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Legal analysis by Harneys lawyers

Importation of yachts into the BVI

Publication Date:
23 February 2017

The primary issues that a person intending to import a yacht into the BVI needs to consider are import duties and satisfaction of any applicable regulatory/licensing requirements.

The starting point takes us to the Customs Management and Duties Act, 2010 (the Customs Act), which provides for import duties on items imported into the Territory. The Customs Act provides for a duty to be levied where the yacht in question is imported into the Territory. The precursor legislation to the Customs Act established a regime for the importation and re-importation of vessels free of duty if certain conditions were met; this was replaced by the duty exemption regime created under the Commercial Recreational Vessels Licensing Act, 1992 (the CRVL Act). The BVI has been the premier charter-boat jurisdiction for many years. The licensing regime encourages this industry by relieving the commercial yacht owner of needing to pay substantial initial import duties (which may be burdensome if there are multiple boats). Instead, the duty is indirectly recouped over time by way of a licence fee.

Read more about Harneys in the British Virgin Islands.

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