Import tax on vessels in the Maldives prior to April 1 was 25 per cent, and it is hoped that this amendment will help develop the luxury yachting industry in the area. The change means that owners, charter companies and investors can take a luxury yacht to the Maldives without incurring a substantial levy.
Mohamed Nasheed, managing director at Island Sailors Pvt told SuperyachtNews.com, “the Ministry of Tourism still has to finalise if the vessel fits into the luxury standard and if it is for tourism purposes.” But it will “definitely bring a huge increase in the number of owners bringing their small- to medium-range luxury vessels for charters, diving and fishing and/or luxury cruising business.”
Previously, import tax has been a hinderance for visiting yachts and “held back some owners from bringing their vessels to Maldives,” Nasheed explained. He added that so far they, “have had a couple of owners who had wanted to start a charter business with small luxury motoryachts, another owner who wanted to bring a luxury fishing boat in, but due to the high import duty they did not finalise their plans.”
Prior to the removal of the import duty, Nasheed explained there were next to no superyacht enquiries but that he was hopeful this would change. “You never know; with this change we hope that we may have clients interested in the superyacht market as well”, he said. He hopes there will be “an increase oin the number of luxury vessels operating in the Maldives in the near future.”