BVI News

USVI would have retaliated if BVI’s charter boating polices remained

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley

There are indications that the US Virgin Islands (USVI) was preparing to take retaliatory measures if the BVI chose not to relax measures that were previously in place for charter boating between both territories.

The BVI’s strict policies for foreign charter boats were implemented last year and are believed to have a crippling effect on the maritime industry of both territories.

In a statement released this week, USVI Governor Albert Bryan Jr said his administration met with Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley, Deputy Premier Kye Rymer and members of their administration in September.

During those discussions, Governor Bryan said the BVI was warned that they were likely to face harsher penalties if they didn’t relax charter boating policies to give USVI boats easier access to the BVI’s waters.

“The USVI had advised the BVI government that, if they could not come to agreement on a reciprocal entry system, water taxis and charter vessels for pick-up and drop-offs had to comply strictly with established provisions for doing business in the USVI and that such access and use was not for free and could be fully regulated by the USVI and federal government agencies,” Governor Bryan said in his statement.

The statement further said: “Governor Bryan and Lt. Governor Tregenza Roach thank the Premier Wheatley and Deputy Premier Rymer for coming to an agreement on new requirements for chartering in both waters that will benefit the economies of both the BVI and the USVI.”

Speaking in the House of Assembly today, Premier Natalio Wheatley also confirmed that the BVI relaxed its policies for foreign charter boats in an effort to avoid retaliation from the USVI.

“We all know that we rely heavily on traffic from the USVI waters and let there be no doubt — the USVI government was prepared to implement retaliatory measures if not for quick intervention on our part,” Premier Wheatley explained. “We believe it is the right thing to maintain good relations with our USVI neighbours.”

As of today, November 15 — the BVI will no longer require trade licenses from foreign charter operators and will also not require work permits for crew members working on those vessels.

These measures are expected to increase traffic in the marine tourism industry of both territories as yachters will be able to cruise the waters with less hassle.

Premier Wheatley also said it will take some time to fully develop and implement the proposed changes, but advised that there is an immediate need to make the adjustments.

Some sections of the local marine industry are not in favour of the new measures. They have described the measures as unfair. These stakeholders have also expressed concern that the new measures will decrease business for local operators in the recreational charter boating sector.


Copyright 2024 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


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. Wellsaw says:

    What a weak piece of work. I am convinced now that we the people are in a mess with this Government and the UK who put them there. Couldn’t the Governor stop Natalio. The USVI doesn’t have the power to do anything. You are all just a bunch of weak leaders who carrying this country down fast.

    You have destroyed this country. And the thing is that you were not appointed by the people. Imagine a leader who goes to the courts to pay child support every month because of stupidity allegedly. Both you and the former premier need to resign you are weak a coward who has poor judgment.

    Like 15
    Dislike 4
  2. Wtf says:

    What kinda soft back leader is this. So that is the nature of the friendly relationship? They make demands and you follow? You wrong. The usvi already suss you out. Imagine the UK.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  3. rastarite says:

    Of course it will adversely effect local water taxis and day trippers – allowing USVI vessels in without trade licenses and permits whilst BVI operators must still acquire them.

    And the USVI already has implemented draconian measures on BVI boats entering their territory – like bonds, USVI business licenses and other fees.

    The BVI’s major natural resource is its wonderful islands, beaches and anchorages along with history and superb facilities. How can the BVI be held to ransom like this. Foreign boats must have greatly increased fees to level the playing field

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  4. Gone Rogue says:

    This here looking more rogue and actually warranting an arrest and charge for breach of trust than any of the false and foolish charges they brought against Christopher and Walwyn.

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  5. Question says:

    What retaliatory action would have USVI boating indusrtry taken? Not coming here?

