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Thread: Fees in BVIs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Default Fees in BVIs

    Hi all,

    I'm wondering if anyone can tell me what fees are payable when cruising the BVIs. My main worry is a paragraph in my cruising guide which says something about daily fees of 2 USdollar per person per day for "registered" boats and double that amount for "unregistered" boats. Obviously this will be a hell of a lot over any lengthy period, and what does "registered" mean anyway?!

    Hope someone who has been there recently can shed some light.

    Thanks

    Cinnamon

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fees in BVIs

    Certainly never paid anything significant when we were there, we would never have stayed so long, 1 1/2yrs. Bill.

  3. #3
    SimonJ is offline Registered User
    Location : Returned to Caribbean for the winter, back to uk for the 'summer'
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    Default Re: Fees in BVIs

    You are limited to 4 weeks in the BVIs as a cruising boat.
    You MUST have a fishing permit to fish. (there a US skipper in prison right now who fished (in a v amateur manner) and had not checked in or yet got a licence (he had just arrived). He could not afford the alternative fine of $10s of thousands) See the magazine "All at Sea" for more details.
    You must proceed directly to the nearest check in port.
    We have found Customs/Immigration rude and unhelpful.
    BVIs may be good for charter boats (which do not have to checking in and out) who do pay the rates you quote (Google: BVI cruisng permit for more).
    I no longer go into the BVIs which I passed by last week, so cannot tell you latest rates (but they are reasonable) but they do not include the fees you mention if you are cruising.
    BVIs are lovely but very busy and food, moorings (which block so much space) and restaurants are all outrageously expensive for longer term cruisers! Penalties for alleged very minor wrongdoing are ridiculous. Spanish Virgins are fantastic if you want an alternative.
    Simon
    SimonJ

  4. #4
    BigART's Avatar
    BigART is offline Registered User
    Location : Living on boat in Southsea Marina until tenants leave house
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    Default Re: Fees in BVIs

    I think these fees may refer to charter boats and do not apply to cruisers.

    I would concur with SimonJ's views on the BVIs. Lovely islands but, the C&I officials in Virgin Gorda were abrasive and sullen (I have heard that Road Town is similar but not visited them myself), the prices are high, many (not all) anchorages are infested with $20/day mooring set up by restaurants. Sailing is not that relaxing as with so many charter boats, it is like trying to beat down the Solent on a busy summers afternoon with most not seeming to know the rules for prevention of collision at sea. I will not be going back.

    Angus

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Fees in BVIs

    Hi,
    I am in the BVI's at the moment. Check-in fee was $22. The daily fees and cruising permit fees are only payable by charter boats. You are allowed 30 days after which you pay a temporary importation fee for the boat of $200. If you moor in the 'park areas' there are additional fees, and if you pick up a moring buoy its $25 a night. Marinas average $1.40 per foot per night.
    The bars and restaurants will require a small second mortgage though. $8 a beer or glass of wine, plus tax and tip!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fees in BVIs

    Blimey, it,s got serious since I was there Richard, and I thought a beer was dear then and I was working there too, Bill.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fees in BVIs

    received this is from a BVI freind that i had copied the posting to



    Feel free to post this there and tell them you heard it from DearMissMermaid at DearMissMermaid.com

    The cruising fees are paid by paying passengers. So if you are chartering a bareboat or chartering a crewed yacht, or arriving on a cruise ship, then you owe the cruising fees. The registered and non-registered boats refer to whether the boat is registered in the BVI or elsewhere. So a registered boat is registered in the BVI and pays only half the fees.

    If you own your own boat and have no hired crew, then you pay no cruising tax. If you have hired crew, then you the owners owe the cruising tax but your hired crew does not.

    Hired crew must be professional year round type crew. You can't just rent a bareboat and designate everyone as hired crew and skip the tax. But if you take a skipper from the local company with you, then the tax is paid on the passengers, but not the skipper.

    I worked as a purser for years, clearing in various charter yachts, and this is how it was always treated.

    I hope this clears things up for you!

    Your boat is not limited to a max 4 weeks, as one poster below suggests. Your boat may stay in the BVI for 30 days per year without paying the temporary import duty. If your boat plans to be in the BVI more than 30 days per year, then you owe a $200 annual fee called temporary import duty. Then you boat can stay all year in the BVI, whether in the yard or out cruising.

    Passengers must still get immigration clearance and are entitled to visit up to six months per year. Generally, you only given a month at a time, and you ask for a month extension, each time you need one. Sometimes downtown, they will stamp you in for your entire duration.

    The fisherman who was caught without a license was thrown in jail, and fined heavily, but the governor pardoned him, forgave his fine, and he is free now. A fishing license is required before you can fish. You may not fish commercially, only for your supper.

