on 20 Jul 2022
Charter yachts seeking to cruise Fiji's waters can now be smaller than ever before
The Fijian Government has changed the rules of its Superyacht Charter Act, making it easier for foreign-flagged vessels to charter in Fijian waters.
As of 15 July a foreign-flagged vessel chartering in Fiji must be a minimum of 18 metres long — a reduction from 24 metres. The minimum weekly gross charter fee is now ‘only’ US$30,000 per week — down from USD$55,000.
Below are the full conditions and regulations of Fiji’s updated superyacht charter licence:
- Yachts must be over 18m and must have a minimum weekly gross charter rate of US$30,000.
- Yachts must have a valid Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) certification or equivalent internationally recognised commercial survey for the purpose of carrying passengers.
- A fee of FJ$3,600 (US$1,800) will be levied on each yacht for a Short-Term Charter Permit (STCP) that will cover 6 months and multiple Charters. STCPs can be renewed multiple times for a maximum stay of 18 months.
- Marine Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) will survey the yacht and issue a Coastal Trading Permit (CTP) required for each charter. Cost FJD3450 (USD1725).
- A superyacht charter fee of 5% is levied on the stated gross charter fee as disclosed on the charter contract.
- Charter contracts must be industry standard, either Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association MYBA, American Yacht Charter Association AYCA, or other legally recognised charter contract.
- All applications for the Superyacht Charter Permit must be made through a recognized superyacht agent (Yacht Partners, Yacht Help and Seal Superyachts Fiji).
- Applications take 15 working days to process.
Charter yachts entering Fiji must present: A registration document; MCA or other commercial survey certificate; MYBA or another Charter Contract; crew list and crew certification.
With more than 300, largely unexplored islands, pristine waters and stunning scenery, Fiji has become an increasingly popular cruising destination for superyachts.
In recent years, Fiji has consistently promoted yacht tourism. A story published this year by Asia-Pacific Boating highlights that, in normal times, Fiji attracts some 800 yachts per year, of which more than 60 are superyachts.
In July 2020 Fiji’s government approved a pioneering ‘Blue Lanes‘ initiative, which permitted yacht parties and crew to quarantine at sea to encourage visitors to the country.
In March, Fiji confirmed that vaccinated visitors, residents, and citizens would only need to conduct one rapid Covid test within 24 hours of arrival to Fiji.