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
  6. xxx says:

    The slow premier is a sell out he must go

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  7. Boo says:

    What is funny is if he left it as is and the USVI retaliated, you same people would be calling him all sorts of names. Its a ballsy move in my opinion and the right move for the economy as far as tourism is concerned. We havent had a decent tourist season since 2016/17. That is 5yrs of suffering! The last thing we need is a useless battle with USVI that we cannot win. This reminds me of the UK 400MIL loan guarantee. When it was on the table everyone was shouting dont take it, do not sell out. Fast fwd, its now off the table and the same people are bickering about bad roads, watsr issue, no incinerator, schools in a mess and so forth. The very things that the loan funding were to go towards. We have a sick set of people in this little place.

    Like 16
    Dislike 2
  8. tit 4 tat says:

    tactics in marine arguments between the US and BVI will always result in a positive win for the USVI and a negative loss for the BVI. The last 2 seasons prove this result when the USVI marine businesses prospered while the BVI marine businesses suffered losses. USVI marine businesses will always win any confrontation with the BVI because the USVI does not need access to BVI waters yet the BVI relies heavily on access to USVI waters.

    Like 4
    Dislike 5
  9. @ bòo says:

    Try an evil set of them and it’s all showing

  10. rastarite says:

    The USVI DOES need access to the BVI because all their tourists want to visit here – Why? Norman Island and The Treasure Caves, The Willie T, The Wreck of the Rhone, The Baths, The Millionaires’ Playground at North Sound, CGB, Anegada, Foxy’s, White Bay, JVD. The USVI doesn’t even come close in its attractions.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  11. If... says:

    If he was in talks with the USVI for months, why is it only now the people of the Virgin Islands hearing about it. Sometimes, it is not about what you do but how you do it. The whole transaction looking suspicious to me.

  12. Charles says:

    The BVI Government has recently decided to take advise from one or two loudmouths from the marine community….this is the result.

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  13. Heckler says:

    This guy soft

  14. Joker says:

    This is the kind of weak leadership we have. No wonder the UK could occupy the BVI and do whatever they want. We have no leadership whatsoever. This man is a joker

  15. more money says:

    Lobster fest, foxys, willy t and poker run will all do better and make more money now

  16. Further Confusion says:

    A sad attempt at gaining credibility for a simple reversal of current policy that wasn’t actually being implemented previously, the damage has obviously already been done . BVI businesses that adjusted their way of working advised clients staff etc probably at some cost now have wasted their time and money having to return too the previous policy of not implementing the law. Further confusion is what this government depends on to ignore legislation and continue to make it up as they go along instead of following a set criteria everyone is aware of that’s written down clearly and simply understood by all in BLACK & WHITE!

  17. Rubber Duck says:

    Truly competitive , successful economies do not have trade licenses and draconian restrictions on importing labour.

    The rules here are to ensure that no one competes with the monopoly businesses of the ruling elite.

  18. @ Rubber Duck says:

    Because he and his ministers are l**rs. When you hear these things and you asked them, they say oh no. But a month after you hear not only its true but thy pass it as law. They are dish**est and Natalio is even worst than Fahie.

  19. Hmm says:

    We want drug testing for the house of assembly especially the Government. I bet you the Government would fall then.

  20. The Answer says:

    That was the case before the hurricane, not so much now. Cooper and JVD is back………Tola, VG, Norman are not. The attitude of the locals towards tourists is very different in Tola, VG……..
    not welcoming to say the least.

  21. What? says:

    I wonder if this man realizes that the people use the water taxis because the usvi boats are not able to charter in Bvi waters! If the guess can start their charters in us waters we lost. Think about the amount of jobs that will be cut. Other than that it’s the BVI people that spend large quantities on money in the usvi every weekend. He is killing the tourists industry. The only people that makes money in this agreement is the government and no one else. The hotels, taxi, stores and all the other businesses in this territory will lose out. How much deeper in poverty will these fools continue to put us.

  22. Anonymous says:

    What a silly group of comments. There are 10,000 beds in the USVI – they have the supply and the BVI had the demand. It’s costs each guest a minimum of $46 per day to enter the BVI – do the math and the BVI has missed out at a minimum of $20 million a year with these policies in place:

    Restrictions only benefit the very few. The out islands of VG and Jost deserve the traffic and the BVI benefits from the income.

Leave a Comment