Owners of abandoned vehicles or vessels will only have 30 days to claim the property once government declares the vehicle as a ‘derelict’.
Government now has authority to declare a vehicle or vessel as a derelict under the Disaster Management (Amendment) Act 2018 that passed in the House of Assembly on July 2.
The new law said, upon contacting the territory’s Receiver of Wrecks to claim their property, owners or insurers then have a limited time to remove the vehicle in question.
“If the owner or insurer of the vessel does not remove and dispose of the vessel within 60 days from the date of issue of the notice, then the Receiver of Wrecks may take possession of the vessel and remove or sell or dispose of the vessel as is considered necessary,” government said while explaining the law.
“This, however, does not relieve the owners’ or the insurers’ responsibilities for the costs incurred for removal and disposal, plus a penalty,” it added.
Since the law came into effect, more than 300 vessels throughout the BVI have been deemed ‘derelict, abandoned, or otherwise shipwrecked’.
Owners are advised to check local newspapers and the Virgin Islands Gazette to ascertain whether their vessel is listed as a derelict.
“Persons are asked to contact the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry which holds the list of vessels identified to be derelict.”
The Receiver of Wrecks can be contacted at the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry located on the second floor of RG Hodge Plaza in Road Town, Tortola. Telephone 284-468-9646 or email firstname.lastname@example.org