BVI News

Businesses angered as Port Authority hikes shipping fees

BVI News photo

BVI News has received complaints from some sections of the business community that are dissatisfied with the BVI Ports Authority’s (BVIPA) decision to hike fees as of March 1, 2021.

A public release from the BVIPA said the adjustments in select fees are overdue and are necessary to efficiently and properly operate and further develop the territory’s port facilities.

An increase in BVIPA fees is of significance to regular consumers as almost all business sectors use the Port Authority to import goods into the territory. This means consumers will likely be affected once they rely on businesses such as supermarkets, automotive dealers, hardware stores, clothing stores, etcetera, for goods and services.

Consumers will feel increase 

The business operators who contacted our news centre say with the hike in cargo-related fees, they will have no choice but to pass on some of these costs to consumers who are already struggling with day-to-day living expenses because of COVID-19.

The new fees are posted on the BVIPA’s website but our news centre could not do a comparison because the old fees have not yet been located.

However, some operators allege that some fees have increased by 100 percent and others by more.

“I understand that the fees haven’t been raised in a long time but you don’t go and do all your raises in one hit. You can’t do 25 years of patching up overnight. It’s not the people’s fault. The people are the ones who are going to be penalised,” said one business owner who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“I’ve been running some figures and whereas before a 40-foot container would cost $400 to import, it will now cost you over $800 to import and that doesn’t include wharfage. It’s like double-decking because you’ve got carrier charges (ships) which are being increased and when the consignee (business owners) pay for the cargo, there are significant increases,” the entrepreneur said.

Former BVIPA boss decries price hike

Our news centre was also told that storage costs for containers have increased dramatically.

Yesterday, former Managing Director of the BVIPA, Claude Skelton Cline bemoaned the increases on his Honestly Speaking radio programme. Skelton Cline said he understands that the government needs revenue, but said now may not be the best time to increase these fees that will no doubt be passed on to the consumers.

The BVIPA said the amended fees were made effective on December 18, 2020.

However, Acting Managing Director Oleanvine Maynard said: “The BVI Ports Authority is applying a grace period for full implementation until 1st March, 2021 to ensure the public has the opportunity to become familiar with the new fees.” 

After this date, all payments must reflect the new fees established by the amendment.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

54 Comments

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  1. Wow says:

    This move is gonna further cripple a struggling economy especially in these times

    Like 62
    Dislike 1
    • SAMUEL says:

      YOU CALL THIS ADVANTAGE OF POWER A PLACE IS CLOSE DOWN AND RAISING DUTY I AM SO DISGUT OF THIS ALL I CAN SAY NO HUMANITY WHAT I WANT TO SAY CANNOT PRINT.

      Like 31
    • Economics says:

      We ain’t see nothing yet. Every fee increasing and where there is no fee, one is being introduced. Check it out carefully. All I can say is when they are done with us, we are going to be truly DONE with.

      The steady pushing cost of living through the ceiling.

  2. PT9 says:

    this government doesn’t give a s**t about the people of the BVI.
    As Skelton C said he understands that the government needs revenue, but said now may not be the best time to increase these fees that will no doubt be passed on to the consumers.

    Like 50
  3. Lol says:

    lol lol

    New fees and taxes. How very unBVI. We’re not supposed to pay these! Tax the tourists!

    Oh wait. There are none

    Oops

    Like 51
    Dislike 2
  4. Yassuh Um hmmm says:

    That’s my man Claude. He jack of all trades. Consultancy king of the BVI. He’s good at bemoaning and gonna get better.

    Like 25
  5. VIP says:

    Strikes again..raising taxes on the people!

    Like 25
    • Check your facts says:

      BVI people actually don’t pay that much in taxes compared to other places. Plus, a lot of business is cash-based, and there is no requirement to file an income tax return reporting income and paying taxes on it. That said, of course, extra fees imposed by the port authority will be passed through.

      Like 2
      Dislike 26
  6. hiphop says:

    The people’s government at it again, I guess this is how they will meet that pie in the sky budget!

