Chartering the British Virgin Islands

BVI HM Customs

The licences, whether commercial and annual or non commercial and temporary run from November 1st through to October 31st. Commercial Recreational Licencing Act No. 8 of 1992 (CRVLA) – this law speaks to different types of licences: Commercial (Annual licence and a Per cruise/ temporary commercial licence) and non-commercial (temporary import licence).

For all commercial licences, the application process is the same for all charter vessels. You can visit

Step 1. Visit link above. Select the services tab on the right side below the Commissioners photo. Please select Charter Authorization tab. This will bring you to a page with all relevant information regarding this process and forms. The form is fillable online. Please follow guidelines provided to ensure that the processing time can be swift. (Please note this step is for Foreign Based Charter Companies ONLY)

Note: Charter companies has to get permission to charter in the Virgin Islands in accordance with the Commercial Recreational Licence Act, No 8 of 1992. Home based charter companies obtains a Trade Licence and Foreign based charter companies obtain charter authorization (see attached applications and guidelines).

Step 2. Visit link above. Select the services tab on the right side below the Commissioners photo. Please select Commercial Recreational Licencing. This will bring you to a page with all relevant information regarding this process and forms. The form is fillable online. Please follow guidelines provided to ensure that the processing time can be swift.
This process enables foreign charter vessels to obtain and annual commercial licence.

Types of licences;
A) the annual licences will be an annual certificate (effective November 1 to October 31), which further breaks into term charters (vessels that offer or has accommodations) and daytrips, diving and fishing CRVL (vessels not offering accommodations)
B) the temporary commercial licence know as a per-cruise (licence granted for a specific cruise, where fees will be paid before every cruise for that specific cruise (valid for just that one cruise).

It is very important to note that foreign base charter vessels are:
Any Charter Vessel that does NOT meet all three criteria;
registered in the Virgin Islands (BVI Flagged), or has registration exception certificate;
having an established base of operations in the Virgin Islands (BVI); and
Managed by a company registered in the Virgin Islands (BVI),
For a period of five months or more in any twelve month period.

Home base vessels are vessels that meet all three criteria.

Commercial Licences that are for Foreign based vessels under CRVLA No. 8 of 1992, has to record the number of charters pick ups (they are restricted to 7 charter pickups originating in the BVI territory).

The Temporary import licence are for vessels; owned by non-reseidence in accordance with the Customs Management and duties Act, No 6 of 2010, non-commercial/private and remaining in the territory for more than 30 days (120 days for vessels that are register in the USVI and home ported in the USVI) or as required by law, which is also an annual license which is effective for 12months after issue date.

After approval, payment of the license fees is to be paid and a certificate will be issued. This certificate is to remain on vessels and be presented to the Customs Officials at all times when checking in/ purchasing cruising permits. Cruising permit fee is $16.00 (foreign based vessel) and $4.00 (home based vessel) a person a day.


Best Yacht in Show – 66ft & Over
Winner: Burn Rate ◦ Crew: Evert Theron, Tanya Theron, Karien Koekemoer, Daan De Beer, Louis van Wyk
Runner Up: Lady Sharon Gale ◦ Crew: Keith Cressman, Annette Sharpe, Frans Cornelisse, Zara Browne

Best Yacht in Show – 56ft – 65ft
Winner: Aeolus ◦ Crew: Mayon Hight, Therese Gorsich, Elizabeth Bork
Runner Up: Le Reve ◦ Crew: Dirk DeLo, Sandra Anderson

Best Yacht in Show – Up to 55ft
Winner: Southern Comfort ◦ Crew: Ish Alexander, Julia Malone
Runner Up: Sea Dog ◦ Crew: Keagan Steyn, Olivia Boyd

Best Crew in Show
Winner: Justified Horizons ◦ Crew: Ryan Querry, Dani Querry, Christian Doyle
Runner Up: Aeolus ◦ Crew: Mayon Hight, Therese Gorsich, Elizabeth Bork

