Croatia ports profiting, but for how long?
Croatian ports saw profits rise 11.2% last year, reaching 855 million Kuna ($141.3 million), but seems set to fall.
The total income from Croatian ports was 855 million Kuna in 2017, with 70% (598 million Kuna) of the total being raised from ship mooring alone. This is a 10.9% increase from the 539 million raised in 2016.
Income from moorings grew despite the number of vessels moored throughout the country’s ports being little changed. In December 2017, there was 13,433 vessels moored, only 100 more than in 2016.
4,818 vessels over 20 metres were moored in the country throughout the year. In December 2017, there were 432.
The survey from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics looked at 140 different ports on the country’s coast, 70 marinas and 70 other nautical ports.
Whilst this is a promising sign, there is a chance that these figures could fall over the next few years following an increase in the sojourn (tourist) tax that came into effect on 1 April this year.
Croatia has raised its sojourn (tourist) tax for marinas and the result appears likely to hit superyacht owners hardest. Annual berthing prices are seeing the biggest increase for yachts over 20 metres.
Superyacht owners berthing a vessel in Croatia for a year will now have to pay 14,500 Kuna ($2,314). The previous figure was 1,700 Kuna ($281). Whilst the price increase might look drastic, due to the wealth of the average superyacht owner this will probably not deter them from berthing in the country.
However, smaller vessels in the 15 to 20 metre range will also see the price of annual berthing increase from 1,500 Kuna to 9,600 Kuna, which could be enough to deter smaller boat owners.
Croatia’s yacht-related tax hike comes in the wake of the Paradise Papers leaks. The leaks drew public attention to widespread tax evasion in the yacht industry.