- August 31st, 2008
- in Yachting
Port Fees Put on Hold – Last month we reported that the BVI Government was about to institute a new fee structure that would have had a severe impact on users of the BVI waters. Responses from many sectors of the marine industry were loud and clear and mostly expressed bewilderment as to the exact impact of the proposed fees.
In response, the BVI Government announced on July 16 that it would defer indefinitely the imposition of the new harbour fees.
Premier Ralph O'Neal was quoted as saying, “After all, the BVI has been known as the sailing capital of the Western Hemisphere, if not of the world, and therefore it was extremely important for Cabinet to consider the representations that were made…..It must be remembered that the yachting industry contributes to the economy of the Territory and the yachtsmen enjoy our waters from Anegada to Jost Van Dyke.”
The Premier added that “Cabinet determined that if the BVI were to implement this new fee structure, the Territory may have become the most expensive destination in the world for mariners and yachts.”
In addition, Government will establish a seven-member committee to explore the issue of the Port fees. To be chaired by Mr. Peter Haycraft, the committee will include representatives from the BVI Tourist Board, the BVI Ports Authority, the Comptroller of Customs, and representatives of other interested parties. A report is said to be expected by September.