On the occasion of the Palma Superyacht Show, ESTELA will be hosting two free, invitation-only breakfast seminars at a neighbouring venue. Aside from an agreeable way to start the day and meet up with friends and colleagues, we will host brief presentations and Q&A on topical issues affecting the superyacht industry. Suggested topics of interest include: Chartering in Spain (licensing, VAT and regulations); Brexit effects on yachting (VAT, RYA, employment, travel, taxation, goods importation, flag state issues); COVID challenges and best practice on board. If you have a suggestion for a topic you would like to learn more about from a relevant expert, please tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org If your organisation is interested in sponsoring the event and any other of our activities around the Palma Superyacht Show, please contact email@example.com or telephone +34 638 81 68 03.
First announced last October, in the Balearics an On-Board Health Control Certificate (SSC) is now a requirement for all yachts over 400GT, private or commercial. Previously, the threshold stood at 500GT.Yachts below 400GT are exempt, though it may be advisable — particularly for charter yachts — to certify that the vessel complies with WHO sanitary standards.The SSC covers items such as air, water, aircon, oil and waste systems, medical facilities, food sanitation and bathing facilities. Vessels over 400GT must be able to present a valid SSC to Sanidad, logged on the SHIPSAN platform. For any queries or to arrange your inspection, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
We receive many calls from captains and crew, asking about COVID vaccinations. There is no vaccination-on-demand available anywhere in the world that we are aware of, except the UAE and Russia. The UN’s ILO and IMO agencies, as well as various maritime unions and organisations, are pressuring governments to make vaccinations a priority for displaced seafarers. There is, as yet, no framework in place to make this a reality, so we await further news. For information about the vaccine roll-out in the Balearics, please visit https://www.ibsalut.es/es/es-vacuna-covid-19. Gibraltar has one of the world’s most advanced vaccination programmes and we have asked the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) whether any provision had been made for seafarers transiting through its port. The GHA referred us to its online COVID ‘vaccination interest’ form, which you can complete here: https://www.gha.gi/covid-19-vaccination-interest-form/. There is no indication that vaccination will be made available to non-residents, though given the success of Gibraltar’s roll-out, strong demand may help to persuade authorities to prioritise seafarers.
Creams, lotions and other toiletries are considered pharmaceutical products in Spain and can only be imported from outside the EU by licensed medical agencies. If you have previously ordered dermatological or toiletry products directly from UK suppliers, please note that these will now be intercepted and returned by customs, or destroyed. To avoid problems with importation of pharmaceuticals from the UK, please order via the likes of Amazon.co.uk (not third parties on the platform), as these still appear to arrive unhindered. However, please check shipment terms before ordering. Better still; if your products are available from eg. Amazon.de/.es/.fr, order from there instead, to ensure smooth delivery. A handy tool is https://euzon.eu/, which enables you to search all of Amazon’s European sites in one go. If we can help you source anything, please contact us: email@example.com
Travelling to or from the UK and need to obtain a PCR test? Courtesy of ESTELA SHIPPING, yacht crew can now get 50% off home test kits from the UK’s largest test provider, RANDOX. The full price of the kit is £120, but apply code ‘estela’ to reduce the price to only £60! For more information and to order your kit, visit https://www.randoxhealth.com/covid-19-home-testing-kit/. At checkout, simply enter the code estela to receive the discounted price. Please feel free to share this post with any friends, family or colleagues in need of a test.
Since April 6th, seafarers arriving in the UK and staying more than two days have been obliged to undergo rapid ‘lateral flow’ tests during their stay. While remaining exempt from the 10-day quarantine/self-isolation rules that apply to other travellers, crew must submit tests on Day 2 and Day 8 after entering the UK. Tests can be carried out and submitted in a variety of ways. A list of Government-approved test providers is here. Seafarers must also complete a passenger locator form prior to flying to the UK. While a pre-travel (PCR) test is not essential according to the current rules, we recommend taking a voluntary test for your personal reassurance and to avoid any confusion with check-in staff unfamiliar with the rules. Seafarers remain exempt from having to complete a travel declaration form to depart from the UK. The UK government website for COVID travel regulations is here, though the wording could be an awful lot clearer: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules#seamen-and-masters-and-inspectors-and-surveyors-of-ships If you have any queries, please contact us.
