Economic measures to support nautical facilities. April 22, 2020

Yesterday the Royal Decree-Law 15/2020 of April 21 was published in the BOE the urgent and complementary measures to support the economy and employment, which adopts exceptional and transitory economic measures to support companies that operate in the state port area , thus giving a specific response to this sector.

On the basis of this new RDL, the owners of nautical-sports facilities attached to State Ports can benefit from a series of economic aid, mostly linked to port fees, which we summarize below:

Reduction of the ‘Occupancy rate’:

In the settlements of the occupancy rate that are notified after the entry into force of the Royal Decree-Law, (as of April 23, and only for the year 2020) the occupancy rate of the concessions may be reduced or authorizations as long as each and every one of the following requirements are met:

a) The owner must prove that he has experienced a significantly negative impact on his activity as a result of the health crisis of COVID-19. “The evaluation of said impact will be carried out on a case-by-case basis, based on the activity of the last four years, according to objective criteria on a traffic indicator or, failing that, on income attributable to said activity ”.

b) The reduction will only be granted at the request of a party. In order to benefit from the reduction, it is the holder of the authorization or concession who must make a request to the Port Authority justifying, in the manner indicated, the negative impact that the activity has suffered.

c) The reduction will reach up to a maximum of 20% of the full fee. In accordance with article 17.2 of the Royal Decree-Law, the reduction may not exceed 20% of the full fee, being the Board of Directors of each Port Authority the one that must set its specific magnitude “always taking into account the situation economic-financial of the same ”.

d) The reduction must be incorporated into the General State Budget Law or other norm with the formal status of Law.

‘Activity rate’:

a) Reduction of the full fee. For the year 2020, the lower limit of the full annual quota of the activity rate established in article b) .2.1 of the Consolidated Text of the Law on State Ports and the Merchant Marine, may be left without effect. Depending on the economic impact, the activity rate may be below 20% of the annual net quota of the corresponding occupancy rate.

b) Deferral of settlement at the end of the year. The settlement of the activity fee may also be postponed until the end of 2020 (only for this year), depending on the activity actually carried out (suppressing, where appropriate, the advance payment). For this measure, no guarantee will be required other than that of the concession title itself or authorization granted.

Likewise, the RDL contemplates the postponement of the tax debt corresponding to the settlements of port fees accrued from March 13 to June 30, 2020, upon request of the obligated parties, the maximum deferral period being six months, no default interest will accrue and guarantees will not be required for deferral.

It is important to note that all these measures may only be agreed by the Port Authority at the request of the taxpayer and that, in their request, the interested party must justify “the negative impact on their activity of the COVID-19 crisis.”

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