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Are the French Authorites Shooting Themselves in the Foot?

By Editorial Team   27 June 2017

Coming into effect on 1st July, a new piece of legislation will mean that any member of yacht crew residing in France for more than three months in a year will have to enroll in the French social security regime. Such a drastic move leads us to ask if the French authorities are shooting themselves in the foot.

In a bid to capitalise even further on the superyachts which populate their waters throughout the year, the French authorities recently passed the ‘decret no 2017-307’ which will allow them to gather social security contributions from crew members.

Obviously, by imposing such an extreme law, the authorities discourage superyachts which could just as easily spend their time in the Mediterranean destinations which do not make such burdensome financial demands.

Reflecting on these kinds of repercussions, a representative from Hill Robinson, a yacht management company currently assisting MYBA in a legal bid to overturn the decret, explained how ‘99% of the superyacht fleet will be deterred from visiting French waters for any significant time’.

For some insight into how the new decret risks affecting charters in France, be sure to read our earlier article on how New French Law Could Have Major Impact On Superyacht Charter Industry.

Not only putting off the charter yachts which would normally descend on the summer hotspots, the new French law also threatens to destroy the very infrastructure which supports the industry as a whole.

More particularly, by making France less attractive to superyachts, the authorities produce a number of problems for the shipyards, agencies, suppliers, and brokers which currently operate in the country.

It would certainly seem, then, that the contributions the French authorities are demanding from crew would return much less than the funds currently generated by the superyachts which cruise in the surrounding waters.

By enforcing such a strict law, the French authorities run a very real risk of turning away many superyachts and the business they bring to the country

Indeed, it cannot be stressed enough that the superyachts which currently cruise in France bring with them an abundance of business to the mainland. Specifically, superyacht owners and charter guests are known for visiting the numerous restaurants, bars, and boutique stores found throughout French towns.

With this in mind, there can be no doubt that the new laws discourage owners from taking their superyachts to France, especially with new hotspots such as Ibiza being so attractive thanks to the development of new marinas and facilities.

What’s more, on the other side of the world, the Australian government are lobbying to have superyacht laws relaxed after it was proven that visiting owners and charter guests help to boost the economy.

With updates regarding the legal appeal expected in the near future, YachtCharterFleet will be sure to keep readers fully aware of the situation in France.

In order to find out more regarding the cruising grounds of France, and how they can be combined to form a memorable itinerary, please get in touch with your preferred charter broker.

Alternatively, take a look at the crewed superyachts which are available for charter in France.


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