This summer Med season has seen a significant increase in yacht boardings by Customs & Excise officers in France, Spain and Italy, reports the Fraser Yachts July 09 FYI newsletter.
“Many Captains report that they’ve been stopped by officers wanting to check the fiscal status of commercially registered vessels. Upon arrival on-board, the officers are asking to check the details of any charter contracts and are also closely monitoring the amount of time an owner heads out in a commercially registered yacht for private use,” says the Fraser article.
Some speculate that the increase in the number of boardings this summer is simply a sign of the bad economic times. Fines can be stiff for violating the terms of commercial registration, upwards of €100,000, so it’s fair to guess that the inspections may be a good source of income. Another theory is that there are fewer yachts in the Med this summer, so there’s more time for officials to check up on a larger percentage of them.
Fraser Yachts also reminds us that the customs officers have the right to inspect the contents of the yacht safe and any duty free or bonded stores to ensure compliance with EU regulations.