Palma.—Balearic Euro MP Rosa Estaras was speaking in the Balearic Chamber of Commerce, explaining the response she had received from the European Commission regarding the matriculation tax which is widely considered to be excessively high taxation on yacht charter businesses in Spain.

Estaras, accompanied by Chamber of Commerce President Joan Gual, said that it was the assessment of the European Court of Justice that the extra taxation which is being imposed in Spain in the nautical sector is violating the right of an EU business to offer its services within member states.

Fight for justice
The ruling of the European Court of Justice is a landmark victory for the nautical sector in the Balearics. The Islands have long been complaining that the high taxes on yacht charter businesses have been damaging Spain's chances to compete against other holiday destinations in the nautical sector.

Such businesses have asked that the tax, which means their prices have to be around 12 percent higher than those in other European countries, be removed to put their competitivity on an equal footing with other destinations.

Rosa Estaras was quite clear in her statement that the European Court had concluded that the Spanish tax on yacht charter was “stopping the industry in Spain from being able to compete fairly.” Joan Gual gave more specific details about how the tax was damaging the yacht industry. He claimed that as the Balearic Islands depended to a greater extent than most other regions of the country on its nautical sector, the disadvantages of high taxation were self-evident.

He said that along with yacht charter went a whole range of opportunities for employment in terms of crew, maintenance, fitters, and suppliers.
Gual also pointed out that at a time when the Balearic Tourism ministry's policy is to offer quality holidays, the spending power of visitors who come to enjoy yacht charter is invariably higher than those who might choose to stay in an all-inclusive hotel.

He suggested that Spain, and particularly the Balearics has everything to gain from removing the tax.


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