13 Mar Interview: PATRICIA BULLOCK
More than 35 years of experience in the nautical sector endorse the activity of Patricia Bullock, founder and director
of Network Marine Consultants. Known by her team as ‘The Guru’, she is a recognised specialist in the field
of general yacht management in Spain. We chat to her about regulatory, safety and professional training for young
people who want to work in the sector
“The tax law still
super yachts and even
more so if they are flying
the Spanish Flag
What are the characteristics and special
regulations in Spain, and more specifically
in the Balearic Islands, for super yachts?
The characteristics and regulations are the same
for Spanish boats as they are for foreign vessels.
Commercial yachts need a specific registration
that will enable them to perform this activity, as
well as the boat’s corresponding safety documentation. When it comes to private yachts,
these are governed by the laws of their flag
state. If they are commercial vessels, in addition
to the correct flag state, they require all the correct certification in order to carry out their commercial activity.
You were responsible for rallying for the
new Spanish Matriculation Tax.
While it is true that I sparked the initial flame in
regard to the issue, it would not have been possible to carry out any change without the help
and support of the team of professionals linked
to several nautical associations who fought to
change the Special Tax Law.
This law stated that commercial vessels up to 15
metres in length were exempt from paying this
tax. The main change was to delete this limit of
15 metres so that vessels of any length could
benefit from this exemption.
Some of the details still need to be refined so
that this change doesn’t discriminate against
Spaniards or residents of our country, as it is currently doing.
What are the most frequent challenges
you face in your work?
The main problem we confront is the bureaucracy. Another noteworthy point is the current
tax legislation, which does not appear to have
been updated to accommodate larger yachts.
And in certain points, it discriminates tremendously against the Spanish.
At Network Marine Consultants we have
a team of legal experts in the yachting
sector in Spain.
We are not lawyers and therefore do not offer
legal advice or legalcounsel.However,we can advise our clients within the scope our professional
know-how based on more than 35 years of experience in the nautical sector. For example, we
offer training to companiesin the European Union
or Spain, and also different insurance policies to
third parties and passengers.
The vast majority of our clients are foreigners
and therefore we try to explain in a simple way
what the procedures to follow are; not only in
terms of tax structure, but also all the documentation relating to the vessel required to
apply for a charter licence.
Once the process has begun, we are constantly
available, offering the necessary advice to our
client from start to finish. Our experience in the
sector together with our linguistic diversity helps
us to cover all our clients’ needs.
In addition, you also offer various services for people who are already licensed,
what do these services consist of?
Follow-up, advice, management and control of
all documentation on everything relating to
boats and licences.We also organise regular informative round-table meetings which consist of
talks on nautical matters by experts, so that our
clients are always kept updated on new changes in the law, as well as any new developments
that affect the nautical sector. Likewise, we attend international conferences to disseminate
the situation of the Spanish nautical sector at
This year a draft law is scheduled to be
implemented, aimed at regulating commercial yachting activity in the Balearic
Islands’ waters. What is your opinion?
Any legislation that professionally regulates and
accommodates the commercial activity of our
boats, is always welcome. I want to highlight the
importance of disseminating and informing on
any change in the law that may arise in this sector at national and international level.
As vice president of the Joves Navegants
de Balears Foundation, how do you view
the future of the nautical industry?
I am very positive about the future of the nautical sector. Our islands as a whole have become the Nautical Centre of Excellence and,
furthermore, as a direct result of the modification of the tax law, increasingly more boats and
super-yachts are visiting us, which means, inevitably, more job opportunities. The Joves Navegants Foundation, after the recession that we
have all suffered, has woken up again, and we
are fulfilling all our objectives.
The focus now is on training young people between the ages of 16 and 18 and their subsequent entry into the job market. We are
preparing several projects with the Islands’
town councils, which include the possibility to
enjoy the experience of sailing on board of our
The implementation of maritime vocational training has already taken a further step in terms of
the specialisation and training of future workers
in the sector. The range of opportunities within
the industry is ever-expanding, from mechanics,
painting and repairs to the administration, management or marketing of boats. Therefore, the
new generations who wish to be part of this sector will benefit from a job offer that is in expansion, in a regularised and of quality way.