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French anchorage tax plans scrapped

The French government has dropped plans to introduce an anchorage tax on yachts of all sizes cruising in France that would have cost a 40m superyacht up to €800 per day.

This followed a protest by the European Committee for Professional Yachting (ECYP) against proposals, claiming it was “capable of wrecking” the yachting industry in the country.

As part of the NOTRe proposals, the French government was trying to tax yachts cruising in 322 “managed marine areas”. It would have impacted an area of 34045mi², which is equivalent to 23.63 per cent of France’s territorial waters.

If it had passed, the legislation would have come into force in summer 2016 and would have affected yachts of any size. The government proposed the tax be capped at €20 per day per linear metre, which means it would have cost a 40m superyacht up to €800 each day.

“It is evident that if the bill is passed by the French parliament it will be a disaster for yachting,” said a statement by the EYCP in March.

“As the representative of yachting professionals and of commercial and private yacht owners, ECPY has joined forces with others association to voice our concern and demand the deletion of this appalling bill capable of wrecking the maritime economy as a whole and the yachting industry in particular.”

Riviera Ports, the port authority for the region, was also against the proposals.

“These marine protected areas are largely navigation zones that are frequently used by boaters,” it said in a statement. “The bill will hit all European boaters who are used to mooring on our coastline.

“This measure is directly comparable to the tax that was introduced in 2006 in Sardinia, and abolished three years later due to the disastrous consequences on number of boats visiting the Sardinian coastline and on the coastal economy.”

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