New superyacht legislation in Thailand

Following a meeting between the Thai government and Phuket industry stakeholders held recently, new plans have been announced in regards to legislation for superyacht charters and foreign flagged yachts in the region. According to Adam Frost of Seal Superyachts Thailand, the decision to overhaul current legislation that has stunted the growth of the superyacht industry in Thailand will work to, “Firmly establish the country as the leading Superyacht Hub of ASEAN.”

Three integral areas of improvement have been highlighted to reach this Superyacht Hub goal. The first outlines the building of more first-class marinas throughout the country, the second to develop and issue Charter Licenses for foreign flagged yachts, the third being the creation and support of new international standard yacht shows.

The superyacht Charter License is expected to be in place in the next six months, allowing foreign flagged yachts to charter in Thai waters right in time for the Thai high season which will begin in November. Furthermore, Thai immigration laws will also be revised in order to allow crew to legally and easily stay for longer periods of time in the country.

"This is a significant announcement for the local Superyacht support industry in SE Asia ahead of the imminent ASEAN economic integration, with emphasis on foreign-flagged charter vessels wishing to enter Thailand waters," comments Frost. He continues, "The Thai government recognises the benefit of visiting Superyachts, and thus these newly proposed changes to the legal framework will be welcomed in order to bring growth to the industry."

By Gemma Fottles

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