Yachting corridor between Europe & Australia is given a huge boost with the latest Announcement from the Thai Government
International Superyachts are now welcome to charter with a Thai Charter Permit and the extension of Temporary Yacht Import Entry is approved up to 2.5 years.
The Thai Yachting Business Association (TYBA) is pleased to confirm that The Royal Thai Government has announced a new custom regulation that will allow Superyachts with a Thai charter permit to operate in Thailand under clarified VAT and import arrangements.
Alongside this announcement is an extension of the temporary import allowance, changed from 6 + 6 months to 2 years and 6 months.
The Thai Customs Depart announced this new regulation on 19th February 2021. It was later confirmed during a meeting between the Minister of Finance, Mr. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, also attended by a former Minister of Tourism and Sport, Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul and representatives of the Thai Yachting Business Association (TYBA).
The Chairman of TYBA, Matthew Na Nagara who attended the meeting, commented;
“After many years of close collaboration with the Thai Government, the Chamber of Commerce, and various other organizations, this new policy will be of benefit across the Thai yachting Industry as well as the local economy.
In allowing Superyachts to charter in Thailand, this will attract more Superyachts into Thai Waters and influence them to remain here longer. These yachts require constant maintenance and service, providing an economic benefit across our industry.
Local business will also gain since food and beverage provisioning accounts for about 25% of the total charter value and charter guests tend to spend lavishly on hospitality and tourism activities. Superyacht crew expenditure is also significant and will positively impact local and national businesses.
Image of Phuket Yacht Haven courtesy of Helicam Co Ltd
TYBA has completed a study to support this initiative, covering New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and the Maldives - all of which have opened up to superyacht charter in recent times.
It is well known how the Caribbean and areas of Europe have long benefited economically from superyacht charter activity.
So, this new announcement from the Thai Customs Department will initiate significant growth to the Thai yachting industry and the general economy.
Superyachts will pay VAT on all income they generate in Thailand during their temporary stay in Thai waters.
The extension of temporary importation of foreign yachts for up to 2.5 years will also significantly benefit the industry and local economy.
TYBA board member Peerawich Thoviriyavej concludes, “This brings Thailand in line with regulations in neighboring countries and elsewhere in the world. To come from Europe or Australia takes many weeks, so yachts can now make the most of all that ‘Amazing Thailand’ has to offer. We look forward to working further, with our APAC and ASEAN members, to grow this outstanding cruising region for charter and pleasure yachting.”
About the Thai Yachting Business Association (TYBA)
The Thai Yachting Business Association was founded in 2014, although it can trace its roots back to the late 90’s and the Marine Alliance of Thailand (MAT), which was instrumental in the removal of import duties on new yachts in 2004, which generated a great opportunity for yachting in Thailand. The TYBA is a non-profit marine leisure industry association, run completely on a volunteer basis serving yacht builders, yacht charter operators and brokers, yacht sales brokerage and dealerships, marinas, yacht repairs and refit, yacht management, crew training and other yachting related companies throughout Thailand. The primary objective of the TYBA is to provide a medium through which all yachting related businesses in Thailand can communicate and address any concerns with the relevant authorities.
Who can apply to stay in Thailand?
Under the Navigation in Thai Waters Act , any “pleasure and sports vessels” or Yacht can apply, as foreign-flagged vessels, to stay in Thai waters under “temporary Importation “.
With the new regulation, a Foreign Yacht can Trade in Thai Waters providing it has a special authorization (Charter License)
How long can a yacht stay in Thailand?
With the new regulation a yacht can apply to stay up to 2 years and 6 months in total. This will be managed in 6-month increments.
When was the Thai Charter License available?
TYBA worked with the relevant Royal Thai Government bodies and representatives; in 2015 the availability of the Thai Charter License for Foreign Flagged Large Pleasure Vessels (Superyachts) was declared.
What limitations are set for yachts applying for the Thai Charter License?
Foreign flagged yachts must be 30m and over and licensed to carry up to 12 passengers.
What must a superyacht, or vessel 30m and over, provide to gain the Thai Charter License?
- International registration
- Hull Insurance and 3rd person liability insurance
- Non-Thai ownership
How do I apply for a Thai Charter License?
This must be applied for via an agent being a Thai National or a Thai registered Company.
How long is the Thai Charter License applicable?
The Charter license itself is valid for 1 year and must be reviewed for renewal, in line with the overall length of stay of the yacht.
Why did the Thai Charter License never operationally “happen” previously?
There was no clear understanding of how the management & handling of the temporary import of vessels could work. In particular “Pleasure Vessels “were not allowed to Trade in Thai Water, hence the obligation to pay an Import duty at 7% of the value of the vessel. This is now changed and Foreign Yacht with Temporary importation can now trade in Thai water providing they have a Charter License – This is applicable to Superyachts only .
At present, crew must enter with a 1-month crew visa as per the Seamans’ book regulations.. The tourist visa currently offers a temporary option to extend crew stay in Thailand.
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