yacht Code. There is no requirement for a yacht under 500 gross tonnage to engage the services of a shore based company or Designated Person Ashore.
  8. The yacht must have a documented planned maintenance system for all identified critical equipment
  9. The yacht must hold a valid International Load Line Certificate issued in accordance with the Large Yacht Code for at least a short-range yacht
  10. The yacht must be issued with a Cayman Islands Yacht Engaged in Trade Certificate of Compliance (YET COC) and temporary Certificate(s) of British Registry for a Yacht Engaged in Trade (temp COBR YET) covering the charter periods or periods of commercial promotion


  1. Whilst engaged in trade and operating under a temporary Certificate of British Registry as a Yacht Engaged in Trade (temp COBR YET), yachts are subject to any operational limitation included in the Yacht Engaged in Trade Certificate of Compliance (YET COC)
  2. Commercial operations / charters are limited to a maximum of 84 days per calendar year
  3. A maximum of 12 passengers may be carried
  4. Charters are currently limited to Monaco and French waters
  5. Owner’s pleasure use is not allowed during the period of validity of the temporary Certificate(s) of British Registry for a Yacht Engaged in Trade (temp COBR YET)
  6. A signed Master’s Limited Trade Declaration for a Yacht Engaged in Trade (YET) shall be made and retained for inspection on board
  7. Yachts certified as Yachts Engaged in Trade are not entitled to apply for any VAT exemptions on fuel or supplies


  1. The registered owner of the yacht must submit registration application form and complete the applicable ‘Yacht Engaged in Trade’ (YET) declaration in section 5 of the registered form
  2. The yacht owner, manager or representative shall submit all applicable documentation to the Administration for Pre-Registration Vetting
  3. If not already in possession of a Large Yacht Code Compliance Certificate, the yacht must successfully undergo an initial Compliance Verification survey in accordance with section 7 of this Shipping Notice upon which a Yacht Engaged in Trade Certificate of Compliance (YET COC) shall be issued
  4. The yacht owner shall arrange for EU customs formalities to be addressed by the Customs Broker in the name of the Importer/Exporter
  5. The yacht must either:
  • Be in possession of a Value Added Tax (VAT) paid certificate or other document proving that the yacht has a VAT paid status; or
  • Operate in EU waters under the Temporary Admission (TA) regime in accordance with EU regulations which allows the yacht to enter and stay in EU waters for a period of up to 18 months without being liable to pay VAT on the full. This option is only available to yachts ultimately owned by non-EU residents and owned by non-EU Companies.

Note: a Customs Broker is only required to carry out customs formalities on behalf of the Importer/Exporter for yachts operating under Temporary Admission (TA).

The procedure includes:

  • The yacht being placed under Temporary Admission (TA) followed by Temporary Admission for Commercial Activity for a Yacht Engaged in Trade (TACA YET);
  • Issuance of the relevant oral declaration for the placement of the yacht under Temporary Admission (TA);
  • Issuance of the relevant import/export forms to provide clearance in and out for the yacht from the Temporary Admission for Commercial Activity for a Yacht Engaged in Trade (TACA YET) regime, during the period trade activities are undertaken.
  1. At the end of the charter or period of commercial promotion, the Importer/Exporter shall remove the yacht from the Temporary Admission for Commercial Activity for a Yacht Engaged in Trade (TACA YET) regime.

Part of the hereby provided info has been provided by other site. More info will follow soon. Please stay tuned and always email to to know more about new laws and rules applying in the Med.

Download CISR Shipping Notice 03/2017

VAT News 2018


On September 2017, the Italian Tax Authorities (Agenzia Delle Entrate) and the Association of Italian Shipbuilding Industry (“Unione Nazionale Cantieri e Industrie Nautiche”, “UCINA”), issued the general guidelines on tax and yachting matters (Guidelines), contained in the book “Nautica & Fisco (see also”. The Guidelines provide further explanations about VAT exemption for transactions related to vessels:

a. used for commercial purposes
b. used for navigation on the high seas (“navi adibite alla navigazione in alto mare”).

