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Old 26-09-2016, 13:06   #1
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Angry Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

This was posted in the USVI FB Group about doing your own boat maintenance in a boatyard in the BVI's:

ďThis is confirmed via email with Keith from Nanny Cay. (US or otherwise) VESSELS not registered or licensed in the BVI: OWNERS (unpaid), or crew working on private/commercial--whatever/whichever are now required to have temporary work permits per persons working on their boat. (you can do yourself to save $ applied for and issued by BVI Labour dept.) to do any work while hauled out in the yard (any BVI yard). The expedited permits (applied for via a business service on your behalf) are roughly $300/person, per permit and takes 48 hours to process via that business service (Keith's from Nanny Cay has contact info). You can do it yourself for a savings but it must be in person and it is a minimum 10-15 day lead time. I have contacted the Business licensing office and labor dept to inquire directly with no reply to any of my messages. The application is TOTALLY skewed toward BVI jobs hiring US employees (both scenarios not applicable for US citizen taking a boat to the BVI to do some personal UNPAID maintenance--not sure how this interpretation of the law is legal...) anyway, heads up boating community of the USVI. Please give feedback with any updates as this evolves. Would be great to band together to have a lobbying presence similar to the airline pilots. We need representation with issues like this.
Anyway the point of this post was not to complain as much as it is to INFORM so that boaters do not go check into the BVI, haul put etc only to find that they are slapped with a cease and desist and fined like some have been over the past several weeks. If you choose to go--be prepared ahead of time with permits for each working person (paid or not) aboard your boat. At least that is what I was told. Go direct to the source for confirmation. And this is evolving so what is true today may be different tomorrow. Just passing along what info I have right now....hope this helps others do what needs to get done ahead of arrival in prep--no surprises. Plan ahead if you choose to go.Ē

It also seems that provisions and spare parts on sailboats could also be subject to duty, as reported by two sailors who arrived in the BVIís from both the USVI and Sint Maarten.

It seems to me this may impact cruising sailors and their choice of boat yards and whether to hit or miss the BVIís in the future, I would guess. Strange turn of events.
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Old 26-09-2016, 13:34   #2
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

Another good reason to got to St Thomas or St Martin to do any boat work?
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Old 26-09-2016, 14:24   #3
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

Another good reason to avoid the BVI's all together.
A great deal of thought went into this new regulation. For a country that relies on marine related tourism for their entire economy the are doing a good job of alienating every single foreigner they can.
80 miles away in St Maarten you can work on your boat all you want, and they have the best supply of parts and equipment in the Caribbean.
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Old 26-09-2016, 14:43   #4
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

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Another good reason to avoid the BVI's all together.
A great deal of thought went into this new regulation. For a country that relies on marine related tourism for their entire economy the are doing a good job of alienating every single foreigner they can.
80 miles away in St Maarten you can work on your boat all you want, and they have the best supply of parts and equipment in the Caribbean.
Which yards on SXM allow you to work on your own boats there?? I was going to haul there, and found that Bobby's and St. Maarten Shipyard required their people to do the work. I decided to haul out in STT at Independent Boat Yard because of it. I did find a boatyard on the French side that had room and would allow me to work on my own boat but after talking to a drunk, arrogant, no help just want your money JC at.JC's boatyard, and watching his help almost drop a boat out of the sling as he was constantly screaming at them, I took a pass. I'll take IBY.
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Old 26-09-2016, 15:16   #5
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

Some cruisers like to secure and haul out their boat in the BVIís for hurricane season. Then paint the bottom themselves before launching for the next winter sailing season, among other repairs.

With these new or now enforced BVI regulations, it seems BVI boatyards like Nanny Cay and Virgin Gorda will lose a lot of business and sailors will either go to Puerto Rico or sail south to St. Kitts, Antigua, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada or Trinidad.
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Old 26-09-2016, 22:04   #6
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

If you paid the temporary import fee I guess you are allowed to work on your boat.
Am I wrong?


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Old 27-09-2016, 06:12   #7
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

I heard that the work permit is in addition to the temporary import license. So you pay $200 for the import license and $300 for each person on your boat who works. Kind of expensive just to work on your own boat in the BVI's.
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Old 27-09-2016, 06:35   #8
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

I heard the same thing. It would seem making it so expensive and cumbersome is part of the plan to make hiring locals more attractive.


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Old 27-09-2016, 08:02   #9
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

Well intentioned regulation (like all regulations), will have predictable consequences for the BVIs.

Similar to a show I watched last night :-)
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Old 27-09-2016, 08:11   #10
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

We've hauled in PR the last 2 seasons. While the facilities are good, spares and services are available, and the cost is equal to or less than the yards we checked in BVI, they, too, require work to be done by their "selected" contractors. Owners have been able to do a little just after haulout or just before resplash, but our experience has been that any serious work needs to be done by their contractors. And lately they've gotten really sticky about environmental impacts too.....plastic to protect the ground during a pressure wash, sanding debris, etc.
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Old 27-09-2016, 09:41   #11
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

If we hadn't just sold our boat we'd be outta there (BVI), probably permanently. Vote with your feet (or as the case may be, your dirty bottom)!

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Old 27-09-2016, 10:26   #12
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

Does not Surprise me at All.....Vote with your Pocket book and find another Area to do the work....I may have some understanding of Bottom painting Limits (environmental impacts ) but after that I should be able to work on My boat and do the things I feel capable of doing.....Good BYE BVI .....Heading Further South...
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Old 27-09-2016, 14:05   #13
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

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Originally Posted by Jsta_Rebel View Post
Which yards on SXM allow you to work on your own boats there?? I was going to haul there, and found that Bobby's and St. Maarten Shipyard required their people to do the work. I decided to haul out in STT at Independent Boat Yard because of it. I did find a boatyard on the French side that had room and would allow me to work on my own boat but after talking to a drunk, arrogant, no help just want your money JC at.JC's boatyard, and watching his help almost drop a boat out of the sling as he was constantly screaming at them, I took a pass. I'll take IBY.
I was in Bobby's for some time and executed many new installs and repairs myself. Was only bottom cleaning the yard insisted they do.
A few cruisers with extensive work had set up workshop in shipping containers.
When executing sanding/varnishing all bulkheads below and installing new cabin sole, painting hull, deck and mast, I checked into the Red Cross next door and had a comfortable room for $10/night. You can walk or dinghy to supermarkets and restaurants and car rentals are close by.
Previously I did work in Nanny Key & Virgin Gorda in BVI's; however, costs, lack of competitive supplies encouraged me over night sail to Sint Maarten.
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Old 27-09-2016, 14:57   #14
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

But I wonder what the definition of "working on your boat" is. Is a permit needed for waxing the topsides, checking the rigging, washing the decks, cleaning the head, changing the oil, coiling a line, pushing the auto helm on button?
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Old 27-09-2016, 15:54   #15
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Re: Newly Enforced BVI Rules & Regulations

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I heard that the work permit is in addition to the temporary import license. So you pay $200 for the import license and $300 for each person on your boat who works. Kind of expensive just to work on your own boat in the BVI's.
What are the regulations on the import license?
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