Ministry of Finance News, Bulletins, and Speeches

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Now that the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) programme under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) is approved, and the financing agreement signed, the BVI, which serves as the Deputy Regional Authorising Officer (DRAO), is moving ahead with the project that is expected to assist businesses in both the British and Dutch Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

The project financing agreement was signed on Wednesday in Ilulissat, Greenland by Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith in his capacity as DRAO, while Deputy Director-General of EuropeAid Mr. Marcus Cornmaro, signed on behalf of the EU.

The approval of the project, worth approximately €15 million (over $20 million) allows the Government of the Virgin Islands to proceed with setting up the related administrative operations and headquarters in the Territory. The BVI deputised Curacao to manage the project among the Dutch OCTs, while retaining oversight responsibility for the entire project.




Representing the Territory’s interests at the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) Ministerial Conference, Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, said the event was a success in strengthening the BVI’s relationship with the European Union (EU) and other Overseas Countries (OCTs).

The conference, held on September 25, took place in Ilulissat, Greenland. Premier Smith joined the leaders of 25 other OCTs to discuss green growth and the revision of the EU’s Overseas Association Decision (OAD) that governs the relationship between the EU and OCTs.


In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Honourable Smith said, “This year’s Ministerial Conference was successful in that the OCT leaders were able to come together to discuss the important revisions of the OAD, that will undoubtedly




Vice Premier of Greenland Mr. Jens B. Fredriksen, other fellow Heads of Government, Heads of Delegations, Ministers, delegates and guests, a pleasant good afternoon.

I would like to first express my appreciation to OCTA Chairman Premier Kuupik Kleist for the opportunity to sit on this distinguished panel alongside my colleagues from the Caribbean region as we discuss financial services and tourism in the context of green growth, our theme,


as well as within the context of the ongoing revision of the Overseas Association Decision (OAD), which I will touch on later.

As most of you are aware, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) economy is a services-based economy that remains highly dependent on tourism and financial services.  These two critical industries account for nearly 50% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Notably financial services is the...





Finance officers across Government are enhancing their awareness of their responsibilities in ensuring the Government of the Virgin Islands not only complies with the Protocols for Effective Financial Management, but also their fiduciary responsibility to the people of this Territory.

The briefings began on September 12 with officers that represented various Government agencies including Treasury, Inland Revenue Department, Ministry of Finance, BVI Post, Education and Health.

Speaking about the protocols in an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith said, “This agreement cements a partnership between this Territory and the United Kingdom; in which the Government of the Virgin Islands committed publicly to manage public funds responsibly, improve accountability and increase transparency pertaining to all the decisions, activities and operations of the Government.”

In a separate interview, Deputy Financial Secretary and briefing facilitator, Mr. Wendell Gaskin said, “These briefings are facilitated to ensure that all Government finance and accounts officers are well versed with the particulars of the Protocols. We want them to understand that this is a binding agreement between the Government and the people of this Territory to ensure public finances are managed responsibly.”





In promoting the BVI as a choice jurisdiction for yacht registration, the Territory’s newest ports of registration, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke and Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda, are being highlighted in discussions at the Monaco Yacht Show by Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE.

The show attracts over 28,000 visitors to southern France; including brokers, designers, equipment manufacturers, shipyards and other members of the luxury yacht industry.

 




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE was visited by representatives of the international trust and corporate business leader, Mossack Fonseca on Friday, September 14, 2012.
L – r Chief Executive Officer Mr. Ruben Hernandez; Director and Partner Mr. Jurgen Mossack; Honourable Premier; Managing Director of Mossack Fonseca’s BVI branch Mrs. Rosemarie Flax; Directors/ partners Messrs. Ramon Fonseca and Christoph Zollinger. The group’s visit is in time for the Mossack Fonseca BVI branch’s 25th anniversary celebrations. Also, the visit is in line with Government’s mission to enhance and solidify the BVI’s reputation as a pre-eminent financial services jurisdiction through establishing and improving its relationship with the private sector. (Photo Credit: GIS/ Mr. Reynold Corum).




The Ministry of Finance - Procurement Unit is accepting bids for a 2010 Grey Hyundai Getz located at  the Central Administration Complex parking lot (East Wing).  The starting price is  $8,000.00.  The best offer will be accepted.

Bids should be submitted no later than the 5th October, 2012 to:

The Ministry of Finance
Procurement Unit
RFG Place, Third Floor
Waterfront Drive, Tortola VG1110
British Virgin Islands
 




The Ministry of Communications and Works, the Executing Agency, wishes to procure consultancy services to undertake a drainage assessment for storm-water flood risk reduction within the capital, Road Town, catchment area. 

Status: Closed




ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED BY
THE MEMBER FOR THE FIRST DISTRICT TO THE HONOURABLE PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE
AT THE FIRST SITTING OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE SECOND HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
MONDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER, 2012

Question 1

Madam Speaker, would the Minister of Finance please tell this Honourable House what year was the ReserveFund established by the House of Assembly or the then Legislative Council ofthe Virgin Islands?




ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED BY
THE MEMBER FOR THE THIRD DISTRICT TO THE HONOURABLE PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE
AT THE FIRST SITTING OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE SECOND HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
MONDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER, 2012


Question 1

Madam Speaker, the Honourable Premier and Minister of Finance in an answer regarding the cash balance of the Reserve Fund as of July 15th 2012 stated that the balance was twenty two million, four




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE joins in congratulating Her Ladyship, the Honourable Justice Janice Mesadis Pereira who will soon become the first female chief justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court when Her Majesty the Queen signs the letters patent.

 According to Premier, "I was excited when I received this news. I am pleased that another Virgin Islander is making history for these beautiful Virgin Islands."

Justice Pereira, formerly Janice George-Creque, is from Virgin Gorda. She has been appointed to act as chief Justice and president of the Court of Appeal effective August 1, 2012.

"I congratulate Mrs. Pereira for her continued and steadfast commitment to the field of law, locally and regionally. I have known her to be very professional, forthright, progressive and dedicated not only to her personal and professional development, but to her contribution in building law abiding communities," Premier Smith explained.

He said, "She followed her dream and has now reached the highest pinnacle in her profession. I encourage other Virgin Islanders to follow her lead: dream big and bring those dreams to reality through hard work, commitment, and perseverance. That is how success happens."




Premier Smith told the Department of Information and Public Relations that he commends and congratulates Mrs. Scatliffe who retired after over three decades of dedicated service to the banking industry.

Honourable Smith said during her tenure, Mrs. Scatliffe assisted in raising the profile of the bank with an aggressive advertising campaign to promote the bank’s range of services.

Honourable Smith said during her tenure, Mrs. Scatliffe assisted in raising the profile of the bank with an aggressive advertising campaign to promote the bank’s range of services.

“The bank also became more responsive to its customers’ needs by extending its hours of operation to 3:00 p.m.,” according to Premier Smith.




 

The Government of the Virgin Islands (VIGOV) is desirous of building a cruise terminal that integrates the seamless transfer of passenger from the latest class of cruise ship to the shores of the Virgin Islands and a heightened cruise experience within walking distance, through the availability of shops and leisure activities to these passengers.

Status: Closed





Good Morning:

I am especially pleased to be here today to witness the official launching of this initiative that is aimed at improving our infrastructure, both through some selected projects and more importantly through the development of better building practices and strong regulations.

First I would like to thank the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and its staff and make special mention of its former president Dr. Compton Bourne and current president Dr. Warren Smith, whose graciousness have facilitated the events we see unfolding here today.




Works to rehabilitate, upgrade, and reconstruct the damaged roads and drainage in the Territory will soon commence as the Government of the Virgin Islands in conjunction with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) launch the Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project on Monday, July 30.

According to Director of Communications Arliene T. Penn, the launch of the project is two-fold: (1) It includes a brief ceremony to provide an overview of how the rehabilitation, upgrade and reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure will be approached; and, (2) immediately following the launch is the procurement training for two days to explain to project staff the expectations and procedures of the works to be completed.During the launch, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool and Chief Economist of Caribbean Development Bank, Mr. Carl Howell will give remarks.

Mrs. Penn said, “The Government is eager to move forward with this initiative as it stems to improve the quality of life not only for residents of the Virgin Islands, but our visitors. Furthermore, the Government believes that an improved road




In highlighting the success stories of the British Virgin Islands’ financial services industry and the Territory’s role in the global economy, the BVI International Finance Centre recently launched its first online newsletter, “BVI Finance”.

The newsletter, found online at www.bviifc.gov.vg, features articles, legislative updates, industry news and upcoming events. Highlights from the BVI Financial Services Commission are also included. 

In this issue’s welcome message, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, stated: “Our aim is to showcase how the BVI is playing a full role in the global economy, and through a commitment to high standards, offering a sophisticated array of quality products and services in financial management for the discerning clientele.”

Premier Smith noted the BVI’s strength is found in its leadership in meeting the needs of international business, adding, “The BVI has a proud tradition of providing a competitive business environment, while still meeting international best practice standards of regulation and good governance.”

The Honourable Premier stated that this month’s issue of BVI Finance highlights the strong




As the emancipation celebrations continue, the public is invited to attend the August Tuesday, Festival Sloop Races on Tuesday, August 7th from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon at Nanny Cay Beach.

Governor Boyd McCleary, CMG, CVO on board MoonBeam will challenge Premier Dr. the Honorable D. Orlando Smith on board Sea Moon and President of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College Mr. Karl Dawson on board Youth Instructor.

Persons are encouraged to watch the cultural races in traditional sloops built by local shipwrights. The winner will receive $2,000 to donate to a charity of their choice.

For more information, contact Mr. Geoffrey Brookes, Curator of the Virgin Islands Maritime Museum and race organiser at 852-7169.




The BVI Post Office is inviting the public to its Customer Appreciation Day on Friday, August 3 at its new location in the Maduro Building near the Road Town roundabout.

Visitors will receive more information on new services, such as EZ Shopper, and treated to lots of giveaways.

The BVI Post thanks the public for their continued patronage and wishes everyone a safe and happy Emancipation celebration. For more information, telephone 468-5160/5162 or 5163.




ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED BY
THE MEMBER FOR THE THIRD DISTRICT TO THE PREMIER
AT THE EIGHTH SITTING OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE SECOND HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY HELD ON TUESDAY 24th JULY, 2012

Question 1

Madam Speaker could the Honourable Premier and Minister of Finance please tell this Honourable House what were the cash balances of the




ANSWER TO QUESTION ASKED BY
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION TO THE PREMIER
AT THE EIGHTH SITTING OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE SECOND HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY HELD ON TUESDAY 24th JULY, 2012 

Question 1

Madam Speaker, would the Honourable Premier and Minister of Finance please tell this Honourable House how many Tax Information and Exchange




BVI House in London is officially designated the Territory’s National House for the London 2012 Olympics. As such, BVI residents and supporters visiting London are invited to watch the games and cheer on the BVI Olympic Team.


Enis Adams Hawks Club Dancers

BVI House was officially designated an Olympic House by the London Olympic Organising committee.

