Duty Free Fuel still available for charters in Italy and France
There has been some confusion lately regarding duty free fuel for charters following a circular by Italian Customs stating fuel was to be taxed. The circular is in direct conflict with EU laws and according to Italian legal experts holds no water. In short, charters will continue to have access to duty free fuel in EU countries.
In July 2014, the Italian Customs issued a circular (Circular No.10/D Reference Number RU 67167) regarding the taxation of fuel for charters. Yet according to EU laws yacht importation and operation thereof is exempt from VAT. It would appear that owing to this conflict the circular is unlikely to find application into Italian Law. As a result several customs offices including those of Sanremo and Viareggio have not adopted the new circular.
This interpretation is setting a precedent for similar adoption in other EU countries such as France. It is also bringing to the fore clarification of a grey area regarding duty free fuel. Currently the understanding is that duty free fuel is allowed for charters under the following conditions:
1. Accurate and detailed documentation is to be provided to customs officials. These include:
a. Copy of commercial registration of the yacht
b. Copy of crew list
c. Proof of commercial activity (charter contract or letter detailing sea trials)
2. A yacht may not take on fuel earlier than 3 days prior to commencing a charter.
3. If a yacht is operating consecutive charters, a yacht may only take on fuel during the 4 days between the charters. If this period is longer than 4 days, then condition 2 applies.
For more details on the customs circular refer to the official newsletter of customs No. 6638 of 11/08/2005. The following articles provide further references for interpretation.Duty Free Fuel