A ray of sunshine on Italian ports and berths after the Constitutional Court ruling. In late January, in fact, the court declared unlawful the state’s request to retroactively increase the previously agreed-upon state fee that port facilities intended for nautical tourism were already paying under regular contracts. This is also and especially good news for boaters who moor their boats in Italian ports. Why? Simple, the demand for the retroactive increase in the state fee for the rental and use of the state-owned’ water space and shoreline frontage would have tipped over to the end user, that is, the one who rents or owns berths in a port.
There is a poison pill in the 2007 budget bill concerning Italian marinas. Retroactively, state fees are increased. Simply put, the rule says: it doesn’t matter if we have established an annual concession fee for the use of the water outlet and the shoreline in front of it for (for example) the 50 years of the contract, a period after which the harbor that I have meanwhile built at my own expense, comes back into your possession with all the facilities that I have built at my own expense. Now you have to give me much more money than what we agreed upon. Italian marinas, of course, are not happy about this and are launching a series of court initiatives to block and invalidate this new rule. The constitutional court’s ruling declaring the legitimacy of this rule to be unfounded is a favorable first step for concessionaires and “poor” boaters. But the battle is not over, because now the litigation moves to the various regional courts, which should take up this vincoiant opinion.
THE PRACTICAL REFLECTION FOR BOATERS
In recent years, Italian marinas have found themselves deciding whether or not to reverse the increased costs resulting from the increase in state fees. Some did, some did not. It is a fact that this Constitutional Court ruling removes the danger of increased costs of moorings in Italian marinas. Hopefully.