BVI News

Former Ports boss predicts 6% price increase on consumer goods

With a fraction of the recent Port fee increases now in force, local consumers are likely to see an increase of more than five percent in the price of goods on store shelves.

This is according to the former Acting Deputy Managing Director at the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA), Akeem Pickering.

“Whatever price you were paying on the shelf is going to go up by about six percent,” Pickering said.

This means the BVI’s inflation on consumer goods have at least quadrupled when compared to the average 1.4 percent inflation the Central Statistics Office recorded in the BVI back in 2019. 

Pickering, who served in the aforementioned post for more than a year, said the previous NDP government had an opportunity to raise Port fees in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria but chose not to do so.

He further explained that the Customs duty was waived on many items at that time and this allowed the territory’s economy to bounce back much faster than expected.

Massive increases

Following weeks of backlash from residents regarding the fee hikes at the BVIPA, the government announced that it was rolling back the majority of its increased fees that were scheduled to take effect May 2021.

Wharfage, container landing fees, and storage charges are reportedly among the increases that remained after the government promised these solutions. 

Wharfage fees and container landing fees, Pickering explained, went up by one hundred percent in each instance, while container storage fees have gone up by as much as 125%.

According to the former Deputy Ports head, previously, there was a waiver on storage fees for some persons who faultlessly held goods at the Ports beyond the expressed grace period.

He said customers at the Ports are now complaining that this discretion is no longer extended, citing an additional burden with the current fee increases.

“If your goods are there past a certain time, you are going to pay storage [fees],” Pickering insisted while questioning whether multi-agency approaches towards assisting business owners and other stakeholders have come to an end.

Critical cog

Commenting on the increases, Opposition Leader Marlon Penn said: “Government’s responsibility is to provide a service for the public, we should not try to create additional hardship for the consumers [and] the businesses who traverse the Ports on a daily basis.”

Penn observed that the Ports are a linchpin in commerce in the BVI and, as such, should ensure they don’t disrupt the entire process of commerce in the territory.

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28 Comments

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  1. Belonger says:

    Welcome to the bvi where high authority don’t give a f**k about the people.
    This is the only island that increases fees during a pandemic.
    How the f**k can ppl survive on a $6 per hour for 2 days work bi-weekly.
    Every time VIP government in office the always make the ppl suffer.
    Everything increasing except minimum wages, if the do increase it work permit go up and so is everything else.
    I don’t understand how can the ppl of the bvi accepting all this nonsense, then again there are a few fools that will agree with the vip.
    These ppl are heartless
    Bvilove

    Like 49
    Dislike 2
    • Doh says:

      So take that “estimated” increase and double it. That’s right. Effin double it.

      We are doomed to poverty. We just made it more costly to live here. AND we handed USVI another reason for not going to BVI. Cheaper goods, prices, and services will be their calling card.

      BVI love

      Carry on

      Like 24
    • Anonymous says:

      Amen!

      • Transparency Huh? says:

        The Great God of the Universe going punish these people. Nothing is in the best interest of the people. Everything is about politics and voted into office. Consumers Rights bill was a family because they all have something to loose.

    • VIP says:

      IS UNDERCOVER REPUBLICANS.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
    • Local says:

      SO SAD, HOW CAN ANYONE LIVE ON $6.00. $6.00 CAN’T EVEN GET YOU 2 CANS OF TUNA FISH AKA DOLPHIN MEAT OR A CAN OF CORN BEEF AKA HORSE MEAT.

  2. WTF says:

    “Your Government lying to you”
    “Fasten your seatbelts, because the economy is going into reverse!”
    #BVILove

    Like 27
    Dislike 1
  3. z6ne says:

    This pickering guy sounds more intelligent than who we have representing us at this time so leh we do the thing and vote for him instead

    Like 22
    Dislike 1
    • Exactly says:

      He is FAR MORE intelligent that’s why he was forced out of his post by this band of idiots. They want ‘yes’ people in positions to continue raiding the chest and then raise prices on people. They had security for the Premier, bought all elected officils brand new SUVs, paying barges millions, raised the board members payment for all boards and when they cut back, they’re only cutting the small man.

