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Australian import duty costs - Question from a cruiser

By Sue Richards last modified Dec 29, 2008 06:15 PM

Published: 2008-12-29 18:15:53
Countries: Australia

We are intending to sail to Australia with a British registered vessel, VAT paid. When we arrive we are hoping that we will have a full migration visa for Australia.

Does anyone have any experience of what this may mean in terms of us having to officially import our boat into Australia in terms of duty and sales tax?

Is it possible to have the yacht remain in Australia in our ownership without incurring any costs?

We would not be seeking to sell the boat in Australia, just to maintain ownership and sail her within her waters. Worst case scenario is when would duty be liable?

Comments very welcome!

Claire Maslin

Email received 23 December 2008

I strongly suspect that if you are intending to become residents or citizens of Australia you will be required to import your yacht.

We did so a few years back, and I believe that the process is still the same:
1. Get the yacht appraised by an officially recognized valuer (typically a broker).
2. On the appraised value, pay 10% GST plus 5% duty, less a mysterious adjustment which is related to your expenses for bringing the yacht to Australia. Typically this seems to bring it down to 12 to 13% of the appraised value.
3. Enjoy cruising in this great country without the encumberance of cruising permits.

Cheers from Jim and Ann Cate
SV Insatiable II - lying Gladstone Qld