At the welcome reception and post flag raising ceremony for the BVI Olympic Team on July 17, BVI London Office Director  Mr. Kedrick Malone remarked, “We are proud to have BVI House serve as the Territory’s official




BVI-US LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO DETER TRANSNATIONAL CRIME
Group photo of the Puerto Rico/ United States Virgin Islands
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Executive Committee
at the Moorings on Wednesday, July 18, 2012.
(Photo credit: GIS/ Ronnielle Frazer)

Following yesterday’s discussions of the USVI Executive Committee of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) programme, law enforcement agencies in the Virgin Islands are better equipped to protect the Territory’s borders from transnational crime.

The HIDTA programme was

established to reduce trafficking through the enhancement and coordination of drug control efforts among law enforcement agencies.




The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is committed to maintaining its position of zero tolerance to organised crime and terrorist financing to ensure that the jurisdiction remains reputable.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE said the United Nations (UN) Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (also known as the Palermo Convention) and the UN International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (the Terrorist Financing Convention) have both been extended to the BVI and came into force on June 20. Both conventions were extended through declarations by the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

According to Premier Smith, “With both conventions being extended to the BVI, we can continue to speak highly of our reputation as a compliant jurisdiction in the areas of border security, financial services and international cooperation.”

He added, “Keeping up with international standards is key in participating in the global economy.”
Prior to the




In its continued quest to boost and diversify various sectors of the economy, the Government of the Virgin Islands has sought technical assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat.

According to Director of Trade and Consumer Affairs Ms. Lizette George, the Commonwealth Secretariat through the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC) is conducting a comprehensive assessment to determine the areas for economic growth and development.

BVI TAPS INTO COMMONWEALTH FUND FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Mrs.
Rosalie Adams, Director of Trade and Consumer
Affairs Ms.Lizette George and Assistant
Secretary (Premier’s Office) Mrs. Elvia Smith-
Maduro met with representatives from the
Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation
Messrs. Adeyemi Ogunmeffun and Jose Maurel,
where discussions focused on trade and the
European Union funded Small and Medium
Enterprise Project.
(Photo credit: GIS/ Ronnielle Frazer)

Last week, representatives from the CFTC Messrs. Jose Maurel and Adeyemi Ogunmeffun visited the Territory for the initial phase of the assessment, by meeting with Government stakeholders to discuss public service, health, tourism, trade, small business and vocational education.

Ms. George said the assessment, which is being conducted in partnership with the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs, is the first step in determining strategies to bolster the economy. The trade director said the assessment falls under the department’s remit for




The BVI Post Office is reminding the public of its new location in the Maduro building near the Road Town roundabout.

Persons wishing to contact the office can telephone 468-3701 extension 5160/5162 or 5163. 




In maintaining the Territory’s position as a reputable financial services centre, three BVI firms have received top ranks in the 2012 Offshore Law Firm Awards.

BVI firm Ogier was named Offshore Law Firm of the year by leading global publication, The Lawyer. BVI firms Harneys and Maples and Calder were runners up.

In extending congratulations, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, told the Department of Information and Public Relations that he is pleased with the continued commitment of the firms, adding that the Territory is further being recognised as a reputable jurisdiction in offshore law.

“The awards reflect the quality of the legal and support services available to companies wishing to do business in the BVI,” Premier Smith said.

In an invited comment, Managing Partner of Ogier's BVI office Mr. Ray Wearmouth said, “The top three places went to firms who have significant BVI practices both locally and around the world. The BVI has an excellent body of law firms who work well together to promote our first class global offering.




Invitation for Expression of Interest (EOI)-cum-Request for Qualification for Design, Finance & Construction Services for an intermodal transportation center including an Extension of existing Runway at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport.

Status: Closed




Madam Speaker, Honourable Members will be aware that the BVI Financial Services Commission is celebrating its 10th year of service to the community having commenced its operations in 2002.

I know Honourable Members would want to join me in congratulating the Board of Commissioners and the Commission and its employees for their sterling contribution to the development of the BVI financial services industry over the years. Members would also want me to implore the Commission’s Board and management to continue to shape the regulatory policies, practices and procedures with a view to ensuring the continued viability and competitiveness of the Virgin Islands as a jurisdiction of choice for the conduct of legitimate financial services business.

Honourable Members will recall that prior to 2002 much of the work done by both the FSC and IFC were done by a government department, the Financial Services Department. With the enactment of the Financial Services Commission Act, 2001, the FSC was established in January, 2002. The move from a Government department to an autonomous regulatory and




Madam Speaker, I rise to make a statement on an initiative that has been launched by the United States Government and has the potential to not only significantly affect our business practices here in the Virgin Islands, but also to impact the lives of many of our citizens who currently have dual citizenship.
By this I mean residents of this Territory who are US citizens, or are Green Card holders.

This initiative Madam Speaker, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FATCA as it is commonly called was enacted as part of the HIRE Act (Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment), by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the US Treasury, and is expected to come into force in the coming year 2013. It will affect the lives of individuals in, and manner of doing business with, every country around the world that has US citizens living and or working within their borders.

Madam Speaker, according to laws of the United States, the US taxpayer is liable for tax on their global income. The purpose of FATCA




Legislative Council of the Virgin Islands for its first and only reading. That Bill was the product of many months of drafting, research and stakeholder consultation and provided for comprehensive regulation of Virgin Islands legal practitioners.
The express objects and purpose of the 2007 Bill, included but were not limited to:

  1. Providing for fusion of the various branches of the legal profession within the Virgin Islands;
  2. Providing for admission of legal practitioners to practice law; and
  3. Providing for discipline of legal practitioners.

To ensure that these objectives were achieved, the 2007 Bill, among other things, established a General Legal Council to provide regulatory oversight of the legal profession. Generally speaking, the powers vested in the General Legal Council are related to a number of important areas, including the following:

  1. monitoring and establishing standards for admission and enrollment of legal practitioners;
  2. promoting observance of the rule of law and supporting the administration of justice in the Virgin Islands; and
  3. protecting the public interest with respect to the practice of law in the Virgin Islands.




Madam Speaker, I am indeed pleased that a new White Paper has been developed to speak to the relationship between the British Government and its Overseas Territories.

As a major nation of the world, the United Kingdom has had special relationships with many territories, large and small, most of which have over many years progressed to independence and are now Nations in their own right contributing to global commerce.

Many continue to have a relationship within the British Commonwealth.

There are others such as the BVI, much smaller which have retained that special relationship and are today known as Overseas Territories, and for whom that relationship continues to be important.

This relationship continues to evolve as the 14 territories seek more and more self-government within that framework. Public statements have been made from time to time about the evolution of that relationship such as are contained in the recently released White Paper.

The White paper developed and published prior to this one recognised the aspirations of the people of the territories in that regard and set out a partnership between




Madam Speaker, stimulating and fixing the economy in an effort to enhance the quality of life of the people of these Virgin Islands continues to be the number one priority of my Government. There is no matter that is of greater urgency. Madam Speaker, this is the reality that continues to be brought home to me and my colleagues everyday when we meet with citizens, employees, employers and business people from all over this Territory, representing small and large businesses, local and foreign alike.

Madam Speaker, at the sitting of this Honourable House on December 19th 2011, I made a statement on the appointment of a new Board of Directors for the BVI Tourist Board. Subsequently, on January 12th 2012, I spoke at a Tourism Stakeholders Meeting at the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College. Madam Speaker today I want to give this Honourable House an update on some of the principal areas of focus of the new Board.




Dormant or inactive accounts will soon be transferred to the Government of the Virgin Islands and monies will be used to increase the reserve fund, in accordance with the Dormant Accounts Act, 2011.

According to the legislation, dormant accounts are bank accounts that have not been used for more than seven years.

Prior to the commencement of the act, inactive accounts were managed by banks. The shift in management from the banks to the Government of the Virgin Islands will begin tomorrow, June 21, when banks will publish lists of all accounts which show no activity, in accordance with the legislation.

The publishing of the dormant accounts lists is in accordance with Part II, of the Dormant Accounts Act Section 6 (2), which states: “an institution shall publish or cause to be published at a conspicuous position in the Gazette and in two newspapers of wide circulation in the Territory, a notice containing a list of dormant accounts....”

All banks are mandated by law to publish a list of all inactive accounts in both the Gazette,




Let me first say, congratulations, Class of 2012! You did it!

You made the sacrifices you needed to make and you put in the hard work needed and now you are here today to get your well-earned degree. I and all my colleagues are very proud of you. We are looking forward to hearing more great things about all of you as you continue your journey on the path of life.

It is my dearest hope that you will take the lessons you’ve learned here at HLSCC with you out in the world to make our beloved Virgin Islands a better place to live and work.

For years you have sat in your classrooms, listening to the voices of your teachers, studying your books, learning and sharing new ideas. The knowledge written in your textbooks reflects the most up-do-date information known to humankind.

Your lecturers and professors have studied the great questions of the day and examined our past to provide you with the information you need to be




 

Good morning to everyone.

I am pleased to be here this morning to speak on behalf of our Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith who is presently in St. Vincent and the Grenadines attending sessions for the 55th Meeting of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority.

Students of the Elmore Stoutt High School, today is a new beginning for you and for the life of this institution.

Libraries are precious and wonderful places. They are the repositories of human learning throughout the ages. The books on their shelves contain entire worlds, stories of great imagination, histories of the great and the good. In our libraries,




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE is presently attending sessions for the 55th Meeting of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Agenda items include discussions for the OECS Economic Union, OECS Work Programme, Activities in Support of the Free Circulation of Goods, Commencement of Operations of the Economic Affairs Council, Report on the OECS-EU Relationship and the Inauguration of the OECS Assembly. – Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE is presently attending sessions for the 55th Meeting of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Under the 2007 Constitution Order, the Government of the BVI holds responsibility for external affairs matters as they relate to regional organisations like the OECS. The Territory is an associate member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States since November 1984. Other members and associate member are Antigua and Barbuda,




Ladies and gentlemen, we are here this morning as a collective body:

  • to identify the underlying elements of crime;
  • to examine the impact of crime on our Territory; and
  • to begin the process of creating strategies that will deter and reduce future criminal activity.

As you know, I am enthused about building this ‘Great Little Nation’.

A ‘Great Little Nation’ where the Territory’s business leaders, religious leaders, neighbourhood activists and other prominent members in the community commit to doing their part to help combat crime.

A ‘Great Little Nation’ where regardless of our diversity we come together as one community to fight this crime disease with every ounce of our being.

A ‘Great Little Nation’ where crime becomes a stranger in our islands.

And, a ‘Great Little Nation’ where we are embracing decades of hard work built by a generation of visionaries who have laid the foundation for the BVI that is now the envy of our region.

But while this is so, and while we are basking in







The Town and Country Planning Department is informing the public that the draft plan and report for the Carrot Bay Community Development Plan 2010 – 2020 is available for review at the BVI Post Office, Methodist and Seventh-day Adventist churches in Carrot Bay and the Town and Country Planning Department office in the West Atrium of the Central Administration Building and the Road Town Public Library until Tuesday, July 3.

Persons can also contact President of the Carrot Bay Community Council Mr. Frank Mahoney via mobile 541-2369 to view a copy.

To download, visit the Ministry of Finance’s website at www.finance.gov.vg, go to the Gov’t of the VI option under the Resource tab and click on the plan under Forms and Publications; or copy the following link into your web browser: http://finance.gov.vg/Resources/GovtoftheVI.aspx.

