The unexpected happened. A government listened to reason then did the right thing for its people. They had considered a tax on foreign-flagged vessels that would have cost a 40-foot boat more than $600 a month to visit the B.V.I. The tax was to take effect today.
After much input from local and foreign members of the marine industry who maintained that the new tax would drive visitors to other Caribbean destinations, the government of the British Virgin Islands today indefinitely postponed the implementation of a new tax that would have affected cruisers.
In a statement issued today Premier Ralph O’Neal apologized for the confusion, and said that the “Cabinet reviewed the new fee structure and also we considered the cost implications of the charges when compared to the rising cost of fuel. In addition, Cabinet determined that if the BVI were to implement this new fee structure, the Territory may have become the most expensive destination in the world for mariners and yachts.”
A seven-member panel has been convened to review the harbor fees. For the full text of the statement, click here.