VIPCA attends a meeting in the Capitol Building to discuss VIPCA working together with the Department of Tourism on the Bill 31-0017, Act No. 7734 of the 31st Legislature of the Virgin Islands, where by “The Commissioner shall develop an integrated plan to make fuller use of the Virgin Islands’ water resources, marine industries, and marine facilities to compete globally in the marine tourism industry and shall promote and advertise on a global scale marine tourism in the Virgin Islands.”
A grant was received by VIPCA from the Department of Tourism and work has begun.
VIPCA is working together with the Coastguard to create a simple flow-chart of regulations for vessels and crew operating in the USVIs and BVIs. A meeting this morning implemented the initial steps towards us all receiving timely updates and advice of changes to regulation requirements from the source through VIPCA. No more confusion!
VIPCA meets with the Marine Action Group to discuss the initiation of a marine job fair providing career guidance in the marine industry to Virgin Islands Youth.
Many are concerned about the excise taxes on boats featured in Bill 32-0005:
(6) Self-propelled vehicles (excluding motor vehicles requiring licensing for highway use) and apparatuses (excluding airplanes), boats, firearms, ammunition and bicycles —10%
(7) All boats, including launches, with or without auxiliary engines or outboard engines—3%
(8) Marine engines excluding outboard motors —3%
On the 14th Feb I spoke with both Senate Vialet and Senate Blyden.
It was clarified by Senator Vialet that these excise taxes on boats were rescinded in 1994 in order to help the industry with the new 6-pax licence. The excise taxes on boats were written back into the VI Code and have been there, unchanged, since 2004.
VIPCA has proposed the following amendments to Bill 32-0005 :
(6) Self-propelled vehicles (excluding motor vehicles requiring licensing for highway use) and apparatuses (excluding airplanes and boats), firearms, ammunition and bicycles —10%
(7) All boats, including launches, with or without auxiliary engines or outboard engines (excluding commercial use)—3%
(8) Marine engines (excluding outboard motors and commercial use)—3%
Jennifer Augspurger (VIPCA Secretary and S/V Starfish) spoke at the waterfront rally protesting bill 32-0005 with regards to its direct impact on the yacht charter industry.
Adam Reeve testified on behalf of the marine charter industry was the result of VIPCA spending two days in chambers and multiple meetings with Senators. The charter industry is beginning to be listened to and progress being made. VIPCA is still pushing stop this bill 320-0005 in its path.