Australia has always been seen as an idyllic tourist destination, with the country already earning $44.6 billion from tourism each year. However, due to the restrictive importation tax duties placed on superyachts, the lucrative billion-dollar industry has been slow to kick off in the region.
The Australian government was aware of this drawback, so they’ve recently introduced legislation under the Special Recreational Vessels Bill 2019, which allows foreign-flagged superyachts to charter in Australian waters, opening up the country to an estimated 1.64 billion increase in the economy.
What does The Special Recreational Vessels Bill 2019 mean for the superyacht industry?
The Bill exempts vessels from paying importation duties and grants superyachts the use of a temporary coastal trading license, which allows commercial charter activities. However, all vessels will still be required to pay 10% GST on the value of the charter, which the government is working to amend in the long term.
A quarter of the world's Captains and Crew come from Australia, including 100+ of our PYA members. With this in mind, the new legislation is supporting the careers of over 14,000 crew.
What are Australia’s top yachting regions?
Port Douglas, The Whitsundays, Sydney and Cairns are particularly desirable destinations for superyachts, but up until now, they were only home to 2% of the world’s yachts - a figure which should steadily increase in years to come.
CEO of Superyacht Australia, David Good, commended the government and noted that ‘the legislation will also allow Australia to “catch up” on neighbouring superyacht economies that are booming, such as New Zealand, Fiji and Tahiti.