Australian boat manufacturers and coastal tourism operators will benefit from proposed changes to the GST allowing boat buyers to sail new, Australian-made recreational boats in our waters for up to 12 months without paying GST on the sale price.

Draft legislation was released today for comment to extend, from 60 days to 12 months, under certain circumstances, the period in which eligible boats can be exported from Australia GST-free. The measure is designed to enable buyers of new Australian-made boats to take an extended sailing holiday in Australia and become familiar with their boat, before either sailing it out of Australia or having it shipped overseas. It also assists Australian boat builders to overcome the disadvantage they face in this market because of Australia’s relative geographic isolation.

The exposure draft legislation and explanatory material is available on the Treasury website at
Consultation closes on 18 February 2011.

The new legislation is expected to take effect from 1 July 2011.