Given the case raised by the Balearic Islands government’s proposal to introduce a luxury tax, before we set off on our summer cruise we want to shed some light on the Mediterranean countries where a tax is paid for the stationing and transit of boats (boat tax). Here is our guide to Croatia, Montenegro, France, Greece and Spain.
Boat tax, in which countries do you pay it?
There are Mediterranean countries where a tax is due for transit (vignette), parking and possession. These include Croatia, Montenegro, France, Greece and Spain. Amounts that are sometimes insignificant, but it is good to know about them before leaving, because, for those who are not in compliance, the risk is to pay twice: the tax and the fine.
Boat tax in Croatia
With entry into the Schengen area and the adoption of the euro from January, going to Croatia will be much easier this year. Even if you simplify the bureaucracy the fees remain, but with the exception of the first visit, you will be able to pay them all online. To navigate Croatian waters there are various fees to pay: those for navigational safety, environmental fees against marine pollution, tourist tax, and, if entering a national park, the entrance fee.
As for navigation safety charges and environmental charges against marine pollution (vignette), these are calculated according to the length of the boat and engine power. They can be paid online through the eNautics portal, which can be accessed with a SPID or Electronic Identity Card, but the first time you enter Croatia you have to go to the Harbour Master’s Office for registration and you can also pay the fee on the spot (not in cash).
Tourist tax is due if the boat is longer than 7 meters and you sleep on the boat. It can be paid in one lump sum according to the length of the boat, for the entire length of stay, or per person per night. Payment must be made online, on the website of the Croatian National Tourist Board. The per-person option is more tedious to enter online and must be filled out multiple times if you make multiple trips to Croatia during the year, but can be cheaper for short stays.
To moor in a national park, such as the Kornati Islands, it is necessary to buy a ticket. The same is not required for sailing without a mooring. Tickets can be purchased online and, if done in advance, often save some money compared to buying on site. For more information you should visit the Croatian National Parks Authority website.
Boat tax in Montenegro
As in Croatia, sailing in Montenegrin waters requires a vignette, which must be purchased from the Harbour Master’s Office upon arrival and attached to the vessel so that it is clearly visible. The cost of this navigation fee depends on the length of the boat and the period of validity (1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or 1 year). There is also a charge of €2.00 for headlight maintenance and administrative.
Vessels calling in for maintenance work are not required to pay a vignette. The same is true for those participating in a regatta or event. The requirement is that the regatta or event must have been registered with the customs office at least 48 hours before the start.
After purchasing the vignette you will also need to pay the tourist tax, which depends on the size of the vessel and the length of stay. This covers all crew on board the vessel during the validity period of the vignette.
Boat tax in France
The annual tax on recreational marine engines is due only if you are a tax resident of France, regardless of the nationality of the boat and where you sail. For more information we recommend visiting the official website (in French).
Boat tax in Greece
As of 2019, Greece has introduced a
tax for stopping and sailing in territorial waters called TEPAI
. This must be paid by all vessels over 7 meters in length transiting Greek waters, whether they are private vessels or owned by charter companies (regardless of flag).
The fee can be paid online, via the eTEPAI portal, in advance or, at the latest, on the day of arrival in Greece at the Port Authority. The cost depends on the length of the boat and the length of stay in territorial waters (no charge if the boat is ashore). There are also discounts if you pay annually in advance or if the boat has an annual berthing contract in a Greek port.
Boat tax in Spain
Boats sailing in Spain are required to pay the Tax on Pleasure Boats (Tasa T-5), in the case of a stopover, the Aids to Navigation Tax (Tasa T-0) and, if the boat flies the Spanish flag or the owner resides in Spain, the Registration Tax.
As for the Recreational Boat Tax, the relevant port authority is responsible for its collection and calculation. The amount is calculated based on the area of water occupied by the boat x the duration of the stop x €0.124 x a coefficient that depends on the type of berth.
The Aids to Navigation Fee must be paid by both boats in transit and boat owners with annual moorings. For motor boats under 9 meters and sailboats up to 12 meters, the fee is a flat rate; in other cases it is based on a calculation of length x width x a coefficient. The fee is annual, but in case the boat is in transit it is calculated proportionally.
Finally, those with Spanish residency, a Spanish tax code or a Spanish-flagged vessel must also pay the registration fee. This is due for boats over 8 meters and jet skis. For foreign nationals it is 12 percent (11 percent in the Canary Islands) of the value of the vessel.