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MOF to consider relaxing luxury tax on yachts

Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) yesterday said that the government will discuss relaxing luxury taxes on yachts in order to better promote the yacht industry in Taiwan.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday held a meeting focusing on the development of the yacht industry and the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Ministry of the Interior, Environmental Protection Administration and the Council of Agriculture all reported on the subject.

Sun said that the development of the yacht industry can be divided into two categories: the producing and the consuming sections.

“Taiwan has a complete producing chain for yachts, so we can manufacture navigation equipment, machine components and propellers independently,” said Sun. “Taiwan's manufacturing chain is ranked fifth in the world.”

According to Sun, Jiang requested Minister without Portfolio Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) to collect basic information about yachts in Taiwan, including the number of yachts and moorings. Jiang specifically asked Yang to point out the difference between demand and supply in the yacht industry.

Sun said that it will require strict evaluations on the necessity to build new ports for yachts.

There are four yacht ports in Taiwan currently, Sun said, but most of the ports are not properly developed.

“Some ports do not have tourist centers, electricity, roads that connect to other areas or even water,” said Sun. “Without these things, it will be difficult to attract luxury yachts to use those ports.”

According to current regulations, a luxury tax is applied to yacht owners, and Sun said that this regulation could be further discussed.

Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) said during the meeting that applying a luxury tax to yacht owners is based on the principle of fairness.

However, Chang said that the MOF will discuss on how to maintain fairness in the yacht industry when revising the regulations.

Sun said that the MOF will focus on revising the standards of luxury taxes in order to better promote the yacht industry.

According to Sun, tourism is one of the six industries that the government greatly promotes at present, and the yacht industry can be used to cooperate with the promotion of tourism, attracting more tourists to visit Taiwan through yachts.

The first ever Taiwan International Boat Show was held in Kaohsiung from May 8 to May 11 this year and it was the only indoor boutique yacht exhibition in Asia. Over 80 percent of the international boating industry was in attendance to showcase their merchandise featuring 139 companies from countries including Taiwan, Australia, the U.S., UK and Italy.

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