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  7. Ken D says:

    And what does this really mean “adjustments in select fees are overdue and are necessary to efficiently and properly operate and further develop the territory’s port facilities. ” ? They have a budget for the year cannot they work by that? Did they NOT plan for something? just smells to me…. Or they could of taken that $300k that they want to spend on fixing up the “AG’s HOUSE” and put it into the Port! Wow…

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  8. Ken Dreger says:

    And what does this really mean “adjustments in select fees are overdue and are necessary to efficiently and properly operate and further develop the territory’s port facilities. ” ? They have a budget for the year cannot they work by that? Did they NOT plan for something? just smells to me…. Or they could of taken that $300k that they want to spend on fixing up the “AG’s HOUSE” and put it into the Port! Wow…

  9. Never says:

    I must say that the government does not know the basics of strategizing, or they are just living in their own little box. Everything they do is done without proper assessment. So many persons are out of a job and to add insult to injury this is the best they could come up with. Government owing so many people and they cannot get their monies, but here you are keep adding pressure to an already pressuring situation. Andrew, I’ll tell you this, you are a major disappointment and the worse leader ever for this territory.

    Like 44
    Dislike 6
  10. Anonymous says:

    Quite apart from the actual story here, to me the saddest thing is that the business owner felt that they could only speak under the condition of anonymity. Despite all of the good words spoken by Government about openness, the culture that exists means that most people are not comfortable questioning decisions openly, hiding behind anonymous quotes to news sites, and anonymous blogging.
    As a business owner, I, too, have huge concerns about these changes by Port Authority to charges, and their consequence on the population of the BVI. I, too, am not brave enough to make Public in an open forum, those concerns. I talk to several other people who feel exactly the same.
    My question is, how do we change the culture, so that individuals feel able to raise concerns in a safe manner, and without fear of victimization.
    I am sure that there are lots of people who feel the same way, like me grumbling, under their breath, and talking to friends they feel are safe, but feel unable to publicly challenge the Government.

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
    • BVISLANDER says:

      And yet you on here blogging anonymously? D**n you people are a basket of deplorables. All of you are the same yet you come criticizing.

      Like 2
      Dislike 13
    • Ko says:

      Change starts with you. Many tola people have no chill. Especially old people. Stop blaming the government for your insecurities learn to be bold and live your life.

      Like 4
      Dislike 3
    • @ Anonymous says:

      No body is going to do them anything. The reason they are afraid to speak up publicly is because they two face they say one thing infront your face and something else behind your back. That includes you or else you would not be anonymous. set of crooks. A lot of you glad you have the blogs to hide behind. Jumping on everything to make a mountain out of a mole hill. I have no fish to fry here. I am neither VIP or NDP. But the bull crap y’all going on with is worse than drug lords and the murderers. Any blind person can see there is an agenda a foot.

  11. HAHA says:

    This is when you put inexperienced people at the helm.

    Like 19
  12. @Never says:

    This is one of the reasons ANDREW AND HIS GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO STEP DOWN. ONE BLOW AFTER THE OTHER. HE IS ONLY LOOKING OUT FOR HIS BEST INTEREST AND GOT CSC ON THE BUMBLE BEE COLOR BIAS WEBSITE FLAPPING ABOUT A DAMN COVER PHOTO. IT IS NOT THAT SERIOUS. THE BVI IS JUST BEING CALLED OUT FOR WHAT IT IS.

    Like 20
    • Exactly says:

      OVER A DAMN NON IMPORTANT NOT THAT SERIOUS PHOTO. PREMIER? DON’T GET ME TO TALKING. YES, WE ARE GETTING CALLED OUT FOR WHO WE REALLY ARE.

  13. Well says:

    There goes our cost of living and misery index, through the sky.

    They will never feel the pain this will cause the masses. Their pockets filled to running over.

    ZWell sah, this what the people voted for?

    Very sad day for the rest of the days for Tortola and her people.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  14. Just craziness says:

    This government has been more of a hindrance than a help during this pandemic. How are businesses to survive? Don’t you think that they will pass those price increases on to the consumers many of whom are not working? Who is thinking here?

