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Opportunity Still Knocks for Superyachts

Sitting on the outbound BA flight from London Gatwick to Malta, and doing my pre event reading I noticed the word “opportunities” in the title of the conference and got to thinking that Hughie Green might be the host for the event…….maybe even with his (alleged) daughter Paula Yates in tow as a co-host…..these early morning flights are obviously playing with my mental state…..anyway……

In various shapes or forms, I have now had the pleasure of being involved in the world of superyachts for nearly four years. During that time there has been a real shift toward Malta being the jurisdiction of choice for anything yachts; their ship registry is now the 6th largest in the world with 452 yachts registered in Malta as at the end of 2014.

Whilst the VAT benefits of using Malta for pleasure yachts cannot be underestimated, there is a lot more to the jurisdiction than a fiscal play. The island is beautiful and is ideally located for the importation of new vessels. The various government offices are very positive toward the industry and there is very much a “can do” approach to everything yachts.

In the run up to the show there were silent rumblings in the industry of the Maltese government looking to tax the superyacht world to make it an increased revenue generator. The Parliamentary Secretary did an excellent job of laying these rumours to bed and it is quite clear that Malta sees the yachting industry as an opportunity that they will give every chance to prosper.

The event was extremely well attended, with a combination of guests from the yachting industry as well as local representation from Malta Transport and the financial services industry. This led to a cohesive event with good debate about the future of not only Malta, but the industry in general.

Similar to the aviation industry, the world economy has had a negative impact on new build vessels especially in the sub 35 metre market; however the top end of the market continues to flourish. As the world economy continues to drag itself out of the malaise, we are seeing more yachts being built and as witnessed at the Malta event, the Asian market is growing and rumours of a fear of water are well over stated!

Finally, we have seen a significant number of yachts switching from commercial to pleasure use. Abacus is well placed to help with this switch. Working closely with the legal and accounting industry, we can assist in helping with matters of this nature.

Should you have any requirement for which you would like additional information or require further assistance, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone to me on  +44 1624 689613 or email enquiries@abacusiom.com. Alternatively why not arrange to meet and talk with us at one of the various yachting events across the spring and summer months.