Though at first glance any news regarding a tax increase might look like bad news for charterers, the recent VAT rise in Greece is thankfully not a cause for concern.
Aware that tourism is one of the most significant contributors to the country’s economy, the Greek parliament have kept certain concessions in place to allow superyachts to visit the country without incurring a noticeably larger cost to their vacation.
More specifically, they have maintained the two categories which were introduced last year as a means of offering a VAT discount to superyachts, and thus incentivising the flow of visiting vessels.
What this means in real terms is that vessels which have been granted permission to undertake international cruises will experience an almost imperceptible 0.4% rise, whilst vessels permitted to carry out long range cruises within Greek waters will see a similarly minor increase of 0.5%.
..the season has really picked up, and the difference in each category means bigger yachts are seeing such incremental rises, with the VAT laws only adding amounts less than 500 euros.Charter Broker
It should also be added that even with an entirely negligible increase, the VAT paid on Greek charters remains similar to the VAT paid on similar Mediterranean favourites.
What’s more, the berthing costs in Greece are fractional of those compared with other destinations in the West Mediterranean such as Monaco and St Tropez, and the private bays are far less crowded and easier to reach.
With this in mind, the news is unlikely to pose an impediment to either the growth of Greece or the number of charters being booked this summer.
As a broker in Greece replied when asked for comment, 'the season has really picked up, and the difference in each category means bigger yachts are seeing such incremental rises, with the VAT laws only adding amounts less than 500 euros'.
Likewise, a representative from the GYA issued a statement outlining the small changes, and concluded by suggesting that everyone will be able to 'proceed accordingly with no inconvenience caused whatsoever'.
Ultimately, the VAT paid on a luxury charter vacation is unlikely to determine the choices made by charterers, and the growing demand for superyachts in this part of the world would appear to compound the argument that such fees are never considered in isolation.
For instance, by stepping back and looking at things in a broader context, it’s clear that Greece remains one of the most attractive charter destinations.
From exploring scores of uninhabited islands, to jumping into the vibrant culture of Mykonos, there really are few summertime charter destinations with greater appeal.
In other words: with a seemingly infinite number of idyllic and award-winning beaches on offer, along with an estimable history and cuisine scene, what’s less than a percentage increase in VAT in the grander scheme of things?
83m Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, 2004 / 2011
54m Golden Yachts, 2010
53m Golden Yachts, 2008
50m Mondo Marine, 2011
43m AB Yachts, 2009
42m Intermarine, 1997 / 2010
40m Tecnomar, 2013
40m Golden Yachts, 2011
31m Azimut, 2010
28m Sunseeker, 2012