    Like 13
    Dislike 15
    • @just craziness says:

      You people just looking thing to talk. Some of you throw away pennies everday and yet you keeping noise on a lest than penny increase on a dollar. May the good Lord look down on this BVI.

  15. Lookeeee herrb says:

    Claude changing his mouth now because he see the ship sinking. He will be going by his family PVIM party next.

    Like 19
  16. 1st district says:

    All the present government doing in ALL these establishments is hiking prices to recover loss money. Look at electricty raising you deposit money especially for tennants. Them done illegely thief our money and turning back to thief twice AGAIN! COL GET BUSY!!

  17. 1st district says:

    All the present government doing in ALL these establishments is hiking prices to recover loss money. Look at electricty raising you deposit money especially for tennants. Them done illegely thief our money and turning back to thief twice AGAIN! INQUIRY GET BUSY!!

    • They are doing this says:

      To make up for the PEOPLES MONEY THAT WAS LOOTED AND MISMANAGED. THEY STOLE THE PEOPLES MONEY AND THEY ARE MAKING THE PEOPLE PAY BACK THE MONEY THAT WAS LOOTED FROM THEM.

  18. Well sah says:

    My god
    Is this vip government for real
    In this crisis really
    What more does this government want to do tho the bvi
    Ppl ayo need to come out and speak for y’all rights
    He already kill tourism industry, now this
    WHAT NEXT
    Those ppl will lose there businesses due to all this nonsense
    Yes I understand this is a pandemic but this government taking disadvantage on the ppl now
    I have friends who already suffer a big loss but with this new law the might have to migrate to a different country

  19. Disappointed. says:

    I’m upset that my first time voting went to ANDREW and his administration.

    Like 17
    • @Disappointed says:

      DON’T BE UPSET BO BO, I FELL IN THE SAME S**T MYSELF. CHALK IT UP AS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE. NEXT TIME IT AIN’T HAPPENING. ANY POLITICIANS THAT WANT AND DESERVES MY VOTE IS GOING TO HAVE TO EXPLAIN WHY I SHOULD GIVE THEM MY VOTE .

  20. ATTENTION BVI GOVERNMENT says:

    WE THE PEOPLE OF THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS IS REQUESTING THAT YOU KINDLY LEAVE US ALONE. WE DON’T, I REPEAT, WE DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANYTHING YOU THE GOVERNMENT HAVE TO SAY. WE THE PEOPLE OF THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS WILL BE OK. WE JUST WANT YOU TO LEAVE US THE HECK ALONE. TO MANY LIES AND DECEAT.

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
    • HECK YES says:

      WE NEED A VACATION FROM THE BVI GOVERNMENT. THE PEOPLE JUST WANT A BREAK FROM THE TOXIC UNSTABLE BEHAVIOR. AS FAR AS I AM CONCERN, WE HAVE NO GOVERNMENT. THE TRUST IS GONE.

  21. @Disappointed says:

    I am upset I was in the motorcade waving a green flag.

    Like 14
  22. Shut up Merchants/Vessels says:

    Man ayo merchants sick. $400 dollars more for a container with $500,000 is like 1000th of a cent per unit of goods. Your arguments is rubbish!!

    For 25 years you have fluffed your pockets off of Government… wid your p**s bout passing on costs to consumer.

    Like 4
    Dislike 8
    • Stupes says:

      of course the increased fees will be passed to consumers. That’s how businesses work. They will want to maintain the same profit margin they did before the increase.

    • Really says:

      That is just the fee for the container increased. As it concerns the value in the container there will be duty. So I don’t think your calculation is valid. Must be the high rent Port Authority is paying now which had them increase their fee.

  23. What a deal! says:

    40 foot container for $800. I wish that I could pay that. I import containers from China to the US and I pay over $12000. They used to be around $3500. You have no idea what a price increase looks like.

