Vi allego una piccolo informativa sulle nuove regolamentazioni sull’acquisto di fuel duty free per gli yacht commerciali in Francia in vigore per questa stagione 2016.

Duty-free fuel will be available to commercial yachts until 1st October 2016. Change is coming, but it’s coming gently…..
After an edgy winter, the Registre International Francaise (RIF) organized a meeting in Saint Tropez on the 25th February, 2016, convening key players from Customs and Tax agencies to provide guidelines for the yachting sector following the issuance of the ‘Arrêté du 17 décembre 2015’ (Order of 25th December 2015).
The Order details the rules for application of article 265 bis of the French Customs Code listing the requirements for exemption from the national tax on energy products, TICPE (Taxe Intérieure de Consommation pour les Produits Energétiques, the internal tax on the consumption of energy products) used for bunkering.
The good news is that commercial yachts will continue to be able to take on duty-free fuel in France -until October 1st, 2016.
This is all positive news for the industry. However, there are some caveats.
The ‘Arrêté du 17 décembre 2015’ specifically mentions commercial yachts being exempt. So why is there a limit of October 1st? (The limit was unofficially announced by Customs pending the issuance of the next Bulletin Offciel Des Douanes). The fly in the proverbial ointment are current charter contracts.
To date charter contracts identify the charterer as being the end-user of the service and, in 95% of cases, the charterer uses yacht for pleasure, not for commercial purposes. Such being the case, the contract fails to meet French Commercial Exemption (FCE) requirements in compliance with EU Court rulings.
So the French fiscal authorities are now calling for a new “global service” contract. Meanwhile, the French Customs (who deal with fuel issues) in compliance with the Tax Agency have decided to allow commercially registered yachts to benefit from the TICPE exemption in 2016 to give the industry enough time to draft the necessary legal instruments.
ECPY, the European Committee for Professional Yachting, has already convened a group of experts to draft of a new agreement with the input of Customs, who is keen to be involved in the process.
Unlike change in the past, this must not be seen as the Tax Agency or Customs as clamping down on yachting. On the contrary, both agencies are keen to see the industry prosper in France – but in compliance with FCE procedures as approved by EU Court rulings.
Once the contractual obstacle has been removed, what must commercial yachts do to comply with the Arrêté du 17 décembre 2015 and continue taking on duty-free fuel?
Fuel in France is subject to two taxes, TICPE and VAT. To benefit from duty-free fuel, commercial yachts must comply with provisions issued by Customs for fuel (i.e. TIPCE and VAT) and the Tax Agency for French Commercial Exemption.
Take TICPE first. Yachts will be able to benefit from the TICPE exemption by complying with the Arrêté du 17 décembre 2015. To comply:
1. The yacht must be registered as commercial
2. The yacht owning company must employ permanent crew on board
3. The yacht must be used exclusively for commercial purposes, i.e. with a service contract in place
If the above conditions are fulfilled and supporting documentation can be provided, commercial yachts may refuel duty-free up to 72 hours before a charter starts and up to 96 hours after it is terminated.
The second compliance concerns the exemption from VAT (Value Added Tax) on fuel. This comes under the wider umbrella of the French Commercial Exemption.
If a commercial yachts complies with the FCE requirements as detailed in the provisions of the Bulletin Officiel des Finance Publiques-Impôts du 12 Mai 2015’ (BOFIP 12.05.15 for short), VAT will not be due on the supply of goods and of services, including fuel.
The first three provisions of BOFIP 12.05.15 replicate the conditions imposed for TICPE exemption.
1. The yacht must be registered as commercial
2. The yacht owning company must employ permanent crew on board
3. The yacht must be used exclusively for commercial purposes, i.e. under a charter agreement (no switching private use in the EU)
And adds another two:
1. LOA over 15m
2. 70% of cruising trips must be outside French waters during one calendar year with a higher number
of dynamic rather than static charters
In point of fact, if you comply with BOFIP you also comply with the provisions of the ‘Arrêté du 17 décembre 2015’.
