BVI News

BVI seeks UK’s help to retrieve shipment of COVID-19 protective gear seized by US

The Ministry of Health has sought the assistance of the United Kingdom government to retrieve a shipment of medical supplies that was bound for the BVI but seized by United States authorities.

Health Minister Carvin Malone said the BVI shipment was seized because of the US government’s recent order to ‘prevent the export of N-95 respirators, surgical masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE)’.

He said the BVI’s shipment contained $12,000 worth of PPEs to help protect local health workers from contracting the coronavirus.

“I have since reported the incident to the governor who would — through diplomatic channels — be able to find ways in which we can get the goods released,” Malone said in a JTV broadcast.

He added: “We want to make sure that we have a clear path [for our] purchases of medical replacement supplies through the United States and we would be grateful it would be handled and handled effectively by the UK government and the US government. So I see no issue in terms of it being resolved.”

The items seized include N-95 masks, gloves, and gowns, Malone said.

According to US President, Donald Trump, his administration banned the export of coronavirus protective gear because the USA “needs these items immediately for domestic use”.

The US has surpassed China has the country with the single highest number of coronavirus cases. The US has in excess of half-a-million COVID-19 cases and more than 18,000 coronavirus-related deaths.


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  1. bvi says:

    good luck with that malone, but thats a dead case, Canada, Barbados, and Cayman islands all met the same fate, their shipment was seized, so what makes you think little bvi will get back theirs?.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The UK is the US closest ally so it is worth a try.

      Like 15
    • Facts says:

      That’s so true bvi. But my thing is why their sort to have the container pass through the USA when it have shipping company coming from UK to the Caribbean. Anyway I wish them luck America feel they rule the world.

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      • us ports says:

        because all containers from UK go to the US ports on large ships first, before getting put on a smaller ship to come down the caribbean.

    • @bvi says:

      because the God (YHWH) we serve!

    • Lawd send help!!! says:

      What a joke. Let’s analyze this!!! The UK has just about 80,000 COVID-19 cases, it is estimated that 3 mil of its citizens would face unemployment as a result of the virus, the NHS is overwhelmed, significant shortage in protective gear…..

      Therefore, Mr. Minister $12,000 pales in comparison to the type of issues the UK is currently been confronted with.

      It is also ironic, that couple months ago, the tone coming from your government is that the government shouldn’t dictate the pace in the BVI…now you want their help.

      My advice to you is to let it rest…..

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    • kraD ThginK says:

      Cayman was able to get their shipment. They placed an order before the President gave the instructions to seize any exports on critical medical supplies.

  2. Why and how says:

    Who was this purchase through and where did the masks originate. Was the BVI buying from a US supplier? If so then the US is correct. How about some real info as to the story. Sounds like the BVI was circumventing proper channels to purchase. Wouldn’t be the first time

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    • US says:

      @Why and How, it is a strong possibility that is why the shipment was seize by Homeland Security. The true story will surface soon.

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      • Haha says:

        @Why and How and US, Both of y’all are ignorant [email protected]@$$3$. If you were paying attention to the news you would know that the USA is stopping export for everybody. (I think he may have since softened his stance after Worldwide backlash.)They don’t care who need or any reason. Trump issued a command, no exporting of Covid19 gear regardless of any circumstances. By the way we aren’t the only ones that were affected. Their closest neighbour, Canada was begging for their shipment of mask that were blocked.

        Some people always trying to find the bad in everything like there must be something government did wrong. The only thing done wrong is ordering banned equipment.

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  3. Diaspora says:

    Did the BVIHSA placed this procurement order before or after the freeze on export of Covid-19 medical supplies? And if after, was there an expectation that the supplier would violate the freeze directive? Why did the supplier attempt to ship the order if it knew there was a freeze on exports? The question now is whether the UK will actively pursue this issue through diplomatic channels? Is the Trump admin going to reverse itself on this issue? Probable but doubtful. BVIHSA needs to look at an alternative supplier outside of the US. On this critical supply, the US will place itself first and can anyone blame it. Charity starts at home; it is America first.

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    • Quiet Rebel says:

      Doubt the UK will expend any diplomatic capital on this issue. Will the request eben leave the VI shores? Instead, the UK may just provide the order and save diplomat capital for another day.

