France: Proposed Tax on Anchoring Re-Introduced
Published: 2015-04-25 00:00:00
This bill is part of the new territorial organization of the French Republic (NOTRe). The French Government has proposed, without any consultation with the boating or marine industry, to impose a mooring tax on any vessel moored or anchored inside a Marine Protected Area. These marine protected areas apply to about 25% of the French coast.
The proposal is for a tax of 20 euros/metre/per day. This means up to 100 euros per day for a 5m motorboat, and 300 euros for a 15m yacht. With such a tax, no boat is going to risk mooring or anchoring in an area where such fees are applied. Unfortunately, the Marine Protected Areas concerned are largely navigation zones that are frequently used by boaters.
The bill does make provision for local variations, but it is difficult to see any local authority foregoing the chance of extra income. However, it is likely to be a short-term solution as boaters will probably desert French waters for more boater-friendly shores, as happened when Corsica tried a similar scheme. It was quickly abandoned.
Yachting is a very a popular family activity in France and the proposed bill will affect about half a million French boat users, the vast majority of whom have a vessel of less than 8 meters. Nor will it be surprising if foreign cruising boats make alternative passage plans to avoid the risk of having to pay such a fee.
See this website for details of the Marine Protected Areas.