Press Release

His Majesty’s Customs
Release Date:
Thursday, 6 October 2016 - 10:59am

Her Majesty’s Customs Department is doing its part to reform its licencing processes to provide an effective one-stop licencing destination to all its stakeholders.

Effective Monday, October 17, all annual commercial vessel licences and temporary vessel importation licences will only be processed at the Road Town Customs station located at Waterfront Drive.

Commissioner of Customs, Mr. Wade Smith said that in an effort to maintain consistency and uniformity within the department, the issuance of commercial vessel licences will now be centralised.

Commissioner Smith said, “As of October 17, no Customs station other than the Road Town Customs station at the Waterfront Drive will be accepting or issuing annual commercial vessel licences and temporary vessel importation licences. This is all in an effort to centralise our licencing processes and to create a one-stop processing destination for all of our stakeholders.”

He added, “Her Majesty’s Customs understands that this process will take some adjusting to, especially for persons who are familiar with processing their licences at various ports. However, providing a single point of contact is not only convenient to those involved, but it also allows for our department to work towards developing a culture of consistency.”

Once the procedure goes into effect on Monday, October 17, all diving, bareboat and day-sail charter companies are requested to renew their commercial vessel licence by submitting a copy of an up-to-date trade licence, in addition to a letter outlining the businesses’ operations, an operational contact number, and a valid address.

Persons who do not possess a commercial vessel licence are encouraged to become familiar with the Customs legislations and the other laws of the Territory.

The Commercial Recreational Vessels Licencing Act No. 8 of 1992 section 3 (1) states that no person shall offer for hire, for payment or for reward, any unlicenced commercial recreational vessel for use in the Territorial waters whether such vessel is foreign based or home based.

According to section 3 (2), an application for a licence shall be made by the owner or the operator of the vessel in the appropriate form.

Section 3 (3) states that at the time of making the initial application, the form should be accompanied by a business plan outlining the proposed operation; details of the numbers of persons to be employed on a permanent or seasonal basis; details as to how the operation is to be financed; and copies of vessel registration documents and insurance certificate.

For more information, persons should contact Her Majesty’s Customs Department by telephone (284) 468-6801 or by email at

The Customs Department remains committed to protecting the Territory’s borders and facilitating legitimate trade efficiently, effectively, and economically in order to safeguard the well-being of the people of the Virgin Islands.


Bria Smith

Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
Telephone: 468-2747