The below is a summary of the most relevant fiscal amendments with effect on the superyacht chartering activity in the Mediterranean in 2021: France: The new situation for summer season 2021 is that full VAT rate – 20% – will be charged for time spent in EU waters. Only the part of the journey taking place in international waters will be exempt from VAT. Italy: As in France, the new law will be applicable to all charters starting in Italy and/or outside EU territory and entering into Italy will be subject to ordinary VAT rate of 22%, except on the part of the journey taking place in international waters, which will be exempt from VAT. Spain: Charters starting in Spain are subject to 21% without any reductions. On the other hand charters starting outside the EU VAT area are subject to Spanish VAT for the part of the journey taking place in Spain VAT territory, however from January 1st 2021, they will be exempt of VAT if starting in any of the following Spanish special territories: Melilla, Ceuta and the Canary Islands. Greece: Greek standard VAT rate is 24%, with a potential reduction on the part of the journey taking […]
A ban on disposable plastics in the Balearics came into force this month. The sale, distribution and use of disposable plastic products is now prohibited, such as non-recyclable coffee capsules, plates, cutlery, cups, trays, drinking straws, disposable wipes and rings for holding together drinks cans. Some single-use items are still permitted and will be for as long as the current state of alarm lasts.
As the ESTELA Shipping name suggests, we provide worldwide freight forwarding services. But did you know we also do airfreight? Whether it is delivering spare parts to berthed or anchored vessels, or the return of spare parts, we can arrange for transportation and documentation. We also offer global end-to-end large cargo services, from Full Container Load (FCL), Less than Container Load (LCL) to Airfreight, completing all import/export formalities along the way. ESTELA handles special customs operations, including bonded and free warehouse storage and distribution, as well as temporary imports. Contact us for freight forwarding at: ESTELA Barcelona firstname.lastname@example.org ESTELA Palma email@example.com
SPAIN No yacht restrictions, subject to health declarations and PCR tests (<72 hrs) Hospitality is open only on terraces, until 5pm Groups may be no more than 6, from no more than two households, including on board Shops are open, with some capacity restrictions and closing at 8pm for non-essential items Arrivals by air from South Africa and Brazil, including crew, must quarantine for 10 days, or release after 7 days with PCR Non-Schengen tourism is not allowed, with some exceptions (incl Australia, NZ, China/HK, S. Korea) Curfew at 10pm ITALY Restrictions depend on colour classification (white, yellow, orange, red), though for the Easter period (Apr 3-6) the entire country is declared a RED zone No cruising permitted and crew may only disembark for essential shopping and medical reasons On shore, hospitality may open until 6pm, with curfew from 10pm Crew arriving from the Schengen area are not obliged to quarantine, but a PCR test (<48hrs) is required. A maritime health declaration is required for all yachts arriving from other countries Widespread speculation of this ‘red zone’ period being brought forward to March 28th FRANCE, CORSICA & MONACO Non-European flagged yachts may not enter or anchor in French waters Arrivals […]
With effect from 8th March 2021, all arrivals from South Africa in Spain will be required to quarantine for 10 days following arrival. Please note that seafarers are NOT exempt from this requirement, though are permitted to self-isolate on board. Quarantine must be spent at a designated accommodation, restricting movements and outside contact only to essential activities (eg. shopping for food, pharmaceuticals and essentials; visiting health services; causes of force majeure or emergency). You are advised to obtain an agent’s letter for your arrival, detailing where your quarantine will be spent. Health authorities may carry out inspections to ensure compliance, so you are advised to retain receipts or documentation to justify any movement from your quarantine accommodation. Arrivals may be released after providing a negative COVID test result, taken after 7 days of quarantine. Accepted tests are RT-PCR or other tests based on equivalent molecular techniques, as well as antigen tests that have a minimum yield of ≥ 90% sensitivity and ≥ 97% specificity. The quarantine requirement will initially be in force for arrivals from 00:00h on 8/3/21 until 23:59h on 21/3/21, though may be extended before the end of this period.