Persons are asked to document feedback via letter which should be sent directly to the department within the 28-day period. Feedback is also invited via email at dypenn@gov.vg or tcp@gov.vg. For more information, please telephone Physical Planner Mr. Dylan Penn at the Town and Country Planning Department at 468-3701 extension 2157.




As we enter the 2012 hurricane season, the Governor's Office on behalf of the Consular Directorate of the United Kingdom’s (UK) Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) wishes to remind British nationals to ensure that their travel documents are in order.

Copies should be made of key documents, including passports, birth certificates, work permits and drivers' licenses, and stored in a safe place, separate from the originals. The original documents should be kept with you in waterproof bags or containers during any emergency situation, particularly in the event of an approaching hurricane or tropical storm.

If you already have a family and business disaster plan and supply kit, now is the time to review, recycle and restock for 2012. If you are creating your first disaster plan and supply kit, further information can be obtained from the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) and their new Community Disaster Preparedness Guide. A copy of the Guide can be downloaded from their website: Community Disaster Preparedness Guide

For those people who may wish to 




In fulfilling Government’s agenda to achieve coordinated physical development, the Town and Country Planning Department is inviting the public to review the draft plan and report for the Carrot Bay Community Development Plan 2010 – 2020, which is available from midday today until Tuesday, July 3.

The document can be reviewed at the BVI Post Office, Methodist and Seventh-day Adventist churches in Carrot Bay and with the Carrot Bay Community Council - a group of individuals from Carrot Bay whose purpose is to ensure the continuity of development in the area. Persons can contact Council President or Vice-President Mr. Frank Mahoney or Mrs. Ayanna Glasgow-Liburd.

Additionally, the report can be found at the Town and Country Planning Department office in the West Atrium of the Central Administration Building and the Road Town Public Library.

Deputy Chief Planner Mr. Ronald Beard told the Department of Information and Public Relations that constructive feedback from the community will aid in the completion of the development plan.
Persons are asked to document feedback via letter which should be sent directly




The public is invited to an artwork exhibition showcasing the talent of 14 local artists this Friday, June 8 at the West Atrium of the Central Administration Building on Wickham’s Cay I at 7p.m.

The collection with the artists’ best work in sculpture, pottery, painting, batik and a variety of other art forms will remain at the building until June 15.

Artwork for the upcoming BVI Art and Culture Show in London will be selected from this collection of work.
For information, persons may call Mr. Reuben Vanterpool at 543-8557. In addition, persons can contact the International Affairs Secretariat, under which the BVI London Office operates, via telephone 468-2152. 





Caption: Premier and Minister of Tourism, Dr. the Hon D. Orlando Smith,
OBE and Lorna Smith, OBE together with Russell Harrigan, Chairman of
the BVI Tourist Board, newly appointed BVI London Office Manager, Ginny
Hawksley and Myrvina Jeria from the BVI London office are pictured with
Joyce Kinniburgh from BVI Holidays and Joanne Ellis from Caribtours at a reception held at BVI House on 31st May 2012, where the Premier announced
plans to re-energise tourism in the Islands.

Speaking at a trade reception held at BVI House yesterday, the Premier and Minster for Tourism for the British Virgin Islands Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE announced plans to re-energise and reposition tourism in the Islands together with a renewed focus on the United Kingdom (UK) as a primary market with the appointment of a BVI Tourist Board Manager in the UK.

Since taking office in Novemeber 2011, Premier Smith’s Government has embarked on a vigorous re-positioning strategy to

strengthen the British Virgin Islands tourism product. With tourism being the largest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product of theTerritory, the Premier announced that the focus will be on improving long term air access, growing the Superyacht sector, further developing the destination’s wedding and honeymoon business and strengthening the cruise tourism sector.

Commenting on air access to the Territory, Premier Smith said, “Air access is the number one strategic challenge facing tourism in the British Virgin Islands. To address this issue in the long term, we have taken the decision to extend the runway at the Terrance B. Lettsome International airport to accommodate direct air access from North America. In addition, we are in consultations with local, regional and international carriers to ensure that visitors

 




Thank you Russell for your kind introduction.

Firstly, I wish to extend a warm welcome to all of your for joining us this evening here at BVI House for what will be the first of many such events as we re-establish the BVI tourism brand here in the United Kingdom.

As I am sure you are aware, The British Virgin Islands is a British Overseas Territory with Her Majesty the Queen as Head of State. Our status is exactly like Bermuda and Caymans with which all of you would be familiar.

While we have been responsible for our own internal affairs since 1967, our people are proud to be British and we have always given our British guests a huge welcome. Indeed the British Virgin Islanders are also looking forward to celebrating The Queens Diamond Jubilee this weekend.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Minister for Overseas Territories Mr. Bellingham who recently accepted our invitation and visited the BVI. I was most happy to show him our world renowned tourism




Revitalising the Territory’s tourism and financial services product continues to be critically important to the Government of the Virgin Islands.

As such, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE is travelling to London, United Kingdom, today for several tourism and financial services business meetings and to attend events scheduled for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, after which he will travel to New York for meetings with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

Premier Smith will be absent from the Territory from May 29 to June 9.

While in London, the Premier will attend meetings covering a broad spectrum of topics including financial services, yacht registration and tourism matters.

In addition, the Premier, as an invited guest by Her Majesty the Queen and head of Government will represent the people of the British Virgin Islands in celebrating Her Majesty’s 60 years of service at several events including the Thames River Diamond Jubilee Pageant and the Diamond Jubilee Concert and Thanksgiving Service.

While in New York, the Premier will attend the CTO Invest Caribbean Now Power Forum in




Good Morning:

It is my distinct honour to welcome you all to this, the 12th Islands of the World Conference.

I want to extend a particularly warm welcome to those of you who have travelled to the Virgin Islands from overseas and to the distinguished members of academia who will be presenting over the next several days.

My hearty congratulations to the hardworking people here at the H. Lavity Soutt Community College who made this happen along with the International Small Islands Studies Association, itself, and all the sponsors of this important event.

A million years ago, man walked out of Africa, spreading across the vast plains of Asia. The tide of human migration had begun and the planet was to be forever changed.

A mere two thousand years ago, merchants crossed great distances to trade gold for silk in China. At around the same time, trade routes linking the kingdom of Ghana to Alexandria and Baghdad ensured the steady supply of gold to the Islamic Empire and salt and other products to the people of Ghana.




The public is invited to join the Government of the Virgin Islands, family and friends at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport to welcome home X Factor winner Ms. Melanie Amaro who will arrive in the Territory on Saturday, May 26 at 10:00pm.

Amaro is one of the headliners for Sunday night's BVI Music Festival. The three day event takes place May 25 to 27 in Cane Garden Bay.

Premier and Minister for Tourism, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE said he is excited and pleased that Ms. Amaro is returning home for a visit. It is the first time since her debut on the hit musical competition, The X Factor USA.

In December, during a personal conversation, Premier Smith asked Ms. Amaro to put the Virgin Islands high on her priority list of places to visit.

Additionally, he told Melanie that the BVI Tourist Board will speak with her about possible areas of mutual cooperation.

In response, Ms. Amaro said, “I love the BVI, it is my home. I will definitely promote the




In commenting on Gun Creek’s official declaration last Friday, BVI Tourist Board Chairman Mr. Russell Harrigan said that the port is a critical development for strengthening the Territory’s tourism product, with benefits to both visitors and residents.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Mr. Harrigan said that North Sound is a major destination for both land and water based visitors to the British Virgin Islands and that the port will increase convenience and maximise leisure time while in the Territory.

He indicated that visitors sailing from St. Maarten and Antigua, the dominant sailing points east of the BVI, can now come straight to North Sound for clearance procedures as opposed to checking in at the other points of entry. “This means that visitors can begin their actual vacation earlier and almost immediately enjoy the Territory’s offerings,” said Mr. Harrigan.

The chairman, who is part of the committee to oversee Gun Creek’s landside development, also said that the port will promote the further development of the area, hence strengthening the North Sound community,




Download the Statement by: Dr. Hon. D.O. Smith, Premier and Minister of Finance Government of the Virgin Islands on behalf of: Anguilla, The Cayman Islands, The British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE is currently in the Cayman Islands attending the annual meetings of the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Board of Governors, following his announcement of Her Majesty’s Government’s (HMG) approval of a $15.67 million loan for this Territory’s infrastructural development.

Prior to his departure, the Honourable Premier told the Department of Information and Public Relations, “HMG’s approval of the loan signals the mature relationship formed and firmly establishes Government’s vision to build a better British Virgin Islands through various programmes to stimulate the economy. Representation at the CDB’s annual meeting affirms BVI’s appreciation, commitment and involvement in this programme.” The meetings begin tomorrow and end on Thursday.

The Premier first announced CDB’s approval on Friday, May 18 at the ceremony to declare Gun Creek a port of entry.

During his remarks, he said that he received approval via letter last week from the Minister for United Kingdom Overseas Territories Mr. Henry Bellingham, MP. The actual loan was approved by the House of Assembly on July 14, 2011, but was not pursued due




In forging ahead on the road to economic recovery, Government, with Cabinet’s recent approval to halt the levying of duty on cost, insurance and freight on imported goods for merchants, is following through with plans to lower the cost of goods to stimulate the economy.

As of March 7, in accordance with No. 1 of 2012 of the Customs Management and Duties (Amendment) Act, 2012, all merchants will bear duty based on the purchase cost of the goods less any insurance and freight costs. The seller will bear freight, insurance, commission and all other cost, charges and expenses incidental to the sale and delivery.

According to Commissioner of Customs Mr. Wade Smith, the act defines a merchant as an importer who has a valid trade licence for the wholesale and retail of goods in an unchanged state.

Mr. Smith encourages merchants to be compliant by completing a ‘Declaration of Merchant’ form which states the said business is licensed by the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs to carry on the business of merchant, and currently




On Friday, the Government of the Virgin Islands will reinforce its commitment to the development of Virgin Gorda in a ceremony to officially declare Gun Creek, North Sound, a port of entry.

According to Director of Communications Mrs. Arliene T. Penn, the declaration of Gun Creek as a port of entry is part of Government’s agenda to further bolster the tourism product of Virgin Gorda.

“Government sees the development of Gun Creek as a catalyst to improving the destination's competitive edge in the global marketplace,” Mrs. Penn said.

On March 1, Premier and Minister for Tourism Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE in a statement to the Territory declared Gun Creek a port of entry. He explained that North Sound attracts high-end visitors and is considered to be one of the most desirable vacation destinations in the British Virgin Islands, adding that capitalising on this opportunity to stimulate the economy of Virgin Gorda is critically important to enhancing the tourism product.

The official declaration ceremony will be held at the Captain Owen G. Harrigan Visitor Centre in Gun Creek. Residents of Virgin Gorda are invited to be a part of this historic




The people of Virgin Gorda are invited to a ceremony to mark the official declaration of Gun Creek as a port of entry on Friday, May 18 at 10:00 a.m. The ceremony takes place at the Captain Owen G. Harrigan Visitor Centre in Gun Creek, North Sound.

