When A Yacht Is Seized, The Seizing Government Must Pay For Its Maintenance… And That Can Be Quite A Hefty Bill

By on April 28, 2022 in ArticlesBillionaire News

In early April, Spanish police, working in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice, seized a superyacht called Tango that belonged to a sanctioned Russian billionaire named Viktor Vekselberg.

Here is a video posted by the US Justice Department, which coordinated with Spanish authorities, showing the moment Tango was seized:

So what happens to a yacht after it has been seized? Does it just gather dust, rust and barnacles forever?

Actually no.

In a weird quirk, the seizing government actually must continue to maintain the yacht at its current levels. And that can be a very expensive proposition!


The general formula for estimating the annual cost of yacht maintenance is ten percent of the yacht's overall value. Tango is estimated to be worth $95 million. So whichever government, likely the United States, takes ultimate responsibility for Tango will be on the hook for around $9.5 million per year in annual maintenance costs.

An annual maintenance expense of $9.5 million is peanuts compared to what the German government might have just signed up for when it seized a yacht called Dilbar from Russian Billionaire Alisher Usmanov on April 14.

On the low-end, Dilbar is estimated to be worth $750 million. On the high end it's believed to be worth $800 million.

That means the German government is on the hook for $75 – $80 million in annual maintenance fees.

Dilbar is currently under locked up at a shipyard in Hamburg:

Photo by Markus Scholz/picture alliance via Getty Images)

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