The Special Recreational Vessels Bill 2019, which was introduced by the Australian government on November 27, was today voted into law. It will allow foreign-owned yachts and superyachts to be chartered in Australian waters. Before the law was passed, owners of foreign vessels had to pay full import duties to charter their vessels in Australia.
The concept was first proposed in 2000, according to Hillary Buckman, founder of OceanLIVE, who reported on its passage this morning. “This is the culmination of decades of collaboration among all levels of the marine industry,” Buckman wrote on LinkedIn.
Superyacht Australia, an industry trade association, estimates that the new law could contribute $1.7 billion to the Australian economy by 2021 and create almost 12,000 jobs across the industry. It will also benefit yacht repair and refit firms.
Superyacht Australia CEO David Good lobbied for the bill, pointing to events like the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and the America’s Cup in 2021 that will take place in the Pacific region. Good said that the new law will help Australia compete with other countries like New Zealand and Tahiti, which have superyacht-friendly laws for visiting charter vessels.
“Many people have spent thousands of hours and logged a corresponding amount of air-miles between their home-bases and Canberra since the reforms were first put on the table, back in 2000,” wrote Buckman.