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Anchoring Tax in French Waters

Project of tax for anchoring in managed marine areas in French waters - a threat to yachting in the Mediterranean

A new project of tax for anchoring in managed marine areas in French waters has been announced. This could be a real disaster for the yachting industry in the Mediterranean.
 
The current situation is as follows:
 
As part of the bill on the new territorial organization of the French Republic, the Government has proposed beginning of the year, without any prior consultation with the parties concerned, to impose an anchorage tax on any vessel anchored inside a Marine Protected Area; “Law NOTRe”
 
The law shall apply to the following :
  • On the mainland from 1st of June to the 30th of September ( for areas attracting few visitors)
  • For areas attracting large numbers of visitors on the mainland and overseas, all year round
  • In managed areas ( national parks, Natura 2000 areas, protected marine areas)
  • Each administration will decide which areas under its management shall be covered by the law
  • For yachts, the tax is capped at 20 euros per day per linear meter
  • Coming into force : summer 2016

It is evident that if the bill is passed by the French parliament it will be a serious matter for the Yachting Industry. This measure is directly comparable to the tax that was introduced in 2006 in Sardinia, and abolished three years later after great pressure and joined force action from the Italian Yachting Industry, following the disaster occasioned on the local economy. The number of yachts cruising in that area had dropped by 50% following the introduction of that law.

The proposed bill is also considered as a threat to the attractiveness of the French coast itself at a time when both Italy and Spain are making tax incentives to attract foreign yacht users to their shores.
 
The bill was rejected once however, the government has again put the bill on the agenda and filed a new amendment.

The French Riviera CCI has decided to take action and to join forces with other local Associations and yachting professionals to influence the upcoming debates in the National Assembly and the voting of the bill.
 
Following that action an on-line petition was initiated to stop this project which can be found by clicking on the following link:  
 
http://www.riviera-ports.com/en/news/a-serious-threat-to-the-future-of-yachting
 
Do not hesitate to circulate the information as France needs to get as many votes as possible to block the anchorage tax provisions from being passed by the Senate and afterwards by the Chamber of Deputies on the second reading. This could be a real disaster for the Yachting Industry in the region.

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