Cabinet d'avocat en yachting

Yachting

Stream has a unique expertise on yachting matters, and is a trusted adviser to some leading industry association. We provide legal services to yacht owners, charterers, managers, lenders, insurers, brokers, designers or builders – whatever the size or type of craft – from sailing craft to the biggest superyachts.

Our yacht lawyers advise on new building projects, sale and purchase of second-hand yachts, financing, registration, tax and customs matters, statutory compliance, commercial management and operation, insurance, sponsorship, crewing and chartering.

Our yachting team has a strong expertise on tax, customs and excise matters relating to yachting, and is well-recognised by industry professionals and foreign lawyers. 

We regularly assist owners or managers on EU import matters, VAT treatment of yacht construction and sale and purchase, and structuration of yacht ownership.

The purchase of a yacht, be it newbuild or second hand, can be a long and technical process. Whilst it may seem an easy process due to accepted standards form of sale and purchase contracts available for second-hand yachts, the outcome may not be as straightforward. Therefore both sellers and buyers should be properly advised to avoid disputes and other issues (technical, tax, …).

Our team   regularly advises sellers and buyers on the drafting, negotiation and completion of sale and purchase agreement.  Our team  has a long experience in these matters and ensures smooth transactions which are crucial both for sellers and buyers.

Stream also regularly carries out audits on a yacht’s tax and customs status to protect the parties, and organise customs formalities before the delivery whether in international waters or export sale for instance.

Recent matters include:

  • Counsel to the purchaser of a 47 metre Heesen yacht registered in the Cayman Islands;
  • Advising the seller of an 80-foot racing yacht;
  • Counsel to the buyer of a mega-yacht via the acquisition of the SPV.

A yacht building contract is an essential element of a successful yachting venture for an owner, but they are complex by nature.  A clear contract scheme and good briefing at the start of a project can save time, and help reduce the risk of larger legal costs at a later date, should something go wrong. It is an essential part of the risk management process of any yachting project.

Our team has wide experience of the drafting, negotiation and review of design, building and repair contracts and we work closely with project teams to ensure contracts perform well in practice. Our team of specialists has been advising on yacht building projects in various jurisdictions (Turkey, France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, etc.), which is an important element when it comes to parties’ rights and type of guarantees available to buyers.

Our experience is also built on shipbuilding disputes handled by the firm for years, whether acting for builders, suppliers or owners, which help us to assess the risks of a construction and to the extent possible deal with such risks at the documentation stage.

Recent matters include:

  • Assisting a purchaser for the negotiation and follow-up of the design and construction of a 50 meters yacht under construction in Italy;
  • Advising a yacht owner for the construction of a 40 meters motor yacht in Italy;
  • Advising a yacht owner for the construction and financing of a 60 meters motor yacht built in the Netherlands;
  • Assisting a yacht owner for the construction of a 70 meters motor yacht built in the Netherlands;
  • Advising an owner for the negotiation of a 30 meters sailing yacht built in Turkey.

Our lawyers deal on a daily basis with charter party issues, whether in French or English law, and with contentious or transactional matters. We advise our clients in the drafting and negotiation of charter-parties, whether in the standard MYBA form or in ad hoc forms. 

We assist owners or charterers by explaining the risks and liabilities associated with these contracts, in order to enable them to make informed decisions when discussing the terms and conditions of yacht chartering agreements.

Our expertise is based on a long experience of litigation relating to charter parties, whether before the French or English national courts or before arbitration tribunals (LMAA in particular). 

We have recently acted on several cases relating to the difficulties raised by the Covid19 pandemic, both for owners and charterers, and have assisted MYBA on these issues.

Our team has wide experience in yacht financing and refinancing. Yacht finance’s approach has become very different from standard ship financing and we are therefore well placed to guide yacht owners and financial institutions through the specificities of yacht financing.

Our specialist team of lawyers draft, coordinate and review loan documentation relating to construction or purchase financing, interim payments, treatment of variations, and relevant guarantees. We have acted for owners, financiers, brokers and shipyards, and we understand the issues on all sides of a transaction. We also have experience assisting banks in borrowers’ default situation, seeking to protect banks’ interest by protecting and recovering amounts due to them.

Recent matters include:

  • Assisting a bank for the refinancing of a 40m second-hand yacht flagged in the Cayman Islands;
  • Advising a yacht owner for the refinancing of a 55 meters yacht flagged in the Cayman Islands and based in the middle east;
  • Assisting a bank for the construction financing of a 90 meters yacht built in the Netherlands and flagged in the Cayman Islands;
  • Advising a yacht owner for the financing of the purchase of a 100m+ expedition yacht.

