Yacht builders in Taiwan have urged the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou to stop listing recreational yachts as luxury items, saying a sales levy on luxury goods is damaging efforts to revitalize the industry.
Each new yacht order can lead to 100 jobs, a visiting delegation from the Taiwan Yacht Industry Association told the Legislative Yuan, or national parliament, on Monday.
“Yachts should be considered a consumer product rather than property or a luxury product that can be used for speculative profit. More importantly, the industry creates jobs and could be an integral part of Taiwan’s development of the recreational marine industry,” association president John Lu said.
Taiwan is the world’s sixth-largest yacht manufacturer, with annual revenue of $250 million, the association said, but the potential for substantial expansion is stifled by the luxury tax.
The yacht builders said the recreational marine industry’s prospects have improved since the lifting of martial law, which had kept all of the nation’s coastlines and waters off limits.