Superyacht Chartering

BRIEFING NOTE SUMMARY
  • Appropriate policy settings will secure an additional $1.12 billion in GDP per annum for Australia with no requirement for Government investment.
  • The inability for foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia is the single biggest inhibitor to growth in the Australian superyacht industry.
  • Neighbouring countries have seen significant increases in superyacht visitation following changes in their chartering legislation.
  • Allowing foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia requires a revision of The Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012.
THE ISSUE

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 charters in neighbouring 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 2014-2015 with new legislation permitting a vessel to stay up to 2 years and conduct charters.

 

BACKGROUND

In 2017, the Federal Government submitted changes to The Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 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.

The amendments were passed by the Lower House in August 2018, however were not sent to the Senate.

With no change to the current policy, economic modelling of the Australian superyacht industry suggests the $1.965 billion industry would grow by approximately 13% over the five years from 2016 to 2021. However, with appropriate policy settings the superyacht sector’s annual contribution to the Australian economy could grow by as much as 70%, delivering $1.12 billion more in GDP and 8100 more Australian jobs.

In Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) the industry currently injects $324.1 million into the regional economy and supports 2664 full-time equivalent jobs, which represents 18% of the 14,500 jobs supported by the superyacht industry Australia-wide .
Following an appropriate change in policy, by 2021 the TNQ regional contribution is expected to grow by 78% to $577.7 million per annum, leading to an additional 4504 jobs.

 

NEXT STEPS

Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef (SYGGBR) strongly recommends that the amendments to the Coastal Trading Act be passed by Government as soon as possible in order to permit foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia. There is no requirement for Government investment in order to secure the additional $1.12 billion in GDP per annum .

The urgency of a solution is demonstrated by interest from international companies such as Burgess (world’s largest superyacht charter company) which has expressed an interest in opening an office in Sydney, and by the growing number of international events that will attract superyachts to the Indo-Pacific region.

Current events that will attract superyacht vessels to the region include:

  • Sep 2019 – Rugby World Cup in Japan
  • Jan 2020 – SailGP in Sydney Harbour
  • Sep 2020 – Summer Olympics in Tokyo
  • Dec 2020 to Mar 2021 – 36th America’s Cup in Auckland

Of particular interest is SailGP , an international grand prix racing circuit that was launched in Sydney in February 2019. The event’s long-term success will be determined by the ability for ultra high net worth individuals to follow the series and view the races from their superyachts.

Competing nations include Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States.

With 50% of the world’s superyacht charter vessels catered for by this series alone, to maximise the benefits from the event it is crucial that from 2019, foreign flagged superyachts be permitted to charter in Australia.

RECOMMENDATION
  • That in 2019 the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development submit The Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 amendments to the Lower House as an urgent priority and work with the Senate to secure its passage in order to allow foreign flagged superyachts to charter in Australia.

PROPONENT: Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef
PRIORITY: Policy
COUNCIL: Cairns
STATE ELECTORATE: Cairns
FEDERAL ELECTORATE: Leichhardt