Stream offers a large scope of services such as assistance in Customs investigations or defending clients in customs and excise litigation, and advise clients on various aspects on the customs, tax and excise regulations regarding the ownership and use of yachts. 

Our expertise covers guidance on customs regimes (for instance exportation, release for free circulation, return goods relief regime, temporary admission, transit, temporary storage, inward processing relief), recovery of duties and VAT, advising clients on specific taxation schemes, such as the onward supply relief (procedure 42), French Commercial Exemption, French leasing, rules, taxation on charter, and transport contract.

We also represent clients toward the French customs and tax authorities regarding the breach of customs and tax regimes such as the French Commercial Exemption, temporary admission, obligation in tax representation, interpretation of French or EU customs and tax rules. We defend our client to obtain waiver or mitigation of penalties. 

Our team is also actively involved in discussions between the yachting associations and tax and customs authorities regarding the interpretation of regulations.

Recent matters include:

  • Assisting yacht owning companies in defending claims from the French Customs regarding a breach of temporary admission regime and especially the notion of user and EU-resident, and the claim for payment of the hull value of the yacht; 
  • Assisting clients in drafting contract clauses of shipbuilding or Sale and Purchase contracts in a customs and tax point of view; 
  • Advising clients for importations of US-built yachts for charter activities mitigating the 25% additional duties and VAT; 
  • Customs advice on yachts importations in the EU under the appropriate customs regime, taking into account the yacht’s history, intended use and the full possibilities offered by the French and Union Customs Code; 
  • Assisting a client intending to purchase a yacht through his own company for pleasure and commercial use; 
  • Assisting broker within a tax control (VAT and withholding tax).

Our team of experts in labour law has a deep knowledge and experience in the yachting sector and is used to dealing with national and international clients. We provide a practical and clear advice, being aware that French employment law can be complex.

Our expertise is broad and covers both advice and litigation – conflicts between yacht owners and crew, ENIM, the French administrations, etc.

Our yachting clients often face issues that require immediate action (in case of arrest for instance) and always with a cross-border perspective (foreign flagged-yachts, moving place of residence of the crew, foreign employer differing from flag state, etc …). These aspects will have a strong impact on the applicable procedure and laws to an employment situation.

Our team has a recognised expertise as regards seafarers’ matters, which covers international contracts, MLC related matters, working time, employment aspects of yacht sales, social security matters, health and safety (notably serious occupational accidents).

Recent matters include:

  • Advising yacht owners on minimum standards as regards to social security (especially on article L.5551-1 Code of Transport);
  • Advising managers/employers on French employment law applicability and compulsory rules (notably working time and dismissal procedure);
  • Assisting yacht owners brought in front of French employment courts by their employees despite yacht foreign flag;
  • Assisting yacht owners / managers in releasing yacht arrests and negotiations with employees;
  • Representing a client for negotiations with the French government regarding the change of law on social security;
  • Drafting employment contracts for the crew of the owner of a Cayman Islands flag registered yacht navigating mainly in French waters.

Our yacht and superyacht team has extensive expertise in litigation and arbitration and can advise the industry on a wide variety of contentious matters: insurance and brokerage claims, crew claims, shipbuilding and repairs, seafarers employment and social security issues, sale & purchase and chartering disputes, management, supervision  and classification issues, collision, grounding, etc.

Our expertise and recognised reactivity are highly sought for cases such as arrest, repossession and other conservatory measures. Our global network of experts and correspondents allow us to respond to any urgent situation and to provide for immediate and effective assistance at the earliest stage of a crisis.

We have an innovative approach to dispute resolution when acting for claimants or defendants. We consider the most cost-efficient options for clients when assessing any case and carry out a thorough assessment of all the available litigation options such as settlement before starting court litigation. Where settlement is preferred, we proactively assist our clients in negotiations with the opponents.

Recent matters include:

  • Acting for owners before French employment courts against claims issued by entire crew for employment issues;
  • Acting for owners in ICC arbitration against management company for negligence in performance of a ship management contract.
  • Acting for owners against H&M insurers and shipyard for loss and damage to vessel following refitting and repairs.
  • Assisting brokers and central agents in recovery of sale & purchase commission.
  • Advising insurers in respect of an alleged total loss of a yacht in the Atlantic
Sales and purchase

The purchase of a yacht, be it newbuild or second hand, can be a long and technical process. Whilst it may seem an easy process due to accepted standards form of sale and purchase contracts available for second-hand yachts, the outcome may not be as straightforward. Therefore both sellers and buyers should be properly advised to avoid disputes and other issues (technical, tax, …).

