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USVI Now Offers Online Payment Option
for Overnight Mooring Fees

By Kristi Query
June 2023

The US Virgin Islands National Parks just announced that mariners overnighting within the National Park can now make mooring payments online. 


To access the online payment system, simply download the mobile app.  You will still dinghy to one of the fee pay stations that are located throughout the park and scan the QR code through the app.  

If you choose, you can still use the envelope payment system in cases where connectivity is unavailable, but
online payments are the new preferred method of payment.  

Mooring Pay Station.jpg
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My charter is booked and I'd like authorization to charter in the BVI.

Virgin Islands Yacht Charters Boats Cleared for BVI
By Kristi Query

After months of setbacks and changes in policy, we are happy to finally announce that all the boats in our fleet, with the exception of three boats that have not been delivered to us yet, are licensed and cleared for the BVI.  It has been an arduous and expensive endeavor, and we would like to thank our boat owners for literally paying the price for our charter guests to have the ability to take their vessels into the British Virgin Islands cruising grounds.

We, of course, take this responsibility of making sure those boats are going in legally and all procedures are followed, all fees are paid, and that our guests have a very good understanding of the process.  So, if you are planning to go to the BVI as part of your charter, please click on the button below and we will help you start making plans.

You can also read more about our new BVI clearing procedures by visiting the Planning and FAQ page of our website and scrolling down to the Customs and Immigration section.


BVI Premier Attempts to Clear Up Confusion Caused by Recent Public Announcement

"The territory’s leader has offered new information in relation to a change in the government’s policy that is expected to provide a more efficient and streamlined experience for the BVI’s guests entering by sea.

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley recently announced that the government will no longer require BVI trade licenses for foreign-based water taxis and commercial recreational vessels conducting day or term charters nor will it require work permits for the crew working on these vessels.


But some operators expressed concerns following the Premier’s announcement over what they perceived as unfair competition and an uneven playing field between local boat operators and USVI operators with the change in policy.

Yesterday in the House of Assembly (HOA), Premier Wheatley clarified that some restrictions will still remain in place for foreign vessels.

“I wish to underscore that with the ease in requirements stated, foreign-based water taxi operators are still restricted to passenger drop off at the ports of entry and persons operating foreign charter companies are still required to obtain a commercial recreational vessel license from His Majesty’s Customs,” the Premier said.

According to the Premier, the territory must continue to do business within a legal framework.

Dr Wheatley further advised that other requirements such as the certificate of registration, safety commercial vessel certificate, and insurance for the vessels remain in effect. He further said the requirement for a captain’s license, valid STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) certificates, and a valid passport for all crew and guests remain. Applicable fees based on the level of charter engagement will also still apply. 

He assured that updated guidelines will be published by HM Customs for foreign charter companies to ensure everyone remains knowledgeable about the revised requirements. 

Premier Wheatley said the decision to remove the requirement for business trade licenses is an interim measure while the government continues to work on broader ranging reforms in the marine industry.

The Premier also pointed out that in making the new policy, the territory was able to avert retaliatory measures threatened by the neighbouring USVI government."





"Hi Kristi,


My apologies for the delay in responding to your email, as you may be aware this announcement by my Premier has caused quite a stir with everyone!


However, we are at a stand still at the moment as customs will not issue any CRVL for the vessels unless the company has a trade license. The law has not changed, and even though the Premier made that announcement Customs is still guided by the law. So they are not accepting any applications for CRVLs if the company has not obtained their trade license. This situation basically has everyone who has yet to obtain a trade on a stand still. 


We are currently trying our best to figure out what this means for our clients and what is the way forward which seems very unclear at the present moment."


We'll keep you posted!  Keep checking back here.



We were able to glean a little more information today concerning the new requirements related to foreign vessel chartering within the BVI Territory.  As discussed in our last two updates, the BVI opened for Trade Licensing and Charter Recreational Vehicle Licensing on November 1st and our application/documents have been submitted for approval. 

After the November 12th announcement, we no longer need the Trade License for VIYC, and our Captains who work our Captain-only charters do not need a work permit to take our guests into BVI waters.  

Our boats DO need MCA Small Commercial Vessel Code of Safety, better known as Blue/Yellow Code.  This is the same vessel safety inspection standards used by the BVI Shipping Registry inspections.  US flagged vessels can no longer obtain these inspections from the BVI Shipping Registry, so we use a local company based here in St Thomas.  

Young woman snorkeling in turquoise tropical water among huge granite boulders at The Bath

A US flagged vessel of a USVI charter based charter company wishing to operate in the BVI must have either the SCVC (Small Commercial Vessel Certificate or Letter of Compliance) from CVLA or the Certificate of Inspection (COI) from the USCG to meet the requirement for a valid Vessel Safety Inspection Certification.  

The CRVL (Commercial Recreational Vessel License) issued by the BVI Finance Department is what we applied for earlier this month.  THAT is what we are waiting for at this point.

Again, hang tight . . . we're getting there!  LITERALLY!



Well, never a dull moment . . . . 

For those of you keeping up, you will understand the excitement AND frustration we are feeling right now in light of the continued difficulties over travel restrictions into the British Virgin Islands.  After being closed to foreign-flagged vessels for over two and a half years, the BVI Government and other agencies put into place a strenuous application process and opened up for registration/applications on November 1st (see blog below).  

Our team spent the last three months preparing for November 1st so we would be one of the first to get our applications submitted and approved in order for our guests, who choose to do so, to head into the BVI Territory.  And, as promised, we did just that.  

