Gibraltar seeks superyacht “game-changer” has recently reported the results from the annual Gibraltar superyacht forum. The consensus was that Gibraltar needs a “game-changer” to attract vessels from the traditional, and crowded cruising areas. Held on 6 June in the new Gibraltar International Airport, the Forum drew around 150 delegates to discuss the challenges facing the industry.

Norma Trease, director of Salamanca Group said Ideally this game-changer would be in the form of shore berths,enabling vessels to undergo a full refit and encouraging the large number of visiting yachts to stay on the Rock for longer.

It was felt that 10 to 15 berths, both on-shore and water-based, would provide critical mass to maximise the economic benefits, which could be substantial. With most Mediterranean yards booked for up to three years in advance, investment in new facilities could reap instant rewards.

Opened by Roy Stanbrook , Captain of the Port of Gibraltar and Ian Le Breton, the managing director of Sovereign Trust Gibraltar, the Forum comprised a series of presentations and panel debates, covering Gibraltar registration, marketing, legal and financial issues and yachts in transit.

Participation was actively encouraged from the attending delegates. Diana Soussi Avellano, Registrar of the Gibraltar Yacht Registry, said vessels in Gibraltar enjoyed the same protection and consular support as UK vessels but there were currently fewer yachts over 24m than on many competing registries.

Patrick Coote, global marketing director of Fraser Yachts, said: “The superyacht market in Gibraltar still hold enormous untapped potential  and it is clear that the key players in the region intend to work together to develop a range of services and facilities that will ensure solid, future  growth. I encourage anybody who has an interest in superyachts or Gibraltar to attend the Forum, which offers great insight into the specific characteristics of this unique overseas territory.”

On 24 June the Chief Minister of Gibraltar announced, as part of the Budget 2013, that import duty on marine fuel was to be reduced to zero (0%) with immediate effect. The system will work as a refund for importers in respect of fuels demonstrably supplied to vessels. In the previous Budget, import duty was abolished for vessels over 18-metres in length.

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