Charlotte Munro caught up with Alex Chumillas, Partner with Tax Marine Barcelona during the recent Superyacht Symposium 2015, organised by the Malta Institute of Management at The Westin Dragonara Resort. In this interview, Charlotte finds out why it is advisable for yacht owners and operators to have independent advice about the latest changes.
MBR: What can you tell us about the changing EU Tax landscape and how it affects super yachts?
AC: The EU tax landscape has been subject to many changes since the entry into force of the new VAT regulations on January 2010 and the resolution of the ECJ — Bacino case — which brought VAT into the charter operations, exempt until that time of VAT. These changes together with the recent challenge of the French Commercial Exemption regime in France by the European Commission has brought additional uncertainty. This is not positive for a sector such as the super yacht. We must bear in mind that the assets involved in this market are of high value and very sensitive to uncertainty, specially tax uncertainty. In my view it would be necessary to revise harmonization of the tax regime and simplification of the rules. MBR: There is a lot of talk about security and a pretty crowded market too. Tell me more about the security aspect of your audit? What makes it unique? AC: Our firm specialises in tax support to the yachting industry. Nowadays with the continuous tax changes in the tax regulations it is advisable for yacht owners and operators to have independent advice about the latest changes and provide guidance on the right procedures to follow. Our firm has been involved in the yachting industry for more than 15 years. Our team of lawyers and economists can provide advice on all the matters surrounding yachting in Spain. Beside this Tax Marine is part of Easytax network, an European network covering fiscal services from Spain to Croatia and expanding, so we can provide assistance to our clients all across the Mediterranean. MBR: How would the superyacht industry benefit from an independent auditor? AC: My view nowadays is that it is advisable to have independent and professional advice capable to provide guidance in this difficult legal environment provided the great number of regulations affecting superyachts operations and the continuous changes the industry is subject to. Vilfr MY VIEW IT WOULD BE NECESSARY A R m oN izATioN TOF O RTHEEVTI TAX X IME AND SIMPLIFICATION OF THE RULES MBR: What type of super yacht customers should Malta attract and from which countries? AC: Malta has done a great job I the last years; it became the first destination for superyacht registration in Europe. We look with lot of interest the progress made by your country from Spain. We are trying to learn from you. Certainly a client minded authorities make a difference. In my view Malta has a great potential to keep attracting superyacht owners and is the perfect entrance for non EU yacht owners wishing to bring their vessels to Europe. MBR: Do you think Malta can become a home to superyacht professionals from all sectors within the industry? AC: As I said Malta is a hub for superyachts. Beside the favourable tax and legal frame, you count with the right facilities and a fantastic climate and people. For sure more and more professionals are tempted to move in. The growth of facilities and the increasing demand for high quality services in the sector will attract professionals from all sectors. I am pretty sure the future only can be more and more promising for Malta. All Rights Reserved I Copyright 2015
CORPORATE BRIEF Director of Tax Marine Spain. More than fifteen years of experience as tax & legal consultant in yacht tax matters. Member of major associations in Spain CEC, CGAC and member of the British YBDSA. Founding member of the Barcelona Nautical Cluster. Regular speaker at international conferences and lecturer at several Spanish universities.