TYBA clarifies Thailand charter changes


The Thai Yachting Business Association comments on regulations that now welcome foreign-flagged superyachts to charter while in the country and offer extended stays.


Thailand is one of Asia’s most popular cruising destinations; Photo: Demarest


The Thai Yachting Business Association (TYBA) has confirmed that the Thai Government has announced a new regulation that will allow 30m-plus superyachts with a Thai charter permit to operate in Thailand under clarified VAT and import arrangements.


Furthermore, the temporary import allowance has been extended from 12 months (six months plus six months) to 30 months (six months plus two years in six-month increments). Superyachts with a valid licence will pay VAT on all charter income they generate in Thailand during their temporary stay in Thai waters.


The Thai Customs Depart announced the new regulation before it was confirmed during a meeting headed by the Minister of Finance, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith. The meeting including Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, a former Minister of Tourism and Sport, and TYBA representatives including Chairman Matthew Na Nagara.


Left to right: Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Matthew Na Nagara and Peerawich Thoviriyavej


Na Nagara said: “After many years of close collaboration with the Thai Government, the Chamber of Commerce and various other organisations, this new policy will be of benefit across the Thai yachting industry as well as the local economy. Allowing superyachts to charter in Thailand will attract more to visit and influence them to remain here longer.


“These yachts require regular maintenance and service, providing an economic benefit across our industry. Local business will also gain since food and beverage provisioning accounts for about 25 per cent 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.”


TYBA has completed a study to support this initiative, covering New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and the Maldives, all of which have opened to superyacht charter in recent times. The Caribbean and parts of Europe have long benefited economically from superyacht charter activity, so the announcement from the Thai Customs Department is expected to spur significant growth for the Thai yachting industry and the general economy.


Peerawich Thoviriyavej, a TYBA Board Member, said: “This brings Thailand in line with regulations in neighbouring 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.”

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