Marine sector in Italy

In the leisure boating industry, UK is the second European partner for Italy. For Italy the UK market accounts for 20.6% of total imports and 17.3% of total exports.

Market overview

In 2009, this sector contributed to GDP for €3,6 bn, as reported in the Boating in figures 2010 published by UCINA, the Italian marine industry association for the development and promotion of the boating sector.

Italian boatbuilding is highly appreciated worldwide, thanks to its prominent luxury mega-yacht design and manufacture business. The 2010 Global Order Book published by the leading ShowBoats International Journal shows that Italian yacht builders are have been the leaders on the global market since 2001. Furthermore, 4 of the top 5 boatyards in the world are Italian.

Key opportunities

  • Commercial transactions in leisure boatbuilding between the Italian market and the rest of the world are very active. In the Italian boatbuilding trade, 75% is represented by exports and 25% by imports. 65% of total Italian imports come from Europe.

In the leisure boating industry, UK is the second European partner for Italy. For Italy the UK market accounts for 20.6% of total imports and 17.3% of total exports.

The total turnover of the Italian boatbuilding industry in 2009 was €2.7 bn, 92% deriving from national manufacture and 8% from the sale of imported goods. 42% of the total sector’s turnover derived from Italian demand and 58% from foreign demand, the latter mostly from non-EU countries.

The value of the components subsector (including instruments and accessories only), amounts to €936 million, of which €689 million derives from the sale of made in Italy products, and the balance from the sale of imported goods.

The engine business accounts for €317 million of the total turnover. 74% of the total trade of engines is represented by imports.

The refitting and repair subsector has a total value of €241 million, entirely deriving from the national manufacturing industry.

  • Ports, harbours and marinas. In 2008 the Italian Government allocated € 4.2 bn for public works to develop port-related activities, divided as follows: 39% in Naples, 23% in Gioia Tauro, 10% in Salerno, 8% in Brindisi, 5% in Livorno, 4% in Piombino, 3% in Palermo. (Relazione sull’attività delle autorità portuali, report by the Ministry for Transport and Infrastructures, last edition published in 2009).

Possible opportunities in the port, harbour and marina sector include:

Porto Fiorito Project

Porto Fiorito is a marina project at the heart of the city of Naples, in southern Italy. The first 300 berths, the yacht club and refitting area will be ready in 2013. By 2015, 850 moorings will be available, ranging in size from small boats to superyachts. Porto Fiorito will also offer boatyards facilities, shopping centres, beauty centres, restaurants, offices, parking and green areas. Porto Fiorito Scarl is the Italian company in charge of the planning, construction, and managing of the marina.

America’s Cup

The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport. Its traditions and prestige not only attract ship owners and sailors, but also yacht designers and sponsors. Naples will host two legs of the America’s Cup World Series, the first in April 2012 and the second in May 2013. “Naples offers a Mediterranean backdrop and a stadium set up in the Bay of Naples” commented said Richard Worth, Chairman of the America’s Cup Event Authority.

Naples enjoys historical tradition and tight connections with the sea, which will also be celebrated by the America’s Cup events.

Bagnolifutura Spa is the company in charge of the development of the infrastructures, facilities and set-up of the technical areas and competitors’ village. On 6th October 2011 Bagnolifutura published the public tender for the event-related facilities which are worth €17 million. Works which are being subcontracted include: buoyant berths, a 12,500 sqm Public Event Village, 4,000 sqm parking space, a 5,500 sqm VIP area, a 20,000 sqm area specially dedicated to competing teams.

Latest export opportunities – Marine

Latest export opportunities – Italy

Getting into the market

The main route to market is shaped according to the nature of the goods and services offered. As far as instruments and components, appointing an agent/distributor is key to win business.

High emphasis is put on customer care and after sales services; therefore, having a local interlocutor who can develop and boost business in the market ensures high level service standards.

The Italian market can count on many local companies which act as third party suppliers of foreign brands as well.

If a UK Company is looking for an agent/distributor, a visit to SEATEC Trade Show – International Exhibition of technologies, subcontracting and design for boats, megayachts and ships ( – is highly suggested.

On the other end, if the product entails a high level of customisation, end buyers could prefer to deal directly with the manufacturer.

A visit to the market is strongly recommended.

More about doing business in Italy


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

  • Ines Montella, Trade & Investment Officer, Head of Marine Unit, British Consulate Naples. Tel: +39 081 4238912 or email: [email protected].

  • Rossana Tenerelli, Trade Adviser, British Consulate Naples. Tel: +39 081 4238913 or email: [email protected].

Contact your local international trade team


UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events – Marine

SEATEC Trade Show, Carrara, Italy

Date: 8-10 February 2012

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Big Blu Boat Show, Rome, Italy

Date: 18-26 February 2012

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Nauticsud Trade Show, Naples, Italy

Date: 14-22 April 2012

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Genoa Boat Show, Genoa, Italy

Date: October 2012

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London Boat Show, London, UK

Date: 6-15 January 2012

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METS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Date: November 2012

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Monaco Yacht Show, Principality of Monaco

Date: Sept 2012

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Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Marine
Countries: Italy
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