The inability for foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia is the single biggest inhibitor to growth in the Australian superyacht industry. Changes in legislation to allow foreign flagged superyacht charter in neighboring countries such as Fiji has shown a 40% increase in vessel visitation and an increase of average stay from 21 days to 136 days. New Zealand enjoyed an increase of 54% in superyacht visitation in 2014/15 with new legislation permitting a vessel to stay up to 2 years and conduct charters.
The Federal Government submitted changes to the Coastal Shipping Act into Parliament that removed the current requirement for five voyages, requiring each voyage to be between two separate ports and allowed exemption from the Customs Act whilst alongside or in a maintenance yard. A new discussion paper with regard to revising the Coastal Trading Act was released by the Federal Government on 21 March 2017.
Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef (SYGGBR) strongly urges a solution be provided by Government to permit foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia. There is no requirement for Government investment in order to secure these large economic benefits. New Charter Legislation or changes to the Coastal Trading Act should allow the following:
- 12 month permits for superyachts to operate commercially in Australia without the need to enter for consumption;
- a charter permit system to last 12 continuous months. This allows multiple entries into and out of Australia during the 12 months;
- all crew must have the authority to work in Australia, through citizenship or an appropriate visa;
- all maintenance and refit work remains GST exempt whilst under the charter permit;
- all fuel and provisions consumed in Australia to attract GST;
- all charter fees to incur GST payable to the Government; and
- additional permits can be applied for allowing up to 3 years in a 4-year period (to align with the Customs Control permit).
That the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development revise the Coastal Trading Act and/or develop new Charter legislation to allow foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia.
Kevin Byrne, CEO, Advance Cairns
Ph: 07 4080 2900
|PROPONENT:||Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef|