As a 6th listed Charter yacht we seem to have attracted more than our fair share of the Spanish Authorities attention this year. It seems that when stopped or boarded one of the key things they ask for is the proof that we have paid the Impuestos Especiales de Matriculacion which is basically the 12% boat tax for vessel that remain in Spanish waters for excess of the 183 days. Having owned the boat for a number of years now she is actually exempt but even that does not stop them asking for it.
Whilst we have absolutely no problem in being checked up on, it becomes embarrassing when we have clients on board and tiresome as we have just been checked out by their colleagues, one would think in this age of computers and shared information that the various departments could run a quick check on us before boarding again.
They say that those with nothing to hide need not worry, which is very true. Call me cynical but these checks can be described as nothing other than a blatant attempt to boost the Spanish Treasury pot with fines and tax collection. I would be interested in hearing from anyone else if you have been experiencing this kind of control and with sufficient evidence of excessive controls it may be possible to present a case to the Spanish Tourism Department and alert them to the potential damage being done to Spain´s image on the yachting scene.
At some point in the future surely the left hand needs to catch up with the right hand and actually figure how they are going to promote leisure boating in Spain rather than destroy what little of the nautical sector they have compared to other Mediterranean Countries.