Two panel discussions took place on the second day of the VI Nautical Congress. Javier Portales -partner representing the Firm-, and Carlos Sanlorenzo -secretary of ANEN (Spanish Marine Trade Association) and principal associate at the Firm- participated in the first panel on “warranties in the purchase of a leisure boat”. Ms. Purificacion Martorell -Judge of the Court of Appeal of Valencia- also participated in such debate.

Ms. Martorell stated that the Spanish Shipping Act (LNM) has marked a turning point in the sale and purchase of leisure boats. However, she defended that although there is a broader regulatory support, “everything is yet to be discussed” in this matter. Therefore, according to Ms. Martorell, in order to guarantee a satisfactory solution to disputes that may arise regarding the sale and purchase of leisure boats, it is necessary to identify the claim together with the applicable law and the sought remedies. As for the approach of the defence, the Judge declared the importance of the contractual documentation and the consumer protection rules. Lastly, Ms. Martorell also highlighted the importance of expert evidence.

Javier Portales drew attention to the fact that there is no standard contract regulating the warranties for the sale and purchase of leisure boats. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of including detailed warranties and complaints clauses in purchase contracts, since the details therein can limit the issues arising from such.

Miguel Angel Serra took part in the second panel on “Taxation and Customs Law”, another of the subjects covered in the Congress. Mr. Serra analysed the effects of the new EU Customs Code on the Spanish regime for temporary importation of yachts and, more specifically, on the charter activity. In his opinion, it is possible to carry out charter activities under the temporary importation regime as long as the conditions of such regime are met (i.e. amongst others, that the clients are established outside of the EC Customs Territory). This is a new business opportunity in Spain and a new niche market.

Serra also made reference to the demands of the yachting sector, being amongst them the need to regulate the commercial VAT exemption in the importation of non-EU yachts, the need to apply a VAT reduction when a yacht sails in international waters -in tune with the regulation already in force in France and Italy, main competitors of Spain-, and the abolition of the Registration Tax for leisure boats with more than 8 meters of overall length.