Foreign Flagged/Registered Boats & Yachts & Skipper´s Licence – FAQs

Residents need to formally import their boats and pay Impuesto Especial sobre Determinados Medios de Transporte, known as Impuesto de Matriculación if their vessel meets the requisites.. The tax amounts to 12% of the value of the vessel. Yearly the government publishes values of second hand vessels. A gestor should be able to access those for you or you can ask at your local Tax Office.

Exempt are those under 8 m and/or those between 8 and 15 meter that are exclusively used as rentals. All others, for recreational use, are to be registered on List 6 if rented out and on List 7 if solely for private use.


Note: according to the info from the Government´s website, even if exempt, one would still have to register vessel, with form 06 instead of 576. Please visit your local Tax Office or an experienced gestor to help you with this.


When do you need a skipper´s certificate when sailing/motoring in Spanish waters?

General info from the Spanish government´s website.

Exemption; motorboats up to 5 meters with motor of max. 11,26 Kw and sail boats up to 6 meters and all sorts of floating devices, except watermotors, as long as they stay within 2 nautical miles from harbor or coast and if used during daytime hours.

FAQs from the government website, in Spanish.

Exempt are those that only participate in official competions/races as well.

What about a skipper´s certificate obtained in another EU country?

According to the 4th additional disposition of the Royal Decree 875/2014 of October 14th, 2014 you can skipper recreational vessels in Spain if you have the appropiate certificate/licence (either for recreational vessels or a professional licence), obtained in either your country of nationality, or that of your country of residence. If the latter, you need to carry proof of residency.  You might want to print the following pdf, as it explains in Spanish what the various EU nautical certificates stand for.

PDF with EU Nautical Certificates

Skipper certificates in Spain are issued for 10 years (5 years if 70 or over) so if your foreign certificate is about to expire or even older than 10 years, you would have to renew in Spain.

Please note: The information provided is based upon our understanding of current legislation. It is not legal advice but is provided freely to enable you to be properly informed. We recommend that if you are considering taking action, you should seek professional advice.

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