'Italian sailing magic - accessible again Photo by Kurt Arrigo'
Cruising sailors thinking of sailing in Italian waters any time soon can relax about what it will cost them. A new law coming into effect in May 2012 would have incurred a 'berthing tax' to stay in Italy. The tax has been amended so that only Italian-owned yachts are affected. The tax would have cost 10 euros every day for yachts from 14-17 metres (50% discount for sailing boats), and reached as high as 703 euros a day for mega yachts.
These fees, which will still apply to Italian-flagged and owned yachts, were to be in addition to all other fees like docking.
The President of Federagenti Yacht (Italian Ship Agents) Division, Fulvio Luise, representing agents who look after the logistics of mega yachts in Italy, expressed satisfaction that foreign citizens who own a vessel are now to be exempt from the tax, regardless of the length of stay in the country.
'The passing of this amendment is an important recognition to the economic impact the yachting industry has in Italy and we look forward to welcoming new and returning mega yacht clients to Italian waters this summer,' he told Superyacht Times.
'In fact our most recent data shows that 96% of foreign visitors on mega yachts who select Italy as their destination of choice, generate an important economic impact to our local economies along the coastline. Each year 200 million euro is managed and spent by maritime agencies on behalf of mega yacht clients in everything from fuel, provisions, logistics, flowers, entertainment and repairs.
'The legislative process has not yet concluded, however with this important normative passed, we sincerely hope that it will be officially confirmed shortly. This will allow us to compete on an equal playing field with other countries in the Mediterranean for this important sector of the yachting market, and to continue to promote one of the most valued aspects of our country, nautical tourism.'
So Italy, which yachts were preparing to avoid in droves for more friendly countries of Montenegro, Croatia and Turkey, is back in the business of welcoming foreign-flagged yachts. Your planned sailing holiday to Italy can be reinstated!
by Nancy Knudsen
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8:11 PM Fri 2 Mar 2012GMT
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