BVI Port Authority Postpones Fee Increase Until 2022

Following the public announcement made by the Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Ports, the Honorable Andrew A. Fahie, on Thursday, April 8, regarding the postponement of increases in port charges to 2022, the British Virgin Islands Ports Authority officially informs all stakeholders that the majority of the fees, including those expected to go into effect next month, will be postponed until January 2022.

Fee increases for the following have been postponed and will now take effect in January 2022:

● Pilot’s license

● Pilotage exemption

● Tank top

● Ship agent

● Customs broker

● Freight forwarder

● General services

● Commercial Private Buoys

● Private non-commercial buoys

● Transportation costs

● Line execution

● Skidding

● Steering

Additionally, the proposed new fees listed below have also been postponed and will take effect in January 2022.

GVWR vehicles less than 14,000 lbs $ 500 / year

GVWR vehicles 14,001 to 26,000 lbs $ 1,000 / year

GVWR vehicles over 26,000 lbs $ 1,000 / year

Security fee $ 1 / tonne of freight

The fee increases already in place and paid by the speakers on March 15 will be reimbursed. Those requesting their refund are required to provide the paid receipt and documentation, and the BVIPA would calculate the refund accordingly. These were fees for customs broker, agent, storage, dock, line handling, container and vehicle licenses.

In line with the Authority’s new initiative to further engage with stakeholders, the board and management welcome feedback from all concerned in the decision-making process to defer fees. While this arrangement does not bode well for improving port facilities and using technology to provide more efficient services, it is important for establishing a partnership.

The Authority will continue to look for ways to increase its revenues in the short term. The upcoming reopening of the seaport to accommodate cruise tourism will provide some relief, but it will not go far enough to cover the costs of the planned upgrades that are needed to maximize efficiency in service delivery.

In the short term, the Authority will focus on using the safety and security standards demanded by the pandemic to protect all stakeholders, visitors and the public of BVIs, as well as to maintain the international certification of ports.

Meanwhile, the Authority implores the patience of immediate responders and the general public, as the port transformation process will be delayed, given the current fiscal challenges. The reallocation of scarce resources will therefore lead to setbacks in infrastructure upgrades and, occasionally, in service delivery.

BVIPA will continue to inform all its partners and affiliates about port activities and looks forward to continuing its commitment to the development of ports and the ultimate revival of the BVI economy.

ABOUT THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS PORTS AUTHORITY

The BVI Ports Authority is the managing authority for all official seaports in the British Virgin Islands, including the 60-foot-wide and 1,312-foot-long cruise quay which can accommodate vessels of up to 180 tonnage 000 GRT. BVIPA is responsible for the safe reception and arrival of sea passengers, as well as the reception, handling and security of cargo and maritime trade.

For more information, please visit www.bviports.org


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About Douglas Mackenzie

Douglas Mackenzie

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