    Generally the authorities are pleasant IF you start off with a cheery Good Morning or Good Afternoon and dress modestly decent. Do not show up in your greasy engine worked t shirt nor something ridiculously skimpy. Do not dress like a raggedy gypsy refugee, even if it is comfy. Try to find a clean pair of shorts that aren't torn or ripped or holy or rusted and don't smell bad. Men should ALWAYS remove their hats indoors. ALWAYS. Even that stupid baseball cap, REMOVE IT indoors. You get brownie points for good manners.

    Wear something nice, and if you have special boat shirts, where that. Wear shoes and try not to track in a mess with you. Bring your own pen to use, everyone's passports and this ship's papers. If you don't understand the officer, don't just stand there and yell "HUH?" or berate them. Instead, ask them to please repeat very SLOWLY, tell them you think slowly...

    If you plan to visit the BVI again in the future, then ask to buy extra forms to keep onboard. That way next time, you can fill out all the paperwork on board and show up organized (you get brownie points for this too!)

    SMILE as much as you can as if you are just THRILLED to be there. Do not try to rush them or act impatient. It's best NOT to ask them ANY questions until all your transcations are completed and finalized.

    At that point, you can politely ask questions. (After thanking them for clearing you in.) Since I often came in weekly, I thanked them and finished with a "see you next week!" and a bi smile.

    If they decide to yell at you (rare) or lecture you (happens once in a great while) then just stand there and grin like an idiot and agree with them completely and apoloize repeatedly. They rarely fine you unless you really irritate them or are rude.

    Simon (posting below) claims that all restaurants are outrageously expensive in the BVI. This is not true. But don't expect big bargains in million dollar locations. The beachside restaurant is going to charge more than an inland restaurant with no view or a limited view. If you are hunting bargains, ask the locals where the locals eat.

    You will be directed to to some very unique places, some that only set up on the side of the road at certain times or days. Prices are much lower there. There are also local restaurants tucked around, and their menu will be more local food and less fanfare and better prices.

    For instance in West End, if you go to the Pussers or Jolly Roger for lunch, you can easily spend $10-$12 for burger and fries. If you go down the street to Kellys (a local place) for $10-$12 you get fish or chicken of the day with 4-5 side dishes tucked around your plate.

    Richard (posted below) claims he is in the BVI and paying $8 for beer or wine plus tax and tip. I think Richard needs to check his charts, he is NOT in the BVI! Beer is not sold for $8 each. Beer is $2-3-4 depending on place and time of day. Wine sells for $3-12 per glass because it depends on WHICH wine you order. There is NO tax on food or beverages. Ask if the tip or service charge is included in the price. It varies. Some add it in, others do not. Maddening, but that is the way it is.


    Warm and Sunny Regards,
    DearMissMermaid.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Fees in BVIs

    Hey thanks for all that. V usefull and not as expensive as I had heard

    Cheers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Fees in BVIs

    Well I have been here almost two weeks now and the $8 a beer I referred to is not isolated. Bitter End Yacht Club Bar, Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour Bar and Village Cay Marina Bar are all charging these prices. Three rounds of beers/wines for four people cost $89 plus the expected tip at Bitter End in happy hour no less! Most of the food has been expensive has been nothing special. To go ashore and explore further would be great if we could get a slip in any of the marina's.
    Also wish we could get into Sopers Hole to try your suggestions, but like many of the other anchorages, it is full of mooring buoys, and they are all taken. We could just about anchor half out into the ferry channel in 25m of water, but with the 25kt gusts I would not feel comfortable leaving the boat.
    The mooring buoys are $25 a night irrespective of the length of the boat, but overnight are supposed to be for boats of maximum 60 feet. This does not seem to matter to some of the larger charter boats. We have seen one well known 76 foot cat brazenly tied to them, running its generator and partying all night, consequently the smaller yachts have to anchor out in deep water and put up with the inconvenience.
    One other thing that has become apparent is that once the ground swells roll in the majority of the anchorages become untenable. As almost all the mooring buoys are already taken in the few really sheltered spots, there is massive pressure on the remaining space. In these conditions there simply does not seem to be room for all the boats up here.
    There has also been a couple of reports on the radio recently of customs in Tortola profiteering on boats not clearing in immediately, fining them $2500 each. Welcome to the BVI's.

  10. #10
    Jeannius's Avatar
    Jeannius is offline Registered User
    Location : Worcester, U.K.
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    Default Re: Fees in BVIs

    Doesn't sound much like the BVI I go to but then I never go to Bitter End Yacht Club Bar or Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour Bar. I go to places nearby like the Fat Virgin cafe next to Bitter End, or The Pub in Road Town or any number of bars just back from the waterfront and pay a fraction of what you are paying. Trouble finding a slip? That's difficult to believe. It's high season and most boats are out on the water, not tied up in marinas. I must admit I rarely go into marinas as it is far nicer being moored up but I have never failed to get a berth when I've wanted one.

    Problems with customs... Yes that is true. They did me a couple of hundred dollars last year - having threatened up to $5k - for not actually bringing the boat into the Soper's Hole port of entry when clearing in.

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