There is to be a register of bona fide yacht charter companies operating in the Balearics.

06-08-2005C. Viera

The Balearic government has announced plans to help protect the interests of the region’s legal yacht charter industry. The local authorities have decided to introduce a register of bona fide charter companies in order to crack down on illegal charter operators, which the industry has been complaining about for years.

The idea is that all legal charter companies will register so that the authorities can not only protect the best interests of the industry but also make sure that the standards of services provided are of the highest quality and that the maximum levels of safety and security are maintained.

The Association of Balearic Nautical Businesses is actively involved with the project and has given the initiative its full backing. "This is an important step forward towards regulating, controlling and simplifying the charter sector," a source for the association said today. The charter industry says that it has to cope with too much red tape, and the association is confident that as a result of the new register, operating legally in the Balearics will become much easier.

Moreover, charter vessels not registered in the European Union will also be required and expected to sign up to the register. Margarita Dahlberg, the association's president has claimed that at times over the past few years 60 per cent of yachts being chartered out in Balearic waters were being done so illegally.

"We are talking about people who own their yachts and charter them out on a one-to-one basis without any of the necessary paperwork or paying any of the required taxes. She also revealed that a number of foreign companies have been operating in the Balearics without paying any taxes, adding that she hopes the new government register will finally bring an end to the unfair competition which has been damaging the industry’s image for the past few years.

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