– Business – Tax Relief for Non-EU Yachts


Evolution Yacht Agents explains how non-EU yachts under TPA can get 21% tax relief while mooring in Spain…

The allure of the Mediterranean and the beauty of Spain’s ports have long attracted travelers from far and wide and established itself as a popular yachting destination. A mild climate that offers sunny days all year round makes Spain a strategic location for visiting superyachts. But even after you’ve savored the richness of a Gran Reserva Rioja or sampled a bite of the signature Valencian paella, Spanish taxes on VAT can leave a sour taste.

TPAs (aka inward processing) is a tax treatment that allows non-EU yachts (and others) to undergo upgrades and repairs when moored in Spanish shipyards. Yachts under TPAs ​​enjoy a 21% tax rebate on VAT on all repair and maintenance work, including spares and first occupation, which extends to invoices from countries registered outside of Spain. Evolution Yacht Agents act as a customs agent to ensure compliance with Spanish tax and customs regulations. Evolution draws on its extensive experience from successfully managing over 400 TPAs, ensuring all legal customs and port authority requirements are met. In addition, an in-house registered customs agent is available as part of Evolution’s commitment to helping without intermediaries.

During the refit of a yacht, Evolution’s dedicated team will assist with the entire clearance and customs procedure in terms of management and accountability. Temporary importation for non-EU registered yachts is opened when the vessel is in port. Evolution ensures that the deposits required for the refit are exempt from VAT (21%) by preparing the refit in advance. Spare parts related to the TPA can also be exempted from customs import tax and VAT by being bound to the regime. In addition, Evolution boasts the first bonded warehouse (2500 m²) in the Balearic Islands as well as a 1500 m² warehouse in Palma De Mallorca. The warehouses are tax-free zones and can therefore store goods from outside the EU without paying import taxes. Customs must be notified if the owner wishes to change berth, undertake sea trials or declare parts for transfer, disposal or sale.

TPAs grant non-EU yachts a temporary import period of 18 months before they have to close. Luckily, yachts under TPAs ​​no longer have to leave the EU to close a TPA. A year has passed since an amendment to the EU’s Union Customs Code (UCC) allowed ships outside the EU to close the TPA and restart the applicable 18 months without the hassle (or expense) of leaving the EU and having to re-enter. Today, yachts under TPAs ​​can simply call at any other port of transit or sail offshore that exceed the 12 nautical mile distance to renew their TPA. When opening and closing a TPA within a transit port, it must be within the customs area. Evolution Yacht Agents can open and manage inward processing in any of the qualified Spanish ports including those in Palma, Barcelona, ​​​​Tarragona, Valencia, Vilanova to name a few.

Evolution Yachting Agents has created an informative video explaining how to access the benefits the TPA offers and the services they offer to ensure they comply with Spanish Customs regulations.

The evolution of TPA regulations for yachts moored in Spanish shipyards

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