BVIs Changes Customs Rules

customs bvsi

The British Virgin Islands announced a pretty significant change with regard to Customs procedures this week.

According to the Virgin Islands News Online, visitors entering the British Virgin Islands will have to present themselves and their belongings to immigration authorities much like how it occurs here in Cruz Bay. This change occurred to “minimise the potential entry of criminals, firearms and illegal substances into the territory,” the publication reported.

In the past, only boat captains were required to enter Customs and were allowed to simply bring their passengers’ passports inside. Now everyone on every boat must disembark and go inside. Sounds like there is going to be a lot of backup over at Customs in the near future.

We’re heading over to the BVIs later this weekend. We will let you know how it all works out. In the meantime, have a fantastic holiday weekend everyone!!

11 thoughts on “BVIs Changes Customs Rules”

  1. This is nothing but posturing by the BVI officials , they do not have the staff or the Dock space to handle this. Gun and drug runners are NOT clearing customs nor are they charter guest who spend millions of dollars in the BVI. They are looking in the wrong place to stop guns and drugs. It is a nightmare on busy days with just the captains clearing in . Has taken over and hour and half on busy days at Sopers Hole. NOW think about mooring or dropping anchor and taking all your charter guess and their bags in a dinghy ashore because they don’t have the Dock space (and the ferries have priority. )
    How long will all this take with their helpful ways and great attitude! This is very short sighted. The folks bring in guns and drugs and not checking in at custom or charter day boat to yachts

    • Agreed, well said Ted! As expensive as customs has gotten lately all the more reason to stay around STJ in my book. It’s expensive to charter a boat for the day to spend upwards of 1-1.5 hours sitting at the customs dock. No thanks, I’m hoping it’s short lived as I’ll be re-considering my trips to the BVI’s sadly now. The people that their really going to hurt is themselves with this as people might just go over there less. Then you add in the NOT SO “wow factor” of having to look at cruise ships docked out in front of White Bay, it’s almost not worth the money to go over. Bummer…

    • So true!
      Maybe we could send the TSA to speed things up.
      I wish St. John had a beach like Jost where we could bring guests to have fun.

  2. The last time we went thru there they made us wait for an hour, and the place wasn’t even full. It was awful. Not very welcoming for visitors. I doubt we’ll be back.

  3. I’ve been going to BVI for years and this last time I was harassed by a hostile customs agent Sassoon at Sopers Hole. We keep our US registered vessel organized as LLC with a management company in Nanny Cay and pay the import license fee to do so. We spend some 40k/year for the privilege. On this trip I presented the usual forms and documents to the officer but she decided to charge me cruising fee as if we were a visiting vessel. No matter the facts and the BVI vessel import documentation, she made up her mind and demanded the payment. I politely refused. She then switched gears to something completely unrelated to issue at hand and asked for our corporate documentation. I had no such documentation on the boat as it was not something that has ever been specified or asked of us or should be reasonably expected to be on the boat. She went ballistic on me and my crew demanding that we bring the boat to dock for inspection, then detaining the boat, and sending me off in custody of detention officer to Customs Headquarters in Road Town to commissioner Scott while keeping my crew detained on the boat. She seemed to have fun with the whole thing and enjoy the power trip she was on without any awareness of irrational and hostile behavior she was exhibiting. I have routinely experienced bad service in BVI but this was a whole another level that made me question BVI as a place to keep our boat or even visit. Harassing tourists is becoming the only sport BVI is good at.

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