Old VAT scheme still in force. Book your Italian Charter now!

Sanremo 5th October 2020

It definitely is the right time to book your Italian Charter for season 2021.

The Italian Agency of Revenue (Agenzia Delle Entrate) never ceases to amaze us. This time positively! This past 30th September the Resolution N. 62/E has been issued and released by Rome.

For all intents and purposes the new Resolution provides that the old VAT scheme (also known as the “6.6% rule”) will still remain applicable to all charter contracts concluded within 31st October 2020.

Please know that Resolution 62/E 2020 applies either to short term contract (Charter) and to long terms contract, leasing contract, rental contract and similar ones.

We need to remind you all that for the Italian law (art. 1326 Civil Code) the contract is concluded in the moment, in which the offeror gains the knowledge of the acceptation by the offeree.

The acceptation must reach the offeror by the time limit set up by himself or by the time usually necessary according to the nature of the contract or according to general use. The offeror can hold effective the late acceptation, if he informs the other party immediately about this decision. If the offeror requests a certain form for the acceptation, the acceptation has no effects if it is set up in another form. An acceptation not corresponding to the offer is a new offer.

An Addendum where new terms and conditions are agreed corresponds to a new contract.

Therefore be careful on later addendums as it all depends by the provisions (e.g. new departure place, etc.) contained into the contract agreement stipulated by the parties and the date when the contract agreement is considered as concluded by the law.

For any additional info or clarification please contact us to info@yachtwelfare.it.

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 info@yachtwelfare.it. Our Team of Lawyers and Fiscal Advisors is always available to assist you during your Charter Season in the Mediterranean Sea.

25% YES OR NOT?

Sanremo, 14th April 2019

25% YES OR NOT?

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


25% DUTY TO APPLY TO US BUILT BOATS

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.


CHARTER UNDER TEMPORARY ADMISSION STATUS

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 info@yachtwelfare.it


You can download the complete version of this news below:


“E-INVOICE” NOT REQUIRED

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: https://ec.europa.eu/cefdigital/wiki/display/CEFDIGITAL/eInvoicing+in+Italy.

For any questions or additional info please email us to info@yachtwelfare.it

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 info@yachtwelfare.it.


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 SOJOURN TAX FEE – FOR PRIVATE 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)

 

THE SOJOURN TAX FEE – FOR COMMERCIAL VESSELS  (charter yachts)

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 info@yachtwelfare.it.

VAT News 2018

VAT EXEMPTION REGIME APPLICABLE TO VESSELS

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 https://ucina.net/en/ucina-new-tax-rules-for-the-nautical-sector/)”. 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.


DEFINITION OF “VOYAGE”

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.


COMMERCIAL USE (THE CONDITION)

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 ucina.net.
For any questions or additional info please email us to info@yachtwelfare.it


Download useful files and documents:

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

2017 Rules in Croatia

Please find below a detailed update for 2017 released by our Croatian partner:

Part of our business is keeping up with the ever changing maritime laws and regulations in the region. So with the possibility of some important changes to charter tax potentially being instated this year, we’ve been keen to inform everyone in the industry. We were going to wait until the changes took effect before sending out this update, but after hearing conflicting information from many other people in the industry outside of the country, we decided to send it out early. It covers the main VAT regulations and charter activities in Croatia that are set to change this year. Of course, we will continue to release pertinent information as we learn more from the relevant authorities. The following are the changes we have been informed of that should come into force for the upcoming 2017 season.
VAT and Charter Regulation Changes for 2017:

1. VAT will be charged to all commercial yachts that start charters (embark guests) in 3rd countries, proportionate to the time spent in Croatia. For instance, if a yacht embarks guests in Montenegro and comes to Croatia for 6 days, charter guests will need to pay Croatian VAT for 6 days.
2. All non-EU flagged commercial yachts will be allowed to perform charters in Croatia, but will be required to obtain a charter license. There is no longer a limit on the yacht’s length in order to perform charters in Croatia. The license will be valid for the calendar year. The number of licenses issued might be limited based on the Croatian market supply situation. Please note from the above info, ALL non-EU flagged commercial yachts will be able to start charters in Croatia if they obtain a charter license and have a charter and VAT representative!
3. Commercial yacht owners and owning companies are allowed to perform charters in Croatia, either through charter companies / ship agents or if they open their own charter company in Croatia.
4. Commercial yacht owners and owning companies from the EU are NOT obliged to have a VAT and fiscal representative in Croatia, while yacht owning companies from non-EU countries ARE obliged to have a VAT and fiscal representative in Croatia.
5. Private yachts will still be able to embark and disembark their guests in Croatia regardless of flag. In cases where the owner and family members are not onboard, the Captain will have to have an authorized list of people with: 1) names of guests and, 2) length of time that these guests will spend on the yacht. This list of people will have to be authorized by the Captain’s signature and the yacht’s stamp.
6. VAT for charter activities in Croatia is still 13% for weekly charters and 25% for daily charters.

As soon as the administration finalizes and publishes the relevant information under points 1 and 2 above, we will inform you immediately. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time
Advice: if you are coming to Croatia this season and plan on having a busy charter season, you should start preparing NOW.
Thank you for your time and attention. All the best and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

70% of what?

Sanremo, 6th February 2017

The Convention on the High Seas (replaced by United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) defined “high seas” to mean “all parts of the sea that are not included in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State” and where “no State may validly purport to subject any part of them to its sovereignty“.

Consequently “high seas seagoing ship” means a ship other than those which navigate exclusively into the 12 nautical miles territorial waters, inland waters or in waters within, or closely adjacent to, sheltered waters or areas where port regulations apply.

Resolution No.2/E, released by Agenzia delle Entrate (Italian Tax Office) on 12th January 2017, gives a clear interpretation of “high seas” not only in relation to the technical nature of the ship but also to its fiscal aspects. In accordance to the provisions of said Resolution, a ship can be qualified as a “high seas seagoing ship” if she has performed more than 70% of the voyages sailing the “high seas” in the past calendar year.

If the ship effectively met this specific condition (voyages > 70%), she is qualified to benefit of the VAT exemption according to Article 8-bis, which meets the provisions of Article 148 points a), c) e d) of the EU Directive 112/2006/CE, stating that the VAT exemption regime can be applied to those commercial operations done by vessels “used for navigation on the high seas and carrying passenger for reward or used for commercial purposes (including the Charter activity), industrial or fishing activities”.

Official proofs and documents needs to be provided to attest that the ship really performed more than 70% of the voyages sailing the “high seas”.

Therefore Italy really seems about to follow in the footsteps of France with its law from 12th May 2015, better known to all as BOFiP (the French regulations governing VAT exemption).

For what is closely related to the Yachting and Charter industry, the hereinbefore mentioned commercial operations can be quickly summarized in the following points:

a. purchase of goods and provisions
b. purchase of fuel and lube oil (bunkering)
c. purchase of spare parts, machineries and equipment in general
d. repair and maintenance works on board

Despite the Italian Tax Authorities have provided clear information they didn’t provide complete ones. In fact there’s still plenty of grey areas and perplexities such as the way to calculate the 70% (time or number of voyages?), which documents and proofs can be considered as “official”, etc.
The most involved Italian fiscal representatives are now working hard to collect all the necessary info which will be shared with you as soon as possible.

For any additional info please call or email us to info@yachtwelfare.it. We remain at your disposal.

 

DOWNLOAD

Resolution-2E (Original)
YW News 2017-01 (pdf)