How to Navigate Yacht Charter Taxes in the British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) present a sought-after destination for yacht enthusiasts, renowned for its pristine waters and serene anchorages. Understanding the tax implications associated with yacht charters in the BVI is essential for a smooth and compliant experience.

Charterers are advised to consult with local authorities, yacht charter companies, or maritime professionals for up-to-date information on tax rates and regulatory changes. With careful planning, a yacht charter in the BVI can be undertaken with confidence, knowing that financial contributions support the preservation of this unique maritime destination.

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1. Cruising Tax

A fixed cruising tax of $6 per day for BVI-based charter yachts and $16 per day for foreign yachts is applied to the gross charter fee. This levy contributes to the preservation and development of the BVI’s marine and environmental resources. Staying informed about potential regulatory changes is advisable.

*This fee is subject to changes, to make sure you are up to day check the recent prices with your Yacht Charter Broker or check updates on VIPCA (Virgin Islands’ professional Charter Assosiation)

2. Environmental and Marine Conservation Levy

The Environmental and Marine Conservation Levy supports the preservation of the BVI’s marine environment. Charterers contribute to this fund, demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Price: $10 per person (children under 2 years are exempt)

A close up underwater view of the vibrantly colored coral reef in the British Virgin Islands. Bright oranges and mild greens are visible.
The coral encrusted mast of the Rhone, sunk in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean with the deep blue ocean behind it.

3. National Parks Trust Fee

Visits to national parks or protected areas may incur National Parks Trust fees. These charges aid in maintaining biodiversity and natural resources within these designated zones.

The fee for a National Parks Permit is determined by the size of your party, ranging from $25 per week for a group of 4 guests to $55 per week for 10 guests. To view the full list of National Parks locations, please refer to the National Parks Trust.

Fantastic shot of the catamaran Liquid Zen moored at the Indians off Norman Island, BVI. Located just off the southwestern tip of Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands, 'The Indians' are deemed one of BVI's best shallow dive sites. Descending about fifty feet beneath the surface, these rocky pinnacles unveil a mesmerizing underwater world with abundant coral gardens teeming with colourful fish. You can also find a 15-foot underwater tunnel!
A scuba diver swims over the bow of the ship wreck HMS Rhone. The RMS Rhone is a sunken UK Royal Mail ship that wrecked in a hurricane in 1867 killing 123 people. It is now a hotspot for divers who come to explore the well-preserved wreckage, teeming with marine life.
Bay in the BVI
Bay in the British Virgin Island, with pristine white beach and crystal clear water.

4. Mooring Fees

Moorings in specific locations may be subject to mooring fees. These charges contribute to the maintenance and security of mooring facilities, providing a secure environment for anchored yachts.

White Bay Jost Van Dyke
Yachts moored at White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

Mooring Prices

The mooring fees can vary based on the size of the vessel. As a general guideline:

  • Small Vessels (under 55 feet): Around $25 to $30 per night.
  • Medium Vessels (55 to 100 feet): Approximately $45 to $55 per night.
  • Large Vessels (over 100 feet): Prices can vary, and it’s advisable to check with local authorities for specific rates.

Rules and Regulations:

  1. Use of Moorings: Vessels are required to use designated moorings in areas where they are provided. Anchoring is often prohibited in these locations to protect the marine environment.
  2. Duration: Moorings are typically available for overnight stays. The standard fee covers a 24-hour period.
  3. Reservations: Some mooring fields allow for reservations, especially during peak seasons. It’s advisable to check availability and make reservations in advance if possible.
  4. Environmental Considerations: Boaters are expected to adhere to environmental best practices, including proper waste disposal and refraining from damaging coral reefs or seagrass beds.
  5. Compliance: It’s important to comply with all regulations and guidelines set by the National Parks Trust and local authorities. Non-compliance may result in fines.
  6. Payment: Moorings fees are usually paid in cash or credit card. Payment is made at designated collection points or through online systems where available.

*Please note that fees and regulations may change, and it’s recommended to check with the National Parks Trust or local authorities for the most up-to-date information before planning your voyage.

Reserve a Mooring with BoatyBall

The webbased application allows you to pre-book mooring balls in specific BVI mooring locations. With this user-friendly platform, you can seamlessly reserve your desired mooring ball for the day and conveniently pay the associated fees online. By logging in, selecting your preferred mooring ball, and completing the payment, you ensure that your BoatyBall is secured and ready for your arrival, offering peace of mind after an enjoyable day on the water.

5. Fishing License:

In the British Virgin Islands (BVI), a fishing license is required for recreational fishing. The license is typically obtained from the BVI Conservation and Fisheries Department.

It’s a straightforward process involving the completion of an application form and payment of the applicable fees. The license allows visitors and residents alike to engage in recreational fishing in the BVI waters while ensuring sustainable fishing practices.

*It’s advisable to check with local authorities for the most up-to-date information on fees and regulations.

A 30-day (Temporary) fishing license can be obtained with the BVI Conservation and Fisheries Department in Tortola.

The fees for a fishing license in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) can vary based on factors such as the type of license, duration, and whether the applicant is a resident or a visitor. Generally, the fees range from around $45 to $250, with visitor licenses often being more expensive than those for residents.

Let your Broker do the Hard Work

Navigating the intricate web of fees and paperwork in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) can be a complex undertaking for yacht charters. With various charges such as cruising taxes, mooring fees, and environmental levies, staying abreast of the ever-evolving regulations is crucial.

Having a seasoned broker with experience in BVI yacht charters becomes invaluable in this context. A knowledgeable broker not only guides you through the maze of paperwork but also keeps you informed about the latest regulatory changes. Their expertise ensures a smoother and more efficient process, allowing you to focus on enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the BVI waters without being weighed down by administrative intricacies.

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