Primarily, on 12 January 2017, Agenzia Delle Entrate issued the Resolution 2/E providing certain clarifications on the definition of vessels used for navigation on the high seas for the purpose of the application of the exemption regime under Article 8-bis, letter a) and letter d) of the Presidential Decree No. 633/1972.
Specifically, the above mentioned Article 8-bis reproduces the content of Article 148, letter a), c) and d) of Directive 112/2006/EU, providing for an exemption of certain operations relating to “vessels used for navigation on the high seas and for carrying passengers for reward or used for the purpose of commercial, industrial or fishing activities”.
In this respect, taking into account the position expressed by the Court of Justice of European Union, the Agenzia Delle Entrate pointed out that:

1. In order to benefit of the exemption regime, the condition that the vessel shall be “used for navigation on the high seas” refers to vessels carrying passengers for reward, or used for the purpose of commercial, industrial or fishing activities, but it does not refer to vessels used for rescue or assistance at sea or to vessels engaged in inshore fishing (CJEU, Elmeka, joint proceedings C-181/04 e C-183/04).

2. For VAT purposes, “high seas” shall be intended as that part of the sea exceeding the maximum limit of 12 nautical miles from the base lines under International Law of the Sea (Article 3 of the Montego Bay Convention of 1982).

3. In order to assure that the exemption regime under Article 8-bis of Presidential Decree 633/1972 is applied, with limited reference to the cases provided by the law (i.e., only to vessels actually and for the predominant part navigating on the high seas), it not sufficient to exclusively take into account the length or tonnage of the vessel.

For the above reasons, the Agenzia Delle Entrate clarifies that “a vessel can be considered as used for navigation on the high seas if, with reference to the preceding year, she has effected, by more than 70%, voyages in the high seas (i.e., beyond the 12 nautical miles)” and “such condition shall be verified for each tax period based on official documentation”.

With specific regards to the adequate “official documentation” necessary to prove the prevalence of voyages carried at the high seas, the Resolution No. 6/E, released by the Italian Tax Authority (Agenzia delle Entrate) on 16th January 2018, provides the below list of documents that shall be considered as “official”:

i. the Log Book (also known as ship’s log or captain’s log), according to articles 169-173 and 174 of the Italian Navigation Code (Codice della Navigazione).
ii. The maps of voyages as well as the data extracted from the ship’s tracking or identification systems (for instance, with no limitation, the A.I.S., GPS, etc.).
iii. The charter contracts, invoices and relevant payments.

As of today, such documentation is absolutely necessary to prove the “high sea cruising condition”. If the Company owning the vessel is not able to provide the suppliers with all or any of the above listed official documents, a mere statement issued by the yacht Owner/Master (self-declaration) declaring the “high sea cruising status” of the vessel might suffice just if the Declarant (Owner, Captain, Master, Manager, or any other person in charge for this, clearly listing his connection with the vessel or position on board, etc.), clearly explains the reasons why it is not possible to provide the required documents.


Pursuant to the Guidelines and according to the provisions contained into the Resolution No. 6/E dated 16th January 2018, “voyage” shall mean any cruise carried out between ports (Italian, EU and/or non-EU ports) where embarkation/disembarkation of goods and/or people take place or more generally where said ports are used by the vessel for the purposes of carrying its commercial activity. Within the same Resolution (6/E) the Italian Tax Authority clarified that for “voyage” shall be intended also any cruise starting from and coming to the same port (also known as “circular cruises” or “circular voyages”). If during a “circular voyage” (starting from and coming to the same Italian port) the 12 nautical miles at some point will be crossed by the vessel to sail the high seas, said voyage is qualified as an “international voyage” (voyage at the high seas). Further, any voyage entirely carried outside the Italian territorial waters (exempli gratia: any charter contract having both embarkation and disembarkation places in France) shall be considered as international voyages (voyage at the high seas) as well. If on the contrary a “circular voyage” will only take place within the 12 nm Italian territorial line, said voyage cannot be considered as an “international voyage”.

