Ships Ahoy! Free Sailing Between Zhongshan & Macau!

Starting from last month, the Macau News reports that is it now possible to sail from Zhongshan to Macau under the ‘free yacht’ system, which was agreed between the two regions originally in July 2014. The agreement allows yachts with up to 20 passengers to sail between the two cities in approximately 45 minutes, with time spent dealing with Customs at each port being greatly reduced. All Customs formalities are now expected to take around 10 minutes to complete, although documents are still required concerning the vessels and passengers sailing on them.

The initial part of the project allows yachts to only dock in the proposed 250 berth Keppel Cove bay in Zhongshan, which will contain a new Customs building especially for the purpose and is closed until all parts of the projects have been completed. Conversely, in Macau, a new 120 berth government wharf at Coloane will be the designated landing site for yachts sailing under the scheme and permission must have been sought at least 48 hours in advance for arrival into the casino city. Boats also must not stop anywhere on the way to Macau and passengers are not allowed to embark or disembark anywhere along the route.

Ships Ahoy! Free Sailing Between Zhongshan & Macau!

Keppel Cove in Zhongshan is expected to expand rapidly in response to the new agreement and it has already been stated by the local government that up to 400 berths will be created in total, alongside a development of 450 high-end residences with private berths.

Constructing such a development that is obviously courting wealthy individuals who participate in the leisure yacht market is a risky project to undertake under current circumstances. Chinese billionaires have generally preferred to purchase private jets, property and businesses instead of luxury yachts. The Italian Commission, as stated by Forbes, estimates that only 1 out of 318 Chinese High Net Worth Individuals owns a yacht, compared to 1 in 25 in Hong Kong. This is thought to primarily be a consequence of Xi Jinping’s anti-graft legislation, with luxury being perceived as the fruits of corruption and not just that the average Chinese millionaire does not like messing around in boats!

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Author: Chris Na