Alison Vassallo addresses Press Conference on status of Malta yachting sector and new Guidelines on hiring of pleasure yachts

Alison Vassallo, head of our Yachting Department and Chairperson of the YSBS within the Malta Chamber of Commerce, addressed a Press Conference held on the 20th March 2019 at the Chamber. The aim was that of providing a snapshot of the current state of the yachting industry in Malta which includes the inroads achieved with the publication of the guidelines on the hiring of pleasure yachts earlier this month and of the work carried out by the YSBS during its 2 year tenure.

The Press Conference was also addressed by Honourable Edward Scicluna who referred to the publication of the new guidelines on the hiring of pleasure yachts of the 1st March as signifying the closure of the in depth discussions that had taken place with the Commission further to the receipt of the Letter of Formal Notice from the Commission in March of last year. He stated that the guidelines reflect current industry practice as well as EU and Maltese law and that their publication will continue to instil certainly in and confidence of international yacht owners in our jurisdiction.

Alison Vassallo stated that the actions taken by Malta in addressing the Commission’s concerns on the application of the previous guidelines and to finding a resolution to the matter reflected the excellent collaboration and relationship of the authorities with the private sector. Throughout the process, professionals within the YSBS and other associations having years of experience and an in-depth technical, practical and legal knowledge of the industry supported the Government and the authorities with technical and legal assistance and were and continue to remain at the full disposal of the Government.

Alison Vassallo also referred to a study that was conducted by YSTS in collaboration with Ernst and Young last year with the aim of obtaining industry statistics as an important tool in gauging the value of the industry and stated that in covering results obtained from 50 operators, this study provided a good spread and representation of the sector. As announced by Minister Scicluna, indicative figures and estimates point to a Euro 100 million turnover from operators which excludes direct revenues generated from taxation and flag registration fees. The sector also holds an important role from an employment perspective with an estimated 1,500 jobs directly related to the sector.

The President of the Chamber Mr Frank V Farrugia noted how Business Sections were the backbone of the Malta Chamber and that the collaboration between highly active sections such the Chamber’s Yachting Services Business Section and the Ministry of Finance proved to be instrumental in solving issues relating to matters of direct interest to Chamber members.