TWELVE DAYS LATER, the rules changed.  Well, at least some of them from what we can figure out.  

I know you all will see videos and posts from local publishings, but they are making it sound much easier than it actually is.

So, here's what we know:

The BVI and USVI Governments have come to an agreement that will hopefully make traveling between the two territories much easier.  Yep, that pretty much it.  That's all we know.

We will learn more over the next few days, so just hang tight if you have a charter coming up soon and know we are working on getting clarification on all the details and will pass that along as we possibly can.





Hard to believe, but it has been two and a half years since the British Virgin Islands first closed their “doors” to the world and effectively shut down a flourishing charter industry.  Companies, like ours, are still having to jump through seemingly endless hoops to in the hope of sending charter vessels into the BVI Territory.  Even after re-opening to charter companies based within the BVI and ferry service to and from St Thomas, foreign-flagged vessels, like ours, have not been allowed to travel between the two cruising grounds.


The impact on the charter business in the USVI and the local businesses in the BVI, especially on islands like Jost Van Dyke, has been tremendous.  But the US Virgin Islands answered the call as many new restaurants, beach bars, and other local industries stepped up to offset the resistance put in place by the BVI Government.  And, in doing so, tourism is alive and well in the USVI and doing better than ever before. 


With that being said, the BVI still calls, and we miss her.  Long days at Soggy Dollar with a Painkiller in hand or quiet nights at Cooper Island or Saba Rock are beginning to look like possibilities again.  With a new, cooperative effort between the two tourism boards and other government entities, there is hope.  Maybe not for the day charter business, but certainly for bareboat and crewed yachts wanting to spend a few days in the old familiar waters of the BVI. 


Beginning November 1st, charter companies like ours will be able to officially apply for BVI Trade Licensing and other special permits that, in the past, have not been required.  This is a significant expense to our boat owners and to our company alike, but we feel it would be doing our valued and loyal charter guests a huge disservice by not working through the process to make traveling to the BVI an option.


As mentioned in previous posts, we are working directly with an agency based in Tortola that is assisting us in pulling together all the required documents for our company and each vessel within our fleet to ensure we are ready to submit our application on November 1st.  Each of our yachts is going through extensive inspections to meet the rigorous requirements, (one might say obstacles), put in place with the recent changes.


Unfortunately, we do not know how long it will take to receive the final approval but are optimistic it will not be an extensive process once the paperwork is in place.  We also do not know what the fees will be to charter there and are hoping for clarification and clear guidelines for entry through BVI Customs and Immigration.


All we can say is that we feel you . . .  and our team here at Virgin Islands Yacht Charters is working hard to make available BOTH options when chartering with us.


We'll continue to keep you posted!

BVI Entry Application/Licensing Begins November 1st
for Foreign-Flagged Vessels and Charter Companies

October 15, 2022

BoatyBall Reference Guide

What is BoatyBall? Simply put, BoatyBall is a WebApp that allows you to reserve and pay for mooring balls in some locations in the BVI’s. It is important to understand that the App places mooring balls into two categories: Reservable and First Come First Serve (FCFS). FCFS mooring balls are not yet available, but will be added later. To use the App, look for mooring balls that have the BoatyBall Logo on them.

Reservations Only Moorings

These mooring balls are bright orange, a different shape, have numbers on them, and will have our logo clearly visible. Through the APP, you will be able to reserve any ball that is in the reservations only program.

Tips & Precautions: First and foremost, DO NOT TIE up to a reservations only mooring ball unless you have reserved it. DO NOT BE THAT CAPTAIN that ties up to a mooring ball reserved by someone else. Captains that violate this policy will have their accounts and boats suspended permanently. Make sure your mooring ball number you tie up to matches the ball number you reserved.

First Come First Serve

FCFS mooring balls are coming later in 2019.

These mooring balls will be white with our orange logo. FCFS moorings are exactly that - If you tie up to the mooring first, it is your mooring for as long as you wish to stay on it. This is the traditional method used throughout the BVI’s. The only difference is you can pay for each nights stay via the App. No need to carry cash or wait on a tender to arrive to collect money for the mooring.

Tip & Precautions: Not all mooring balls in the BVI’s are in the BoatyBall program. The ones that are in the program are properly maintained by Moore Seacure. In most locations, there are several different owners to the balls located in the mooring field. Not all moorings are on maintenance contracts. So, if you are going to use the APP to pay for a BoatyBall mooring, please ensure that you are tied up to one, you have the right bay selected in the App (easy to do with the locate me button) and it is a BoatyBall mooring BEFORE you pay for it. Failure to do so can result in the loss of your payment. Paying for a FCFS ball before tying up to it, DOES NOT RESERVE THE BALL FOR YOU.

For a printable version of the BoatyBall Reference Guide, please go to the Planning and FAQ page of our website and find the BoatyBall section.

Pictures, logo and info from

We still have space available for our ASA Sailing School MARCH 9TH - 15TH onboard a beautiful sailing catamaran with a certified ASA Instructor/Captain. Participation on this training charter will go a long way towards your qualifications for a bareboat charter with Virgin Islands Yacht Charters.


ASA Instructor/Captain $200.00

Customs and Immigration $166.00

7 Days Live-Aboard with Meals $2064.00

ASA Courses 103, 104, and 114 $745.00

TOTAL $3175.00


*Couples sailing instruction

Enjoy amazing Caribbean meals, local culture, and plenty of opportunities for snorkeling, sight-seeing, and just relaxing. Contact us today while space is still available. 340-776-8492

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