M/Y Force Blue Seized by Italian Customs Officers

By B. Roberts

Early on Friday 21st May M/Y Force Blue was seized by Italian Customs Officers in La Spezia, near Genoa. A local prosecutor gave Officers of the Guardia Di Finanza permission to take control of the vessel due to claims that there is outstanding VAT owing on fuel used by the yacht.

Monaco based Fraser Yachts was appointed in 2005 to provide specialist management services to Force Blue by the beneficial owner and oversees matters relating to the yacht’s management, charter management and charter marketing. Fraser Yachts has stated: “Our immediate priority is to address this problem with the Italian authorities and to offer our client full support in order to secure the release of the yacht as quickly as possible. We are naturally providing our client with our full back up, resources and expertise to try and bring about a swift resolution to the matter.”

Fraser Yachts' team of yacht management and charter experts is in direct contact with the yacht's Captain on a regular basis and is not aware of any contravention of the legal or financial requirements, as set out by the Italian authorities, by either the owning company, Captain or beneficial owner.

According to Fraser Yachts, the renowned and actively marketed charter yacht has been extremely popular among charter clients over the past few years with a minimum of 14 weeks of charter per year. The vessel is chartered by the beneficial owner for his own use for approximately four to six weeks per year.

It has been reported that the issue arose as a result of regulations, which can appear confusing and inconsistent, rather than any wrong doing. Fraser Yachts is looking to aid the owners of M/Y Force Blue by providing any documentation required. They will also be seeking further clarification with regard to the regulations, so that they can advise their many other important clients on this matter.

By B. Roberts
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