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VAT waivers for yacht charters starting in Martinique and Guadeloupe

By Rebecca Bradbury   7 January 2019

The French government has passed legislation that exempts superyachts starting charters in Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean from paying VAT.

The VAT waiver came into effect on 1 January and applies if a yacht measures over 24 metres, is less than 3,000GT and travels beyond French territorial waters. Plus, the time of the charter must be less than 90 days.

The new regulations replicate what was applied in France before the Bacino Charter case (2010) forced the French government to introduce a 20 percent taxation on charters starting in French waters.

Changes had to be made because the old criteria allowing a commercial VAT exemption on yacht charters was ruled to be out of line with European case law. Consequently, it was abolished on 25 June 2013.

green-covered mountains and blue waters of Martinique in the Caribbean
white sand beach with palm trees and blue surf in Martinique
catamaran anchored in Martinique waters as seen from a sandy beach

As the Bacino case is based on an interpretation of the VAT Directive, which doesn’t apply to France’s overseas territories, the French government has been able to apply the VAT waiver to Martinique and Guadeloupe.

The two islands face stiff competition for charter business from neighbouring territories that do not tax charter vessels. Therefore, the new exemptions are expected to increase Martinique and Guadeloupe’s appeal as viable Caribbean charter destinations.

The new exemptions are expected to increase Martinique and Guadaloupe’s appeal as viable charter destinations

Mountainous Martinique has all the ingredients needed to offer yacht-goers a luxurious getaway. Cosmopolitan and sophisticated, it combines French class, stellar culinary experiences and a rich cultural life with gorgeous beaches and bays, mountain hikes and stunning scenery.

The southernmost of the Leeward Islands, Guadeloupe similarly has much to attract upscale travellers. Made up of more than a dozen islands, the archipelago is perfect for island-hopping adventures. Expect idyllic sandy beaches, mountainous scenery, spectacular diving and delicious food.

Island Town with hilly, green interior and lots of yachts on the water in Guadeloupe

For more details on planning a Caribbean yacht charter, talk to your preferred charter broker.

Alternatively, view all luxury yachts for charter in the Caribbean.


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