Press Release

His Majesty’s Customs
Release Date:
Thursday, 7 July 2016 - 5:04pm

Boaters, agents and marine charter companies are reminded to remain compliant with the Commercial Recreational Vessels Licencing Act No.8 of 1992 and Cruising Permit Ordinance.

Commissioner of Customs, Mr. Wade Smith said recently there has been a number of boaters coming into the Territory’s waters without the proper licences and cruising permits. Additionally, boat captains are being hired via social media and are operating without the proper licences.

He said the detection of these violations has been a collaborative effort of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, the Immigration Department and the Customs Department.

The Commissioner  further stated that the Commercial Recreational Vessels Licencing Act No.8 of 1992 section 3 (1) states that no person hired  for payment or reward should operate an unlicenced commercial recreational boat for use in the Territorial waters whether the boat  is foreign or local without first obtaining a licence.

He added that the Cruising Permit Ordinance also states that no charter boat shall cruise in the Territorial sea without first obtaining a cruising permit from the Commissioner of Customs or an authorised person.

Mr. Smith is encouraging boaters to not only get familiar with the Customs Legislations but the other laws of the Territory.

He stated, “After conducting audits we have identified that boaters are also in violation of other laws enforced by other agencies, such as the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs, Immigration and Labour Departments.” 

Mr. Smith said agents and marine charter companies should do their due diligence and contact the Customs Department to get information on the Standard Process of obtaining marine licences and cruising permits. He added that the department is in the process of producing a Customs Procedure Manual that will aid in assisting boaters with all the requirements of the department.

The Customs Department remains committed to protecting the Territory’s boarders and facilitating legitimate trade efficiently, effectively and economically in order to safeguard its well-being and security.


Sheriece T. Smith

Information Officer II 
Dept. of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468- 2740