Last Sunday we mentioned how the British Virgin Islands was increasing its cruising permit fee by $12 per person beginning August 1st. Well we just learned that there is going to be yet another increase effective September 1st.
We received a message from our friends over at Kekoa yesterday alerting us to a new “environmental levy”. Beginning on September 1st, visitors will have to pay an additional $10 in customs. It’s all part of the British Virgin Islands’ Environmental Protection and Tourism Improvement Fund Act 2017.
This means that within the next two months, people choosing to visit the BVI will now have to pay an additional $24 per person. So it’s pretty likely that a boat that currently charges $45 a person for customs – there are fees to enter the BVI and also to return to the USVI – will increase that cost to about $70.
There are a few exceptions, however, according to BVI News Online. They are:
1. Residents and belongers
2. Non-residents two years old or under
3. Officers of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
4. Guests of the Government
5. Official representatives of the Government of any country/territory
6. Persons accorded diplomatic privileges in accordance with the Diplomatic Privileges Ordinance
7. And persons exempted by the Minister by Order published in the Gazette.
Other exemptions include visitors arriving in the [British] Virgin Islands on a second or subsequent occasion in the course of the same visit, persons in transit who on arrival do not leave the airport or dock, and crew of vessels.
Between the added fees and the time it takes to clear customs – we’ve heard of up to an hour waits lately – I’m think I’d rather stick to US waters.
We wrote about this Sunday and mentioned some options for USVI day trips. Click here to read all about it.