Global travel eligibility checker: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/#(note that all airlines’ policy is guided by IATA)Travel to Spain, general:For general travel to Spain: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/ESP/7001Spain health declaration: https://www.spth.gob.es/Balearic health declaration: https://viajarabaleares.ibsalut.es/formulario/Travel to Spain from the UK (any nationality):Spain/UK travel ban (in force until 31-Mar): https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2021/01/01/pdfs/BOE-A-2021-1.pdf(note that crew joining vessels are exempt, subject to requisite docs)UK government COVID travel guidance for Spain: https://www.gov.uk/foreign…/spain/entry-requirementsBREXIT: NOTICE FOR BRITISH CREW IN SPAINPlease note the following stamping requirements, issued by Spanish immigration police today:Active British crew members already appearing on a crew list DO NOT need to visit immigration to stamp on board and out of Spain. Only when they leave the vessel either temporarily or permanently, must the crew list be updated with the authorities and passports stamped.Non-active crew members currently in Spain, not appearing on any crew list, ARE NOT required to have their passports stamped, until they join a vessel.In summary, any change in crew list involving British crew, requires a stamp*. A representative can visit immigration on crew’s behalf; they are not required to attend in person.*Except official residents of SpainSpain’s UK Travel Ban Excludes SeafarersA new BOE was issued on 1st Jan by the Spanish government, stating that crew are now exempt from the […]
Many non-EU flagged yachts in the Mediterranean complete an 18-monthly ‘VAT dash’ to Algeria, to clear out of the EU zone ahead of their TA deadline. This year, the clearance dash has been complicated by restricted movements of both yachts and crew, while UK-flagged vessels are having to plan around this for the first time. We have been advising clients to ‘clear out’ in Melilla instead. This can mean a longer sailing, but the extra time and fuel consumed is offset by the lack of any PCR testing and/or quarantine requirement if coming from and returning to other Spanish ports. Melilla is Spanish territory, obviating the need to complete immigration clearance. Upon arrival, authorities in Melilla will provide a recognised Customs Authorities Certificate, while captains can be sure that there are no unexpected ‘shake-downs’ or on-board inspections. Fees are transparent, while security and port facilities are of the highest standard. Local fuel tax is rated below the cost of VAT, while pump prices are among the lowest in the Med. Merlilla’s port has a commercial dock of 240 meters, suitable for yachts of any length, as well as space to moor 15 yachts of up to 50 meters, with a […]
Most crew members will be familiar with the blue book that many yachting professionals carry alongside their passports, but not everyone has one. Or at least, not until now. In recent months, many yacht crew have been asking us about applying for one, now that international travel has become more complicated. So, if you haven’t already, should you get one and why? Let’s explore what a Seaman’s Book is and what its benefits are. What is it? The Seafarer’s Identity Document (SID) is known by several names: Seaman’s Discharge Book; Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book; Seaman’s Service Record/Book; Seafarer’s Card. It is a record of career certification and experience and is essential for crew working on commercial and merchant vessels. It can be a requirement of owners/managers of larger yachts. Can you travel with it? The SID is a quasi-legal document that supplements your passport and visas. It does not replace the passport and cannot be used to enter another country if arriving by air or overland. It does, however, identify you as a seafarer (ie. an essential worker) in the eyes of airlines and immigration officials. It also provides access to marine flight tickets, though some airlines will accept […]
Now that the UK has left the EU, there are some extra hoops for British passport holders to jump through when arriving in, or leaving, the EU. British crew members in Spain (or France) who already appear on a crew list are not required to visit immigration in order to stamp on board and out of the EU. Only when they leave the vessel either temporarily or permanently, must the crew list be updated with the authorities and passports stamped. Non-active crew members currently in Spain, not appearing on any crew list, ARE NOT required to have their passports stamped, until they join a vessel. In summary, any change in crew list involving British crew now requires a stamp*. A representative can visit immigration on crew’s behalf; they are not required to attend in person. *Except official residents of Spain Official travel resources: Global travel eligibility checker: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/# (note that all airlines’ policy is guided by IATA) Travel to Spain, general: For general travel to Spain: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/ESP/7001 Spain health declaration: https://www.spth.gob.es/ Travel to Spain from the UK (any nationality): Spain/UK travel ban (in force until 13-Feb): https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2021/01/01/pdfs/BOE-A-2021-1.pdf (note that crew joining vessels are exempt, subject to requisite docs) UK government […]
