Ferry and BVI Customs Fees Increased


Well we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we have two rate increases to tell you about. Fortunately they’re both relatively small.

We reported back in February that the Public Services Commission (PSC) was looking to increase rates after receiving a recommendation to do so from a technical consultant. Well PSC has moved forward with the increase, but it will only affect tourists or “non-residential adults” as they refer to them. Tourists will now have to pay an additional $1 when traveling by passenger ferry between St. John and St. Thomas. Checked bag rates will also increase by $1.50 per bag.

The increase will officially go into effect within 30 days of it being signed off on by the PSC Commissioner. At that time, tourists will start being charged $7 each way for trips between Red Hook and St. John, $13 for trips between Charlotte Amalie and St. John and $4.00 for checked bags.

The British Virgin Islands has also increased its departure tax for visitors who arrive and depart by ferry and charter boat. That tax was raised from $5 per person to $15 for non-residents. (BVI residents were also hit with this increase. Their departure tax was also raised from $5 per person to $10. The BVI is also looking to increase its air departure tax, however that’s still in the discussion phase.)

BVI Customs Building

12 comments for “Ferry and BVI Customs Fees Increased

  1. Christian
    August 20, 2013 at 9:26 am

    What is the most accepted way of showing you are not a tourist?

  2. patrick
    August 20, 2013 at 9:37 am

    What a scam on the checked bags.

  3. News of St. John
    News of St. John
    August 20, 2013 at 9:51 am

    @Christian, you will have to show a government-issued id to get the resident discount.

    @Patrick, agreed.

  4. Randy Patrick
    August 20, 2013 at 11:14 am

    That bag fee is getting to be abuseive. The increase will probably start coming out of their tips.

    • Colby
      August 21, 2013 at 8:53 am

      The bad thing about not tipping the baggage handlers Randy is that you are only hurting people who make little money, appreciate the tips and have nothing to do with the fare increases.

  5. Helen
    August 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I love St John and will come for as long as I can. But, the fees that the cab drivers and the ferries add are such a scam it puts me in a crabby mood. In June, every bag we had no matter what size was classified as large by the cab driver. He and the hubbo got into such an argument, police came over and stood by.

  6. Mako
    August 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I’m all for paying my fair share. And I understand that residents need to have commute prices as affordable as possible. But you know what else they need? Toursim dollars. And this much of an increase is not going to bode well for encouraging more tourism. Especially the BVI departure tax. Not sure what the PSC consultant on our side of the pond was keying on but it sure could not have been the fact that the economy in the islands is utterly dependent on tourism.

  7. Helen
    August 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Mako: I think we agree. We have left plenty of tourist dollars on the VI table and didn’t regret it for a minute. St John is a magical place. But, no one likes feeling like they are being nickeled and dimed which is what stuff like this makes you feel.

  8. kaye gardner
    August 21, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    What a way to say “welcome to our island.”

    • Jerry Hendress
      March 21, 2014 at 5:36 am

      Hi Kay Gardner. This is Jerry Hendress- Tom’s frat brother from Purdue. John Davis and I are trying to contact Tom. Would you please email me at akak67@tds.net Thanks Jerry

  9. Jay
    January 28, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I’m considering taking a BVI excursion from Red Hook St Thomas. The excursion company charges a $40 “international fee” claiming that’s what it costs to enter the BVI’s. Sounds fishy. Any comments or additional info?

  10. July 6, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Norman Island, home of Pirates Bight Bar, Restaurant, and Gift Shop, is perhaps most famous for being the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, Treasure Island. However, Norman Island also has a rich documented history of acting as a hiding spot for Pirate booty.Documented history for the island dates back to the early 18th century when a Spanish galleon called Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe buried 55 chests of silver coins after the crew mutinied aboard the ship.

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