Foreign-owned boats in Valencia hit by new import taxes

British boatowners with moorings in Spain are complaining of ‘heavy handed’ tactics employed by regional authorities as they impose new import duties on foreign-owned yachts.

The regional government of Valencia is clamping down on foreigners who reside in marinas across its southeastern coastline and is demanding payment of up to 12 per cent of the value of the boat, under a law that is not enforced across the rest of Spain or the European Union.

British sailors claim that they are being driven away from the region. At one Marina on the Mediterranean coast, a dozen Britons have had their vessels impounded and countless others have apparently fled to avoid the risk of losing their boats.

One British yachtsman told the Telegraph that those who had not yet paid the tax were willing to fight it through the courts if necessary. “We are joining forces and are preparing a legal defence and we will take it all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if we have to,” he said, adding that he wished to remain anonymous to avoid being targeted next.

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