Broker of the Year – 2021
Winner: Nick Cirillo, Blue Ocean Charters
Runner Up: Lynne Campbell, Carefree Yacht Charters

Cocktail Mixologist Competition Grey Goose – 2021
Winner: Mixologist: Amy Cann, Let’s Play Too
Runner Up: Mixologist: Zara Browne, Lady Sharon Gale

Cocktail Mixologist Competition Captain Morgan – 2021
Winner: Mixologist: Ish Alexander, Southern Comfort
Runner Up: Mixologist: Ryan Querry, Justified Horizons

Culinary Competition – 2021

1. Tanya Theron, Burn Rate

Main Dish
1. Annette Sharpe, Lady Sharon Gale
2. Dani Querry, Justified Horizons

1. Annette Sharpe, Lady Sharon Gale
2. Therese Gorsich, Aeolis
2. Tanya Theron, Burn Rate

Sponsors of the USVI Charter Yacht show include the USVI Department of Tourism; Yacht Haven Grande; IGY Marinas; Offshore Marine; the Gowrie Group; Catamaran Central; Moe’s Fresh Market; Grey Goose, distributed by West Indies Company; Veuve Clicquot and Captain Morgan, distributed by Bellows International; Parts & Power Ltd., distributor of Northern Lights; Pamlico Group; the Charter Yacht Broker Association; Cardow Jewelers; Harbor Shoppers; Viya Business Solutions; and Ashburton Cookery School & Chefs Academy.

2021 Awards Winners

Best Crew in Show – 2021
Runner Up: Aeolus
Crew: Captain Mayon Hight, Stew Elizabeth Bork, Chef Therese Gorsich
Winner: Justified Horizons
Crew: Captain Ryan Querry, Chef Dani Querry, Stew Christian Doyle
Best Yacht in Show – 66ft & Over
Runner Up: Lady Sharon Gale
Crew: Captain Keith Cresman, Chef AJ Sharpe, Stew Zara Browne, Engineer Sean Rosen
Winner: Burn Rate
Crew: Captain Evert Theron, Chef Tanya Theron, Stew Karien Koekemoer, Mate Daan De Beer, Engineer Louis van Wyk
Best Yacht in Show – 56ft – 65ft
Runner Up: Le Reve
Crew: Captain Dirk DeLo, Chef Sandy Anderson
Winner: Aeolus
Crew: Captain Mayon Hight, Stew Elizabeth Bork, Chef Therese Gorsich
Best Yacht in Show – Up to 55ft
Runner Up: Sea Dog
Crew: Captain Keagan Steyn, Chef Olivia Boyd
Winner: Southern Comfort
Crew: Captain Ish Alexander, Chef Julia Malone
Broker of the Year – 2021
Runner Up: Lynne Campbell from Carefree Yacht Charters
Winner: Nick Cirillo from Blue Ocean Charters
Cocktail Mixologist Competition Grey Goose – 2021
Runner Up: “Stormin’ Mornin'”
Mixologist: Stew Zara Browne of Lady Sharon Gale
Winner: “Mermaid Rose”
Mixologist: Chef Amy Cann of Let’s Play Too
Cocktail Mixologist Competition Captain Morgan – 2021
Runner Up: “So Nice I Made it Twice”
Mixologist: Captain Ryan Querry of Justified Horizons
Winner: “Mango Lime in da Coconut”
Mixologist: Captain Ish Alexander of Southern Comfort

VIPCA’s Work 2021

VIPCA’s Year Round Work includes:

  • Virgin Islands Youth Training (5-week intensive Marine Apprenticeship)
    • 1-year Registered Apprenticeship for 12 young Virgin Islanders providing captains training for USCG OUPV Certification
  • Working year-round with VI Government Departments, National Park Service and CBP
    • Working with the Governor’s Office and on the Governor’s Taskforces
      • Chair of the Governor’s Marine Taskforce
      • Member of Restart VI Taskfoce
      • Member of Vision 2040 Taskforce
      • Director of Workforce Development Board
        • VIPCA is recognised as an Eligible Service Provider and is working on producing a Registered Apprenticeship Program with DOL
  • USVI Marine Infrastructure Development
    • Installation of 200 new moorings territory-wide – underway with EDA grant funding
  • Year-round international/national/local industry representation
  • USVI Charter Yacht Show 4-day event
    • Press releases and marketing for the industry
    • Same charter broker attendance as the December CCYS
  • Inter-Government Liaison and Relations
    • Bringing about a CBP Ruling to allow vessels tor charter between USVI and Puerto Rico
    • Working with the Governor’s office on licensing requirements for the BVIs


