Business entities in the British Virgin Islands are lamenting the lack of consultation over the increased fees at the BVI Port Authority that was approved by Minister responsible for Ports, Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie on December 18 2020.
This is according to the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA).
The BVICCHA said their office have been bombarded with calls from the business community complaining about the matter since the BVIPA issued a release informing residents of the changes recently.
"The implementation of the fee increase by the BVI Ports Authority needs to be put on hold and consultation with stakeholders provided," the Chamber said via a press release on Monday, February 1 2021.
It continued: "Cost increases are one thing. Rate spikes for whatever reason without consultation are pure and simple an example of bad governance. Wastage should be looked at when a body is looking to generate revenue. New revenue streams are another area of priority that should be examined by economists and strategists in the organisation."
The Chamber further mentioned that it was "very disheartening" that they inquired from the BVIPA sometime in September about fee increases and "if any were coming for 2020."
"The reply received said, "…the BVI Ports Authority has not implemented an increase in fees for 2020…" which did not answer the posed question directly. This month, we now learn that increases were put in place in December 2020 and announced in January 2021 with no notice, consultation, or even a grace period. This is unacceptable."
The BVICCHA further argued that more than a press release should have been sent before the new fees were implemented.