The Premier and Minister for Tourism Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and the Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark Vanterpool are expected to give remarks focused on Government’s plans to collaborate with residents to further boost the tourism product and stimulate the economy in the sister island.

For more information please contact the Premier’s Office at 468-3701 extension 2152 during office hours between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE will hold office hours at the Vanterpool Administration Building in Virgin Gorda on Tuesday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Residents are kindly asked to telephone the Premier’s Office at 468-3701 extension 2152 to schedule an appointment.

Premier Smith will hold office hours on Virgin Gorda every first and third Tuesday of the month.




Madam Speaker, I would like to make a statement about the financial management of the British Virgin Islands.

As Honourable Members know, just two weeks ago on 23rd April we signed with Mr. Henry Bellingham, the United Kingdom Minister for the Overseas Territories, our Protocols for Effective Financial Management.

This important agreement will help to set the Virgin Islands’ finances on a steady course for the future.

Madam Speaker, I would like to take a few minutes to set out why I trust that the full Houses will welcome the Protocols and lend them their full support.

This excellent document illustrates a clear commitment by the Virgin Islands to manage our finances in a modern, transparent and planned way. It commits us to effective medium-term planning and to transparency; to more accurate measurement and reporting of our fiscal and economic data, to better value for money and to more effective management of risk.

Madam Speaker, there is an old saying that runs, “If you do not know where you are going, any road gets you there”. That is no way to run




The proprietors of establishments licensed to sell liquor are advised that all unpaid liquor licences for the period December 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012 and for prior periods must be paid to the Department of Inland Revenue no later than 3:30p.m. on Friday, May 25, 2012.

Payments can be made at the offices in the Central Administration Building on Wickham’s Cay, Road Town, Tortola or the Vanterpool Administration Building in Valley, Virgin Gorda.

Liquor licences outstanding after May 25, 2012 will be subject to additional enforcement measures. Business owners are strongly encouraged to update their Liquor licence records and make the required payment without further delay.

Liquor licence fees are payable semi-annually on June 1 for the period June 1 to November 30, and December 1 for the period December 1 to May 31.

For more information, telephone the Inland Revenue Department at 468-3701 extension 2155 (Tortola) or 6564 (Virgin Gorda).




Team British Virgin Islands (BVI) has successfully strengthened the Territory’s international relationship with the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of the European Union.

Upon his return from Curacao, Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Resources and Labour Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering told the Department of Information and Public Relations, “I am pleased with what we have accomplished. We went with a mission to form the Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories Council, and I must say; we did exceptionally well.”

During his opening remarks on

behalf of Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, Deputy Premier Pickering at the inaugural meeting of the council said that the new body will serve as a mechanism for greater cooperation between the British and Dutch Territories in the Caribbean.




Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE said enhancing tourism and international relations are of critical importance to the Government of the Virgin Islands.

As such, Honourable Smith is currently in Puerto Rico representing the Territory at the 16th Annual Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (CHTIC) until April 26, while Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr. Kedrick Pickering is representing the Premier in Curacao at the Inaugural Meeting of the Caribbean Overseas Territories Council for the European Union’s (EU) British and Dutch Overseas Territories (OTs).

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference is hosted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) and is staged by the region’s not-for-profit organisations, with all funds being reinvested in the region for the benefit of the Caribbean tourism industry. The event, attended by nearly 400 delegates representing the Caribbean, United States of America and the United Kingdom, provides networking opportunities with key players of the Caribbean’s hotel and tourism




Download the Protocols for Effective Financial Management

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me take this opportunity to formally welcome Mr. Bellingham, MP to our beautiful shores. I say "formally" as I was honored and pleased to accompany him to our sister island of Virgin Gorda yesterday to not only experience its beauty and charm but to get a better appreciation of multi island living - BVI style.

I am very pleased that Mr. Bellingham accepted my invitation extended last November to visit the BVI at this time as today is a very significant day in the evolution of the partnership between the Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom. In a few minutes we will sign the Protocols for Effective Financial Management, signaling a commitment from the Government and people of the Virgin Islands to management our fiscal resources in a more transparent and efficient manner, and in turn the United Kingdom‟s commitment to support us in this effort.

I am grateful to Mr. Steve Johnson and his colleagues Naomi Jeffries of HM Treasury for agreeing to travel to the BVI in February so that we could sit down and hammer out an a




Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE joins the Territory in remembering the life of Mr. Stoutt who will be laid to rest tomorrow at the Cappoon’s Bay cemetery, following a funeral service at the Zion Hill Methodist Church; viewing is from 9:00a.m. - 10:30a.m. followed by the church service.

Premier Smith said, “This Territory will always remember Easter Saturday 2012 as the day of the passing of yet another “BVI Giant” – Elvin ‘Soupy’ Stoutt.”

Mr. Stoutt who passed on Saturday April 7, 2012 is a retired public officer who served as a school teacher, principal and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works and was a member of the Public Service Commission.

Premier Smith told the Department of Information and Public Relations that as a former principal of the Alexandrina Maduro Primary School, Mr. Stoutt left his footprint and philosophy that teachers and parents must collaborate and work closely in raising a child.

“He was one who firmly believed that it took a village to raise a child,” Premier said.




The public is invited to tune in to 780AM ZBVI Radio or log on to www.jtvlive.net on April 23 at 12:15 p.m. for live coverage of a joint press conference with Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and Minister for the Overseas Territories Henry Bellingham, MP.

Premier Smith and Minister Bellingham are expected to sign the Protocols on Effective Financial Management.

Mr. Bellingham is on his first visit to the British Virgin Islands (BVI). This visit will reinforce the relationship between the BVI and the United Kingdom (UK) and the close ties between the two governments.

Premier Smith looks forward to the upcoming discussions with Minister Bellingham’s on ways the two governments can further strengthen their partnership.

Mr. Bellingham’s will be in the Territory from April 21 – 25, 2012.




Forging a new direction in Tourism to ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry is critically important to the Government of the Virgin Islands.

This was the message by Premier and Minister for Tourism Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE speaking with the media in a press briefing this afternoon.


Premier Smith outlined three of many initiatives which are part of Government’s tourism agenda to revitalise and re-energise the sector. He discussed Government’s approach to improving the airlift to ensure sustainability of the tourism sector; the official opening of Gun Creek, North Sound as a port of entry and the appointment of Mrs. Janice Brathwaite-Edwards as the Tourism Liaison Officer.




Her Majesty’s Customs is informing importers that if goods at any port for more than two months are not cleared by 4:30pm on Friday, April 20, they will be put up for public auction the following day.

This is in accordance with the Customs Management and Duties Act No. 6 of 2010 Section 52 (8) which states that the duration of time goods can remain in a Customs Warehouse before removal is two months. The auction is sanctioned under Section 137 of the same legislation.

A copy of the list with all goods and importers’ names will be posted at various HM Customs stations for viewing at Port Purcell, West End, Beef Island and the main Headquarters for viewing only.

Importers are asked to provide an airway bill, bill of lading, invoice or any other relevant documentation before goods are cleared. In addition, shipping fees or any other incidental need to be paid to shipper of goods before HM Customs will allow clearance...




The public is invited to a grand auction to take place at the Her Majesty’s Customs office located in Port Purcell on Saturday, April 21, to begin at 9 a.m. Auction items include household furnishings, automotive and industrial equipment, electronics, major appliances and personal items.

A copy of the list with all goods and importers’ names will be posted at various HM Customs stations for viewing at Port Purcell, West End, Beef Island and the main Headquarters for viewing only.

All items are offered for sale “as is”. Auctions by Her Majesty’s Customs are held in accordance with the Customs Management and Duties Act No. 6 of 2010 Section 137. For more information, contact Her Majesty’s Customs Headquarters at 468-3701 extension 6800.




On Wednesday March 28th, the Department of Disaster Management executed their annual full scale Tsunami Exercise to test the Territory’s Early Warning and Notification Systems and to afford organizations and government departments the opportunity to test their own plans and procedures. Since 2009, these annual exercises have been taking place during the month of March, and are held in conjunction with other localities in the Northwest Atlantic.

Every year a different scenario is applied to allow countries to fully test their response to major earthquake events. We have been fortunate to receive the consistent support of the Puerto Rico Seismic Network (PRSN), the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez, the West Coast Tsunami Warning Center and the United States Geological Survey to receive tsunami advisories, watches and




Her Majesty’s Customs invites the public to join the department in celebrating its14th Annual Customs Week from January 21 - 28, under the theme, “Borders Divide, Customs Connects through Compliance”.

In explaining the significance of the theme to the Department of Information and Public Relations, Commissioner of Customs Mr. Wade Smith said, “We have affirmed our commitment once more to compliance with international standards in relation to border protection and trade facilitation,” adding, “The theme also speaks to dedication to uniformity in our performance.” – Her Majesty’s Customs invites the public to join the department in celebrating its14th Annual Customs Week from January 21 - 28, under the theme, “Borders Divide, Customs Connects through Compliance”.

The commissioner is inviting the public to participate in the information sharing activities which are designed to apprise all stakeholders of the very important role the Customs department plays in the development of the Territory.

There are several planned activities. On Saturday the department will attend church services at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Road Town. On Sunday the




What do you think of the Virgin Islands’ existing relationship with the United Kingdom?

The public is asked to tune into ZBVI 780AM tonight at 9pm to voice your concerns on topics ranging from the Territory’s current challenges, cooperation with the UK and the quality of the VI’s good governance and financial management.

Assistant Secretary in the Premier’s Office with responsibility for External Affairs Ms. Najan Christopher, who is one of the panellists, told the Department of Information and Public Relations, “Government needs to hear from the people of the Virgin Islands in order to better inform the UK of our position on the relationship. Persons should take advantage of this opportunity in voicing their opinion on what the relationship should be like and how do they see the VI and UK working together.”

Ms. Christopher will be joined by Financial Literacy Coordinator at the Financial Services Commission Ms. Elise Donovan and Managing Director of Smith and Associates Ms. Shaina Smith.

As a British Overseas Territory, the VI is being invited to share




The Government of the Virgin Islands is seeking responses from the public on the following:

  1. “How do you assess the quality of good governance, public financial management and economic planning in the VI?”
  2. “What are the priorities for improvement?”
  3. “How can the UK best work with our Territory to strengthen these areas?”

In a statement by Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, on Tuesday explained that the relationship between the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories (OTs), as outlined in the ‘White Paper’, is presently being revisited.

As an OT, the VI Government is being invited to share its views on various issues affecting its relationship with the UK, which will in turn be considered in preparing the new White Paper.

In his statement, Honourable Smith encouraged the public’s response to the various questions being sent in GIS press releases. He said, “This is yet another opportunity for the public to let their voice be heard as we collectively share our views with Her Majesty’s




The Government of the Virgin Islands, in keeping with its mission to obtain feedback in defining the Virgin Islands-United Kingdom relationship for the pending White Paper review, is asking the general public to express their views on the Territory’s current challenges

The review of the existing White Paper is part of the process in renewing the United Kingdom Government’s relationship with all its Overseas Territories, including this Territory.

The first question being asked, “What are the problems in the Virgin Islands?”, is expected to generate many opinions from a broad spectrum of this Territory’s residents.

Persons may contact Acting Information Officer II with the Premier’s Office, Ms. April Glasgow via telephone 468-2076 or email aglasgow@gov.vg with their responses by Friday 13th January, 2012.




