Today, the Australian parliament passed legislation through the Senate with bipartisan support enabling foreign superyachts to charter in Australian waters.
The special recreational vessel legislation will allow superyachts use of a coastal trading temporary licence, allowing commercial charter activities. Vessels will be protected from importation and be required to pay 10% GST on the value of the charter. This legislation comes into effect almost immediately, whilst work to amend the Coastal Trading Act to cater for superyachts in the long term continues to be progressed.
Changes to the Coastal Trading Act have gone to the parliament in 2015 and again in 2018 without successfully passing the Senate. In order to allow the superyacht industry to take advantage of upcoming events in the Pacific such as the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and the America’s Cup in Auckland in 2021, the Australian government introduced this legislation separating superyachts from the previous disagreements over coastal cargo operations. This enabled bipartisan support which allowed passage of the legislation in near record time and finalised on the last day of parliament for the year.
David Good, CEO of Superyacht Australia stated “We have been working tirelessly to achieve this for many years for industry. 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.”