St. Thomas to the British Virgin Islands Ferry Situation
Seems to have deteriorated instead of getting better. Last we heard, the Fast Ferry from Charlotte Amalie to Road Town was not leaving at the regular scheduled departure times. There are also a couple of ferries with maintenance issues Last week we heard of passengers from two ferries being put on to one ferry because the other was not functional, etc.
In summary a mess. Bottom line: If you can arrange to fly in and out of Tortola instead of taking the ferry, do so.
Sea Bourne Airlines flies from San Juan into Tortola and there is also a small commuter airline from St. Thomas to Tortola called Sunshine that is worthwhile looking at, at least until the ferry situation is resolved. Will hopefully know more in a couple of weeks after my trip to the BVI next week.
Dockage in Miami
Good dockage is not only becoming more difficult to find but prices will be going up. This situation is also likely to get worse rather than better as more and more commercial venue boats (party yachts) are scheduled to arrive. Existing dockage will also be curtailed due to a huge development and expansion to the existing Bayside Marketplace and MiaMarina.
The move to build a 1,000-foot observation tower on Miami’s waterfront could be the catalyst for a major upgrade to Bayside Marketplace. The boomerang-shaped high-profile commercial development promised in new leases the Miami City Commission approved last week to sink $27 million to $35 million into renovations. Not really good news for boaters or charter vessels.
New Regulations in Croatia
New Regulations for Charter and VAT in Croatia for upcoming season. Dorijan Dujmic, Managing Partner of BWA Yachting – Croatia has just returned from a meeting at the Ministry in Zagreb regarding VAT on charter and other related issues. There are several important updates.
The main topics are the following:
1. VAT on charters in Croatia has been set at 13% for charters starting in Croatia.
2. Charters in Croatia can be performed by Croatian flagged yachts and EU flagged yachts.
3. Third country flagged yachts (non-EU with registered length over 40 meters) can ONLY perform charter if they obtain a charter license. (Again, this applies only for yachts over 40m registered length.)
The cost of the license will not be high and according to current information available will be approximately 300-400 Euro.
Expedited Clearance into the United States
Here is the link where one can apply for the expedited entry into the US from foreign soil. The application requires your passport details and driving license info, plus $100 payment, but it also allows you to skip the line entirely at Customs when arriving into the US. It also automatically enrolls you for the TSA Pre-Check, which allows expedited transfer through the Security Checkpoints when exiting the US.
I’ve just applied today, and will be notified by email when my application is approved and after a personal interview. After spending nearly 1.5 hours in line in Newark, taking two buses and a second security check, then having only seconds to spare before they closed the gate on my connecting flight, I’m not going to stress over it again. For $100, it will be absolutely worth it!
MYBA Charter Contract Tested in Court
The jurisdiction Clause 23 – Arbitration & Law of the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association charter contract was tested in the Antibes Tribunal (South of France) on Monday 21st October 2013. A third party broker chartered the yacht SECRET LIFE in summer 2013 for their client – there were a number of unsatisfactory issues during the charter.
The charterer complained in the correct way during the charter, the charter continued, ended and still negotiations were taking place for an amount of compensation to the charterer – therefore the amount that was being claimed continued to be held in the client account of the stakeholder under the MYBA Charter Agreement.
A formal notice of arbitration was served to try and bring the negotiations to a close – however the negotiations then failed.
In the meantime, the owner of SECRET LIFE had served a demand for payment in Antibes with the local Tribunal for the amount being held by the stakeholder on its client account.
The stakeholder, firmly believing that the Antibes Tribunal had no jurisdiction over the MYBA Charter Agreement, which is governed by English law according to Clause 23, and that it could not be forced to pay out funds being held as stakeholder under the Charter Agreement, decided to test the clause and go to court.
The Antibes Tribunal ruled on November 4th 2013 that it had no jurisdiction over the MYBA Charter Contract and the case was thrown out. This is great news for the MYBA Charter Contract which has proved its strength against a serious challenge.
Visitors to Turkey Require a Visa
United States Citizens going to Turkey on vacation, now require a visa. However, the Republic of Turkey is offering an e-Visa option for entry at Ataturk Airport. Make sure you have the proper travel documentation before you embark on your trip to avoid disruptions and cancellations.
E-Visas can be obtained easily anywhere our clients have an internet connection and streamlines their arrival by avoiding the line up at a VISA window before passing immigration to enter Turkey. Applications in English and more information can be found at
Bahamas VAT News
We have been in touch with an industry envoy who just returned from a meeting in the Bahamas in regard to the VAT tax as it relates to yacht charters. Our goal was to keep the 4% tax charged on the charter fee the same AND to assist the government with obtaining more of these 4% payments.
We suggested an easier “on line payment” be available. They were receptive and positive in regard to working with us. At this point there is nothing formal, but we are hopeful that things will work themselves out in everyone’s best interest.
We’d like to assure anyone asking that AYCA, FYBA and BWA are all working along with the Bahamian government to promote charters in the Bahamas. We will keep you updated if anything official or more formal comes up.
We’ll keep you all posted. In the meantime if anyone has questions about any of the above news snippets, please call us at 877-759-8263 or use our contact form .