Spring Yacht Show Postponed to May 2022

Due to the extremely busy charter season the industry is enjoying this year, it is unfortunate that we will not be able to host the number of yachts we needed to make the Spring Charter Yacht Show a success. We are looking forward to a fantastic Fall Charter Yacht Show and concentrating all of our efforts to make it the best one yet! Mark your calendars for November 7-10th and register before July 1st to receive early bird rates.

22nd Supplemental Executive Order and Proclamation

2021.3-1 22nd Supplemental Executive Order and Proclamation

Dean Chinnery Taxi Service

Dean Chinnery is a retired Police Officer of 25 years. He is currently employed at the Federal Court House as a Court Security Officer under the United State Marshall Office. Dean also has his own transportation service, Dean’s Luxury Transportation Service.

The vehicle is a black Mercedes-Benz 2018 12  passenger van, a black Cadillac SUV, and soon to get a Lincoln Navigator.

Dean is a member of VICPA as a vendor and participated in the USVI Charter Yacht Show. He would like to offer my services to members.

Dean Chinnery (340) 643-7211



P.O. Box 850, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110 P.O. Box 8309, PMB# 1107, St. John, USVI 00831


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VIPCA Testifies in Legislature for Minor CZM Permit for 100 New Vessel Moorings.

March 2nd, 2021


The Honorable Donna Frett Gregory.


34th Legislature of the United States Virgin Islands



Good Day Senate President Donna Frett Gregory, other members of the 34th Legislature of the US Virgin Islands, legislative staff, and members of the viewing and listening public, my name is Oriel Blake and I am the Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association (VIPCA). Today we are presenting testimony on the Minor Coastal Zone Management Permit No. CZT-44-19W for the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association, Inc., which allows for the installation of one hundred (helix) type anchor moorings at locations across the Virgin Islands. The moorings will be used for transient vessels. This activity will occur around the islands of St. John, St. Croix, and St. Thomas, within the territorial water limit.


The Marine industry is an essential part of the U.S. Virgin Islands tourism economy. It is also a highly resilient sector as seen after the hurricanes of 2017 and most recently in the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020-21, USVI-based charter boats alone are anticipated to contribute nearly $88 million to the territory’s economy. Other transient vessels such as superyachts and private recreational cruising yachts from both neighboring islands and around the globe, add even more dollars to the USVI’s coffers. This permitting request pertains to these transient vessels and specifically to moorings.


To quickly define, moorings are permanent structures affixed to the seafloor to which a vessel may be secured. Helix-type moorings are easier, faster and safer to install than other types of moorings and provide for environmental protection. Moorings contrast with the use of anchors to secure a vessel in one place. Anchoring entails a vessel cast a cable-attached metal anchor that digs into the seabed each time the vessel visits whether for one hour or stays overnight.


With the approval of this permit, the 100 moorings will be strategically distributed in bays throughout the USVI per DPNR. This type of secure infrastructure better supports these transient yachts, organizing each bay, and assures their presence to contribute to the USVI’s economy. These moorings will also protect the territory’s natural undersea environment and their routine surveillance, management and regular maintenance can provide jobs for Virgin Islanders interested in a career in the marine industry.


I’d like to further elaborate on the economic, environmental and employment benefits of placing these moorings as I believe this will serve to underscore why granting this permit request is of the utmost importance and benefit.