Government has recently confirmed several initiatives to boost its reserve fund.

In speaking with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE said the cost cutting measures, which will take the form of a 50-percent cut in performance increments in 2012, a 7-percent cut in operational expenses of individual ministries and departments, together with a cut in the pay package of elected officials. These cuts will be used to significantly boost appropriations to the reserve fund and pave the way for a stronger fiscal position.

In providing background to the recent initiatives, the finance minister explained, "Government is now acting as a result of the current global economic climate, which has affected governments around the world in the ability to retain public officers and engage in public investment initiatives."




 

Key players from financial services organisations are currently in candid discussions at the Eileen L. Parsons Auditorium to map out a viable structure to enable full cooperation between the private sector and the public sector.

  Premier Smith stressed, "I expect each and everyone of you to make the best use of this platform today to express your views in a frank, sincere and non-adversarial manner; to explore the possibilities for the Virgin Islands (VI) not only today but for the years ahead; to recognise the realities of the international dimension with respect to the products and services we provide and




The British Virgin Islands (BVI) International Finance Centre (IFC) met with leading funds and investment executives in the United States of America (USA) in October to discuss the benefits of the BVI as a domicile for hedge funds.

According to the Director of IFC Ms. Sherri Ortiz, IFC partnered with the BVI Investment Funds Association for the meetings in New York and Boston where they spoke with leading professionals about the Territory’s reputation for transparency and good governance.

The meetings came just before the BVI was recognised by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for its readiness to move to the next phase in its Peer Review programme.

"This is the latest signal that international regulators and other organisations recognise and support the steps being taken by the BVI to meet global standards," Ms. Ortiz noted.




The Government of the Virgin Islands has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Disney Cruise Line that will allow the Territory to extend the cruise ship pier in Road Harbour and make further modifications to accommodate larger cruise ships.

The MOU is between the BVI Ports Authority and Disney Cruise Line. In the signing on Friday, October 28 Premier and Minister for Tourism Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal said, "We believe this will give us a competitive edge in the cruise industry and further bolster our economy."

He explained that as part of this business arrangement, Disney Cruise Line will provide a loan to help with the improvements in exchange for preferential berthing rights.




The British Virgin Islands (BVI) International Finance Centre (IFC) continues its efforts to help youth in the Territory be better prepared and qualified to take up jobs within the financial services sector.

During the month of October, IFC through its Financial Services High School (FSHS) Education Programme will familiarise senior secondary school students to professions within the sector. The theme for the programme is ‘Building for the Future’. According to Director of IFC Ms. Sherri Ortiz, IFC has partnered with private sector professionals to introduce and expose students to topics ranging from the products and services available within the industry to the regulatory and legislative regimes.

"It is important to target senior students now so that they develop an interest for serving in the financial services industry," Ms. Ortiz said, adding, "The IFC is committed to ensuring that our youth understand and appreciate the importance of the financial services sector, one of the BVI’s leading economic pillars."




The British Virgin Islands’ (BVI) International Financial Centre (IFC) partnered with leading members of the Territory’s private sector during European Tour 2011 titled: Planning for the Future – "The BVI Advantage" to promote the BVI as a premier jurisdiction for financial services.

According to the Executive Director of the IFC Ms. Sherri Ortiz, last week IFC and members of the private sector visited Zurich and Luxembourg to discuss the advantages of conducting business in the Territory while focusing specifically on succession and planning opportunities using BVI trusts.

In speaking at the Luxembourg Monetary and Finance forum on September 20, Ms. Ortiz reiterated the BVI’s continued actions to demonstrate that it is a reputable well regulated jurisdiction with a highly qualified financial centre. The European audience learned about the international recognition the BVI recently received for its strong performance, this included accounts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which reported in October last year that the global financial crisis had not affected the health of BVI financial institutions.




The Inland Revenue Department is reminding property owners in the Virgin Islands that in accordance with the Property Tax Ordinance, Cap 207 (as amended), property tax for the year 2011 is due and payable on the September 1, 2011.

Taxpayers are allowed, November 30, 2011 to make payments without a penalty.

Property Tax is payable at the Inland Revenue Department’s main office at the Central Administration Complex, Wickham’s Cay, Tortola.

For property owners on Virgin Gorda, payments can be made at the Inland Revenue Department in the Vanterpool Administration Building, The Valley.

Owners on Anegada can contact district officers, Ms. Andrea Vanterpool and on Jost Van Dyke, Mrs. Carmen Blyden.




Government’s border protection officers continue to engage in integrated training to further strengthen and improve border management and protection in the Territory.
 

Over 20 officers from the Her Majesty’s Customs and the Immigration Department successfully completed a two-week middle management capacity building training programme sponsored by Her Majesty’s Customs in collaboration with the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) from May 30 to June 10.

Officers were trained in risk management, coordinated border management, trade facilitation, ethics, leadership and motivation.

On Thursday, June 9, officers received certificates at an award ceremony for successfully completing the intense training programme. In presenting the certificates of completion, Mr. Argyle commended the officers for being excited about border management and protection while reminding them that middle




Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith is reaffirming his confidence in the professionalism of Her Majesty’s Customs officers in recognition of their excellent effort and due diligence in seizing two kilogrammes of cocaine at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport today.

“I encourage all the officers to keep up the good work and to remain committed to protecting our Territory’s borders,” Mr. Smith said.

Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Customs Mr. Wade Smith commended his team for their vigilant response to the lead of a female entering the Territory in possession of illegal drugs. “Officers responded in a diligent and professional manner that is commendable and I encourage them to continue their exceptional work in protecting these beautiful Virgin Islands,” he said.

He added that this was a joint effort with the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) whose mission is to upgrade the effectiveness and efficiency of its member Customs administrations through cooperation, sharing of best practices, harmonisation of processes and procedures and information/intelligence sharing...




The BVI International Finance Centre (IFC) partnered with the private sector and the regulator through the marketing and promotion efforts for the Captive sector at the Captive International Conference Association (CICA) conference held in Tucson Arizona last week.

The CICA conference encompassed educational sessions, networking opportunities and attraction of key managers, service providers and captive owners.

The BVI delegation included IFC Marketing Manager Ms. Alicia Green, and Financial Services Commission (FSC) Acting Director Mr. Elton Lettsome, and Deputy Director Mr. Harry Whitcher. They were accompanied by representatives within the private sectors from Blenheim, AMS Group, and Hyperion Risk.

The BVI was a key sponsor at the conference which allowed for marketing the Territory throughout the event as well as providing an opportunity for the delegates to give remarks at the opening reception.

Mr. Harry Whitcher of the FSC stated, “When the Financial Services Commission was invited to attend the CICA conference, it agreed on the basis that the role of the attendees were to educate and i...




Government officially opened the domestic and international lounges at the Road Town Jetty Terminal Monday morning thereby ensuring all passengers are comfortable as they travel to and from Anegada, Virgin Gorda and the United States Virgin Islands.

This project was spearheaded by the BVI Ports Authority and is in keeping with Government’s commitment to enhance and improve ports throughout the Territory.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal said, “This is a great improvement” particularly for persons travelling to and from the sister islands because people can now relax in an air-conditioned waiting area instead of standing in the sun or...




The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has reversed recent trends by becoming the only offshore financial centre to have its rating boosted in the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI). The improvement comes against a backdrop of decline among all other offshore jurisdictions. The ninth edition of the GFCI (GFCI 9) revealed that the BVI has improved its GFCI rating by two points, securing 40th place in the rankings outright, having previously shared the spot with Brussels.

BVI’s achievement was made all the more remarkable by the fact that every other offshore centre fell in both the ratings and rankings, continuing a trend that began with the onslaught of the global financial crisis in 2008.

Sherri Ortiz, Executive Director of the BVI International Finance Centre, believes the BVI’s boost in the latest edition of the GFCI is testament to the centre’s ongoing commitment to regulation, transparency and continued growth in its financial services offering.

“We are obviously thrilled to witness the jurisdiction’s advancement in the GFCI ratings and gaining a higher ranking while so many oth...




The BVI International Finance Centre (IFC) partnered with the private sector and the regulator through the marketing and promotion efforts for the Captive sector at the Captive International Conference Association (CICA) conference held in Tucson Arizona last week.

The CICA conference encompassed educational sessions, networking opportunities and attraction of key managers, service providers and captive owners.

The BVI delegation included IFC Marketing Manager Ms. Alicia Green, and Financial Services Commission (FSC) Acting Director Mr. Elton Lettsome, and Deputy Director Mr. Harry Whitcher. They were accompanied by representatives within the private sectors from Blenheim, AMS Group, and Hyperion Risk.

The BVI was a key sponsor at the conference which allowed for marketing the Territory throughout the event as well as providing an opportunity for the delegates to give remarks at the opening reception.

Mr. Harry Whitcher of the FSC stated, “When the Financial Services Commission was invited to attend the CICA conference, it agreed on the basis that the role of the attendees were to educate and inform interested parties at CICA regarding regulations in the




The BVI International Finance Centre (IFC) partnered with the private sector and the regulator through the marketing and promotion efforts for the Captive sector at the Captive International Conference Association (CICA) conference held in Tucson Arizona last week.

The CICA conference encompassed educational sessions, networking opportunities and attraction of key managers, service providers and captive owners.

The BVI delegation included IFC Marketing Manager Ms. Alicia Green, and Financial Services Commission (FSC) Acting Director Mr. Elton Lettsome, and Deputy Director Mr. Harry Whitcher. They were accompanied by representatives within the private sectors from Blenheim, AMS Group, and Hyperion Risk.

The BVI was a key sponsor at the conference which allowed for marketing the Territory throughout the event as well as providing an opportunity for the delegates to give remarks at the opening reception.

Mr. Harry Whitcher of the FSC stated, “When the Financial Services Commission was invited to attend the CICA conference, it agreed on the basis that the role of the attendees were to educate and i...




Senior students at the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) gathered in numbers around the booths of the BVI International Financial Centre (IFC) and 12 private financial companies last Tuesday to learn about pursuing a career in the financial services industry.

The learning opportunity, “Financial Services Day”, was part of ESHS’s Career Expo held at the school from February 14–17 under the theme “Pursuing Purposeful and Profitable Productivity.”

Students learned about specialised areas including banking, trust, insurance, accounting, investment, insolvency and law. They also learned about entry and senior level positions, on-the-job training and academic study opportunities within the industry.

IFC’s Marketing Manager Mrs. Alicia Green told the Department of Information and Public Relations that the IFC became involved in the event in 2007 to expose students to different careers in the industry.

“Our goal is to open their minds to options available when they leave high school,” Mrs. Green said. “The department saw this as an excellent opportunity to educate students about the financial services industry and its importance to the Territory.”

Mrs. Green said she is pleased that students




The Immigration Department has confirmed that the 13 Brazilian nationals, who were recently held for questioning, were repatriated to St. Maarten, their original port of embarkation.

The group, which comprised six males and seven females, left the Territory over the weekend. Immigration officers held the Brazilians last Friday for questioning because of inadequate information regarding their entry to this Territory.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Chief Immigration Officer Mr. Dennis Jennings said, “Although the Brazilian nationals had official stamps in their passports, the crew list and part 'A' of the embarkation cards were not found in the immigration office at the port, which raised grave concern regarding the legal and normal clearance process.”

