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Old 28-03-2019, 06:49   #1
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Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

Last year In Sardinia I took two groups for a couple of weeks as paid charters with myself as skipper. This was under the Italian occasional charter laws that came in some time ago that allow owners to perform up to 42-ish days of charter a year without being a business. I did this though click&Boat peer to peer service.

So this year I was planning to do the same and Click&boat have just informed me that the Italian authorities are now fining skippers if the boat is not Italian flagged which is a part of the law that I was not aware of and apparently not many people were as lots of people have been fined large amounts. My Yacht is not Italian flagged and I don't intend too change it.

Anyway this has somewhat "scuttled" my plans to make some extra funds to pay for marina fees.

Does anyone else have experience of Chartering in Italy. I had thought of maybe moving the boat to Corsica which is french and doing charters there, does anyone know if it is possible? or maybe they have the same rules?
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Old 28-03-2019, 06:57   #2
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

I do know that Croatia requires the boat to be Croatian flagged for charters.
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Old 29-03-2019, 07:03   #3
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

Hey SpinDream, I have a part of your answer. I work for SamBoat (C&B competitor). My italian colleague in not at the office right now but once he'll get back, I'll be able to tell you regarding chartering in Italy.

Regarding chartering in Corsica, it does not follow those rule. No obligation to be flagged as French. However, a fee might apply.
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Old 29-03-2019, 07:20   #4
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

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Originally Posted by aye-aye-captain View Post
Hey SpinDream, I have a part of your answer. I work for SamBoat (C&B competitor). My italian colleague in not at the office right now but once he'll get back, I'll be able to tell you regarding chartering in Italy.

Regarding chartering in Corsica, it does not follow those rule. No obligation to be flagged as French. However, a fee might apply.
That would be great, I can easily make my base in Corsica and do trips from there. I am not sure your colleague will have any more positive information for me about Italy but I would be interested to hear, thanks.

So how much is the fee in France?
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Old 29-03-2019, 08:43   #5
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

Presumably you are not an EU flagged vessel as EU law states that a country can not treat citizens of another EU state differently from their own nationals.

Meaning they couldn't stop you doing what you did if you were French, Spanish, Maltese or even UK flagged (UK at least until 12th April now).

If you're not EU flagged then you are on you're out of luck
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Old 29-03-2019, 08:50   #6
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

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Presumably you are not an EU flagged vessel as EU law states that a country can not treat citizens of another EU state differently from their own nationals.

Meaning they couldn't stop you doing what you did if you were French, Spanish, Maltese or even UK flagged (UK at least until 12th April now).

If you're not EU flagged then you are on you're out of luck
You would think wouldn't you, my yacht is Dutch flagged and I am a British national living in Italy. However I think the issue is not nationality, it is a rule both Italians and other EU citizens, even Italians who do not have their boat flagged in Italy cannot use this occasional charter law. It is more about getting money from flagging and also fines to those who dare not to flag in Italy.
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Old 29-03-2019, 09:31   #7
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

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Originally Posted by SpinDreams View Post
You would think wouldn't you, my yacht is Dutch flagged and I am a British national living in Italy. However I think the issue is not nationality, it is a rule both Italians and other EU citizens, even Italians who do not have their boat flagged in Italy cannot use this occasional charter law. It is more about getting money from flagging and also fines to those who dare not to flag in Italy.
Flag status aside and ignoring Brexit for a moment. You are an EU citizen and resident of Italy so they can not legally stop you working or trading. It is called Freedom of Movement and is enshrined in EU Law
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Old 29-03-2019, 10:42   #8
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

I am not surprised. Most countries have laws to encourage local industry, and "commercial" marine operations originating in their waters, are often required to be home-flagged, and business licensed, in their state.

What the EU does about "borderless business"...I have no idea about, but it would surprise me if any nation was generous enough to say "Anyone can operate a business here with no licensing."
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Old 29-03-2019, 11:04   #9
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

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Flag status aside and ignoring Brexit for a moment. You are an EU citizen and resident of Italy so they can not legally stop you working or trading. It is called Freedom of Movement and is enshrined in EU Law
They are not stopping me because I am not Italian, they are just stopping me because my boat is not flagged in Italy. The same would apply to an Italian.
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Old 29-03-2019, 11:11   #10
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

When our boat was in charter in Croatia, once Croatia joined the EU, a number of new charter boats joned the fleet with non-Croatian flags, mostly German and Austrian. As someone said, single market rules mean that a business based in one EU country can operate in another, however they do need to comply with local laws appropriate to that business but they are not allowed ones that discriminate against foreign business. However, the OP sems to be operating an occasional charter operation which is not a business, so I suspect that his operation falls outside the EU rules and is national matter.
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Old 29-03-2019, 12:48   #11
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

SO I guess the next question is what are the rules charter companies have to follow to operate in Italy? And where in Europe is the best country to open a charter business (I had an Italian business and would never do that again.)
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Old 30-03-2019, 00:21   #12
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

SpinDreams said Corsica not Croatia.
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Old 30-03-2019, 09:07   #13
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

Hello all
so i am american, born and raised, and was in the process of buying a sailboat in Italy and do some charters etc. Since i have a lot of family there one of my cousins an accountant went to the Italian Coast Guard to ask a few question to the head of the port... (a friend of his)

He told him straight out do not put an Italian Flag on her if you have a choice>> WTH.... We won't board an American flag vessel WTH

so i have no answers any longer and most likely dropping the whole idea..
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Old 30-03-2019, 12:41   #14
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

Quote:
Originally Posted by kas_1611 View Post
Flag status aside and ignoring Brexit for a moment. You are an EU citizen and resident of Italy so they can not legally stop you working or trading. It is called Freedom of Movement and is enshrined in EU Law
This is unfortunately not true.. I know a UK flagged boat who simply announced in Facebook that he would "occosionaly" charter in Greece. He was fined 5.000 € and warned that if he doesn't pay, his boat could have been confiscated if at all cought in greek waters.

If you try the same thing in Turkey, you can probably get away with it, but even here it's becoming more and more difficult. No country will let you eat their lunch, unless you pay taxes there.

Cheers

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Old 01-04-2019, 10:22   #15
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Re: Occasional chartering in Italy, big fines and the law

There are two different arguments:
"Occasionaly" charter, and "regular" charter.

"Occasionaly" charter is governed by the rules of every single country (and not under EU rules), and they are valid for boats with the flag of that country only, and with boarding and landing passengers in the waters of that country only!

"Regular" charter is also governed by the rules of every single country (but the rules have to meet the European rules too), and if one likes to do that it's better find the best EU country where open the company, so if you have a charter company with tax domicile in any of the EU countries (and this means that the boat must be register under that company, and so of course, with an EU flag), you can do charter in all EU countries without problems.

I'm not an accountant (so I may be wrong), but I think the best place to open a charter company in EU are Malta, Luxembourg, Estonia
Surely not Italy, too much taxes, but mostly too much bureaucracy
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