Lastly – still in respect of the calculation of the 70% of voyages – the Italian Tax Authority explained, with Resolution 6/E, that any displacement (moving from/to) of the vessel to one other port or shipyard for technical reasons (even if those reasons are connected to the vessel’s commercial activity) cannot be considered as a “voyage” and so cannot be included into the calculation of the 70% of voyages.

Moreover, the “high sea cruising condition” shall be verified each year. In case of a percentage of voyages greater than 70% during a calendar year, the VAT exemption pursuant to Article 8-bis applies to the following calendar year. In the event that the percentage above does not exceed 70% during the calendar year, it shall be no longer possible to enjoy the VAT exemption as from 1 January of the following year, except in the special cases listed hereinafter:

a. the vessel is under construction, or
b. the vessel has not yet carried out any voyage in the sea.

Only in these cases, it could be possible to apply the VAT exemption on the basis of a statement declaring the intention to use the vessel on the high seas. Therefore, in order to issue an invoice VAT exempted under Article 8-bis, the supplier shall require the owner or the person responsible for the yacht (for example, the master of the yacht) to provide a statement attesting: the declarant’s personal data, the legal status of the declarant in relation to the vessel and the period for which the statement is provided. However, in the following year, the declarant shall verify if “70% high sea voyages condition” is met and, in the event of a failure in reaching the 70% of voyages on high sea, he shall inform the supplier accordingly. On the contrary, if such condition is met, the declarant shall provide the supplier with the official documentation proving that voyages on high sea, as described above, have been carried out.


To enjoy the VAT exemption, in addition to the “high sea cruising condition”, another condition shall be met. Said condition is that the vessel must be used for commercial purposes. Therefore, any transaction related to vessel intended for sport or pleasure purposes shall be excluded from the VAT exemption.
Firstly, it has to be pointed out that, VAT exemption shall apply, in any case, to vessels registered in the International Register, since such registration implies that the registered vessels shall be used for commercial purposes only.
In addition, the Italian pleasure yacht code (“Codice della Nautica da Diporto”) provides a list of cases of commercial use of pleasure yacht, including, charter, leasing, professional teaching of navigation and activities carried out by diving centres using the vessel as basis for diving; for which, generally, the VAT exemption also applies.
However, to benefit of the VAT exemption, the commercial use of pleasure yachts shall be attested by a public register (Italian, International or foreign). Hence, as a general rule, the relevant foreign Harbor Authority or the relevant foreign shipping register shall indicate the use for business purposes of the vessel by inserting, for example, the wording “Commercial Yacht”/“Commercial Vessel/ Yacht in commercial use” in the relevant records. The VAT exemption, as above described, also applies to any advanced payment made during the construction of pleasure yachts, in accordance with the terms of the contract executed between the parties. When the VAT exemption is required for the purchase of a new pleasure yacht, the seller shall require a certificate of the Company Register attesting that that the buyer’s core business is a commercial activity in the maritime sector.
Finally, it has to be underlined that, the transfer of a vessel, registered or to be registered for non-commercial use (private use), to a natural person, shall not qualify for VAT exemption.
Moreover, to register a pleasure yacht as having commercial purposes when it is conversely used for personal purposes may imply significant sanctions. In fact, by law, pleasure yacht used for commercial purposes must be exclusively used for the activities for which they are officially registered. Nevertheless, the use of private pleasure yacht for occasional charter activities is allowed by law, but it never can be qualified as commercial use for VAT exemption purpose.

Part of the hereby provided info has been provided by
For any questions or additional info please email us to

Download useful files and documents:

YW News “VAT” 2018 (pdf)
Resolution 6/E January 2018
Resolution 2/E Januery 2017

Italy Cancels VAT Rise

Sanremo, 21st December 2017



The Italian Council of Ministers has overturned plans and announced the country’s new financial measures for 2018. Italian value-added tax will not rise in 2018, although it is scheduled to increase in 2019 and 2020 asper below listed:

10% VAT will go up by 1.5% in January 2019 and a further 1.5% in 2020.
22% VAT will increase by 2.2% in 2019 and by an additional 0.7% in 2020 and another 0.1% in 2021.
Excise Tax will also go up in 2019.

Any question can be sent to