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Med Cruising: International protest at Croatian tax for sailors

By Cruising Association — last modified Jan 22, 2018 03:07 PM
Increases in tourist tax for foreign boat owners in Croatia has led to an international protest involving sailors from Austria, Germany, Italy, and the UK.

Published: 2018-01-19 00:00:00
Countries: Croatia

This report by the Cruising Association - www.theca.org.uk

The new tax, which equates to a 400% increase for cruising sailors, has now become law but meetings are continuing because boat owners feel strongly that they are being unjustly treated. A holiday home owner in Croatia will pay £14 tourist tax a year for two people while the owner of a typical 12–15 metre yacht will pay over £900 for the same benefit.

Cruising Association representatives met the Croatian Ambassador to the UK, Igor Pokaz, and the Counsellor for Economic affairs, Davorka Žanić-Dražić, last month. They emphasised the unfairness of the new tax rates and that they had received considerable support from the nautical tourist industry in Croatia. Past President of the CA, Stuart Bradley, pointed out: “While it is the Croatian government’s right to set whatever tourist tax it chooses, the increases would be bound to have a negative effect on the nautical tourist economy.’

The most widely read nautical magazine in Croatia, More, plans to publish several pages condemning the move in its next edition. Mr Bradley, will also be having a meeting with the Editor during the Dusseldorf boat show and is also meeting with representatives from the Austrian safety organisation, Sea Help, which has ten bases in Croatia to see what special offers they are prepared to make to CA members.

In October, President of the Marinas Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Sean Lisjak, ‘If something does not change, one can expect a dramatic drop in the nautical traffic in the Adriatic.’

Ian Wilson, representing the CA’s Regulations and Technical Services Committee, explained that he had spent two years based in Croatia but, following the August announcement, had recently moved his boat out of the country.

Last year the CA advised people to pay the tourist tax for 2018 in advance at the 2017 rate and many have saved up to £1,000. In response to the backlash, the Croatian Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli, said: “Due to the constantly changing trends in tourism and a need to improve the tourism sector, the Ministry of Tourism has started developing a new Sojourn Tax regulation that will be prepared in cooperation with all stakeholders in the tourism sector”.

See the new Fees here.

pkaras
pkaras says:
Jan 21, 2018 02:26 PM

Vote with you feet (or in this case your keels). Move your boat to Greece. I've had a foreign flagged boat there for more than 30 years and the fees are far more reasonable. P Karas

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