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Increased entry period for yachts visiting NZ bonus for marine sector

by Kate Gordon-Smith on 11 Dec 2013
Superyacht berths at Silo Park, Auckland are expected to gain patronage with the The now 24-month temporary import entry period announced by Customs Minister Maurice Williamson on 11 December 2013 Supplied Supplied

New Zealand’s marine and tourism industries will benefit in a number of ways following the Government’s decision to extend the temporary import entry (TIE) period for visiting superyachts and cruising yachts to New Zealand from the existing 12 months to 24 months.


All goods coming into New Zealand, including yachts, are normally subject to duty and GST. Visiting yachts are granted a temporary import entry to exempt owners from paying these charges if they aren’t used commercially or sold, and depart the country within the time period.

Today’s (11 December 2013) announcement from Customs Minister Hon. Maurice Williamson confirms the extension of the temporary import entry period from 12 to 24 months and is expected to be well-received by the world’s sailing-cruising fraternity and regions throughout New Zealand which stand to gain an economic boost from additional numbers of visiting yachts.

Peter Busfield, executive director of the New Zealand Marine Industry Association (NZ Marine), says: 'The extended temporary import entry period is one of the key regulatory changes NZ Marine has been seeking as we aim to double the export earnings of our industry over the next six years.

'The 24 month TIE makes New Zealand as a destination for visiting superyachts and cruising craft much more appealing, especially for vessels based in the Mediterranean and the United States which will now have greater flexibility to plan the long and exciting journey down-under to enjoy New Zealand’s scenic highlights and highly regarded hospitality.'

NZ Marine’s figures show about 700 yachts visit New Zealand each year. Around 660 vessels are under 25 metres in length, and tend to be self-skippered as they cruise the country’s attractive coastlines. Around 35 superyachts over 25 metres in length also visit on annual basis, often combining cruising and tourist activities with the opportunity to have their vessel fully or partly refitted or maintenance work completed by the many world-class marine sector service providers around the country.

Busfield says the extended TIE period will assist the New Zealand marine industry greatly with the goal of doubling visiting superyacht numbers over next three years and increase the number of visiting under 25 metre yachts by up to 25 per cent.

Busfield adds: 'The gain to New Zealand’s economy goes well past the marine sector with superyacht owners and guests taking their custom to New Zealand’s best golf courses, wineries, accommodation venues, tourist attractions and artists; some of these high net worth individuals also choose to invest in local business opportunities.

'In particular, we can expect to see significant benefits for the Far North, Whangarei and Auckland regions as the majority of yachts arriving in New Zealand make port in these centres. There will also be opportunities for Bay of Plenty and Marlborough to host more visiting yachts than they do presently.'

Ross Blackman, chairman of Far North Holdings which owns and operates the Opua Marina among its portfolio, is also positive about the regulatory change.

'This decision will help Opua extend its traditional welcome to overseas sailors and provide the opportunity to develop service industries and employment in the Bay of Islands,' says Blackman.

Yacht owners who arrived in New Zealand after July 2013 can apply for an extension by emailing Customs their yacht and temporary entry details.

NZ Marine, with the assistance of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and Tourism New Zealand, is actively promoting New Zealand as a destination at international boat shows utilising resources such as the dedicated guide for visiting yachts, the Destination New Zealand e-book [link to download].

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