The politicians in their infinite lack of reality have done it again. Like their cohorts in the BVI's, St Martin
and other places they think they can increase their revenues on the backs of the cruising communities.
- - Effective immediately Grenada
has terminated its "open-ended" cruising permit
for visiting private vessels. For many years Grenada
charged EC$75 for a cruising permit
that was open-ended - good for as long as you wanted to stay. Now they have terminated that policy and are issuing only a one month cruising permit for your EC$75. Each month you have to pay another EC$75 if you want to stay in Grenadian waters. This is a new interpretation of an old law. The did exempt boats that are stored in boatyards
"on the hard."
- - Besides other minor charges(about EC$20) a private boat entering Grenada paid the $75 for the cruising permit and then also got a month or two or three of free visitors visa for the people on the boat. Monthly visa extensions are still EC$25 per person. So if you stay for more than one month you could be paying EC$125 per month assuming two people on the boat.
- - I sail to Trinidad once or twice each year for shopping
and other purposes and the last year I was there for 3 months and it cost me TT$50 to check in (2 people) and when we left 3 months later it cost me an additional TT$150 for a total of TT$200. TT$ are 6 to 1 US dollar which converts to US$33.33 or about US$11/month. Grenada now is charging
EC$125 per month for extended stays (2 people) which in US$ is $46.88 per month - more than 4 times the cost of Trinidad.
- - Will Grenada government
get any new revenue from this - NOT! And the newly imposed 15% VAT (sales tax) cannot be collected if cruisers are not there to buy groceries, parts
, tours, entertainment, etc. Cruisers will stay their allotted paid for month then move on to more economical places so incoming foreign revenue from extended stays (hurricane season) will mostly likely decrease. And the workers, shops, and marine
support industry of Grenada will be the ones losing tens of thousands of EC$ as boats leave and go elsewhere. You gotta love politicians . . . .