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  4. Please stop now says:

    You people here making all type of negative comments and calling down America. Have any of you stop to think about how many kids from the BVI is stuck in America that could not make it home or family members who could not make it back home? The same America you all are calling down is going to make sure those kids is going to taken care of. The shipment was seized for a reason.

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    • mr wilson says:

      tell them again because for many many years our people enjoy a great relationship with the USVI and Mainland USA most of our children are being educated or call USA home

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    • Click says:

      At the same time the US is trying to stop everyone from receiving their supplies they are still getting most of their supplies outside of the US for example the vast majority of their ppe and ventilators are still coming from China, nnew you was even given a 1000 ventilators for free I did not hear them refuse, they forget, like us they proclaim themselves a Christian nation but forgetting what the Bible says they care only for themselves.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Selfish, heartless demons.

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  6. Panta06 says:

    There is no reason for the US to withhold these supplies from other countries. Supposedly in the US we have enough, and if that’s the case, then we have a moral obligation to help others. And, since the president and his conservative cohorts like to claim the Christian angle, we have a biblical obligation to do so. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” Prov 3:27

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  7. Money? says:

    Trump makes these order without thinking about the details. If US Customs takes this stuff, who pays for it?? At the end of the day someone was giving a manufacturer money to purchase something. I am sure the BVI sent the money already. The masks are sitting in a container in the USVI so who is going to use them in the US? Be glad you don’t live in the USA right now when this mess is going on. Trump in an idiot!

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    • Retired says:

      Most goods are shipped ‘cif’ which means cost, insurance, freight. The issuing bank in the BVI will pay for the shipped goods once they are in transit. If the goods are seized or removed from transit then the issuing bank does not transfer the money to the supplier’s receiving bank.

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      • Oliver Cromwell says:

        That’s not exactly correct, CIF related solely to the shipment of goods, not the purchase, they are two different issues. However, the insurance should cover the loss of goods provided there is no exclusion for political risk, which, foreign government forfeiture comes under

      • Slight correction says:

        Will pay once shipped, not in transit. If this was how the deal was done, then no funds would have been transferred since the goods weren’t shipped.

        There are cases however where goods exported to BVI must be paid to the overseas seller before packaging and leaving the sellers premises. If this was the case with the supplies, BVI Government can cancel and have the orders returned to the sellers and get their funds back. If the sellers refuse, BVI can take the matter up in a USA court.

        At the end of the day, something doesn’t smell right. Why would a USA supplier sell or export such scarce goods. Could it be that for higher prices received from overseas buyers than from home buyers? One thing to think about.

    • @Money says:

      Be very careful about what you are saying. You guys are in a mess just like the USA.

  8. Blob says:

    I betcha after a couple of calls the shipment will be on its way. In the grand scheme of things it’s a relatively small amount of ppe & Trump is best buddies with the UK.

  9. Oliver Cromwell says:

    It will just be easier for the UK to send us replacement supplies rather than spending time, effort and money questioning another countries emergency methods. This is also just one more lesson in life as to where our salvation constantly rests whenever we get into serious problems. The BVI needs to change both it’s direction and attitude towards it’s mother country, before, they change theirs towards us.

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  10. Agriculture says:

    Wake up BVI. Get going on agriculture like back in our grandparents days. Rear cattle pigs goats sheep chickens for milk eggs neat. Protect the fishing waters and use conservative fish farming. Plant food – potatoes cassava yams bananas etc. The days are coming when the world will be in shirt supply and the other countries will put a freeze on exports like how they doing now. Even if it will not be in abundance, rationing will extend lives in the days of food shortages.

    The seizure of those health supplies is a wake up call.

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    • Agriculture Again says:

      Remember Salt Island got salt for corning fish, pork and other kinds of meat in case they stop oil & gas coming this way for energy & refrigeration. Start the resurrection/preservation of the salt ponds and the production of salt & avoid destroying the salt ponds.

      Charcoal burning will come back too. Flour going be needed – can BVI produce can the BVI plant wheat? Plant corn for corn flour.

      The days of tribulation right around the corner.

      The money in the bank from financial services cannot do a thing when that time come.

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    • Tooth&Claw says:

      BVIslanders are too important to toil in the fields, come on!

