The recent changes to Australian maritime legislation have been warmly welcomed by d’Albora Marinas, Australia‘s leading supplier of marina berths. The changes will enable foreign flagged superyacht charter to boost in Sydney Harbour.
As stated by CEO of d’Albora Marinas, Brett Bolton, the changes represent an amazing start. They involve simplifying requirements for luxury yacht charters in Australia by removing the requirement to fully import a foreign flagged vessel.
“We promote tourism to our harbours, yet until now, legislation had not been updated to reflect the emergence of superyachts wanting to cruise in Australia. Like Tourism Australia, a key focus for us is to make it easier for superyachts to stay longer in Australia and enjoy the fantastic facilities we have to offer both owners and crew,” Mr Bolton said.
d’Albora Marinas The Spit can presently accommodate yachts measuring up to 80-90 feet in length, however, following completion of the marina’s redevelopment scheduled for August 2015, yachts measuring up to 131 feet will be able to berth at the popular facility at The Spit, strengthening Sydney’s capability to host superyachts.
“It stands to reason that when times change, legislation often needs to follow. For instance, when d’Albora Marinas The Spit was operating some thirty-plus years ago, thirty foot used to be largest boats you’d see out on the harbour. Now however, you’d find it hard to find one this size on the water at all as this size has since been superseded many times over,” he added.
The redevelopment of The Spit is currently in full swing, being performed in stages to minimise disruption to existing clients, who will still have access to all the usual services.
Unveiled in May 2015, the eagerly awaited upgrade to The Spit’s berthing capability will increase the number of berths to 200, expanding the marina’s capacity by 35 berths. This will reinforce the marina’s position as a leading marina in Sydney’s lower north shore.
The Federal Government announcement was also greatly appreciated by Superyacht Australia, who has been lobbying the government for changes to the chartering regulations for the past five years.
As stated by Superyacht Australia CEO, M. Edwards, the recent announcement was great news for the industry and is only the beginning, as there is already legislation going to parliament that aims to simplify the process even further.
The new legislation features a two-pronged approach to ensure that owners of superyachts – generally classed as vessels over 24m (85’) – will be able to charter in Australia under the temporary licence system issued under the Coastal Trading Act 2012.
This means that those operating under such a licence can charter in Australian waters and do not need to fully import the vessel. Under this licence, the superyacht is also able to undergo refits, repairs, as well as routine maintenance – a big plus for both the vessels and for Australian refit businesses.
Superyacht Australia recommends however, that under the current Temporary Licencing system, all Captains and owners should use a qualified Australia agent who has been trained to understand exactly how this system works. All Australian agents can be found on the Superyacht Australia website.