The Thai Customs Department announced the new regulation on Feb 19, and it was later confirmed during a meeting between the Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, former Minister of Tourism and Sport Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul and representatives of the Thai Yachting Business Association (TYBA).
“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,” said TYBA Chairman Matthew Na Nagara, who attended the meeting.
“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,” he added.
The TYBA announced through a release issued yesterday (Mar 10) that it has completed a study to support the 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,” noted the release.
The extension of temporary importation of foreign yachts for up to 2.5 years will also significantly benefit the industry and local economy, it added.
“This brings Thailand in line with regulations in neighbouring countries and elsewhere in the world,” said TYBA board member Peerawich Thoviriyavej.
“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,” Mr Peerawich added.