Premier Fahie told the territory during a press conference today March 11, 2022, that the changing of the Cruising Permit Legislation and enacting the Cruising Permit and Home Port Act, 2021 have given "BVI-Registered home-based companies owned by Virgin Islanders" the competitive advantage to create and secure jobs for Virgin Islanders.
But Government has gone a step further to exempt locals and belongers from paying cruising permit fees.
“Your Government has decided to waive the cruising permit fees of $4.00 for Virgin Islanders and Belongers to further encourage participation and enjoyment of the Blue Economy. I take this opportunity to encourage all local captains and boaters to take advantage of this opportunity. The only requirement is to be in possession of valid identifications – a passport or Belonger card.”
On March 10, 2022, the House of Assembly (HoA) passed the Stamp (Amendment) Act 2022, which will see the exemption of Stamp Duty on the instrument of sale or transfer to a first-time property owner who is a local or belonger.
The exemption follows the waiving of stamp duty on land or property sale for all locals and belongers from March 2020 to December 2021.
Premier Fahie, speaking during the debate of the Stamp (Amendment) Act 2022 at the Second Sitting of the Fourth Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA), said government had recognised the need to ease the financial burdens of residents who would be in a position to purchase property during the pandemic in a manner that encouraged the property to remain in local hands.
Persons who benefited from the waiver would still be required to pay the Stamp Duty if the property is sold or transferred to a non-belonger within 7 years.
Meanwhile, Premier Fahie said on March 11, 2022, that the changing of the Cruising Permit Legislation and enacting the Cruising Permit and Home Port Act, 2021 have given BVI-Registered home-based companies owned by Virgin Islanders a competitive advantage creating and securing jobs for Virgin Islanders.
“For example, as a result of this new legislation, there has been a substantial increase in local licensed charter vessels - in particular BVI-registered Water Taxis, which has been instrumental in moving thousands of visitors to and from our shores in the last seven months.”
Premier Fahie added that the collaboration of other Government agencies - such as Virgin Islands Shipping Registry, Customs Department, Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs, Labour Department - and the enforcement of the requisite legislation provided the opportunity of a level playing field for local marine operators to thrive.
"To give one a fish you feed them for a day. Your Government is teaching our people to fish, and helping them to become equipped, so they can eat for a lifetime," Premier Fahie said.