Italian marine industry association Ucina Confindustria Nautica (UCINA) expressed confidence in the state of the global and Italian markets, as well as the future potential for the Genoa show, at a press briefing at boot Düsseldorf this week. The briefing was given by Carla Demaria, president of UCINA and Monte Carlo Yachts.

In terms of the global market, UCINA sees the US and South America on the rise, Canada stable, Europe overall on the up, Asia, Australasia and Africa stable. With regards to Europe, most of southern Europe from Spain through Greece is seen to be on the up while Turkey is still suffering. The UK and other parts of northern Europe are seen as stable, while central Europe and parts of Scandinavia are on the rise.

The view was that the Italian market is definitely in recovery mode from a few years ago and UCINA illustrated this by showing statistics that recorded a 72% rise in yacht leasing in Italy in 2017 over 2016 and a 26% rise in contracts.

In another move, UCINA has also linked up with the Italian tax authorities to produce an English-language guide called 'Italy, Tax and Yachting'. The guidebook explains Italian and EU regulations and was edited by UCINA in collaboration with the Italian Tax Authority. The book collects the provisions of the law intervened in tax, customs and other obligations regarding recreational and commercial craft within Italian national waters.

The ‘Italy, Tax and Yachting’ guide is one of a number of initiatives that UCINA has been working on. Another is the new Italian nautical guide, which includes the large passenger yacht code, simplified documents for yachts and crew, and the removal of limits for yachts registering on the international registry which has fiscal benefits for commercial yachts.

The international distribution of the book will be in collaboration with Italian Yacht Masters, the Italian Superyacht Captains and naval officers association, that is an UCINA associate and the Ambassador of the Italian maritime excellence and professional quality abroad.

Other successful actions promoted by UCINA in cooperation with the Italian government were highlighted during the conference, such as:

  • the new Italian Nautical Code (Codice della Nautica) released last November that includes simplified rules and regulations
  • VAT exemptions applied to commercial shipping
  • regulations for the application of a 10% VAT rate on yachts that dock in Italian waters for up to one year
  • a flat tax rate, introduced by the Italian government, for foreigners who become Italian fiscal residents
  • the new International Chamber of Maritime Arbitration

All of the above measures make Italy more competitive than other European countries, UCINA claims. Croatia, for example, has raised its entry fee tax eightfold, French tax law penalises crews and owners, and Spain levies a corporate tax on charters.

In respect of the Genoa International Boat Show, the success of the 2017 edition was referred to and UCINA says it has higher expectations for the 2018 event as a result.