The ‘Cruising and Home Port Permit Act, 2021’ was introduced by Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) at the Seventh Sitting of the Third Session of the Fourth House of Assembly at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom, Tortola, today, Thursday, April 22, 2021.
"This is a game-changer in the tourism industry where we will be reducing the cost so that homeporting cruises can start from the BVI and also we can lower the cost for marine vessels registered in the BVI for charters so that we can bring back the Ark of the Covenant, the modern-day Ark of the Covenant back to the BVI," as, according to him, everyone is telling this Government that it lost the Ark of the Covenant and "not saying because of COVID-19."
Premier Fahie, who also said the Bill was part of his recent speech to move the economy into overdrive and that the “engine is already revving”, said he would explain the Bill’s provision at the Second Reading.
The Second and Third Readings; however, were subsequently taken off from the Order of the Day.
But according to the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands’ Post Meeting Statement of March 31, 2021, Cabinet had reviewed and approved the Bill entitled "Cruising and Home Permit Act, 2021, “which seeks to repeal and replace the Cruising Permit Act (Cap 203) to allow small cruise ships to begin and end their cruise itineraries in the BVI and decided that the Bill be introduced for its first reading in the House of Assembly at its next convenient Sitting.”
His Excellency, the Governor Mr John J. Rankin, CMG, had chaired the Meeting held at the Financial Services Commission’s Conference Room where all Members were present.
Meanwhile, cruise ships with passengers will resume calling to the [British] Virgin Islands from June 2021, the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) announced on March 19, 2021.
According to BVIPA in a press release, the reopening of the cruise port has been announced with government approval for June 2021 for cruise vessels with fully vaccinated passengers and crew.