Numerous questions remain over definitions for a number of terms and expressions within the EU Directive that introduced the charges (see our article from March 2011: http://www.ypigroup.com/yachting-news/french-vat-yacht-charter.htm) in particular the meaning of the line: "used for navigation on the high seas" however it seems Brussels is clearly not going to let up.
“Industry representatives have been working with French Ministers and legal specialists to find a solution to this issue for months,” explains Senior YPI Charter Broker, Annemarie Gathercole. “Following on from the solutions and compromises we found earlier this summer to the Italian VAT issue, a number of alternatives are being considered to at least reduce the level of VAT that might be applied."
For the moment, whilst it is still business as usual, it would seem prudent for charterers to be aware that a charge to VAT whilst in French waters is probably imminent. However issues such as what the rate might be, whether it would apply to fuel as well as the value of the charter, what exceptions there may be and indeed how feasible it is to even imagine such a charge being properly implemented in time for the summer of 2013 all remains in the air.
YPI continues to monitor all developments and will continue to work through our industry network and representatives to ensure the best interests of yachting and our clients are properly represented and protected.