    • Eagle says:

      $800 is just in port fee not shipping so that 40’ container from miami that used to be $4400 plus $400 port fee will now be plus $800. That 40’ container will be $5200.00 now. Shipping lines are also increasing fees due to lack of competition. This can be a economic disaster if not handled correctly.

  24. NOT Really says:

    The problem is not really the port increasing fees. The problem is with the greedy merchants. For example the port cost to import a container of beers goes up by $400. A Container holds more than 400 cases of beers. Do you think the merchants are going to increaser the case of beer $1 in which case the retailer does not have to pass on that $1 to the consumer since their markup is already over
    400%? No they are going to increase the case of beer by $3, so the merchants will cover the increase port charges and make an extra $800 at our expense.

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  25. Flames says:

    One phrase, Bulls**t!!!!

  26. 3hydsd says:

    I hope when they do that March. They dont cut staff pay again and if they do cut everybody and not some.

  27. Pity says:

    A $400.00 increase on a container of items valued at lets say $16,000.00 that will be 3cents increase on each dollar and some containers are filled with items value up t $40,000.00 in that case the increase on each dollar will be .01 cent. People stop letting people fool y’all. The businesses want to increase their merchandise because they have to pay .01 cent more on a dollar to customs. After Irma they received a break from Customs and they did not pass it on to the customers. People start thinking for yourselves and stop letting people think for you.

    Like 3
    Dislike 3
  28. Business Owner says:

    BVIPA increased the fees without any consultation to the Public. For example vehicles has 24 hours to leave off of the Port, if the T12 is not processed in time by Customs, Storage starts. Storage was .05 cents per CF, it has been increased to .25 cents per CF. They have also added a Security Fee of $1.00 per ton, so when you call for explanation, how are they going to weigh cargo, do they have a scale to weigh by tons, they have none. No one has a clear understanding of the fees even Management of BVIPA. If you were a Customs Broker you paid a licence fee of $200/annum, it has increased to $1,500/annum. If you are a Ship Agent, your fee was $500/annum, that has increased to $2,500/annum. Ferry Operators had to pay $2.00 for every person that travels with the Ferry, that has increased to $4.00 per person. The fees are increased by 200% and more. They put a rat to mind cheese and want to kill the Business Owners. Imagine the cost of groceries when this comes into effect. There is a time and place for everything, this is not the time for these exorbitant fees. They done waste all the money now they trying to recoup and recoup fast.
    Captain this ship is sinking, Captain the seas are rough, we are in trouble here in the BVI.

  29. @ Anonymous says:

    No body is going to do them anything. The reason they are afraid to speak up publicly is because they two face they say one thing infront your face and something else behind your back. That includes you or else you would not be anonymous. set of crooks. A lot of you glad you have the blogs to hide behind. Jumping on everything to make a mountain out of a mole hill. I have no fish to fry here. I am neither VIP or NDP. But the bull crap y’all going on with is worse than drug lords and the murderers. Any blind person can see there is an agenda a foot.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  30. Tola says:

    About time now port increase

  31. Andrew misson says:

    Andre Fahie is a dis****e to this place!! Real weak leader!!

  32. Consumer protection bill says:

    This situation now needs the consumer protection bill passed ASAP, if not already done. With each new administration, we get campaign promises of the bill being given priority and it gets thrown aside once they are elected. IT NOW NEEDS TO HAPPEN.

  33. Hmm says:

    Immigration will get more fees too as of February because persons were waiting for a long time for their certificate of earnings and stuff to submit their permit and time ran out on them so they now have to get time until the permit is ready, when its ready immigration will charge the persons another fee. Hmm

  34. Hmm says:

    In this struggling times work permit holders have to get additional cash to pay NHI, SSB and Inland revenue for goid standing letters etc. The people are not working and all new fees are being added to them.

  35. Observer says:

    This is what happens when you elect a man that is not good in business. He can’t run his own business successfully how can he run a country. Clearly he is not a good business man he has proven this again and again. Next time elect SUCCESSFUL business people that know how to run businesses without c***ting and s***ling.

    Lesson learned…. again!

    Like 1
    Dislike 1

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