Bill restructuring entry tax of foreign-owned water vessels deferred
By Rhealyn C. Pojas
The House of Delegates deferred on the third reading the bill that proposes to restructure the cost, duration of validity, and classifications of vessels for the foreign-owned private yachts and cruise ships that are entering Palau.
The bill, otherwise known as Senate Bill No. 10-23, HD2, PD1, claimed that many foreign-owned yachts and vessels entering Palau are profiting from the island’s beauty hence the country should have a chunk of those profits.
It further stated that many foreign-owned yachts and vessels are available for charter and even charge as much as $250,000 per week.
The bill also cited that other islands charge higher entry fees for foreign-owned water vessels operating in their areas.
Marshall Islands reportedly charges $230 per day, Guam charges $7 per day while the Bahamas charge $150 or $300 depending on the size of the ship.
“In order to become high-end tourism destination, the Republic of Palau must charge fees similar to these other nations to attract high-end tourists and to leverage revenues that can be used to improve the Republic’s infrastructure so that it can support such tourism,” the bill indicated.
The bill seeks to amend Section 1405 of Title 40 of the Palau National Code (PNC) and impose an initial entry tax worth $250 for foreign-owned water vessels measuring 40 feet in length for a 30-day stay here and a $1,000 fee for first renewal if the operator wishes to extend the stay here another 30-day period.
Private yachts measuring at least 90 feet but less than 150 feet in length shall also pay $500 entry tax for a visit lasting 30 days or less while the cost of first renewal is still 1,000.
Meanwhile, private yachts measuring 90 feet or more but less than 150 feet in length shall also pay an initial tax of $750 for a 30-day stay in Palau but the cost of first renewal is pegged at $500 and $250 for the second renewal.
Private yachts that are measuring 150 feet or more will also be imposed a $1,000 initial tax for a 30-day visit or less and first renewal cost shall be $500 and $250 for the second renewal.