First, the economic. There are two points: expenditures and contributions. VIPCA was approved by the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration for a $562,000 grant investment, plus an in-kind matching grant of $133,400.00 by DPNR, and a further $175,000 by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands to assist in the Virgin Islands Moorings Installation project. Thus, funding for these 100 new moorings is available. These grants were approved for VIPCA as it is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. As for contributions, consider that one USVI-based term charter yacht contributes nearly $13,000 annually directly to the U.S. Virgin Islands and U.S. Federal governments. This includes a business license, gross receipts, DPNR registration, anchoring/mooring permit, National Park Commercial Permit plus National Park mooring fees, USVI insurance tax, Virgin Islands Port Authority fees and U.S. Coast Guard documentation. More sizable still is that this same yacht contributes approximately $150,000 each year indirectly to the USVI economy. These expenditures include provisioning, fuel, onshore dining, hotel/lodging, boat cleaners, dockage, diving/fishing rentals, maintenance, taxis and laundry. Multiply these figures by 150USVI-based captained week (term) charter yachts, 100-non-captained bareboat charter yachts and add similar expenditures by the 194-day charter boats, and this is how VIPCA arrived at approximately $88 million as the anticipated annual economic contribution for USVI-based charter yachts for 2020-21. With borders closed in neighboring islands due to the pandemic, marine yacht charter operations continue to increase. This number has increased dramatically. On a related note, these moorings will assist in diversifying the territory’s marine tourism industry, a prudent move considering the pandemic-forced stop of cruise ship visits for a year now.


Secondly, the environmental. One of the most significant benefits of vessels using moorings rather than anchoring is in protecting the undersea environment. This was the primary reason for the public-private partnership between VIPCA and DPNR in 2017, and what led to the securing of grants to install the moorings for which this permit is now requested. According to Steve Prosterman, Dive Safety Officer at the University of the Virgin Islands, anchoring can not only break corals that may take a century to grow back, but the action of the anchor chain sweeping back and forth as the yacht moves in the wind creates a V-shaped area of destruction of soft corals like sea fans as well as seagrass, a mainstay of endangered sea turtles. The helix-shaped mooring we propose only disrupts a 2-to-3-inch area on the seafloor. Plus, the line attached to the yacht is supported by a floating buoy, removing the lengthy and damaging anchor chain, thus preventing the damaging action seen in anchoring. One of the top natural draws to the U.S. Virgin Islands is its marine environment and the proposed moorings will be protective.


Third, employment. To be safe and secure, moorings must be routinely surveilled and continually maintained. Revenue generated by transient boaters using the 100 new moorings is approximately equal to the cost of their surveillance, management and maintenance. Thus, this is a self-funding, not profit-making program. Through VIPCA’s programs such as the Marine Apprenticeship Program, which is a 5-week Captain’s training course for Virgin Islands residents between the ages of 19 to 29, the surveillance and management of the moorings will be yet another of the job opportunities in the territory’s marine industry. Not least to mention that as the yacht charter industry booms, so too does job availability both on the water for recruitment of local captains, as well as on the shore in marine technical services. At the heart of VIPCA’s mission is to boost local workforce recruitment in the marine industry.


In conclusion, the US Virgin Islands marine environment is a huge draw for visitors and marine tourism a critical part of the territory’s economy. In recent years, the rebound in marine tourism more quickly than land-based venues after hurricanes followed by the influx of transient yachts to the territory as neighboring islands borders closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, presents an opportunity to provide for and strengthen this part of the economy. In tandem and just as importantly, a vibrant marine industry and the infrastructure that supports it such as these moorings can benefit the people of the Virgin Islands in three key ways which I touched on earlier. To underscore, there’s the opportunity of additional jobs both in the industry directly and indirectly in support services; secondly, the benefits of resource preservation and a healthy undersea ecosystem which supports fish stocks; and thirdly, the recreational enjoyment of the territory’s beaches and bays via strategic mooring placement by DPNR.


On behalf of VIPCA, we request that the Senate approve Minor Coastal Zone Management Permit No. CZT-44-19W for VIPCA to install 100 hundred helix-type moorings at locations across the Virgin Islands. Thank you for the opportunity to testify.