Mr. Jennings further explained, “Investigations are completed and the final report will be forwarded for further action to be taken. The Immigration Department is thankful to Her Majesty’s Customs for all their assistance which allowed for the almost immediate resolution of the matter.”

The repatriation concludes the joint operation, which began on Friday, between the Immigration




The Immigration Department and Her Majesty’s (HM) Customs carried out a joint operation earlier today which resulted in 13 nationals of Brazil being held for questioning.

The operation started at a hotel in Cane Garden Bay and ended in the parking lot between HM Customs Headquarters and the Immigration Department in Road Town, where a search was conducted.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, both the Chief Immigration Officer Mr. Dennis Jennings and Comptroller of Customs Mr. Wade Smith said the Brazilian nationals were legally admitted to the Territory but allegedly for an illegal purpose.

The Chief Immigration Officer said, “Based on preliminary investigations, it appears that there may be an illicit intention,” adding, “Because the matter is currently undergoing investigation, we cannot say for certain why the nationals entered the Territory. Further information will be released to the public pending the outcome of the investigation.”

Both the Immigration Department and Her Majesty’s Customs are charged with protecting and securing the Territory’s borders which is in keeping with Government’s mandate




The Government of the British Virgin Islands enhanced its relations with the Government of the Republic of India by signing a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) yesterday.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Social Development Honourable Dancia Penn OBE QC signed the agreement in London with the High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom His Excellency, Nalin Surie. It is the 20th such agreement the BVI has signed. The TIEA is based on a model agreement developed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which allows both parties to request information that is relevant to a civil or criminal tax investigation.

In a joint declaration signed with the TIEA, the Governments of BVI and the Republic of India state that both countries are active, constructive and cooperative members of the international community with globally integrated and responsible finance centres. The BVI and India have long been active in international efforts in the fight against financial crimes and each share a common commitment to develop and comply with international standards on money




Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE is in Barbados today for a meeting with the President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr. Compton Bourne, O.E., to discuss possible funding for infrastructural development in the Territory.

Honourable O’Neal will discuss funding for improving the infrastructure, specifically roads which were damaged during the recent floods; loans for small businesses, especially tourism related and a housing scheme programme.

The Premier and Minister of Finance will be joined by the Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Julian Fraser, RA, and the Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith, both of whom attended a Labour Market Symposium in Barbados on January 25 – 26 which was jointly hosted by the CDB and International Labour Organisation.

The Virgin Islands is a founding member of the Caribbean Development Bank, which among other benefits entitles the Government to give loans, administered through the National Bank of the Virgin Islands, for education, training and agriculture.

The Caribbean Development Bank, established in 1969, is a regional financial institution, with a mission to contribute




Her Majesty’s Customs is affirming its commitment to unity during Customs Week 2011, which is being held from January 23 - 29 under the theme “Unite for Progress”.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Comptroller of Customs Mr. Wade Smith
 said, “The theme was chosen to make the public aware that Her Majesty’s Customs seeks to not only further strengthen the working relationships amongst officers within the department, but to also foster partnership with all our stakeholders.”

“We are hopeful that




Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE, told over 200 delegates ‘it is no longer business as usual in the Virgin Islands’ when he spoke at the recent 2011 BVI Business Outlook conference at the Scrub Island Resort.
“As I see it, the Virgin Islands as a Territory is currently at

a point where it is obvious that it is no longer business as usual and that unique solutions must be found for the unique problems which we face from within and without our borders,” Honourable O’Neal said, adding that, “To continue to be viable as a micro economy, it is essential that this mindset remains with us constantly and tempers our actions and decisions.” 

The conference which was held last Wednesday under the theme, “Embracing the New Normal – Rising to




The year 2011 will see the British Virgin Islands continue its work to promote the jurisdiction on the global stage and increase its own future business, as the world moves tentatively towards recovery, according to Sherri Ortiz, Executive Director of the Territory’s International Finance Centre (IFC).

There are “excellent prospects for increased business development” in the year ahead, but given the changes throughout the global financial landscape, the BVI is “working to position ourselves sufficiently to address these challenges in the way that is needed,” Ms. Ortiz said.

Ms. Ortiz spoke at yesterday’s BVI Business Outlook conference held at Scrub Island Resort, which discussed ways in which the BVI could rise to the challenge of a more competitive and diversified economy.

According to Ms. Ortiz, the BVI is: “right in the centre of a bright future for financial services and the obstacles that must be overcome in order to reach it.”

She said that in 2010, the Virgin Islands Government passed into law a series of legislative moves to further strengthen and protect the BVI’s




Status: Tendered




Status: Validity Expired




The two-day debate on the merits and principles of the bill entitled, Appropriation Act, 2011, more commonly known as the budget, ended late last night, when members of the House of Assembly passed Government’s 2011 budget which reflects projected revenues of $287,884,000 and an operational expenditure of $259,807,800.

The figures reflect an increase when compared to the 2010 budget, which had projected revenues of $273,603,000 and an operational expenditure of $250,877,000.

On November 4, Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE, reported during the budget address that the Virgin Islands’ economy shows signs of recovery in 2010. This, he said, is based on provisional statistics which show that tourist arrivals and company incorporations increased by four percent and 33 percent, respectively.

In that same address, the Minister of Finance noted the Territory’s economy is forecasted to grow between four and five percent in 2011, based on the growth projections in the United States of America and the expansion of the tourism and financial services sectors. Now that the Appropriation Bill has




The BVI Post has announced its partnership with one of the world’s leading freight carriers, Amerijet International, Inc.

Postmaster of the BVI Post Mr. Kevin Smith made the announcement at a press briefing on Wednesday. “The BVI Post is happy to become the Amerijet agent. Not only does the company offer a wide array of services, but it also provides tremendous scope with respect to the numerous destinations to which mail can be conveyed,” Mr. Smith said. 

He added, “This agreement will help improve services offered to local clientele. We wanted to be able to give guarantees to the




The recently completed tender pier received its first mega yacht berthing yesterday.

Government officials welcomed the 63-metre commercial cruising vessel, “ICON,” including Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE; Chairman of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) Mr. Ronnie Lettsome; Director of the BVIPA Mr. V. Victor O’Neal; Deputy Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Ms. Sandra Ward and Policy Analyst in the Ministry of Finance Mr. Jeremiah Frett.

Honourable O’Neal expressed that he was happy to see the new tender pier is being used for its intended purposes. He also said, “It truly is an excellent facility. This occasion shows the Virgin Islands community what can be done. It is important that we continue to develop in this direction as the mega yacht industry is a large




Commissioner of the Inland Revenue Department, Mrs. Sylvia C. Moses, will represent the Territory at the upcoming Second Assessors Training Seminar hosted by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in London from October 27 - 29.

The three-day seminar will comprise of presentations on the Global Forum’s achievements and current directions and will introduce participants to the methodology for conducting peer reviews into the progress made towards full and effective exchange of tax information.

When asked why this assessment is important to the Territory, the commissioner explained that the

Virgin Islands is a member of the Global Forum and the Peer Review Group. The Commissioner added that one of the major reasons for attending the seminar is to better equip her for conducting assessments of other countries and to prepare the Territory for our own assessment in the first quarter of 2011.




The BVI Customs Department is reminding Charter Boat companies that the renewal deadline for the Commercial Recreational Vessel Licence is October 31.

The licence can be renewed at the Customs Headquarters in the Richard C. Stoutt Building in Road Town.

For further information, please contact the BVI Customs Department at 468-3701 extension 6800.

 




Deposit insurance involves placing security measures on bank accounts to protect funds in cases of economic crises. – Action is being taken by the Government of the Virgin Islands to establish a deposit insurance system to protect the Territory’s banking and overall economic environment.

In moving forward with the establishment of a deposit insurance scheme, Policy Analyst II with the Ministry of Finance, Ms. Jenifer O’Neal will represent the Virgin Islands at the upcoming International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI) Annual Conference in Tokyo, Japan on October 27 - 28.

The conference will feature presentations by internationally recognised experts and deposit insurance practitioners, regulators, policy makers and academics.

“It will be a learning experience. I am attending with the hopes of gaining even more information to assist the Government in developing an effective and efficient deposit insurance scheme,” said Ms. O’Neal.

She explained, “Currently, there is no system in place to ensure that if banks fail, monies deposited will not be lost. This is why deposit in




The meeting took place on October 19 at the Peter Island Resort where 15 managers from the ministry, departments, units and statutory bodies met to give updates on reports and plans, activities and limitations of their respective agencies. The Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Julian Fraser RA hosted a retreat for his top managers to discuss plans for the ministry and its departments as well as budget initiatives for 2011.

During the welcoming remarks, Minister Fraser re-iterated the importance of the Ministry. “The Ministry of Communications and Works is one of the most crucial ministries in government as people rely on us for electricity, water, and the roads network for transportation, so it is important that we function as a team. The infrastructure of the BVI lies in our hands,” he told them.

The minister also said he thought the retreat was timely, as it came on the heals of four consecutive months of natural disasters, beginning in July with flash




Responses by Premier and Minister for Finance Honourable Ralph T. O’Beal, OBE to Questions from the Leader of the Opposition

The Leader of the Opposition to ask the Honourable Premier and Minister for Finance the following questions at the First Sitting of the Fourth Session of the First House of Assembly on Thursday, 21st October, 2010:

Mr. Speaker, would the Honourable...




Statement by Premier and Minister of Finance:  “Tropical Storm Otto”

Mr. Speaker, this is a preliminary report on the damage that was done by the sub-tropical storm Otto which brought a deluge of rain on the Territory from 5th to 8th October, 2010. It is reported that over twenty one (21) inches of rain fell during th...




The BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) is announcing the completion of the construction of the new tender dock and renovations to the existing cruise pier.

Managing Director of the BVIPA, Mr. V. Victor O’Neal shared with the Department of Information and Public Relations that, “The BVIPA is very happy to have completed this project, which is sure to be a lucrative opportunity for the cruise tourism industry.”

The BVIPA will dedicate the newly constructed dock tomorrow, Tuesday, October 19, officially opening the facility for usage in the upcoming tourist season. The ceremony will take place in the afternoon at the Cruise Ship Dock at 3 o’clock.

In explaining the background of the tender dock project, Mr. O’Neal said that it began in late 2008 after Dawson Wells Consulting of Tortola was contracted to conduct the initial bathymetric surveys to determine the feasibility of the tender dock. Preparation of the designated area began immediately thereafter.

The Managing Director also said that Dawson Wells Consulting and St. Jean Engineering were retained for engineering consultancy. Odyssey Venture Group, another




According to Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA), Mr. V. Victor O’Neal, the newly opened cruise tender dock will help to alleviate the traffic congestion in Road Town.

This was the core message given during his remarks at the official dedication of the tender dock and renovated

 




The BVI International Finance Centre (IFC) in conjunction with all secondary schools in the Territory will host its High School Financial Services Educational programme during October.

All activities will be geared towards educating students in forms three to five about the financial services industry, career opportunities and certification for advancement in the industry.

Professionals will conduct presentations within the various high schools.

