A total of seven mega-yachts, which are believed to belong to Russian oligarchs, are currently in Italian ports. These include ships like “Lady M”, “Scheherazade”, “Sailing Yacht A” and “Lena”. Due to various sanctions imposed on their alleged owners, the ships are not allowed to leave their ports and ultimately cannot be used.

But that doesn’t mean that the yachts are left unattended in the harbor basins. On the contrary: EU sanctions law states that states that freeze assets must ensure their preservation until the ships are either legally confiscated or returned.

As “France24” now reports, a lot comes together. Since Italy holds the most yachts after France, the USA and Germany, the costs there are particularly serious. A rule of thumb says that maintaining a yacht costs around ten percent of the purchase price annually. The value of the “Scheherazade” alone is estimated at $700 million. Ensuring that the ship doesn’t rot costs a lot of money.

The media report now reveals more precise figures. This is about the specific costs for the “Lady M” (IMO 1012012), which was set in Imperia in March 2022. It is said to belong to Alexei Mordashov. A marina employee reveals that the mooring fee for the ship alone amounts to around 12,000 euros per month in winter and 13,000 euros in summer. Electricity and water would also be required; the costs would be around 10,000 euros per month.

There are also costs for a makeshift crew, fuel, insurance and maintenance. A shipyard employee provides information about the latter to “France24”. He states that the engines need to be serviced and checked every year. “For a yacht of this size, the costs for regular maintenance are around 50,000 euros per year,” he explains.

It adds up: The report states that the Italian state spent around 32 million euros on the frozen yachts in just two years – still with the hope of being able to finally confiscate the ships and then sell them.

Legally, however, this is extremely difficult. Because even if the owners can be identified, which is not always easy, they cannot simply be expropriated. “A permanent confiscation would be problematic because it would violate the basic rights of the individual, which also includes the right to property. The state cannot arbitrarily appropriate private property,” explains Italian lawyer Andrea Saccucci, who is legally representing an affected oligarch. in an interview with “France24”.

The strange results that confiscation can have can be seen in two cases. In May 2022, the USA took the yacht “Amadea” (IMO 1012531) from oligarch Suleiman Kerimov. Since then, it has been waiting in various US ports, while, according to “Manager Magazine”, the all-inclusive maintenance package costs around $600,000 per month. However, since it cannot be proven beyond doubt who actually owns the yacht, it cannot be sold. A court must now decide what happens next with the luxury problem child.

The planned sale of Andrei Gurjew’s “Alfa Nero” (IMO 1009376), which Antigua and Barbuda confiscated at the beginning of 2022, is similarly chaotic. It briefly looked as if ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt would buy the yacht before he backed out of the purchase due to legal complications surrounding the ship. According to Bloomberg, he apparently did this because the oligarch’s daughter, Yulia Gurieva-Motlokhov, took legal action against the sale and declared that she was the true owner of the ship. It will not be until September that a court will decide what to do with the ship. Until then, the “Alfa Nero” will devour huge sums of money every month that the small island state cannot actually afford.