      Like 35
      Dislike 1
  4. Well says:

    Faux news is always taking things out of proportion. Your headline should be why food prices are going up when the ports did not increased fees in years.

    Like 4
    Dislike 12
  5. VIP Love says:

    This is Fahie’s VIP love he is spreading around like a bad STD!

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
  6. Its Already Happening says:

    Certain supermarkets have already started to carry up the prices.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  7. @ uncle andy says:

    It’s just his way of flexing his fat

  8. LILIS says:

    WHY IS IT THAT EVERY THING FALL ON VIP ? VIP OWN SUPER MARKET >? THERES NO LAW SAYS ABOUT PRICES CONTROL AND NDP NEVER DID NOTHING ABOUT THAT SO WHY EVERTHING FALLS ON THIIS GOVERMENT NOW ! ???? . CRABS COMMENTS YOU ALL NEEDS TO START PLANTING HOME LIKE CHINESSE PEOPLE DO ! AND DONT SHOP IN SUPER I BET YOU WHEN THEY DONT SEE PEOPLPE SHOPPING PRICES WILL GO DOWN DOWN DOWN !!!

    Like 3
    Dislike 5
  9. Captain Flint says:

    I can order stuff on Amazon in the USA, get them delivered here, pay the duty tax and the shipping fee and they are still cheaper than buying them in Riteway? I am talking about $3 extra on a $6 item so its now $9. Riteway have put up their prices so much that I refuse to shop there or buy the goods now. Healthy bread is $10 a loaf and milk at $7, and apples at $9.29 per bag and I don’t buy any steak or chicken as they are too expensive and the overpriced ‘fresh’ fruit is always moldy.

    Like 12
    Dislike 2
  10. Boo says:

    In one fell swoop the VIP disgovernment has shoved the BVI economy back 6% and a couple years…

  11. ... says:

    SMDH…how the hell We going survive? Nah! It’s Time for Citizens to come together and let their voices be heard. Only a spine less person would agree to this price increase. Really! Are We going to accept this from these Major Supermarkets? Instead of Feeding Our People it looks like they out to eliminating Us. May God have Mercy!😢

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  12. Everything- says:

    Everything going up except minimum wage.

  13. Its Near says:

    Tortola is Dooommm, im glad im goin to b a vegetarian soon and changing for the better b4 something do me, ill hav kale, spinach , papacho, potatoes n etc….to the rich, keep up ur dirty mindset with payin ppl $6hr n chrging 800-1200 4 1 bedroom…wen us poor ppl had enough…only the rich will be the prey in our eyes

  14. Oh no says:

    BVI

    Best vacate island

  15. Hehe says:

    Don’t be surprised if legislation would pass to restrict freedom of opinions and freedom of the press .

  16. BVI Nationalist says:

    Until the corrupt is jailed for their corruption the people will continue to suffer hardship. Start with those at the Port Authority who oversaw millions of dollars in cost over run for the pier park construction. Money gone down the drain. Now guess what, the poor people will now have to pay the price at the supermarkets. I hope the corrupt will be exposed and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law following the Commission of Inquiry.

  17. Transparency Huh? says:

    The Great God of the Universe going punish these people. Nothing is in the best interest of the people. Everything is about politics and voted into office. Consumers Rights bill was a family because they all have something to loose.

  18. Lilly says:

    Even before the increase in port fees we were seeing increases on the store shelves. 12 salmon burgers at Riteway were $28.00 early last year and they now cost $40.00. In Stt they are $19.99 (same brand, same amount.) There are others, but this one is funny.

  19. Contradictory says:

    Seems the NDP made a better decision than the VIP during a crisis, and you brave to mention noting your failure to make a proper judgement of an ongoing situation, “…previous NDP government had an opportunity to raise Port fees in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria but chose not to do so.

    He further explained that the Customs duty was waived on many items at that time and this allowed the territory’s economy to bounce back much faster than expected.”

  20. WTF says:

    OUR SALARIES GOING UP 6% ? MAKE IT MAKE SENSE WE NEED A FULL SALARY REVISION .. IT CRAZY HOW THESE THINGS CAN GO TO HOUSE AND BE APPROVED BUT SALARIES AND MINIMUM WAGE NEEDS YEARS TO BE DONE.

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