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Foreign yachts now can charter in Australia

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The Australian parliament passed legislation on Thursday to allow foreign-flagged superyachts to charter in Australian waters. 

The Special Recreational Vessels Bill 2019 grants superyachts the use of a temporary coastal trading license, which allows commercial charter activities. The license exempts vessels from paying importation duties, although they will be required to pay 10% GST on the value of the charter.

Work to amend the Coastal Trading Act for superyachts in the long term continues, according to a press release from Superyacht Australia. Previous efforts to pass the amendment in 2015 and 2018 were unsuccessful. However, in order to take advantage of upcoming events such as the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and the America’s Cup in Auckland in 2021, the Australian government introduced legislation separating superyachts from the prior disagreements over coastal cargo operations, leading to bipartisan support for passage of the special vessel legislation on the last day of parliament this year.

“The ability to charter in Australia now supplements charter in New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, where superyacht charter is already permitted, and reinforces the South Pacific as a destination of choice for superyachts,” said David Good, CEO of Superyacht Australia. “The Great Barrier Reef, The Kimberley’s and Ningaloo Reef, the wilderness of Tasmania and the hustle of Sydney Harbour are all best enjoyed from on the water. Superyacht chartering is really one of the best ways to experience what Australia has to offer.” 

Superyacht Australia is hosting a “Grand Soiree” on Feb. 22 in Sydney Harbour to celebrate the decision.

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