Shipping to the BVI
- July 4th, 2007
- in Yachting
Small Parcels – Living on an island where everything is imported, you really need to have an understanding of how to get stuff here otherwise you’ll get swamped by large fees or long waiting times. Small parcels often presented the biggest problems, until now. Small Parcels Unfortunately, there is no perfect way to receive small parcels in the BVI. There are a few options, but each requires time and patience. It also gets a little more complicated than mail, partially because now customs needs to be cleared and partially because there are often minimums on parcel cargo.
The most conservative price option is still the post office, but you might find yourself waiting a while. I have had parcels come in just one week from the US sent regular parcel post, but then others have taken up to a few months. Unfortunately it is a little touch-and-go, despite their best efforts.
The next best option is to use a mail service like Khoy’s or Inland Messenger Service. In addition to already having your mail coming there, you can have packages sent to their PO Box in St. Thomas or St. John. The problem is that many vendors in the US, sometimes Ebay, sometimes Amazon, will not send parcels either to PO Boxes or to anywhere outside the continental US. If this happens, you’re pretty much stuck and have to rely on friends or family living on the continent, send it to them and then have them send it to you.
TortolaExpress is investigating a method whereby you’d have an address in Miami that you could send your parcels and mail to, then weekly the parcels would be bundled and air freighted directly to Tortola. TortolaExpress is now evaluating this need so if you feel you’d benefit from this service, please email them at [email protected] or call 494 0707 to let them know.
If you’re lucky, your supplier in the US will ship internationally, and they may be able to use a courier service like FedEx, DHL or UPS. This is the most practical and fastest service, but of course, comes at a premium. Alternatively, have the supplier send the package to the USVI addresses from the mail services, but be sure to get a physical address from your provider as these courier companies do not ship to PO Boxes.
If you have a larger parcel like a computer and you’re not in a rush and would rather save money than have it get here quickly, Tropical Shipping has a parcel service. You can send it to their Florida address and they will send it on their next boat. They will even consolidate your packages for you so you’ll get less minimum charges. It does require more of your involvement though as you have to contact Tropical and let them know of the package arriving, send them an invoice for the items and then deal with clearing customs once it arrives. The boat takes 4 days to sail, but your package needs to be at their warehouse at least the day before it sails, and then expect a few days for the containers to be unloaded once it arrives in Port Purcell.