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VAT increase on luxury yacht charters in Greece

The Greek yachting industry is urging potential charterers not to be put off visiting the country despite an increase in VAT.

The amount of tax to be paid on luxury yacht charters in Greece has risen from 13% to 23% thanks to a wider 10% VAT increase introduced as part of new austerity measures in the country. The Greek Yachting Association (GYA) has now confirmed that the new rate of VAT is “due for all charters executed in Greece from July 20 onwards, irrespective of the date the charter contract was signed”.

The amount of extra VAT to pay will depend on the vessel being chartered. For charters that last three days of more superyachts will fit into two categories that will offer a discounted rate.

Vessels that are “entitled to perform international cruises” will have 60% discount. This means that the VAT rate will only be 9.2%, still a 4% increase. Meanwhile “vessels entitled to perform long range cruises within the Greek waters” will have a 50% discount. Therefore the new VAT rate for this category will rise to 11.5% from 6.5%.

There is no discount for cruises that are less than 48 hours so therefore the full 23% VAT rate will have to be paid.

Despite financial uncertainty in the country the industry has worked hard to ensure that it has remained "Business as usual" for Greek luxury yacht charters.

President of the GYA and CEO of Atlanta Golden Yachts Michael Skoulikidis told Boat International that this latest VAT increase was “not alarming”.

“Even after the recent rise, the VAT level in Greece remains similar to that of many European countries,” Skoulikidis said. “It is not an alarming increase or one that is out of the boundaries of market reality. Furthermore, I believe that what is important when chartering a yacht, is to see the whole picture and the final cost. VAT should not be considered in isolation but one should assess the total cost, the quality of the services provided and the destination

“Despite the rise in VAT, charters in Greece are still competitively priced and there is absolutely no reason for anyone to be put off from visiting Greece.”

Michel Chryssicopoulos from Cape 4 Yachting agreed that it was important to see the rise in comparison to the total cost of chartering a luxury yacht.

“The increase in the VAT for charter yachts is reasonable and expected. Greece is now in line, or still even more competitive, than most ‘popular’ European destinations,” he said.

“In the big scheme of things, paying an additional 5% is not optimal, but it should not change a client’s decision whether to charter or not in a beautiful destination like Greece.”

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