The government has issued a public reminder that, starting today (September 1), several categories of visitors arriving in the British Virgin Islands will be charged $10 as an Environmental and Tourism levy.
It again noted that the new fee will be used to protect the environment.
“It will be applied towards activities related to environmental protection and improvement, minimizing climate change, maintaining developing tourism sites and other tourism activities,” said a release from the Government Information Service.
It explained how the fee will be collected.
“The immigration officer will stamp the visitor’s Entry and Departure (ED) card on arrival at the port of entry. The visitor will present the stamped ED card to the Customs officer, who will collect the monies and issue an environmental and tourism levy ticket. Payments using cash and all major credit and debit cards will be accepted.”
The government also reminded the public that the legislation makes provision for some categories of persons to be exempted from paying the new fee.
Those exempted are:
- Residents and Belongers
- Non-residents two years old or under
- Officers of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
- Guests of the Government of the Virgin Islands
- Official representatives of the Government of any country/territory
- Persons accorded diplomatic privileges in accordance with the Diplomatic Privileges Ordinance
- Persons exempted by the Minister by Order published in the Gazette. Cruise ship passengers are included in this category.
The government said other exemptions include visitors arriving in the British Virgin Islands on a second or subsequent occasion in the course of the same visit, persons in transit who do not leave the airport or dock when they arrive, crew of vessels as well as cruise passengers arriving via cruise lines.
“Belongers residing outside of the territory are not required to pay the levy, but must provide the immigration officer with their Belongers Card or British Virgin Islands passport as proof of their status,” the government further said.
The Environmental Protection and Tourism Improvement Fund Act 2017, which facilitates implementation of the new fee, was passed in the House of Assembly on June 9. It was gazetted on June 12.