If you read that headline, you know that I have some GREAT news to share with you all today! Yup, that’s right, for the first time since March 17, 2020, USVI charter boats will freely visit the British Virgin Islands once again!
On Saturday, November 12, BVI Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. Natalio D. Wheatly announced the joint decision of the USVI and the BVI to allow vessels to move more freely between the territories.
“We are developing new policies and amendments to existing legislation that will recognize transient vessels, modify fees and provide greater ease of access.”
The BVI legislation that prevailed at the end of the pandemic (Fall 0f 2021) made it increasingly difficult for foreign charter vessels to visit our sister islands. But, as of November 15, the trade licenses and work permits that were previously required of USVI charter boats to operate in the BVI is no longer!!!! (Happy dancing at my desk right now!)
Now, as you all know, things can take some time to get sorted down here and none of us have seen any details on this outside of the Premier’s video announcement. So, there may be other requirements that we haven’t seen yet or other fine print yet to be announced. However, I have seen several St. John based boat charters starting to push this already.
So reach out to your favorite STJ Charter Company to get yourself booked! If you are visiting this week, please be patient with them and with the customs process on the day of. It is likely going to be a bit busy over there during the check-in hours 🙂
The Premier notated that with a decline in maritime traffic over the past few years, many businesses in the BVI had experienced hardships. And he is looking into this tourism season optimistically for all businesses in the territory with these new policies that will increase marine traffic to their shores.
I am so incredibly excited about this new venture for all of us and our charter company partners. Call your favorite captain today and give them a virtual high five!