Currency and Credit Cards
The U.S. dollar is the currency of the B.V.I. All Major credit cards are accepted throughout the islands. American Express isn’t one of the most popular credit cards. Some but not all establishments do not accept Amex. In Tortola there is an ATM machine at West End, Road Town, Cane Garden Bay and East End. In Virgin Gorda there is an ATM machine at Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour. There is a 10 cent stamp duty on all checks and travellers checks.
Alcohol and Other Drugs
Alcohol is inexpensive and widely available. However, moderation is recommended for a safe and happy vacation in the British Virgin Islands. If you wish to experiment “islands flavor” don’t miss the “The Drinking Man’s Guide of the BVI” written by acclaimed Caribbean Writer, Julian Putley. There is some $300 worth of coupons for free drinks in the guide obtainable at the best bars and restaurants in the BVI.
The possession, sale, use or distribution of illegal drugs constitutes a criminal offence punishable by law and conviction on drug charges can lead to stiff fines and jail sentences.
A cruising permit is required for all cruising in B.V.I. waters. Dec. 1 – April 30 recorded charter boats: $2.00 per day; non-recorded boats: $4.00 per day. May 1 – Nov. 30 recorded charter boats: $0.75 per day; non-recorded boats: $4.00 per day.
Dive, day charter and sport fishing boats should contact the B.V.I. Customs Department for current Cruising Permit requirements. Recreational Fishing permits are issue by the Fisheries Division at 284 494 3428 for information
National Parks Trust – (284 494-3904). Boats are required to use mooring buoys at designated reef areas and must purchase a Marine Conservation Permit for their use. Buoys are color coded:
- Yellow, commercial dive boats;
- White, boat with divers;
- Orange, snorkel and day use;
- Blue, dinghy docks.
Private buoys on a fee per night basis are provided by Moor Secure Ltd. at locations throughout the B.V.I.
SALES TAX: There is no Sales Tax.
DEPARTURE TAX: A departure tax is $20.00 per person leaving by air, $5.00 leaving by sea and $7.00 for cruise ship passengers.
HOTEL ACCOMMODATION TAX: There is a 7% Hotel Accommodation Tax payable by guests who stay for six months or less in hotels, villas.
For information regarding requirements on getting married in the Territory, contact: Registrar’s Office, Box 418, Road Town, Tortola, B.V.I. or phone (284) 494-3701, Ext 5001 or (284) 494-3492.
Pets will not be admitted without prior clearance. For regulations on pets entering the Territory, write well in advance to the Chief Agricultural Officer, Road Town, Tortola, B.V.I., Tel: (284) 495-2451 or call the Humane Society of the B.V.I, Tel: (284) 494-2284.
Beach attire worn elsewhere tends to offend residents. Please wear suitable attire (no bare chests or midriffs) around shopping and commercial areas.
There are many religious denominations in the islands. For example:
Cane Garden Bay Methodist Church (284 495 4245)
New life Baptist Church (284 494 4104)
St William’s Catholic Church (284 494 2690)
St. Paul’s Anglican Church (284 494 4732)
Moravian Church (284 4941303).
Please be aware of the caustic sap, fruit and leaves of the Manchioneel (or Poison Apple tree) tree. They are often found at beaches. The fruit looks like a miniature apple
For police or ambulance: Dial 911
For Visar ( Virgin Islands Search and Rescue) – Dial 911. This is a volunteer organization dedicated to saving lives at sea in the British Virgin Islands): Dial 24 hrs 499 0911 or VHF radio channel 16 or dial 767 form any telephone from outside BVI. In case of an emergency in essential to keep the channel of communication open, stay with the channel at all times.
CCT Global Communications uses TDMA digital networks and any analogue phone will work with their system. CDMA and GSM networks will not work in the BVI. You can bring your own phone and have it activated here at your arrival. If you don’t have a TDMA cell phone, you can rent one from CCT.
At sea most charter companies equip their yachts with phones. See company for details.
Most hotels & villas and crewed yachts offer internet connections. Some yachts are equipped with a full office facility for those of you that need to keep in touch with the world of business.
For some of you that stay on shore in places that don’t offer Internet, you will find Internet services at: Village Cay Marina in Road Town, Internet Cafe Trellis Bay ( Beef Island), Loose Mongoose Bar and Restaurant ( Beef Island), Samarkand Jewelry store (West End) and Nanny Cay Marina.