Published: Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Asia Pacific Superyachts Phuket & Myanmar exhibited at the inaugural Thailand Yacht Show (Feb 10-14), with General Manager Gordon Fernandes kicking off the event as a panelist at the Thailand Yachting Forum (Feb 10) held at the Indigo Pearl Hotel in Phuket.

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(Gordon Fernandes of Asia Pacific Superyacht at Thailand Yachting Forum)

The forum’s afternoon session of ‘Leisure Marine Infrastructure in Thailand' featured a knowledgeable panel of experts addressing the topics: new sites for marina developments, haul out / dry dock facilities, supporting industries including supply chain and yacht management and agencies. Other panel titles of the afternoon included ‘Thailand Marina Hub of ASEAN’ and ‘Superyacht Charter Industry in Thailand’.

A hot topic was the discussion of the superyacht charter licences between government officials and members of the marine industry, facilitated by the Thailand Yacht Show at the Yachting Forum. Although regulations and rules regarding the actual superyacht charter licence were set in August, a number of related issues remain as hurdles for superyacht owners.

“The two major remaining issues deal directly with immigration law and value-added tax (VAT),” explains Thailand Marine Department Deputy Director-General Somchai Sumanuskajonkul. “The relevant government agencies are working to create one-year-permission-to-stay approvals for superyacht crew members – linking their stays in the country with the ships stay. Additionally, progress is being made to create a VAT exception for superyachts.”

“The immigration issues are awaiting final approval by the Immigration Bureau commissioner, while the VAT exception needs to be enacted by royal decree,” continued Sumanuskajonkul.

Gordon Fernandes and his APS team work closely with arriving superyacht clients from throughout the world and have been instrumental in bringing more superyachts to Phuket’s shores. 

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(Phuket's Ao Po Grand Marina)

“Many of our clients base in Phuket and enjoy cruising throughout the Andaman waters with some continuing on to Myanmar and the Mergui Archipelago," explains Fernandes. “Superyacht captains and owners have a great deal of interest in these issues, as evidenced at the yacht show and the many questions asking when the changing crew visa and VAT tax regulations will be finalised. Working closely with the government we are able to keep our clients advised of the most up-to-date news so they can plan accordingly.”

The inaugural Thailand Yacht Show gave every indication of a very successful event.

As the show was ending and the sun setting, Gordon said people continued to crowd superyacht decks with lively parties throughout Ao Po Marina and all agreed it was an outstanding yachting event, setting a high bar for the future.