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Old 08-04-2014, 06:17   #1
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BVI Departure Tax

Chartering out of Road Town in June with a family group of 11. Flying into and out of STT. We had been thinking about spending a couple of days on St John until someone mentioned the US Customs personal appearance requirement and the BVI departure tax. Can anyone confirm that (1) checking out of the BVI will require payment of a $15 per person departure tax, which will then have to be paid a second time when we leave a day or two later, and (2) checking in to St John will require the entire crew to personally show up in Cruz Bay? If the answer to both questions is "yes," then St John is most likely a "no." Thanks.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:46   #2
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Re: BVI Departure Tax

The departure taxes are for flying out and using a ferry, when departing using a boat the departure fees are minimal - I think I paid $0.25 or so for the form and that was it last time.
When you check into St. John the whole crew must appear personally at customs and immigration. I have to anchor way out as my draft is too deep for the little anchorage area reserved for anchoring during the clearing process. Optionally you can go around the corner and take a mooring at Caneel Bay but only if you have a good dinghy.
Remember that all people aboard must be US citizens or LPR or, if not, must hold a valid US visa as the visa-waiver-program that Europeans and others use to fly into the USA is not valid when entering by boat.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:09   #3
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Re: BVI Departure Tax

Re the departure tax, how long ago was your experience? Everything I have read (news media, government sites) says $20 by air, $15 by sea, including any and every form of vessel.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:19   #4
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Re: BVI Departure Tax

I just pulled out my paperwork. The last time I cleared out was on January 18, 2014 and I paid US$5.39. I believe it was that expensive because I paid overtime due to leaving on a Sunday.

Perhaps you might want to post your question on Traveltalk online in the BVI forum.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:44   #5
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Re: BVI Departure Tax

Thanks. Per your suggestion, I did check TTOL. Consensus seems to be that if you list the folks on your boat as "crew" and not "passengers," most C&I offices will not charge the departure tax. One post says that does not apply to children 12 and under. We will give it a shot and see what happens.
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Old 10-04-2014, 04:37   #6
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Re: BVI Departure Tax

While checking the relevant posts on TTOL (there's an active one on the subject right now) it would seem that the BVI differentiates between charter boats and private vessels. I've never paid departure taxes because I am a private vessel, and don't have issues with crew either, since I'm a singlehander.
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