Sunday, December 8th, 2019

Spanish Boat Registrations on the Up Again

Published on June 6, 2014 by   ·   No Comments



ANEN, the Spanish marine trade association, has revealed that 397 boats were registered in April this year, a massive 23.68% increase over the 321 boat registrations recorded in April 2013.   It represents the best news in terms of data for the leisure boat market since mid 2008 and continues the progressive positive growth that began in October last year.

So far for 2014, January to April, there have been 1,057 new boat registrations in Spain, an 11.85% increase over the same period in 2013, in which 945 boats were registered.

The charter market has also increased by more than 100% year-on-year for the first quarter of 2014.  71 boats (including personal watercraft such as jetskis) were registered for charter use between January and April, up 108% on 2013 when just 34 charter vessels were registered.




In terms of LOA (length overall), yachts over 16 metres increased by 60% in the first quarter, with eight registrations versus five in the same period of 2013.  The 12 to 16 metre group increased by 40.91% with 31 registrations compared to 22, and the eight to 12 metre group by 21.13% with 86 versus 71 for the first quarter of 2013.  Up to eight metres, by far the most popular segment with a market share of 88.17%, grew by 10% with 932 registrations over 847 for the period January to April 2013.


In terms of geographic location, the Balearics, Barcelona and Cadiz, top the tables for boat registration.  The Balearics lead with a market share of 11.35% of all boat registrations and an increase of 3.45% over the first quarter of 2013; Barcelona follows with a share of 9.18% and an increase of 14.12%; and next Cadiz, which accounts for 9.08% of the market, and a 62.71% increase in registrations.

Absolutely all indicators are there that the 2014 boating season is going to be far better for Spain than it was in 2013.  Persistent industry lobbying within the EU against the ‘unjust’ matriculation tax has paid-off, and this has had a direct positive effect on the industry.


Last July, the Spanish Government allowed exemption from the 12% matriculation tax, a luxury goods tax, to all visiting charter yachts in Spanish waters.  At present the Spanish tax authorities allow a tax exemption for all privately-owned boats in Spain up to eight metres in length, and charter boats up to 15 metres in length.  The new law will do away with the 15 metre limit on exemptions for those visiting charter boats, allowing superyachts to use Spanish waters and marinas without becoming liable for matriculation tax.




The change has been welcomed by a Spanish yachting industry that has struggled to compete against other more-welcoming European nations.  It should also pave the way for a more uniform interpretation of VAT across the different countries, so superyacht charters make their choices on factors such as climate and coastline, rather than taxation.

An FT report from September 2013 said that the Mediterranean charter fleet numbered some 840 yachts over 24 metres, but no more than 14 of them working in Spain, and most older vessels.  This has excluded Spain from many many millions of lucrative economy-boosting euros that come as part and parcel of the super high-end industry that is superyacht charter – from restaurant revenues to mooring fees, and refit and repair to concierge services.


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