While sailing the BVI, you may decide you'd like to visit St, Thomas or St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. No problem! However, you must
clear the yacht and crew through both Customs and Immigration. I know it's tempting to skip that bit and just sail over to St. John for the night ... but please
Yacht Clearance Procedures:
- Be sure you have the ships documents and registration with you.
- Canadian, Bermudian and of course U.S. citizens may enter the U.S. Virgin Islands aboard a private yacht ... provided you have a current passport with at least 6 months left before it expires.
- UK citizens and persons from most other countries will require a visa to enter the USVI aboard anything other than a commercial carrier ... such as a ferry or plane. Please check with your consulate to find out if you will require a visa before you arrive in the British Virgin Islands. If you do not want to bother with the visa application process, anyone who does not fit the criteria may take the ferry and meet you in St. Thomas or St. John.
- Ensure that everyone aboard has their passport, it is up to date and has at least 6 months left before it expires. Anyone who does not have a passport will not be admitted.
- It is a good idea to print a few copies of your crew manifest to bring with you. Having your crew manifest neatly typed up will save time when clearing through Customs and Immigration in both the BVI and USVI.
There are 5 Ports of Entry & Exit in the BVI
- Road Town - Tortola
- Open Daily from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm
- Soper's Hole - Tortola
- Open Monday to Saturday from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
- Sunday and all public holidays from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
- Great Harbour - Jost Van Dyke
- Open Daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
- St. Thomas Bay, Spanish Town - Virgin Gorda
- Open Monday to Saturday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
- Gun Creek, North Sound - Virgin Gorda
- Open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
- Saturday & Sunday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
: Some of the charter companies have tracking devices on their yachts. They will know if you cleared the yacht in and out properly or not!
Keep in mind too that should the yacht be confiscated by Customs or Immigration on either side of the border, whomever signed the yacht charter contract will be held financially liable for any and all losses or damages, including any delays to the start of the next charter. That's not a pleasant thought, so please do the right thing. :)