Bangkok considering yacht owners’ problems

PHUKET: The Thai government is considering cutting the taxes on imported yachts and doubling the time that foreign yachts may stay in Thai waters before owners have to pay such taxes. Manit Wittayatin, Director-General of the Thai Customs Department told a meeting of provincial officials in Phuket today, “The regulations for yachts entering Thai waters create difficulties for many foreigners. “Yacht owners face considerable inconvenience when they have to move boats out of Phuket and then back in again [every six months in order to avoid paying import duty]. “An owner who lives somewhere else may use his yacht for only a couple of months in the year, but he wants to leave the boat here, because sailing it backwards and forwards is very expensive. “However, under current law, if you keep the boat in Thailand more than six months, you are liable to pay what I believe are unnecessary and excessive taxes. So the possibility of extending the period a boat may stay here from six months to one year is under consideration,” K. Manit said. He said that although import duty would not change, the Ministry of Finance and the Excise Department are currently in consultation about the possibility of reducing or canceling the luxury tax and the excise duty payable on boats. Currently, a yacht or luxury boat in Thailand is subject to import duty of 35%, an excise tax of 5%, a luxury tax of 50%, and a value-added tax of 7%. These imposts are applied cumulatively, resulting in taxes totaling about 128% of the value of the vessel. On the other hand, K. Manit said, the authorities should be much stricter in cracking down on illegal chartering of yachts. “We have problems with people conducting illegal chartering business. I think we have to be more strict about the taxes; by law, yachts [used for chartering] have to be Thai-registered and people in this business must pay taxes.”

Phuket News
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