A new rule that went into effect in late December in Phuket, Thailand, changes the paperwork requirements for long-term stays, a move that might cause large yachts to go elsewhere.
Foreign-flagged yachts can be temporarily imported tax free for six months, after which time te yachts leave or the owner reflags it Thai.
Now, yachts must re-register every two months. Additionally, while the captain can do the paperwork when the yacht first arrives, the renewals must be done by the owner.
The director of customs in Phuket said she didn’t know why the changes has been made but that she would request an exception.
“I understand that the two months doesn’t make sense for Phuket so I will give [Bangkok] an explanation as soon as possible so that at least the captain can do the renewal instead of the owner,” Nunthita Sirikup told The Phuket News.
The newspaper reported that “many yacht owners” said if the rule is enforced, they will head somewhere more yacht-friendly such as Langkawi.
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