No-VAT French charter yachts until EU decides

Sailing in France - this could be a good year to go
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If you are thinking of chartering a sailing boat in French waters any time soon, this could be your year. At the moment, French charter companies are not having to add VAT to their charter prices owing to some indecision on the part of the EU.

It is the EU Commission’s decision to delay its decision on the legality of French proposals for VAT exemption on charter contracts that could play into the hands of charterers looking to spend their summer on the Côte d’Azur.

Thierry Voisin of the superyacht service provider by the same name told www.superyachtnews.com!Superyacht_News that he believes a decision is unlikely before August. Further, until the Commission gives its ruling, Voisin says, charter contracts can still be entered into without the addition of VAT.

'They have 60 days now to think about how they respond to our proposal and then another 60 days before they enforce it in France. So In my opinion, the earliest we’ll get a decision is the end of July/beginning of August.'

Voisin admits that a change in contractual obligations during the high season would be problematic, and he hopes that this decision is stalled until September. But every cloud has a silver lining, and for Voisin this manifests itself in the retention of current VAT-free charter contracts.

'This way we get to carry on with the VAT exemption until mid-July, or maybe even September', he said. 'It is a legal game of back and forth but, in the end, the service to the end client is unlikely to change.'

Considering the tendency for charterers to test the market by booking last minute in recent years, it is hoped that this may force their hand and trigger a spate of early French bookings that would qualify for VAT exemption.

Now is your chance, and if you miss the opportunity don't say we didn't tell you!