BVI News

Gov’t grants fee reduction, deadline extension to charter boaters

As businesses in the marine sector continue to feel the economic crunch brought on by the closure of the sea borders, the government has announced that it is offering a 50 per cent reduction of licensing fees paid by all charter boat owners, charter companies, and charter management companies.

Premier Andrew Fahie said this reduction in licensing fees is a part of the government’s commitment to alleviating the impacts of COVID-19 on the public.

“I am pleased to announce that your government has extended a reduction of fees for the 2020 to 2021 season, for the licensing year 1st November, 2020 to 31st October, 2021. This is a stimulus for our marine industry,” said Fahie who has portfolio responsibility for the ports, tourism, and finance.

By law, licensing fees for Recreational Commercial Vessels are due on November 1 each year. As such, fees were to be paid by November 1, 2020.

But the government said given the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic — which prevented the marine industry from operating at full capacity — licensing fees outstanding since last November 1 are now due to be paid at half the cost by April 15 this year.

Thereafter, fines and penalties may apply for non-compliance; as stipulated by law.

All charter companies and charter boat owners are encouraged to contact the Customs Department at 284-468-6852 and submit all outstanding fees by the mid-April deadline.

The BVI said it will reopen its sea borders to international traffic on that said date. However, business is likely to pick up slowly in the marine sector as a number of yachters who usually frequent BVI waters have taken their business to other parts of the Caribbean and the world.

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24 Comments

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  1. Shaft says:

    Well HALLELUIAH

    Like 2
    Dislike 4
  2. Yup says:

    50% Reduction in fees… right…

    Then next year expect a 200% rise in fees to make up for this year. Just like the national park, cruising, environmental, and departure fees – all went up exponentially.

    It’s a great gimmick to the get charter boats back. The same way you sell drugs. Give it away for cheap and then when they are hooked, jack the price. Oh wait, we already do that since we are a narco state.

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
    • Nope says:

      Charter’s are coming back with any gusto until the quarantine is lifted.

      Having the immigration people not treating tourists like an inconvenience in their day would be helpful as well.

      Like 21
      • Yup says:

        Ain’t that the truth. They need a class on customer service, how to show tourism politeness, and a kick in the a$5 to do their job.

    • The Truth says:

      Cindy, take a nap.

      Like 3
      Dislike 7
  3. WEW says:

    To late, Gone USVI

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  4. American Family says:

    Big ‘effen deal, until the quarantine restrictions are lifted, most of us are going elsewhere. Quarantine on a boat for 4 days on a seven day vacation – no thanks. Sorry Moorings and Marinemax, call us back when the government gets its head out of its a**.

    If you guys were smart you’d be screaming to salvage what’s left of the season by opening up before hurricane season. Though it looks like the Cruise ships have greased enough palms to get their folks in without having to quarantine.

    Good luck BVI, you’re going to need it with these elected officials.

    Like 25
    Dislike 2
    • @American Family says:

      We are not interested in your kind of attitude here…we’re COVID-free right now so take that in your pipe and smoke it. And we don’t need luck when we’ve got GOD!

      • American Family says:

        Yeah? I don’t see you screeching about the Cruise lines flinging open the doors. Covid isn’t the boogeyman that the media is making it out to be.

      • @@American Family says:

        What a terrible way to speak to visitors. Bloggers like you are also driving away tourists as much as the COI, daylight murders and all the other nonsense. Don’t you realise you are p***ing in your own well or do you not care because your business is moving product through??

        Like 2
        Dislike 1
        • @@American Family says:

          Clean the spots out of your eye before you try clean ours…you coming here because your country is crime and corruption riddled. stop.

    • @American Family says:

      So if you gone to bluer waters what you on here blogging on our news site?! BVI is one of a kind and the people will come no matter what! We don’t mind weeding out the kind like you who want to come with your damn entitlement mentality.

      Like 2
      Dislike 4
      • American Family says:

        Hey, whatever you need to tell yourself to feel better about the dumb decisions your government is making. The quarantine rules are unnecessarily cumbersome and most folks would be appreciative of the money tourists spend on vacation there.

        It’s ironic that you accuse me of being entitled while also telling me you don’t need mouthy tourists because people will come no matter what?

    • Struth! says:

      Spot on @American family… Spot on!

  5. bull***t says:

    This is nonsense. The government is charging 50% fees because the charter season had been reduced by 50% due to closed borders, so this is not a stimulus, just a fair-ish reduction in fees.
    It is also not a stimulus for the marine industry as it only applies to boats, therefore there is no stimulus to marina owners (who typically don’t own boats), marine contractors who work on boats (mechanics, fibreglass, painters, rigging etc), marine suppliers (parts, chandleries etc) or crew (no bloody work)!
    So gee, thanks Premier, but your BULL***T doesn’t hide the truth here.

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
    • lol says:

      Let me get this straight – reduce your fees by 50% . Newsflash, the charter market wasn’t reduced by 50%, more like 99%. You’re destroying an entire industry and expecting a pat on the back for reducing the fees by 50%. You Sir, Mr. Fahie seriously needs some business experience, maybe a lemonade stand to start with.

      Like 28
  6. Charter Boat Owner says:

    Too little too late.

    Mr. Fahie, Thank you for the peanuts – What we need is certainty, meaning if you say you are going to do something on a specific date then do so.

    Certainty is what business needs – if you want to shut down for 12 months then do so…not knowing what your actual plans are is devastating.

    We need to know what conditions need to be met to be able to go back to normal (and what normal looks like) – these are yours to decide, we just need to know what they are. I love the BVI and its people but honestly Mr. Fahie, at this point I may end up pulling my boat for better markets even after things go back to normal…Are you going to shut down the world every time anything happens now that you know you can?

    Maybe spend some money on developing a robust medical system that can handle a medical crisis. USVI is doing fine…. only difference is that they actually have a proper hospital.

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  7. Capt Ron says:

    So if you followed the rules and pay on time, you pay 100%. If you didn’t pay and broke the rules, you only have to pay 50% now. Way to go BVI! Forwards never, backwards ever!!!

    Like 15
  8. Pandora's Box says:

    I have been thinking that all day! It is so patently BVI to punish those that abide by the rules, and reward those that show you the middle finger! Truly, in our country no good (or right) deed goes unpunished!

  9. informed says:

    Its not really a 50% reduction. Your just paying for the 50% we may get to use this year.

  10. Hindsight says:

    The US VI dept of health invited the BVIs to be part of the bubble in March 2020 suggesting the entire VIs could weather the pandemic together. As it turns out, US VI is leading the US in terms of lowest mortality, no overwhelmed facilities, and is on track for 50,000 vaccinations by June 2021. Meanwhile, they’ve been able to sustain tourism and have few (maybe 15% of total cases) brought in from the outside. BVIs opted out and chose a costly zero risk approach. Go figure.

  11. Sham says:

    This is all a bit of a governmental scam and avarice. The government wants the territory’s charter yachts, floating businesses that have not effectively been able to function for a year, to pay their annual license fee for the privilege of what? Not working? Tourism has, for all intents and purposes, been effectively stifled by the government, and the politicos want to be paid for that? Have their cake and eat it too.

  12. What says:

    So what if we already paid will we be refunded.

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