President Remengesau signed a bill that will increase a fee charged to foreign yacht owners and cruise ships entering Palauan waters.
“This new law will align Palau’s tax structure with the normative market rate and ensure that we receive our fair share from those profiting off Palau’s natural beauty” Remengesau said in his address to Senate President Hokkons Baules.
Under the new law, high-end investors and high value visitors with yacht in Palau will not be forced to leave after 90 days but can prolong their stay. This is done with a perspective of contributions by the visitors to Palau’s economy.
The legislative findings read, “There are many foreign owned yachts entering Republic and many of these vessels are available for charter and charge as much as two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per week. If operators of these yachts are profiting from Palau’s natural beauty, the Republic should take part in the portion of those profits.”
It further justifies it by giving examples of other islands that charge high entry fees for foreign water vessels; Marshal Islands charges $230 per day, Guam charges $7 per day and Bahamas charges $150 for vessels up to 30 feet and $300 for vessels over 30 feet.
The new law asks the vessels below 40 feet in length to pay an initial tax of $250 for a visit lasting 30 days or less with a cost of first renewal being $1000 and second renewal being $2000.
Private yacht 40 feet or more, but less than 90 feet in length shall pay an initial tax of $750 for visit lasting 30 days or less with a cost of first renewal as $500 and second renewal as $250. While private yacht 150 feet or more in length shall pay an initial tax of $1000 for a visit lasting 30 days or less with a cost of first renewal being $500 and second renewal being $250. (By Eshan Kalyanikar)