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BVI: Confusion over New Fees

By Val Ellis last modified Mar 31, 2015 09:17 PM
In recent weeks, some private cruising boats have been charged substantial fees when visiting the British Virgin Islands, while others have only been paying the original modest charges.

Published: 2015-03-30 23:00:00
Countries: British Virgin Islands

The confusing situation regarding fees payable by cruisers visiting the British Virgin Islands should be made clearer by the following post on the official BVI Tourism website.

BVI PORTS AUTHORITY OUTLINES CHANGES TO HARBOUR CHARGES

Monday, February 9 – The BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) is informing the public that the harbour charges recently introduced for vessels entering and remaining in ‘territorial waters’ have been postponed subject to further consultation with the industry stakeholders.

Harbour charges will continue to be applied to vessels berthing in all declared harbours and any of the BVIPA’s facilities, along with all cruise ships irrespective of the berthage location in the BVI.

Harbour charges, in accordance with the British Virgin Islands Ports Authority Regulations (1995), must be paid in respect of any vessel other than a commercial ferry that berths for approved scheduled ferry services at the BVIPA’s facilities. However, harbour charges are applicable in respect of any commercial ferry carrying on charter services.

Harbour charges are calculated based on the overall length of the vessel and where it is berthed. Vessels will be charged at a rate of $1.00 per foot.

For more information, contact the Authority via telephone 494-3435 or email bviports@bviports.org.

The BVI Ports Authority is responsible for the Territory’s seaports and harbours.

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However, the first statement saying the recently introduced harbour charges have been suspended, immediately followed by another saying  'Harbour charges will continue to be applied'  is not destined to end the confusion. So it is not surprising that some officers charge the fees while others, even in the same office, do not.

Quoting the BVI Ports Authority's own press release, or producing paperwork to show that you have not been charged before, may help in cases where the fees are requested.

Noonsite is continuing its endeavours to get an accurate statement from the BVI Ports Authority.

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