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  11. Please wait, US says:

    Something went wrong with the shipment and there is a reason why, the full story is not being told, your Government need to let their people know exactly what the true story is instead of making it look like America is the big bad wolf and America seize the shipment. Look at how many college students from your Country and other Caribbean Islands that is stuck in the States that could not make it home. As much as you all are calling us down and calling us demons and other negative names, those students are and will be taken care of. My daughter college roommate is from Antigua and could not get back home and she is at our home in self quarantine with us. Everyone who is from America is not bad people, it is just hurtful to read some of the hateful comments toward Americans when you really don’t know what is going on. Have a blessed and safe weekend.

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    • :) says:

      Lol, the only thing that went wrong was the Trump administration ordering that no protective gear and equipment be exported on April 3rd. Trump isn’t necessarily wrong for doing what he did as you supposed to feed your children before anybody else but make no excuses about what is going on-America seized the goods following the orders of their President . Canada, Barbados, Brazil,and others have complained as well but to be fair some of the EU were the first to start similar measures.

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  12. StateSide says:

    Whoever ordered the supplies knew or did not understand it was prohibited that is why the shipment was seized. Whoever was responsible needs to let you guys know instead of throwing the blame on America. NOPE, NOT this time. You all seem to forget that FEMA who only assist the US products ended up in the BVI. How was that possible?

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  13. voiceofreason says:

    He added: “We want to make sure that we have a clear path [for our] purchases of medical replacement supplies through the United States and we would be grateful it would be handled and handled effectively by the UK government and the US government. So I see no issue in terms of it being resolved.”

    If these goods were in transit base on the use of the word ‘through’ then I do not see any reason why they should be held up by CBP. Unless there is something else we are missing. The Executive Mandate is in relation to exported goods but if these goods did not originate from the USA they cannot fall under that category. The order may have post-dated the mandate but that should not be an issue in this case as these goods cannot be considered export goods.

    Cayman Islands just got them to release their order based on a lot of influence but also their grounds were solid as the invoices predated the Executive Mandate and the goods were in transit.

    On another note we need to look at other suppliers and ways of getting our supplies here. Cayman islands just ordered 200,000 test kits from South Korea and I am sure they have contacts for PPES so why not consult them about other options? Why are we Caribbean islands not communicating and working together more? We can route via London to Antigua or Barbados but those flights don’t begin until 1st May. Or anywhere else other than the USA if they are going to behave like this.

    These big countries care little for small divided islands (insular in nature) which is even more obvious in times of crisis and I hope we realize that we are just a small island, a speck on the map. Caribbean people need to work together! Unity is strength!

  14. No reasoning says:

    You people in Tortola is nothing more than a bunch of dumb ignorant people. Continue showing the WORLD just how ignorant and bad spirited you truly are. My goodness stop embarrassing your Country. You people spew your hate towards anyone that was not born on this piece of volcano rock surrounded by ocean. You all are your own worst enemy. The way you treat outsiders is plain out disgusting and rude. The Universe is handing down punishment. The thing is, the whole world is getting and feeling the same punishment.

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  15. Tooth&Claw says:

    Mr Malone requests help from the UK government to release PPC’s from US customs.

    I don’t see any issue with that at all…

  16. ReX FeRaL says:

    Tooth &Claw…..You people?

  17. Tola says:

    The playing field has changed.While it was so simple to source most of BVI supplies for our different sectors from the USA.BVI must now look to include more jurisdictions as the territory establish its supply chain for food , drugs and other necessities.Maybe someone from the BVI overseas office in china could in future source some purchases directly from China and have them shipped via England to the BVI. Its medical supplies now. who knows what the future holds.

  18. Protect your own! says:

    How is he wrong for protecting his country? When you look at the amount of people infected in the US collectively those in the Caribbean put together doesn’t compare. Is it unreasonable that he wants to protect his country? No not in my book. And If it was you as President you would of done the same.

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  19. @TherealDonald says:

    You don’t need them folks. We do, as I have said from the the end of last year.

  20. Bandit says:

    The same thing happened with the Bahamas and they were able to get their supplies through diplomatic channels with the U.S. so there is a possibility that the BVI will get the shipment of medical supplies.

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