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Yacht Charter Taxes in the South Pacific

Recent changes mean that more international-caliber charter yachts should become available

Auckland, New Zealand-based 37 South recently issued a report about chartering in the South Pacific. The company has been working for a number of years with government officials in Tahiti, Fiji, and New Zealand to make it easier for more yachts to visit and offer charters (so more people can have fun as shown in the photo at right, on a beach in the Society Islands).

The cruising laws in these nations, as with many other other nations worldwide, affect charter yachts that are built and/or registered in other countries. For the purposes of yacht charter, these boats are called “foreign-flagged.” In previous years in Tahiti, Fiji, and New Zealand, it was often hard for foreign-flagged yachts to get paperwork done and figure out the legal logistics of doing business as charter vessels in the local waters.

37 South now says the process has been streamlined–which should mean more international-caliber charter yachts visiting Tahiti, Fiji, and New Zealand in the future. In all cases, a tax will be imposed on the yacht’s weekly charter rate and passed along to charter clients. In Tahiti, that tax is 12 percent. In Fiji, it is 12.5 percent. In New Zealand, it is 15 percent.

That may sound high, but keep in mind that value-added tax is being charged on charters in some European waters, and that officials in Belgium are currently pressuring France to apply a whopping 19.6-percent tax to charters there. By comparison, the South Pacific nations are a steal.

Kudos to the team at 37 South for staying on top of these issues and working to bring more great charter-yacht options to South Pacific waters.

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