Customs changes are bringing more yachts to our shores
Customs Minister Nicky Wagner says mid-winter marks the end of another successful yacht season, with many of the remaining international yachts departing at the end of last month.
“Customs has cleared 620 arriving yachts since last Spring, with 501 yachts departing over the same period – most leaving over the past two months. Most were cleared through Opua, Marsden Point or Auckland,” Ms Wagner says.
“The marine industry has particularly welcomed the significant increase in superyacht visits this season. Between April 2014 and March 2015, 57 superyachts visited New Zealand shores – a significant increase from 37 visits in the season prior.
“This is the highest number of superyacht visits since we hosted the America’s Cup in 2000. Each visit contributes significantly to our economy through tourism, hospitality, berthage and marine services.
“A number of Customs changes have made it easier for overseas yachts to visit New Zealand. In 2013, Customs doubled the temporary entry period for yachts to 24 months, and streamlined entry processes and document requirements.
“Last year, Customs revised its treatment of duty and charges for yachts, making it easier for owners to charter their yacht or perform maintenance work while in New Zealand.
“Customs officers also carry out maritime patrols during the season to target and deter any illegal activity.
“I’m pleased that Customs’ work with the marine industry is attracting yachts to our shores and helping to promote New Zealand to the world,” Ms Wagner says.
Photo shows a Customs Officer on maritime patrol, aboard Customs’ vessel Hawk IV, during the overseas yacht season.