A proposed tax on superyachts and other foreign-flagged vessels of over 40m anchoring within Auckland’s navigable waters has been dropped

Auckland Council has dropped a proposed daily anchoring fee that would have seen superyachts and other foreign-flagged vessels of over 40m billed each time they anchored within Auckland’s navigable waters. Industry association NZ Marine worked closely with the Council to ensure the tax was dropped.

“Working with Auckland Council, experts from within our own organisation, NZ Marine, as well as from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Emirates Team New Zealand, were able to help Council appreciate just how much of a deterrent a daily anchoring fee would have been to foreign vessels planning to visit our shores, particularly for the Prada and America’s Cup in 2020/21,” says Peter Busfield, executive director of NZ Marine.

Auckland Council has worked with the marine industry to drastically overhaul the plan; settling on a new, visitor-friendly small 12-month navigation and safety fee for vessels over 40m in length. The services covered by the fee include the Harbourmaster maintaining navigation aids and maritime safety functions, including assisting masters of visiting yachts over 40m in length to find sheltered and suitable anchorages amongst the more than 50 islands that fill Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf.

Under the new requirements, vessels over 40m anchoring amongst these islands will be required to pay a one-off annual navigation and safety fee of NZ$20 plus GST per metre of vessel.

Vessels using the shipping lane, transiting to and from a marina berth in Auckland, will not be required to pay the navigation and safety fee.

To summarise:

  • The proposed daily anchor tax has been dropped
  • Superyachts over 40m in length anchoring in the Auckland region will be assisted by the Harbourmaster in regards to daily voyage plans and suitable anchoring locations and will be required to pay a one-off 12 month Navigation and Safety fee based on NZ$20 per metre of length plus GST
  • The annual fee will not apply to superyachts proceeding directly to a marina berth in Auckland City or anchored for less than 24 hours while awaiting a berth

The Auckland Harbourmaster’s website will soon have details on the above requirements and other useful information relating to the many superyachts planning to visit Auckland in 2020 and 2021.