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									Wooing yacht owners to register vessels in Langkawi
By Kang Siew Li siewli@nstp.com.my 2009/09/22 There are now 130 yachts and 26 yachting entities registered with the Langkawi International Yacht Registry (LIYR), but targets 150 yachts by the end of the year, the ministry's special maritime adviser Datuk Captain Abdul Rahim Abd Aziz said. "Spearheading the ministry's efforts is secretary-general Datuk Zakaria Bahari. To date, vessels registered with the registry include those from the US, France, the Netherlands, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, Italy and Indonesia," he told Business Times in an interview. LIYR, which is operated by the Marine Department, was launched in October 2003 by the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to help make Malaysia and Langkawi better known to yacht owners throughout the world and promote tourism. "However, there was not much activity (to attract yacht owners to the registry) until 2007, when the momentum picked up and we became more recognised in the yachting industry," said Abdul Rahim. Abdul Rahim has been tasked among other things to promote LIYR and is going to various media to do so. However, he is aware that the local registry faces stiff competition from established international yacht registries like Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Panama and the US. "For instance, many yacht owners in the US choose to register their vessels in the Caribbean region such as Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Seychelles. "And in the Mediterranean, you have popular port of registries in Barcelona, Marseilles and Monaco," he said. Nearer to Malaysia's shores are fast growing yacht registries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Perth, Melbourne and Auckland. Still, the yachting industry remains one of the fastest growing in the world. "By having Langkawi-registered yachts, it would make the island and Malaysia better known as the vessels would be flying the registry's flag," said Abdul Rahim, adding that the country's marinas can take yachts of 12m to super yachts of 200m and offer world-class facilities. They include the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, Rebak Marina and Telaga Harbour in Langkawi; Admiral Marina and Avillion in Port Dickson; the Royal Selangor Yacht Club; Tanjong City Marina in Penang, Sebana Cove in Johor; and Sutera Harbour Marina in Sabah. The Langkawi International Yacht Registry has competitive registration fees of between RM1,140 and RM3,800, depending on the vessel's tonnage. 1/2

"In addition, companies that had registered their yachts in the island are allowed to carry out activities in yacht-related businesses such as construction, servicing and repair," said Abdul Rahim. According to the International Ship and Aircraft Registries, every yacht has to be registered in an internationally recognised jurisdiction to provide proof of nationality and ownership. A yacht assumes the nationality of the jurisdiction where it is registered, and is therefore subject to the regulations laid down by the governing register.

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