Welcome news from Spain’s State Budget Bill for 2021 with reference to the use and enjoyment provision of Article 58 of EU Council Directive 2006/112/EC.
Previously, all charters starting in Spain and sailing into international waters were taxed at Spain’s standard VAT rate of 21%.
This put the Spanish charter market at a disadvantage compared to other EU countries who implemented lower taxation incentives.
In accordance with the Directive, charters starting outside the VAT area and entering into community waters could also be taxed and Spain implemented national legislation to apply VAT to charters than began outside the VAT area on the segment of the journey taking place in Spanish waters.
This has now been amended in the budget statement to exclude the application of the rule to the Spanish special territories of Ceuta and Melilla (outside the VAT Area, EU Customs Territory and Excise Duties Area) and the Canary Islands (outside the VAT Area, but within the EU Customs Territory and Excise Duties Area) from being subject to Spanish VAT where the charterer embarks in one of these ports.
Local taxation would still apply but Melilla, in particular, is embracing the news and using the opportunity to encourage superyachts to start charters there. Using its autonomous powers, it has further reduced the rate for charter operations from 4% to 0.5%, the lowest rate permitted under its own Production, Services and Importation Tax (IPSI) regulations.