SUNBIZ

Skeggs: Learn, Move On

Fiji can improve on its services when it comes to quick clearance of yachts from Port Denarau Marina. Port Denarau Limited chief executive officer and managing director Nigel Skeggs has
28 Jan 2015 10:09
Skeggs: Learn, Move On
Super Yacht at Port Denarau Marina

Fiji can improve on its services when it comes to quick clearance of yachts from Port Denarau Marina.

Port Denarau Limited chief executive officer and managing director Nigel Skeggs has called on relevant authorities to learn from New Zealand’s clearance system.

“We need to look at our competitors like New Zealand, who charge no fees for clearance and use a single border clearance officer,” he said.

“These officers are trained to clear vessels in regards to customs, immigration, bio-security and health. This significantly reduces the cost of the exercise.

“In Fiji, we tend to have a total of eight to 12 staff coming to the vessel for clearance. This is very inefficient and cumbersome.”

Mr Skeggs said for last year’s arrivals Fiji had around 620 small yachts (less than 80ft) and 52 super yachts. For the super yachts it was an increase of 40 compared to 2013.

“It should be noted that last year, New Zealand had 28 super yacht arrivals over the same period. The contribution to NZ’s economy in 2013 is reported to be in excess of NZ$500 million.

“We are more conservative with our figures with the total spend by yachts in Fiji in 2013, is of $FJD$29 million as $13 m came from super yachts.”

Mr Skeggs said another issue is the safety aspect in Lautoka as the main clearance port in the West.

“We are constantly getting complaints about the mess from the sugar mill, the extra distance that customers have to travel, the lack of any mooring facility or wharf and the lack of transport for the clearance officers,” he added.

 

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