Superyachts Can Now Legally Charter in Vanuatu

Until now the chartering of superyachts in the waters of the pacific island nation of Vanuatu has been illegal.
Now following changes to the Import Duties (Consolidation) (Amendment) Act No. 29 of 2013, there is now a legal avenue for Super Yachts to operate in Vanuatu.
Under the laws of Vanuatu a super yacht is defined as a pleasure craft valued US$ 2 million, with a permanent crew of 3 or more.
To operate within Vanuatu with paying passengers, the Act states that a Super Yacht must:
  • Hold internationally recognised survey certificates permitting charter
  • Gain permission to charter from the Licensing section of Ports and Marine in Vanuatu
  • Appoint a local agent registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) and who holds a current business licence to operate as a ship’s agent
  • The local agent appointed by the vessel must pay VAT on all purchases made by the vessel while in Vanuatu and on any charter costs. 

The government is hoping that its efforts to allow Super Yachts in Vanuatu will inject much needed funds into the economy and assist in marketing Vanuatu as a safe, reliable and attractive tourist destination.

Locally the Customs Offices are committed to ensuring the clearance of such vessels will be facilitated in order to allow for this industry to tap into the undiscovered Vanuatu.