Our team   regularly advises sellers and buyers on the drafting, negotiation and completion of sale and purchase agreement.  Our team  has a long experience in these matters and ensures smooth transactions which are crucial both for sellers and buyers.

Stream also regularly carries out audits on a yacht’s tax and customs status to protect the parties, and organise customs formalities before the delivery whether in international waters or export sale for instance.

Recent matters include:

  • Counsel to the purchaser of a 47 metre Heesen yacht registered in the Cayman Islands;
  • Advising the seller of an 80-foot racing yacht;
  • Counsel to the buyer of a mega-yacht via the acquisition of the SPV.
Shipbuilding

A yacht building contract is an essential element of a successful yachting venture for an owner, but they are complex by nature.  A clear contract scheme and good briefing at the start of a project can save time, and help reduce the risk of larger legal costs at a later date, should something go wrong. It is an essential part of the risk management process of any yachting project.

Our team has wide experience of the drafting, negotiation and review of design, building and repair contracts and we work closely with project teams to ensure contracts perform well in practice. Our team of specialists has been advising on yacht building projects in various jurisdictions (Turkey, France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, etc.), which is an important element when it comes to parties’ rights and type of guarantees available to buyers.

Our experience is also built on shipbuilding disputes handled by the firm for years, whether acting for builders, suppliers or owners, which help us to assess the risks of a construction and to the extent possible deal with such risks at the documentation stage.

Recent matters include:

  • Assisting a purchaser for the negotiation and follow-up of the design and construction of a 50 meters yacht under construction in Italy;
  • Advising a yacht owner for the construction of a 40 meters motor yacht in Italy;
  • Advising a yacht owner for the construction and financing of a 60 meters motor yacht built in the Netherlands;
  • Assisting a yacht owner for the construction of a 70 meters motor yacht built in the Netherlands;
  • Advising an owner for the negotiation of a 30 meters sailing yacht built in Turkey.
Chartering

Our lawyers deal on a daily basis with charter party issues, whether in French or English law, and with contentious or transactional matters. We advise our clients in the drafting and negotiation of charter-parties, whether in the standard MYBA form or in ad hoc forms.

We assist owners or charterers by explaining the risks and liabilities associated with these contracts, in order to enable them to make informed decisions when discussing the terms and conditions of yacht chartering agreements.

Our expertise is based on a long experience of litigation relating to charter parties, whether before the French or English national courts or before arbitration tribunals (LMAA in particular).

We have recently acted on several cases relating to the difficulties raised by the Covid19 pandemic, both for owners and charterers, and have assisted MYBA on these issues.

Yacht finance

Our team has wide experience in yacht financing and refinancing. Yacht finance’s approach has become very different from standard ship financing and we are therefore well placed to guide yacht owners and financial institutions through the specificities of yacht financing.

Our specialist team of lawyers draft, coordinate and review loan documentation relating to construction or purchase financing, interim payments, treatment of variations, and relevant guarantees. We have acted for owners, financiers, brokers and shipyards, and we understand the issues on all sides of a transaction. We also have experience assisting banks in borrowers’ default situation, seeking to protect banks’ interest by protecting and recovering amounts due to them.

Recent matters include:

  • Assisting a bank for the refinancing of a 40m second-hand yacht flagged in the Cayman Islands;
  • Advising a yacht owner for the refinancing of a 55 meters yacht flagged in the Cayman Islands and based in the middle east;
  • Assisting a bank for the construction financing of a 90 meters yacht built in the Netherlands and flagged in the Cayman Islands;
  • Advising a yacht owner for the financing of the purchase of a 100m+ expedition yacht.
Customs and excise

Stream offers a large scope of services such as assistance in Customs investigations or defending clients in customs and excise litigation, and advise clients on various aspects on the customs, tax and excise regulations regarding the ownership and use of yachts. 

Our expertise covers guidance on customs regimes (for instance exportation, release for free circulation, return goods relief regime, temporary admission, transit, temporary storage, inward processing relief), recovery of duties and VAT, advising clients on specific taxation schemes, such as the onward supply relief (procedure 42), French Commercial Exemption, French leasing, rules, taxation on charter, and transport contract.

We also represent clients toward the French customs and tax authorities regarding the breach of customs and tax regimes such as the French Commercial Exemption, temporary admission, obligation in tax representation, interpretation of French or EU customs and tax rules. We defend our client to obtain waiver or mitigation of penalties. 

