Inflated prices, 20% VAT and fresh Social Security regulations around France have deterred Superyachts from St Tropez, Antibes, Cannes and around the Cote d’Azur.
International press have recently been describing the significant reduction in the number of yachts berthed in marinas around France and hence the impact on the local economies dependent on the superyacht industry.
High berthing costs, overpriced provisions and expensive fuel have been the common complaints reported as Superyacht Captains and their owners look to Spain or Italy for more cost effective solutions. Luxury yacht owners and charterers are not short of funds but neither are they short of alternatives around the Mediterranean.
Sales by the four largest marine fuel suppliers in France have reportedly fallen by a staggering 50% this season as yachts consider options outside of France where savings can received.
Franck Dosne, manager of Port Vauban in Antibes is quoted in David Chazan’s article in The Daily Telegraph saying, “The fall in visits can easily be seen simply by looking at a map showing where yachts are berthed in the western Mediterranean.” The article also reports that revenues have fallen by 30% at Port de Saint-Tropez and by 40% at Toulon, a less glamorous but popular sailing destination.
There is also uncertainty of the French Social Security regulations, as recently reported HERE by AYC, have also dampened the appeal to using France as a long term base for Superyachts and their Crew. The new legislation requires Crew members in France working on vessels for more than three months to be enrolled under the French Social Security regime. The ‘Décret was introduced from 1st July 2017 and has been met with great concerns from the superyacht industry. (Article Here)
Local politicians have appealed to the French President Emmanuel Macron requesting urgent assistance calling for a “calling for a level playing field via urgent harmonization of tax and social regulations at the European level”, however yet to receive any response or support.
September has historically been the busiest month on the Cote d’Azur with the Cannes Yacht Show and Monaco Yacht Show attracting the worlds most glamorous yachts, owners and media attention. The true test shall be to observe how many of the visiting yachts in September remain in the South of France following these events.
Article by Stephen Crone with information sourced from The Daily Telegraph, Nice Matin and Onboard Online yachting news.