March 8, 2024

The inaugural Captain Symposium, held at Isle de Sol IGY Marina in Sint Maarten, marked a significant milestone as five top agencies from the Mediterranean provided crucial updates for the upcoming yachting season. With a focus on essential information for captains navigating the varied regulations across EU countries, each representative highlighted distinct topics, showcasing the nuanced laws and interpretations by their respective governments.Marta Spreafico, representing Spain on behalf of Lantimar Yachting, played a pivotal role in the symposium. Her presentation shed light on the favorable conditions offered by Spanish immigration and Port Authorities, making it easier for yachts to meet restrictions compared to other countries. Spain has been steadily gaining popularity as a cruising destination for megayachts over the past five years, a trend expected to surge with the opening of new marinas like Málaga and the hosting of the America’s Cup 2024 in Barcelona. Marta also provided valuable insights into the characteristics of charter licenses and tax structures essential for navigating commercial activities in Spanish waters.Moving west to east, the symposium covered updates from France and Monaco, where Mark Ravnholt from Catalano Shipping Services emphasized the ease of importing before commercial activities. France and Monaco stand out as accessible countries from a fiscal perspective, offering options like MYBA charter style and transport contracts at lower VAT rates. However, restrictions on anchorages along the coasts, including Corsica, were outlined, underscoring the need for prior requests for vessels exceeding 70m LOA.Alberto Cadeddu of Nautica Assistance presented the Italian status, highlighting ongoing challenges such as the YET registry not being accepted by customs. Despite this, immigration offices are disregarding regulations related to non-Schengen crew members, suggesting the D-Visa as a practical solution. Croatia, having become a Schengen member in 2023, showcased stricter immigration rules but increased accessibility for EU Commercially Registered Yachts with no limitations on LOA and non-EU commercial registered vessels above 24m LOA.One of the symposium’s focal points was the Greek government’s opening to foreign-flagged vessels for charter activities, expertly detailed by Eleni Zournantzi from Neptunea. The comprehensive presentation covered licensing procedures, usage regulations, clearance documentation, and updates on immigration rules, along with insights into various marinas.Throughout the symposium, attendees had the opportunity to pose specific questions to each country’s representative, fostering a direct and informative dialogue. The commitment of all agents, including Marta Spreafico, to keeping captains and brokers updated through newsletters underscores the importance of ongoing communication and education in the dynamic maritime industry.The Isle de Sol IGY Marina team, in collaboration with the IGY Marketing Team, demonstrated exemplary organization, laying the groundwork for future editions. As the symposium concluded, the collaborative effort of industry stakeholders was evident, highlighting the paramount importance of continuous dialogue and education in navigating the ever-shifting currents of maritime regulations. Lantimar Yachting’s active participation, played a crucial role in ensuring captains are well-informed and prepared for the diverse challenges and opportunities across Spanish waters.

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