Our team is also actively involved in discussions between the yachting associations and tax and customs authorities regarding the interpretation of regulations.

Recent matters include:

  • Assisting yacht owning companies in defending claims from the French Customs regarding a breach of temporary admission regime and especially the notion of user and EU-resident, and the claim for payment of the hull value of the yacht; 
  • Assisting clients in drafting contract clauses of shipbuilding or Sale and Purchase contracts in a customs and tax point of view; 
  • Advising clients for importations of US-built yachts for charter activities mitigating the 25% additional duties and VAT; 
  • Customs advice on yachts importations in the EU under the appropriate customs regime, taking into account the yacht’s history, intended use and the full possibilities offered by the French and Union Customs Code; 
  • Assisting a client intending to purchase a yacht through his own company for pleasure and commercial use; 
  • Assisting broker within a tax control (VAT and withholding tax).
Employment law

Our team of experts in labour law has a deep knowledge and experience in the yachting sector and is used to dealing with national and international clients. We provide a practical and clear advice, being aware that French employment law can be complex.

Our expertise is broad and covers both advice and litigation – conflicts between yacht owners and crew, ENIM, the French administrations, etc.

Our yachting clients often face issues that require immediate action (in case of arrest for instance) and always with a cross-border perspective (foreign flagged-yachts, moving place of residence of the crew, foreign employer differing from flag state, etc …). These aspects will have a strong impact on the applicable procedure and laws to an employment situation.

Our team has a recognised expertise as regards seafarers’ matters, which covers international contracts, MLC related matters, working time, employment aspects of yacht sales, social security matters, health and safety (notably serious occupational accidents).

Recent matters include:

  • Advising yacht owners on minimum standards as regards to social security (especially on article L.5551-1 Code of Transport);
  • Advising managers/employers on French employment law applicability and compulsory rules (notably working time and dismissal procedure);
  • Assisting yacht owners brought in front of French employment courts by their employees despite yacht foreign flag;
  • Assisting yacht owners / managers in releasing yacht arrests and negotiations with employees;
  • Representing a client for negotiations with the French government regarding the change of law on social security;
  • Drafting employment contracts for the crew of the owner of a Cayman Islands flag registered yacht navigating mainly in French waters.
Dispute resolution

Our yacht and superyacht team has extensive expertise in litigation and arbitration and can advise the industry on a wide variety of contentious matters: insurance and brokerage claims, crew claims, shipbuilding and repairs, seafarers employment and social security issues, sale & purchase and chartering disputes, management, supervision  and classification issues, collision, grounding, etc.

Our expertise and recognised reactivity are highly sought for cases such as arrest, repossession and other conservatory measures. Our global network of experts and correspondents allow us to respond to any urgent situation and to provide for immediate and effective assistance at the earliest stage of a crisis.

We have an innovative approach to dispute resolution when acting for claimants or defendants. We consider the most cost-efficient options for clients when assessing any case and carry out a thorough assessment of all the available litigation options such as settlement before starting court litigation. Where settlement is preferred, we proactively assist our clients in negotiations with the opponents.

Recent matters include:

  • Acting for owners before French employment courts against claims issued by entire crew for employment issues;
  • Acting for owners in ICC arbitration against management company for negligence in performance of a ship management contract.
  • Acting for owners against H&M insurers and shipyard for loss and damage to vessel following refitting and repairs.
  • Assisting brokers and central agents in recovery of sale & purchase commission.
  • Advising insurers in respect of an alleged total loss of a yacht in the Atlantic

LAWYERS

Yachting

All lawyers

Mathieu Croix

Avocat au Barreau du Havre

Partner

Vy-Loan Huynh-Olivieri

Avocat au Barreau de Paris

Partner

Aymeric de Tapol

Avocat au Barreau de Paris / Solicitor of England & Wales

Partner

Fabien d’Haussy

Avocat au Barreau de Marseille

Partner

Freddy Desplanques

Avocat au Barreau du Havre

Partner

Amélie de Franssu

Avocat au Barreau de Paris

Associate

Peter Langlais

Docteur en Droit - Avocat

Associate

Audran de Carné

Avocat au Barreau de Paris

Associate

Benoît Noel

Avocat au Barreau du Havre

Associate

Ingrid Bourbonnais

Avocat au Barreau de Marseille - Docteur en Droit

Associate

Jean-Baptiste Hebert

Avocat au Barreau du Havre

Associate

Nicolas Salin

Avocat au barreau de Paris

Associate

NEWS

Yachting

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News

“Yachting”

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