The initiative is part of the IFC’s Local Awareness Programme, which began in 2009 and is conducted on an annual basis.




According to Executive Director of the BVI International Finance Centre (IFC), Ms. Sherri Ortiz, the recently held New York funds conference was a “great success.”

Ms. Ortiz said, “The event was not only a great success but it was also a clear demonstration of how far the Territory has progressed in this sector and the extent to which our funds business has grown. There is an increasing appetite from global practitioners to understand more about the Virgin Islands, as evidenced by the call for more events of this kind.”

The conference entitled: "A New Era in Funds Domiciliation," was jointly hosted by the IFC and the BVI Investment Funds Association. The event took place on Thursday at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan.

More than 20 fund service providers from the Territory attended. Other delegates in attendance included leading hedge fund providers in the United States, senior in-house legal counsel, multinationals and foreign invested enterprises attended.

One conference attendee commented, “The event was well organised and information shared was interesting and well presented.”

Presentations included:




The BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) is inviting the public to the dedication for the new tender pier and renovated cruise pier on October 5, 2010 at 3:00pm. The event will take place at the Cruise Ship Dock. The ceremony will include presentatio...




Mr. Smith commented, “With the implementation of this internationally recognised classification system, Customs would be able to fully implement the Customs Automated Processing System (CAPS), and hence yielding such benefits as increased transparency and accountability, more efficiency and effectiveness and a systematic classification of all goods found in international trade.” – During his remarks at the opening of the Harmonized System (HS) training programme at the Customs Headquarters this morning, Comptroller of Customs, Mr. Wade Smith, said that the new system will yield “significant benefits for all stakeholders including importers, Government agencies and other Customs organisations.”


The Comptroller also noted other benefits such as a detailed commodity description set out in a very systematic and logistical fashion and an internationally uniformed coding for all goods by particular countries.

He indicated that HS is possible due to the passing of the Customs Management Act in August that will enable CAPS to fully implement Cargo Declarations.




Domiciliation refers to the fixed location of a fund. The event is scheduled to take place on Thursday, September 23 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan, New York. – The BVI International Finance Centre (IFC) and the BVI Investment Funds Association will host a conference in New York together, entitled: “A New Era in Funds Domiciliation.”

Executive Director of the IFC, Ms. Sherri Ortiz said, “The event is a clear demonstration of how far the Territory has progressed in this sector and the extent to which our businesses in funds have grown. With an increasing appetite from global practitioners to understand more about the Virgin Islands, this is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase our funds expertise.”

Ms. Ortiz continued, “It promises to provide a quality programme of discussions and keynote speakers. It will provide a unique platform for an exchange of views, sharing best practise and formulation of strategies to best deal with opportunities in 2010 and 2011.”




Customs officers on Monday will begin training for the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS), an integral component of the new Customs Automated Processing System (CAPS).

Comptroller of Customs Mr. Wade Smith said, “This training will serve as yet another step towards positive change for the BVI Customs Department.” He continued, “The Territory can look forward to enhanced services with the innovation provided by the new system.”

Assistant Comptroller of Customs and Project Manager of CAPS Mr. Clinton Romney explained, “HS will be utilised to generate the new integrated customs tariff. The process for clearing goods will be more detailed but once trained officers should be able to navigate the system easily.”

Regarding importers Mr. Romney said, “HS will indeed benefit importers, as they will be able to see exactly how they are being charged more explicitly, which rids them of any uncertainty with regards to classification and fees.”

Mr. Errol Skerritt, a resource person from the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council will conduct the three-week training




The Government departments will collaborate to market the Territory’s services to approximately 28,000 visitors at Monaco in southern France. – A delegation comprising representatives from the BVI International Finance Centre (IFC), Virgin Islands Shipping Registry (VISR), BVI Tourist Board and Her Majesty’s Customs will attend the Monaco Yacht Show next week to promote the first class yachting and complementary services the Virgin Islands currently offers.

Executive Director of the IFC, Ms. Sherri Ortiz, said, “The Virgin Islands offers world class shipping registration, while also providing all the necessary complementary support including a wide range of financial services and excellent tourism facilities, all of which we will be promoting at Monaco.”

Ms. Ortiz also explained that the Territory’s financial services offering includes trust and estate planning, funds and investment structures, corporate business, legal advisory, auditing and banking services.

Director of the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry, Captain Baboucar Sallah, said, “As a proud member of the Category I Red Ensign Group of shipping registries,




The Inland Revenue Department is informing property owners in Tortola, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, and the northern and southern cays, that the court hearing for objections to assessments has been re-scheduled to Monday 20th September at 10 a.m. ...




Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Orris Thomas, and Revenue Officer, Ms. Shanika Lamont, both represented the IRD as guests, on the department of Information and Public Relation’s television programme Public Eye. The IRD holds the responsibility for assessing the taxes, licences and fees due to the Government in relation to properties. – The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) encouraged the public to pay their property tax on time on last night’s Public Eye programme.

The Public Eye programme was geared towards educating the public about property tax and all procedures involved, including definition of terms used, calculation of tax and explanation of the assessment process.

The IRD senior Public Officers informed viewers that property tax is due and payable from September 1 through November 30, and that persons in arrears are charged a penalty of 20% per year for each year the taxes remain unpaid.

They also encouraged persons to pay on time, or come into the department to explain their situation and arrange a payment plan.

Property tax payments can be made at the




Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA), Mr. V. Victor O’Neal, said that he is very satisfied with the project, which begun in November of last year. – Works on the St. Thomas Bay, Virgin Gorda Port project are to culminate by the end of August.

The project is geared towards improving parking, storage and enhancing the aesthetics of the port area in St. Thomas Bay, Virgin Gorda. The projected total cost of the enhancements made at the port is $350,000, with a total of eight petty contractors assigned.

“I am very satisfied. It is a great development that will improve both the visitors’ and locals’ experience,” said Mr. O’Neal.

Improvements made include the increased parking of over 60 parking spaces with accommodation for handicapped persons. A new drainage system, flood lighting, new fencing for container storage area, new sidewalks, fencing on the St. Thomas Bay jetty to protect nearby beachgoers and a back-up generator have also been installed.

With regards to the new parking lots, the Managing Director said, “Now that there is more parking, it will make life a lot easier for those residents in Virgin Gorda who come to Road Town every day, and even other customers, who conduct business in or near the Port Authority Building.”

He concluded, “The BVI Ports Authority will continue to improve and enhance the functionality and aesthetics at all the Territory’s ports.”

The St. Thomas Bay port improvement project is in line with the Government’s plans to improve and expand present port facilities in the Territory, and to have them in full compliance with international security and operating standards, as well as to meet the growing needs of residents and visitors.




Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA), Mr. V. Victor O’Neal, said that he is very satisfied with the project, which begun in November of last year. – Works on the St. Thomas Bay, Virgin Gorda Port project are to culminate by the end of August.

The project is geared towards improving parking, storage and enhancing the aesthetics of the port area in St. Thomas Bay, Virgin Gorda. The projected total cost of the enhancements made at the port is $350,000, with a total of eight petty contractors assigned.

“I am very satisfied. It is a great development that will improve both the visitors’ and locals’ experience,” said Mr. O’Neal.

Improvements made include the increased parking of over 60 parking spaces with accommodation for handicapped persons. A new drainage system, flood lighting, new fencing for container storage area, new sidewalks, fencing on the St. Thomas Bay jetty to protect nearby beachgoers and a back-up generator have also been installed.

With regards to the new parking lots, the Managing Director said,




The Inland Revenue Department is asking the public to take note of upcoming court hearing dates, which have been scheduled for property owners who wish to object to the assessment on their properties. Property owners in Tortola, Anegada, J...




The BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) is seeking the cooperation of the public in identifying and removing vehicles and equipment located at Port Purcell. Persons who have information regarding two white tractors, two 40-foot containers and two 40...




The Treasury Department is hosting revenue collection workshops for revenue collectors and their immediate supervisors to emphasise accountability and to remind those persons of proper collection procedures.

At a recently held workshop, the facilitator Deputy Accountant General, Ms. Anna Rabsatt, said the purpose of the workshop was to ensure all persons who collect revenue are well versed and are consistent in their actions.

Ms. Rabsatt said, “In every organisation, there are standards and procedures, and for everyone to be on the same page, we have to communicate those standards and procedures to everyone. This is the reason why workshops like these are imperative, so that the Treasury Department can assist revenue collectors in the consistency of their work.”

She continued, “Accountability is also essential to the correct functioning of the Government. If records are not kept, or if too many mistakes are made, then there are disparities that will obscure the overall position of the Government’s financial status.”

The presentation covered the relationship between revenue collection and Government’s operations, the importance of revenue collectors,




This was expressed by Assistant Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Mrs. Elvia Smith-Maduro as she presented an overview of the project at a recently held two-day workshop in the Territory. Participants from both British and Dutch OCTs gathered at the Treasure Isle Hotel last Thursday and Friday to develop strategies to be implemented under the project.

The Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) regional project is expected to strengthen the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) sector within the region.

She said, “The overall objective of the programme is to support the development of the small and medium enterprises of the British and Dutch OCT’s and to reduce social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities through enhanced cooperation and competitiveness within the region.”

The Assistant Secretary also explained that the project is geared towards developing the capacity of SMEs on the macro, meso and micro levels. As it pertains to the macro level, the programme should help in the development of trade policies and legislation to facilitate




In his opening remarks Mr. Smith said, “I am pleased with the level of cooperation among the OCTs and I expect that we will have an efficient implementation phase of the project to address the gaps that have been identified within each Territory." Financial Secretary, Mr. Neil Smith chaired the second meeting of the project board of the OCT Regional Risk Reduction Initiative held on Tuesday 20th July, 2010 at UN House in Barbados.

The Regional Risk Reduction Initiative (R3i) is a three year, 4.9 million Euro European Union funded project being implemented by the United National Development Programme Barbados and the OECS. The Project focuses on enhancing disaster management capacities in Dutch and UK Caribbean OCTs through the use of tools and information and sharing of knowledge and expertise.

The main outputs of the project are hazard mapping, early warning systems, and improvements in rescue, response and recovery systems. There is also emphasis on regional cooperation and learning, improving coordination between the OCTs and sharing




Many importers attended the symposium which was held Tuesday morning at the Moorings Conference Room. – The BVI Customs Department hosted a symposium geared towards informing the public about the trader’s side of the new Customs Automated Processing System (CAPS).

During the presentation, Customs Officer with the CAPS Team, Ms. Kindra Pickering explained that the trader’s side of CAPS will be implemented after new legislation is passed. She said, “Although the required legislation has not been passed, the department felt it necessary to begin educating the public so the implementation of the new system will be an efficient and effective transition.”

Ms. Pickering explained that before CAPS is officially launched, all traders will be required to register with the department. Individuals who will be dealing directly with Customs and those who collect cargo at the warehouses will need to register their information. “This will be done in order to create online accounts for individuals, and also to facilitate better communication with traders,” she said.

According to the officer, CAPS will increase efficiency because it




Comptroller of Customs, Mr. Wade Smith, and Deputy Comptroller, Mr. Dean Fahie both received plaques in commemoration of work done with the HIDTA programme over the years. – Two officers of the BVI Customs Department received recognition for their contributions to the Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (PR/USVI HIDTA) programme at one of their meetings held in the Territory on Wednesday.

