BVI News

BVIPA postpones upcoming May 2021 fee increases to next year

Premier Fahie

The BVI Port Authority (BVIPA) will be rolling back the majority of its upcoming increased fees that were scheduled to take effect May 2021.

Minister responsible for ports, Premier Andrew Fahie announced this news in a public broadcast Thursday evening, April 8. He said the fee increases will now be postponed until 2022.

He did not specify when next year the increases will be reinstated or what fee increases (the minority) would move forward as planned come next month.

The BVIPA recently explained that the increases were necessary for the Authority to upgrade its facilities and maintain its shipping certification from the International Maritime Organization.

Banking on cruise tourism to fill the revenue gaps

Now that the fee increases have been postponed, Premier Fahie said the BVIPA will be banking on areas to generate revenue for the time being.

“The return of cruise tourism along with other proposed revenue streams are projected to allow the BVI Port Authority to adequately function for now until our economy continues to rebound in this new regular of living and working with COVID-19,” Fahie explained.

“[But] we can’t run from this forever. We will have to find a way to do what is necessary while softening the impact it will have on the population. I thank the BVI Port Authority and its board for being considerate of the people’s needs through their recent decision to suspend the majority of all fee increases,” added Fahie, who last week promised to review the increases.

Increases that are already instituted

In the meantime, this postponement follows several weeks of public backlash about the fee increases during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has largely crippled the BVI’s economy.

After the initial backlash when the increases were first announced, the Authority reviewed the proposed hikes and decided to move forward in a “phased approach”.

The changes commenced last month (March 15) with increases to licenses fees (Customs broker and Agent), storage fees, wharfage, line handling, container fees, [and] vehicles accessing port facilities fees.

Based on the Premier’s statement today, those increases are expected to remain.

500% increases

BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association had outlined instances where the BVIPA had increased some of the fees by 500 per cent, where fees had jumped from $500 to $2,500.

With such proposed hikes that will affect the importation of all goods into the territory, the main concern raised by business owners was that it would increase the cost of most items in BVI.

This would therefore further raise the cost of living in an already impacted economy battling the effects of COVID-19.

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

9 Comments

Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. YOUTH says:

    Good speech Fahie

    Like 1
    Dislike 6
  2. PLAYER says:

    WELL HALLELUIAH MY UNCLE ANDY REALLY GOT SOME SKILS / EVERYTHING IS BEGINING TO UNFOLD

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
  3. soft says:

    backing up like a lobster–no bawls at all

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  4. What!!! says:

    Just politic games, Premier approves rate hike then comes to save us all by saying its not happening. I can’t believe the VIP anymore.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  5. heckler says:

    He came in playing super hero and threw everybody under the bus

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  6. Ferry Price says:

    So ferry prices going back down or nah?

  7. Too late says:

    Most businesses already raised their prices, especially the food and beverage business. I doubt their prices will drop now since many ‘announcements’ from this VIP gov. are usually false like opening date for example.

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  8. Nonsense says:

    He is boasting about being man enough to do this and that but was not man enough be specific on the fees that are being affected here. More smoke and mirror foolishness.

  9. My take says:

    This shows true leadership.

Leave a Comment

Shares