by Des Ryan
Roving Mediterranean cruisers are being given one more reason to head for lower cost regimes like Turkey. The Italian government is planning to tax you for anchoring in, or even outside, its ports.
Head east young sailor: Anchoring in Turkey is still largely free
As part of its plans to overhaul the county’s plight the Italian Government is planning to introduce a significant 'Berthing Tax' for yachts - but it includes anchoring.
Beginning in May 2012, all yachts over 10 metres will, if ratified by government, be taxed on a daily basis if they decide to moor up inside a harbour — or even anchor off outside a harbour.
Those of 24 metres and over will be taxed at a rate of €150 per day if they stay at anchor off a port or tie alongside a dock inside one. This would mean that if you stayed for a year in an Italian port you would pay € 54,750.00 per year.
Yachts in dry dock will receive a 50% discount. Those over five years old would get a 15 per cent discount, those over 10 years a 30 per cent discount, and veterans of 15 years or older would receive a 45 per cent discount.
This measure is part of Decreto Legge 6 Dicembre 2011 n. 201, a draft Italian Statute currently under discussion before the Italian Parliament.
Nicknamed by Prime Minister, Mario Monti, during a recent speech as the 'Save Italy' law, it forms part of a very extensive new tax regime whose efforts are to reduce Italy’s massive deficit.
But Italy might find that there is an exodus of yachts from the Italian coastline towards Slovenia (where there isn't much coastline), Croatia and Turkey.