Government has accepted a recommendation education minister Myron Walwyn recently made for operators of charter boats to lose a special incentive they usually enjoy during the typically slow tourism business period each year – May to November.
As a result, both local and foreign charter boat operators will have to pay more annually than the government initially intended to charge them.
Government is now stating that, throughout the year, charter boats based in the territory will be charged $6 per person per day. Before the Walwyn suggestion, Government was seeking to charge those operators $6 per person from December to April, and a lower fee ($2.25) in the slow season from May to November.
Under the incoming Cruising Permit (Amendment) Act, locally based charter boats (formally known as Home Based Charter Boats) are those generally maintained in the British Virgin Islands. They also are managed by any company or legal entity incorporated, registered or licensed in the British Virgin Islands for a period of at least five months in any 12-month period.
Boats that don’t fit that description are known formally as Foreign Based Charter Boats.
Operators of Foreign Based Charter Boats will be required to pay a cruising permit fee of $16 per person per day throughout the year. Prior to the Walwyn suggestion, Government had intended to charge foreign boats $16 per person from December to April, and a lower fee ($8) in the slow season from May to November.
Effectively, under the incoming law, there is no longer a ‘slow season’ rate or incentive.
Governor John Duncan, on June 13, approved the proposed changes to the cruising permit fees.
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