Start of summer brings yachts to Kiwi shores

  • Nicky Wagner

Customs Minister Nicky Wagner says the warmer months bring international yachts to New Zealand shores, and Customs is prepared for a big season ahead.

“The yacht arrival season has started and it’s wonderful that every year more than 600 yachts from around the world arrive here to make the most of our beautiful country and Kiwi hospitality,” Ms Wagner said.

“As the first port of call, Customs takes great pride in welcoming visitors to our shores and ensuring their first impression of New Zealand is a friendly one.

“Last year, Customs worked with industry to double the temporary entry period for visiting yachts to 24 months, exempting owners from paying Customs charges for their vessels provided they meet the requirements.

“Many visiting yachts want to stay for longer, and this is an excellent opportunity for our tourism, hospitality and marine industries.

Ms Wagner said in addition to welcoming visitors, Customs also has an important enforcement role to play.

“Customs officers are on the lookout for high-risk vessels and visitors to make sure they aren’t carrying prohibited goods or doing anything illegal. We work closely with other government agencies to enforce this, and also support the Ministry for Primary Industries to target biosecurity risks.

“Customs has started patrolling the Northern waters for this season. This is a welcome sign for legitimate yachties, and serves as a strong reminder and deterrence to others,” Ms Wagner said.

People can report suspicious activity to a 24-hour hotline 0800 4 CUSTOMS.