Sarnia Showcases Yacht Expertise in Cannes and Monaco

As a leading specialist in yacht ownership and operation services, the annual industry shows in Cannes and Monaco remain a firm fixture in Sarnia’s calendar. They are an opportunity to share our expertise in corporate services, yacht accounting and administration solutions as well as MLC-compliant crew employment and payroll services.

Cannes Yachting Festival 12-17 September

Stephanie Sullivan from our Malta office joined Bruce Maltwood at the Cannes Yachting Festival, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last month with a display of 600 yachts in the old port and Port Pierre Canto.

The event was an ideal opportunity for the pair to meet brokers, managers and other industry professionals. Despite temperatures reaching over 30ᵒC, large numbers of visitors attended the show; the Sarnia team maximised the networking opportunities and attended various meetings with shipyards, lawyers, captains and both new and existing clients.

The Cannes Yachting Festival continues to increase in importance for Sarnia as yacht prices rise and the value of structuring for smaller yachts is realised.

Over the past five years alone, the entry point for structuring has decreased from around the 24m mark to 20m. In today’s market, 20m vessels can obtain sufficient financial benefits to justify putting both private and commercial structures in place.

Forming a company to own and operate a yacht will provide asset protection for the owner. Other benefits include:

  • Estate planning
  • Qualification for a flag not available to the individual owner
  • Delegation of the day-to-day running of the yacht
  • VAT registration at a suitable jurisdiction for commercial yachts

Questions about corporate structures at Cannes included which type of structure to choose and what are the most favourable jurisdictions for incorporation. Sarnia’s expertise in this area proved helpful as post-show enquiries continue to be received.

For Sarnia, this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival was the most successful to date as it gave us an outlet to showcase our industry knowledge. Current hot topics included social security for French crew, Returned Goods Relief and issues with non-EU flags, all of which we manage for our clients on a daily basis.

Monaco Yacht Show 27-30 September

Each year, the Monaco Yacht Show welcomes 580 leading companies from the yachting industry, providing the perfect forum to discuss key topics affecting the sector.

The dominant topic of conversation for this year’s show was social security issues in France, exploring different points of view from brokers, captains, service providers and registries. With an experienced and MLC-compliant employment and payroll team, Sarnia is well-equipped to advise on social security requirements and are keeping up to date with regulatory changes.

Dan Armsden, our Yacht & Crew Technical Manager,  was manning the Sarnia stand and has been advising clients on this issue since it arose earlier this year and continues to be a point of contact for this issue.

Dan was also a panellist at the Professional Yachting Association (PYA) seminar, which provided the ideal platform to showcase Sarnia’s expertise on tackling the social security decree in addition to a wide range of other factors impacting the industry.

Malta services remained another hot topic, keeping up its momentum from last year and enabling Sarnia to highlight our presence in Malta which is underpinned by the long-term experience of our Guernsey office. We were able to discuss the various ownership solutions both our locations can provide.

Clients and brokers were keen to discuss how Sarnia can provide a full range of corporate administration services including company directors, secretary, registered office and accounting services. We were also able to answer questions about ongoing corporate guidance to ensure the yacht-owning company is compliant in an ever-more complex regulatory world.

In addition, with the issue of non-EU flags gaining prominence and the emerging importance of Malta as a jurisdiction, it was important to underline the services and advice we could offer through our office in Malta.

It is always rewarding to meet the numerous captains and crew for whom we provide payroll services to and to receive good feedback about our service. Catching up with the other industry professionals during the show helps to strengthen our business relationships.

The Monaco Yacht Show continues to provide a unique opportunity to network with various industry contacts and remains key to positioning Sarnia as the leading specialist in yacht ownership and operation.

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