By David Robinson

The recent doubling of the period allowed for yacht temporary import entry (TIE) into New Zealand is expected to provide a significant boost to the country’s superyacht market. The period allowed has been increased from 12 to 24 months and is part of New Zealand’s focus policy of attracting large yachts to cruise and take advantage of the country’s repair and maintenance facilities.

As superyachts generally plan their cruising well in advance, the move is not anticipated to draw many extra visitors this year. However, it gives this important sector for New Zealand encouragement following the disappointing news two weeks ago that Fitzroy Yachts will close next month.

What the extension means is that visiting yachts will be granted a TIE, thus avoiding GST and duties generally paid on all goods that enter New Zealand. The conditions of this are that the yacht does not operate commercially and is not sold, and departs the country within a 24-month period.

At the time of the announcement, NZ Marine Industry Association executive director Peter Busfield commented: “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.”

He added: “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.”

Busfield’s view is that the extension will contribute to New Zealand’s target of doubling the number of superyachts over the next three years and increase the number of sub-25m (82ft) yachts by a quarter.

The following criteria apply to gain the temporary importation status:

– The owner/principal user must be a bona fide visitor to New Zealand

– The owner/principal user must be a permanent resident of a country other than New Zealand

– The owner/principal user must have arrived in New Zealand for a temporary visit

– The vessel must not be sold or offered for sale in New Zealand without Customs’ prior permission

– The vessel must not be used commercially for hire, transport of cargo, or carrying passengers for reward while in New Zealand

New Zealand Customs has produced a fact sheet that can be downloaded from its site.