VIPCA Wins Ruling for Member Vessels to Charter between Puerto Rico and the USVI

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VIPCA has just received a formal update regarding the Ruling for the Spanish Virgin Islands that “member vessels not specifically included in the final ruling may rely on the ruling to the extent they embark on the same itineraries, have the same items as sea stores or equipment, etc.  If a member vessel has different circumstances, it should not rely on the ruling.” We are ecstatic for all VIPCA vessel members that this ruling applies to every vessel and not only to those whom applied.

Please Note:

  • Unless a foreign-built yacht has gone through the process of obtaining a MARAD exemption and therefore becomes eligible for a Coastwise endorsement, the yacht cannot pick up and drop off guests in Puerto Rico.   Most yachts will have Recreational and Registry endorsements.  (Registry endorsement is for commercial activities, like chartering.)  For those yachts, acceptable itineraries are St Thomas to Puerto Rico, or Puerto Rico to St. Thomas, or St. Thomas to Puerto Rico and back to St. Thomas.
  • The MCA which allows 12 pax in USVI does NOT work in Puerto Rico.  So, even with the MCA, unless a yacht is USCG-Inspected, they cannot take more than 6 guests on charter in Puerto Rico.  (And USCG-Inspected is not some simple little safety inspection — it is a very onerous process.)

Enjoy chartering in the Spanish Virgin Islands!

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