02 April 2021

Costa Rica passes a major milestone in opening the country to international superyacht operations

Landmark ruling comes after longstanding lobbying by the Costa Rica Marina Association working with Fraser
Following the recent sitting of the Costa Rica Legislative Assembly (Congress), Fraser working alongside the Costa Rica Marina Association, is proud to share a landmark vote 47-0 in favour of wide-reaching reform of the existing marina law to facilitate easier and more flexible entry and access by international large yacht operations to and within the country’s waters.

The reform, which will allow luxury charter vessels over 24m (79’) to charter legally and remain in Costa Rica for up to one year, is the result of longstanding, committed and passionate work undertaken by the Costa Rica Marina Association in collaboration with Fraser.

Following the vote, the next steps will see the President of Costa Rica sign the law into being at which point the Association together with the core Fraser advisory team, made up of Senior Charter Brokers Diane Fraser and Debra Blackburn and Yacht Services Manager Peter Selivanoff, will be on hand to work with Government legislators as required to codify the regulations and procedures. This is expected to be finalised and put into operation by September 2021.

Fraser and the Marina Association will be making further announcements as the process advances.

Costa Rica is already set up to welcome superyachts, with world-class marina facilities having been built in Papagayo, Herradura, Quepos and Golfito, and more set to open in the next 12 months. The new law will enable more charterers to fulfil their dream of exploring the 800 miles of coastline and unique biodiversity of the country.

Fraser CEO Raphael Sauleau commented:
"Costa Rica has long been on the wish list of so many of our charter clients in search of the exceptional. As indeed it has been for the Owners of many of the yachts we represent for charter worldwide. The initiative, energy and drive shown over the last year by both the Costa Rica Marina Association and our advisory team at Fraser, not to mention the openness and vision being shown by the Government of Costa Rica is, to my point of view, exemplary, exciting and proof that when great minds with a vision get together, anything is possible. Costa Rica has so much to offer, we cannot wait to be able to facilitate clients from around the world having the chance to explore it with a yacht as their base."

Comments from members of the Fraser Advisory Committee:

Fraser Charter Broker Diane Fraser:
“When this bill was in its initial stages last year, the Marina Association called upon Fraser’s charter veterans, to help provide them with situations and successful policies used by other countries. What we’re seeing today is a resounding milestone, not only because it is an attractive, strong law, but it opens up an amazing, year-round, West Coast North American cruising area. I am very proud to be a part of the teams that are contributing so much to this major reform for Costa Rica!”

Fraser Charter Broker Debra Blackburn:
“We were able to advise from both a Charterer’s standpoint and an Owner’s standpoint on how legal yacht charters are handled elsewhere. The results of our work together will soon be there for all to see. This opens up a new and beautiful cruising ground for our clients who have travelled so much in the Caribbean and are ready for a new adventure - and that’s just what they’ll find in Costa Rica.”

Fraser Yacht Services Manager, Peter Selivanoff:
“Our Yacht Management and Owner Services support was called upon to provide insight and guidance concerning the various flag commercial charter certification requirements as well as crew Minimum Safe Manning in accordance with STCW. There is lots more still to cover as the legislation becomes codified, but it is incredible to see what we have been able to achieve together in opening up a country I know very well and have many great memories of.”

Jeff Duchesneau of the Costa Rica Marina Association commented:
"The new reform law coupled with the country's tourism prowess and five full-service marinas on the Pacific Coast make Costa Rica the ideal new hotspot for luxury chartering."

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