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Old 09-12-2007, 09:36   #1
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Caribbean Charter Boat - Work Permit Required?

Just questioning if I were to purchase a boat and start up my own charter boat business if I would require a work permit within the Caribbean. I understand that most of these islands are seperate countries - does anyone have experience on these islands and their individual requirements.

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Old 16-12-2007, 12:58   #2
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Interesting Question and I'm surprised there hasnt been a response. The answer to the Work Permit comes in several parts. For example, where I live in the British Virgin Islands, you would need a Trade Licence, then a Work Permit and also a BVI Captain's Licence. The process can take about 8 months - if the Trade Dept are issuing Trade Licences for that activity. If they arent - which happens when they consider that too many people are in the market, then its a non starter. US Virgin Islands, for an American, would be considerably easier but you would need at least the USCG "6 Pack" licence.

Further "down islands", the situation varies - by the month, it seems!! In any event, if no licence or permit was required, the Customs Authorities would require a large Importation Fee based on a percentage of their perceived value of the boat.

Over the last couple of years, I detect a slowing down in the growth of the owner/operator charterboat trade and last month's crewed charter yacht show in Tortola was quite thinly attended compared to previous years. The emphasis nowadays is very definitely catamarans or extremely large monos and both types have to have all the water toys, offer diving and gourmet meals etc etc. The only thriving section of the industry is in the Mega Yacht Division but otherwise, established operators with a good reputation are doing ok.

The reason I'm late in responding to this post is that I just got in last night from helping an Owner bring his new cat down from Annapolis to Tortola (a strong Nor Easter and freezin' cold at the top end and TS Olga at the bottom made for an interesting trip....) I am seriously concerned about this gentleman's ability together with his girlfriend, to offer crewed charters and just hope I'm not wrong in my assessment that I am witnessing the beginnings of the Crashing of One Person's Dream - and the subsequent distress Sale of a 2007 catamaran....Tony
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Caribbean, permit

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