A new omnibus legislation was published in the Official Gazette on 27 January 2017 expanding the scope of the applicable tax exemptions for vessels and yachts that are registered with the Turkish Ship Registries. The legislation aims to foster both the initial registration with the Turkish International Ship Registry ("TISR") and transfer from foreign flags to the Turkish flag by providing financial benefits to foreign and Turkish shipowners.
The new legislation brought forth the following changes:
- "Voyage and time charter agreements" are explicitly included in the list of contracts and transactions that are exempt from stamp duty.
- Vessels and yachts transferring from TISR to a foreign registry shall continue to benefit from the exemptions until their deletion from TISR provided they had been registered with TISR for a minimum period of 6 months.
- The successive owners of yachts, cutters and cruise ships will be exempt from inheritance and succession taxes.
- All taxes and fees including customs duty arising out of the import of yachts, cutters and cruise ships will no longer be applicable with the exception of the fees imposed by the port of registry for the issuance of licences and permits.
Further, the Council of Ministers has issued a new decree published on 3 February 2017 decreasing the Value Added Tax on the transfer of yachts, cutters and cruise ships from the previous rate of 18% to 1%. By the same decree the Special Excise Duty which used to be 8% will no longer apply to these vessels.
Originally published 17 February 2017
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