The Chinese province of Guangdong is considering opening its waters to yachts registered in Macau and Hong Kong, according to the Macau News. The move could boost sales for boat dealers and yacht brokers outside mainland China.
Sunny Tao, a senior salesman with Simpson Marine, one of the mainland’s largest yacht brokers, told the paper that the Guangdong government first promoted the idea several years ago. “However, they have made no progress because of concerns about smuggling, marine damage and the difference in taxes between the areas,” said Tao.
Wu Jiansheng, department director at Simpson, said the idea would be a significant step in promoting economic development. “Our company sold about one billion yuan [HK$1.26bn] of yachts to mainland clients last year,” he told the paper. “If the policy is put into use, I believe a 20% to 30% growth in orders would follow.”
Mainland China’s boating industry was worth 4.15bn yuan in 2013. State agencies forecast that number will grow. But restrictive regulations in China regarding free travel discourage yacht ownership. Duties are also much higher on imported boats in China than Hong Kong.
Tao said if cross-border travel for private boats was allowed, “many mainlanders would buy and register their boats in Hong Kong but sail in Guangdong, instead of paying tax to the mainland government.” China charges a 43% import tax on yachts, while the tax is much lower in Hong Kong, Tao added.