Thai government officials and industry representatives have finalized the laws governing a new charter licence that allows foreign-flagged yachts to operate charters within Thai waters.
The new licenses must be applied for through an agent in Thailand before arrival. Yachts must be larger than 30m, carry no more than 12 guests, and have full hull and third-party liability insurance. The license will be valid for 12 months from the first arrival date of the vessel.
Permits will be issued beginning this fall. Processing is expected to take about 30 days. It was not clear how much it would cost.
The government expects that the new license will generate a considerable economic impact for Thailand, allowing for the creation of new jobs, and investment in infrastructure such as new marinas and facilities, according to a news release from agents Seal Superyachts Thailand.
“This is an important decision for the [Thai] government, and the broader superyacht industry,” said Adam Frost, managing director of Seal Superyachts. “Our expectations are high and the hope is that the country will now see a greater increase in superyacht arrivals. Thailand is clearly extending a warm welcome to superyacht owners, with only a bare minimum of restrictions to be placed upon them if they wish to operate their charters here.”
Crew visa regulations are expected to ease as well, allowing longer periods of stay. Those details were not finalized at the most recent industry meeting.