Spain has relaxed its ‘use and enjoyment’ rule for charters beginning in Melilla, enabling the country’s exclave on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast to reduce its VAT rate to just 0.5% this coming season. The rate is available to yachts that have ‘Union goods’ status, on any flag. Melilla is part of Spain, but is not in the Customs Territory of the EU (TAU) or the Territory of VAT application (TAIVA). This also makes it a useful point in finalising Temporary Admission, as part of the Inward Processing Regime (RPA). As Melilla is part of the Territory of Application of Special Taxes (TAIIEE), it is also advantageous for tax-free refuelling and provisioning. Aside from the financial benefits of using Melilla as a base, the city is an appealing destination in its own right, while offering some fascinating cruising possibilities along Morocco’s unspoiled coastline. Read all about Melilla in ‘The Y Yachting Itineraries’, here. Melilla also has its own small airport — conveniently, directly next to the port — for private flights, while a number of daily scheduled flights provide ample international connections via mainland Spain. Larger private planes can use nearby Nador, just outside the city’s perimeter. By sea, Melilla lies 125 […]
Brexit: UK-flagged yachts and VAT Having left the EU customs territory from the start of 2021, the UK is now considered a ‘third country’, affecting the VAT treatment of UK-flagged yachts in EU waters. Likewise, the treatment of EU-flagged yachts entering British waters is also affected. The change means UK-flagged vessels are now treated by the EU like any other non-EU flagged pleasure craft. A UK resident buying a new boat from a UK dealer for export A resident of the UK can buy a new yacht from a dealer in the UK ex-VAT, as long as the boat is delivered to the buyer outside of British waters. If bringing the boat into the EU, it can be imported under the Temporary Admission (TA) regime without paying VAT for up to 18 months. The boat can not charter or change ownership while in the EU under TA. Taking a UK VAT-paid yacht into EU waters The yacht is entitled to enter EU waters under TA, provided that the owner and/or captain are UK residents and the owner is on board upon entry. (Vice versa, EU residents may enter British waters under TA VAT-free for up to 18 months). Where a […]
Prepared: 10th December In advance of the Caribbean season, we present an overview of the COVID situation in most of the region’s most popular yacht destinations. Regulations are subject to change, so in order to ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information, we would always recommend using an accredited AYSS member yacht agent wherever possible. In the Caribbean, AYSS agents can be found in the following locations: Antigua, Bermuda, BVIs, Costa Rica, Dominica, Panama, St Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These agents will help you navigate your way around their and their neighbouring islands. Island-hopping is complicated this season by divergent regulations, such as in the French island bubble and CARICOM, whose mutual arrangements have been suspended temporarily. It should be taken as read that each destination has COVID sanitation regulations in place, such as health screening, restricted capacity, curfews, mask-wearing and other hygiene measures. Please consult each destination’s official website for details regarding health provisions, testing facilities and insurance requirements. ANGUILLA Open to pre-approved visitors, who must provide a negative PCR test result (<5 days) All visitors must complete an individual application (including children) For more information, visit: https://ivisitanguilla.com/escape/apply.html or telephone +1 264 476 7627 ANTIGUA […]
In this episode, we report on the challenging 2020 summer season in the Mediterranean and the forthcoming winter in the Caribbean. Featuring Nani Mas of Port Adriano and Tom Filby, Captain of popular charter yacht, M/Y Axioma.
The move affects travellers coming from more than 60 countries from 23rd November, including most EU member states. The negative PCR test must be taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Spain and must be issued in English or Spanish, in paper or electronic format. Who is affected? This measure applies to travellers coming by sea or air, not to arrivals through land borders. Exemptions may apply for yacht crew demonstrably in transit to a boat that is departing imminently, or from a boat to outside Spain, departing without delay. Exemptions will also apply for arrivals who may have been unable to undergo a PCR test within the 72 hour window, having been continuously at sea or arrived from a departure point where tests are unavailable. In each instance, arrivals seeking an exemption are advised to check with us and we will consult with the local health authority for a confirmed exemption for your circumstance. High Risk Countries For European countries of origin, Spanish authorities will rely on the risk map by the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC). For countries outside this area, the reference point will be the 14-day cumulative coronavirus incidence for every 100,000 inhabitants, […]