To get the whole picture, the second part of this document provides a recap of BOFIP 12.05.15. Meanwhile, if you want further information feel free to contact Thibault, Operations Manager SOS Yachting France, at:
T + 33 4 92 00 43 80
M + 33 6 01 08 34 98 Nice, 1st March 2016
Do you comply with the FCE? ….. Not sure? This is what you have to check
BOFIP 12.05.15 has been a game changer. In order to maintain VAT exempt status, commercial yachts operating in France must now comply with new requirements. Find out what and how.
Current regulations specify that yachts are split into two categories:
1. Commercial yachts not engaged in navigation on High Seas (fiscally defined as coastal vessels): these will no longer benefit from VAT exemption on the hull and will have to pay VAT on services and supplies. However, the VAT paid on supplies and services can be offset against the VAT due on charter fees. We are expecting further clarification.
2. Commercial yachts engaged in navigation on High Seas (fiscally defined as high seas vessels): these
will continue to benefit from VAT exemption (as prior to 31st December 2015) if the below conditions are met:
I. The yacht must be registered as commercial and maintain this status for the entire year. To date no switching from commercial to private is allowed the EU
II. The owning company must employ permanent crew on board
III. The yacht must be used only for commercial purposes with charter contract. Private use is
not allowed
IV. LOA over 15 meters
V. The yacht performs more cruising charters than charters at the dock (i.e. static charters)
VI. 70% of the trips in each calendar year (2015 in our case) must be international.
What is a trip?
A segment of a charter identified by guests embarking/disembarking during the charter. If no guests disembark/embark, the charter includes only one trip.
Here is an example:
You are doing a five-day charter from Monaco to St Tropez starting with five guests. All five guests embark on day one. On day two, two guests disembark in Cannes. The yacht continues to St Tropez where two other guests embark on day three. The yacht then sails to Corsica and comes back to St Tropez on day five where all guests disembark.
The charter includes three trips: two national (Monaco to Cannes and Cannes to St Tropez) and one international (from St Tropez to St Tropez with navigation in international waters).
See the map (showing the 12nm boarder) overleaf.
Example of trip from Monaco, to Cannes to St Tropez to Calvi to St Florent.
What is a national trip?
A trip which starts and ends within French territorial waters worldwide with a cruising itinerary in French waters within 12nm. French territorial waters include mainland France and islands and French Overseas Territories (including Martinique and Guadeloupe). In this context Monaco is part deemed of French territorial waters.
What is an international trip?
A trip qualifies as international if:
i. it takes entirely place outside of French territorial waters (both EU and non-EU)
ii. starts or ends in French territorial waters and includes a cruising itinerary in international waters
or non-French territorial waters.
How to compute your trips?
To see if you qualify for VAT exemption in 2016 you need to compute the number of trips done in 2015.
To compute your yearly number of trips you must divide the number of international trips by the total number of trips (national + international):
Number of international trips
Total number of trips
If X equals 0.7 or over (i.e. 70%) you will continue to benefit from the VAT exemption. Check the example below.
During the calendar year (from 1 January to 31st of December 2015) you have done 8 charters which include 39 trips. Of these 28 are international.
This equals 71% so you qualify.
28………………………………………… = 0.71
The results in 2015 determine whether a yacht complies with the 70% rule and can benefit from the VAT exemption in 2016. The results in 2016 will determine compliance for 2017 and so on.
Tracking your trips
The final step in the new process to retain VAT exemption entails presenting a self-certification to the authorities (the form is overleaf) stating that you comply with the new regulations. To provide proof of compliance, you must track and record all your trips in 2015 and be over the 0.7 threshold.
You can do this yourself or ask SOS Yachting France to do it for you. We are offering this service at a fee. Remember that all charters worldwide must be tracked but charters at the dock are excluded from the calculation.
If you have any questions feel free to contact Thibault, Operations Manager SOS Yachting France, at
T + 33 4 92 00 43 80 M + 33 6 01 08 34 98.
Nice, 1st March 2016




Update on duty-free fuel in France