Foreign-Owned Superyachts Granted Access to Australian Waters
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Foreign-Owned Superyachts Granted Access to Australian Waters

Last week, the Morrison Government passed the Special Recreational Vessels Bill 2019 which allows superyachts to charter in Australia. The bill was first introduced in late November and was officially passed on 5th December.

Prior to this bill, foreign-owned superyachts were not able to operate commercially within Australia without fully importing the vessel. Australia would commonly lose market share to our geographical neighbours, such as New Zealand, Fiji and Tahiti, who had fewer restrictions. Now, foreign-owned superyachts may enter Australian waters under a temporary Coastal Trading Licence, allowing Australia to compete with neighbouring economies.

The timing of these new regulations is incredibly opportune. With major international events including the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and America’s Cup in New Zealand in 2021, there will be an increase in superyachts close to Australian waters.

Popular Australian destinations that will now be accessible to visitors on foreign-owned yachts include the Whitsundays, Great barrier Reef, Kimberley region of WA, Sydney and many more.

"This is a true milestone for the superyacht industry and for Australia as a whole. We will see many new yachts enter Australian waters in the coming years, which will in turn attract more visitors and stimulate great revenue for the Australian economy. Ahoy Club are excited to welcome an array of new and well-seasoned charter guests from around the world to experience Australia’s exceptional cruising grounds; we have long been waiting this day."

- Ellie Malouf, Head of Charter at Ahoy Club

Superyacht chartering has been a major source of economic revenue in Australia for many years. Research by the Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX) in 2016 showed that the local industry alone contributed:

  • 14,500 full-time jobs with $1.2 billion in wages
  • $400 million in local maintenance and construction costs
  • $50 million in accommodation and food

This same research found that foreign visitors spent between $15,00-$25,000 per day on luxury goods and services within Australia, and a total of $190 million on tourism activities.

With the passing of this new bill, the foreign-owned superyachts will help to bring an extra 11,800 jobs and $1.64 billion in economic revenue by 2021. Based on the continued growth of the superyacht industry, these figures may actually be even higher. There are an estimated 5,000 superyachts in existence around the world with a further 150 built each year.

Click here to view the full list of yachts currently available for charter, in Australia.

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