TIRANA, October 29
Sad news for billionaires who used to bunker their yachts in Albanian ports for tax-free fuel. The duty-free fuel era might soon be gone and they will have to pay taxes, Monitor magazine reported on Friday.
The adoption of a new draft law that defines a Lek 65 per litter tax, is going to hit the wallets of yachts and other vessels’ owners that will arrive at Albanian ports for bunkering services.
Based on the relation of the bill on some additions to the law ‘On National Taxes’, the new tax would generate budget revenue while being lower than the tax normal imported fuel, which is Lek 90 per liter.
Tax-free bunkering has sparked debate over the years in Albania, especially when it was justified as a way to boost tourism in port cities. Based on regulations in place, yachts must leave the territorial waters of Albania after the completion of tax-free bunkering.
According to a-yachting, tax-free fuel in Albania is 45 percent cheaper than retail diesel prices in the country, and up to 60 percent less expensive than the regular retail price in the European Union (EU). Such fees are the reason why many superyachts have been visiting Albanian ports, especially Saranda. The Sailing Yacht A, the largest private sail-assisted motor yacht in the world has been seen anchored in Saranda port more than once, while photos of what was reportedly Jeff Bezos yacht in Saranda made the headlines this summer.
Photo: Sailing Yacht A bunkering in Saranda, credit: Port of Saranda