Government looking to attract
yacht purchasers to Malta
- Sant attacks move as anti-social
Opposition leader Dr Alfred Sant has attacked the government
for reducing the VAT payable on super yachts from 15 to five per cent.
Sant said the decrease was unfair and socially unacceptable given that
other sectors will have to face a higher tax on their purchases with
the increase of VAT from 15 to 18 percent.
The Malta Financial and Business Times is informed that the change aims
to attract more business in what is being seen as a niche opportunity
prior to EU entry. Speaking to the owner of a yacht supplies business,
The Malta Financial and Business Times was told that the idea of the
VAT decrease is aimed at attracting foreigners to buy yachts and motor
boats in Malta prior to EU entry.
According to the source, Malta will have to pay its VAT on such yachts
and motor boats to the EU after membership on 1 May 2004 and the government
saw the opportunity to try to attract purchasers to Malta before that
According to the legal notice LN 384 of 2003, the rate of VAT on certain
seafaring vessels will be 5 percent from 1 December to 31 March. The
vessels affected are: yachts and other vessels for pleasure or sport
including rowing boats and canoes that are sailboats, with or without
motors; sail boats and motor boats of a length exceeding 7.5 metres.
The Malta Financial and Business Times contacted the Malta Maritime
Authority, which was not able to provide further information on the
matter, and attempted to contact Finance Minister John Dalli for his
reaction, but the minister was not available for comment.