Please find attached and below detail on the new Public Health Order issued 1st July by the BVI Minister of Health, as published in the Gazette and effective 2 July 2021:
"3. The principal Order is amended by inserting immediately after section
13, the following new section:
13A. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3) and to such guidelines as may be issued, a person operating a
private or commercially registered small vessel may be permitted to enter the Territory for the purpose of sailing or anchoring in Territorial waters.
(2) A foreign-based small vessel shall not be permitted to
(a) enter the Territory with paying passengers on board; or
(b) conduct commercial activity while in the
(3) A small vessel shall not conduct daytrips to the Territory, unless that vessel is a pre-authorised water taxi.
(4) A person may be permitted to operate a locally based Water Taxis subject to this Order and to such guidelines as may be issued.
(5) For the purposes of this section “small vessel”
means a vessel that is under 78 feet length overall.”."
All COVID-19 entry protocols remain in effect and in place.
Referencing the newly enacted BVI legislation Cruising and Homeport Permit Act, 2021 which repeals and replaces the Cruising Permit Ordinance 1976 and its Cruising Permit (Amended) Act 2017.
ONCE THE COVID STATUTORY INSTRUMENT IS REPEALED THEN THE FOLLOWING ARE CURRENT REGULATIONS FOR CHARTERING IN THE BVI:
1. CHARTER GUEST PICK-UP IN USVI BY FOREIGN YACHT: Based on current legislation (and without the current Covid-19 entry restrictions) foreign based yachts continue to have unlimited access to the BVI when bringing charter guests into the Territory as has been the case for quite some time.
2. CHARTER PICK-UP IN BVI BY FOREIGN YACHT: According to the current legislation, charter yachts are limited to 7 charter pick-ups in the BVI. To exceed 7 pick-ups one requires the following:
· BVI Registered and Homeported
· BVI MCA Blue Code or Yellow Code inspection and BVI Boatmaster license for the Master
· Trade License (can either be one associated with the specific yacht or a charter company trade license)
· Work permits. The holder of the trade license would be the named employer
· Annual Commercial Vessel License (aka T12)
CURRENT CHANGES TO HOW TO ATTAIN MCA BLUE/YELLOW CODING CERTIFICATION:
1. The BVI Virgin Islands Shipping Registry considers it an overreach to Blue or Yellow Code certify a foreign flagged vessel and has ceased doing such inspections “for now”. VIPCA will enquire for clarification on what impact this will have on foreign flagged vessels that already have the BVI MCA certification of inspection.
2. CVLA is USCG authorized for issuance of the Small Commercial Vessel Letter of Compliance for vessel inspections to certify compliance using the Blue and Yellow Code MCA standards allowing uninspected (i.e., not inspected by USCG) passenger vessels to carry up to 12 passengers in USVI domestic waters.
3. As such, CVLA is enquiring after its feasibility of providing MCA Blue/Yellow coding certification for non-BVI based and non-BVI flagged vessels to be recognised by the VISR (BVI Shipping Registry) for the vessel’s entry into the BVI as a commercial vessel. This is a work in progress.
POTENTIAL CHANGES OF REQUIREMENTS FOR BVI ENTRY BY COMMERCIAL CHARTER VESSEL:
1. The vessel will have to be registered as a commercial vessel by its flag state.
2. The vessel may be required to show certification of flag state inspection as a commercial vessel (i.e., USCG Certificate of Inspection).
SUMMARY - Vessels operating commercially in charter either with or without persons for hire should:
i. Have current BVI MCA Blue or Yellow Code certification of inspection.
ii. Have a T12 for more than 7-charter pick-ups in the BVI per year including trade license and work permits for crew.
iii. Consider getting its flag state certificate of inspection in the event that the BVI require this in the future.