BVI News

300 percent increase in imports, BVIPA extends hours

Aerial view of the Port Purcell facility before the September 2017 hurricanes. BVI Ports Authority Photo.

While noting a massive increase in a number of goods being shipped into the territory, the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) said it is extending its operating hours.

“We have seen a 300 percent increase in the volume of goods coming into the ports, so we are doing our part to demonstrate that we understand what is required to support businesses and residents during this time,” said Acting Managing Director of BVI Ports Authority, Al Henley.

The ports authority said starting tomorrow, the Port Purcell facility will be open for an additional three hours.

The facility will now open from 8:30am to 7:30pm on weekdays, and from 9am to 3pm on Saturdays.

The BVIPA said it is making the changes to ‘support the continuation of business and rebuilding in the Virgin Islands’.

Hurricane damage caused delay

Meanwhile, the state-owned ports authority claimed today that the delay in releasing goods to residents was due to damage caused by the recent hurricanes.

It said in a media release this afternoon that two of its main warehouses at the Port Purcell facility was severely damaged. The acting ports authority boss, however, said the BVIPA has come up with a solution.

According to the release, Henley’s “team has devised a temporary system to secure cargo coming into the facility.” The release did not specify what the system was.

Henley, in the meantime, urged residents to learn the clearance process.

Following is a list of things to know about the BVIPA’s process for clearing goods:

  • Using seaport to import goods is a three-agency process involving their shipper, Her Majesty’s Customs, followed by BVIPA.
  • Residents are first notified by their shipping agent that cargo has arrived and available for pick up.
  • The shipper will provide a bill of lading with their applicable shipping charges.
  • Once those charges are paid, customers should take both the bill of laden and their receipt to a broker for the preparation of an HMC-12 form. After that form is completed, customers should take the form to HM Customs at the Port Purcell office for the payment of any customs duty if applicable and customs charge. Once charges are paid, customers are required to pay wharfage/storage and moving fees, if applicable.
  • There are no storage fees if goods or supplies are picked up within five days of arrival.
  • Starting November 6, BVIPA will be informing customers once cargo is ready for collection via social media, its website, and by telephone.

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