ENVIRONMENTAL AND TOURISM LEVY EFFECTIVE ALL YEAR:
Visitors to the Virgin Islands are being advised that effective September 1, an environmental and tourism levy of $10.00 will be collected on arrival at the ports of entry.
The Environmental Protection and Tourism Improvement Fund Act, 2017 which was passed on June 9, and subsequently gazetted on June 12, states that all visitors arriving to the Territory via air or sea are required to pay the levy.
The legislation makes provision for the following persons to be exempted:
- residents and belongers;
- non-residents two years or under;
- officers of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court;
- guests of the Government;
- official representatives of the Government of any country/Territory;
- persons accorded diplomatic privileges in accordance with the Diplomatic Privileges Ordinance; and
- persons exempted by the Minister by Order published in the Gazette.
- Other exemptions include visitors arriving in the Virgin Islands on a second or subsequent occasion in the course of the same visit; persons in transit who on arrival do not leave the airport or dock; and crew of vessels.
All visitors must have the necessary documents available to help determine their status.
The monies collected will be used to facilitate environmental protection and improvement, climate change, and the maintenance and development of tourist sites and other tourism related activities.
BVI CRUISING PERMIT FEE INCREASE EFFECTIVE ALL YEAR:
New cruising fees, effective Aug. 1, triple the rate for home-based vessels from $2 per person per day in season (Dec. 1 to April 30) and 75 cents off-season (May 1 to Nov. 30) to $6 per person per day year-round.
Foreign-based vessels now pay nearly three times more, or $16 per person per day year-round, up from $6. This is the first increase in the British territory’s cruising fees since 1990, a move customs officials say will pump about $2 million into the local economy, and pay for services and facilities such as customs clearances, immigration, anchor buoys and docks.
A home-based charter yacht, according to this new legislation, is defined as a boat operated in the BVI, generally maintained in the BVI and managed by a company or any other legal entity incorporated, registered or licensed in the BVI for a period of five months or more in any 12-month period. Conversely, a foreign-based charter boat is any boat other than a home-based charter boat.