Chairman of the PR/USVI HIDTA Executive Committee and Resident Agent in Charge of Drug Enforcement Administration, Mr. James Doby, who presented the plaques, said that both Mr. Smith and Mr. Fahie have been “very supportive of HIDTA’s operations,” and that the organisation has “come to rely on them heavily.” He concluded his presentation by asserting that he looks forward to continuing the relationship that has been forged.

Deputy Chief Immigration Officer, Mr. Guy Hill, accepted a gift on behalf of the Premier and Minister of Finance, Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE, who holds responsibility for both the Customs and Immigration departments.

With regards to the department’s association




The comptroller made these remarks after Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE, moved the motion for the introduction and first reading of the bill entitled, “Customs Management and Duties Act, 2010” at the Twelfth Sitting of the Third Session of the First House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands yesterday. – According to Comptroller of Customs, Mr. Wade Smith, the new Customs act “is a signal that positive change will take place for the Customs Department and stakeholders.”

“Not only will the new legislation ensure proper regulation and uniformity of Customs activities, but it will also introduce a more efficient and reliable computerised system,” said Mr. Smith.

The system referred to by the comptroller is the trader’s side of the Customs Automated Processing System (CAPS). He said, “CAPS will decrease some of the hustle and bustle experienced by importers who will be able to submit their entries via their home computers. Also, the new system will provide essential statistics in relation to the types of imports




Participants from both British and Dutch OCT’s will meet in the Virgin Islands at the Treasure Isle Hotel Conference Room for the workshop which is scheduled for July 15 - 16, to develop strategies to be implemented under the project. – A workshop for the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT’s) regional project to strengthen the development of small and medium enterprises (SME’s) will take place in the Territory this week.

The Territory is charged with hosting the workshop due to its role as the Deputy Regional Authorising Officer for the Caribbean members of the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA). This function is carried out by Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith.

The main objective of the project is to reduce social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities through enhanced cooperation and competitiveness within the region.

The aim is to strengthen the capacity of SME Intermediaries in the British and Dutch OCTs, to manage and effectively implement strategies and mechanisms to develop linkages within the OCT sub-region, and to increase participation and integration in the wider Caribbean. Another




Ms. Ortiz was a panellist on Tuesday’s Public Eye programme along with the Managing Partner of Simonette Lewis Law Firm, Ms. Helene Lewis and Managing Partner MWM Global Holdings Ltd., Mr. Meade Malone. – According to Executive Director of the BVI International Finance Centre (IFC), Ms. Sherri Ortiz, the financial services sector is still a viable element of the Virgin Islands’ economy.

One major part of the discussions was the recent economic downturn. The Executive Director commented, “I think everyone realises that the Territory was not spared in the throes of the recent economic crisis. Everyone suffered some level of challenge or loss. The financial services industry and our Government are no exception.”

Ms. Ortiz noted that due to the crisis, the financial services industry has seen expected reductions, but emphasised that the Territory is still known as the number one corporate domicile, having the highest number of company incorporations globally. She said, “The fact that we are number one in this area is not enough. However, the recent economic crisis proves that once there




The Ministry of Finance’s Project Support Services Unit (PSSU) was tasked with overseeing the project. The project began in March of this year, with an expected duration of 15 months at a total cost of $2,981,481.84. –The Francis Lettsome Primary School’s new administration block is expected to be completed for the 2011 fall semester.

Project Engineer with the PSSU, Mr. Kevi Potter said, “The project was initiated to replace the old staff and classroom block.” Mr. Potter further stated, “Once completed, there will be six classrooms, a staff room, a library and a computer resource centre.”

According to Project Coordinator with the PSSU, Mr. Duane Fraites, works are on schedule and awaiting the procurement of the steel frame structure.

At present, block work is ongoing at ground level in preparation for the steel frame structure. The finished project will include a new administration and classroom building, an entrance gazebo to connect the new building to an existing one, as well as landscaping.

The project team comprises the contractor, International Construction Ltd,




The officials expressed this view on a recently aired GIS Public Eye programme. Comptroller of Customs Mr. Wade Smith, Assistant Comptroller (Assurance) Mr. Leslie Lettsome, and Customs Officer on the CAPS Team Ms. Kindra Pickering comprised the panel. – Officials from the Customs Department have stated both the Government and importers will benefit from the new trader’s side of the Customs Automated Processing System (CAPS).

With regards to how CAPS can benefit the Government, Mr. Lettsome explained, “CAPS will be used to gather more information, specifically statistics on travellers and goods. If the Government needs those statistics for whatever reason, they can be provided at the click of a button.”

He added, “For example, the system can be used to identify how much of a certain commodity is being imported over a certain time period.”

He also asserted that users will spend less time with CAPS, as compared to the manual system used now. He said, “The new tariff is easier to use, because the details for items can be easily found.”

According to




In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, the PSSU manager said, “Presenters gave sound arguments for sustainable development, and I very much appreciated the comments and questions coming from the audience, who were in full support of the discussion.” – Project Manager with the Ministry of Finance’s Project Support Services Unit (PSSU), Ms. Shaina M. Smith, said that the panel discussion held last Thursday, had begun “fostering a new awareness of sustainable development.”

During her introduction, Ms. Smith said, “The fundamental role of government is to enable sustainable development and to deliver services in an efficient and effective manner; and its core function is to establish the social and legal framework for sustainable development. It requires decisive planning action and cannot occur on its own without some type of framework.”

She continued, “When we speak about development, there is the misconception that this refers to economic development or physical development, and the environment and social aspects are minimised or sidelined.”

In his welcoming remarks, Financial Secretary, Mr. Neil Smith




The project is being executed by the Ministry of Finance, with supervision by its Project Support Services Unit (PSSU). – The plans for the Greenland Field Expansion Project were announced recently at a public meeting held at the East End/Long Look Community Centre.

According to Project Coordinator with the PSSU, Mr. Duane Fraites, “The project, which began in March of last year, was initiated due to the evident need to renovate the field’s facilities.”

“However, works were later suspended as a new initiative to upgrade and expand the field was realised after additional land was acquired by the Government. As such, the new designs are a result of this new initiative which includes the existing field and the adjacent property recently acquired,” said Mr. Fraites.

In relation to the project’s phases, Project Engineer with the PSSU, Mr. Kevi Potter said, “The expectation is that the project will be executed in two phases. The first phase of the works will be to restore the field, which will include the installation of a drainage and




One of the main objectives is sharing details to equip civil servants to detour statements affecting the Territory’s financial services reputation as the jurisdiction of choice. – Guest speakers at the “Go BVI Financial Services Training 2010,” workshop series are providing civil servants with information about the Territory’s financial services industry.

The BVI International Finance Centre (IFC) is facilitating the workshops, which officially began Monday. The main speaker, Mrs. Helene Lewis, proprietor of the Simonette-Lewis law firm, began by sharing the history of the industry and origin of usage of the term “offshore”.

At Tuesday’s training, Mr. Jamal Smith, corporate lawyer with Harney Westwood and Riegels presented the private sector’s functions and the role that sector plays in the financial services industry. He also explained the importance of telecommunications with respect to the industry.

He said, “Critical to the survival of the financial sector, we must have critical infrastructure. In order for us to compete with on-shore business, we need to be connected to the rest of the world. If our telecommunications services are




The panel discussion themed, “Project Planning and Management for Sustainable Development” takes place on June 3 at the Moorings Conference Room and begins at 6:30 p.m. – The Ministry of Finance’s Project Support Services Unit (PSSU) will host a panel discussion focussing on sustainable development, to enhance public service and public awareness of the value of project planning and management in the territory’s development.

According to the Manager of the PSSU, Ms. Shaina M. Smith, sustainable development is the balancing act that has to take place where planning integrates social development needs, economic opportunity and environmental protection to meet the needs of the current and future generations.

“The panel consists of persons from the public and private sectors involved in the construction and project management industries,” said Ms. Smith.

With regards to the theme of the upcoming discussion, the manager explained, “Panellists will discuss how project planning and management are part of the strategy taken to ensure resources are used optimally - be it financial, human and environmental.”

She added, “They will also discuss development




The first session, “Project Negotiations: Deal Yourself a Winning Hand,” was hosted by Mr. Joe Lkas, Vice President of PM Centers USA. Mr. Lkas presented the top ten mistakes made when conducting project negotiations and provided techniques that persons can use to avoid such mistakes. – The Ministry of Finance’s Project Support Services Unit (PSSU) recently facilitated an all-day virtual seminar, “PMXPO 2010 – Virtual Project Management Conference” at the Public Service Training Centre with one of the presentations on project negotiation receiving high marks from the 11 public officers in attendance.

Participants gave that session high marks and agreed it was “very informative”. Project Analyst with PSSU, Mrs. Deborah Maddox, said that it was “the overall best presentation.”

One participant, Mrs. Jasmine Hodge-Bannis, Conservation Assistant with the Conservation and Fisheries Department said, “I learned when I should be silent, when I should speak, when I should negotiate, and how I should articulate myself.”

“Project negotiation is something that needs to be focused on more. This is a skill that we can improve. In




“The Ministry of Finance is opening up its doors to anyone interested in a career in Finance,” said Mr. Jeremy Hodge, Human Resources (HR) Manager. – The Ministry of Finance will host a special open house and career day on Tuesday at its offices in the Central Administration Building, as part of the government’s Public Service Week activities.

“We are also representing Team D – Eagles, and this is only one of our major efforts to be crowned number one at the end of public service week,” said the HR Manager.

Activities planned include guided tours throughout the office which is located on the third floor of the Central Administration Building in the West Atrium. Visitors will have the opportunity to discuss career opportunities available within the ministry, and also meet with members of staff who will describe their core job functions and responsibilities.

The Department of Information Technology, which falls under the ministry, will give demonstrations of new technology used throughout government today.

“We felt it necessary to include the




Over 40 participants attended the workshop on Wednesday and commented positively on their experiences. – Staff in the Ministry of Finance and the International Finance Centre attended a motivational workshop at the Public Service Training Centre and reported it was not only entertaining, but they are now more motivated to achieve career milestones.

Mrs. Barbara Pickering-St. Rose of the Project Support Services Unit commented at the end of Wednesday’s session: “It was a very educational day. I really enjoyed the information and the presentation....What I am taking is a better understanding of motivation.”

Mr. Delroy Jennings of the Budget Unit said, “I had an excellent and encouraging day. I learned that a level of trust is important so that you can relax and release negativity.”

The workshop was the first in a series of motivational workshops organised for the Ministry of Finance and its departments. The third workshop is being held today and targets the Department of Information Technology.

In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Human Resources




According to Human Resources (HR) Manager at the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Jeremy Hodge, the goal of these activities is to “stress the importance of planning collectively as one Ministry.” – The Ministry of Finance (MOF) will be hosting its first Leadership Quarterly Review Planning Day for 2010 and motivational workshops on May 11 – 20.

“We want to make certain that everyone shares the same vision and direction. We also want to ensure that all the targets set are in line with the overall ministerial organisational objectives,” said Mr. Hodge.

The HR Manager explained, “At the planning day, the Heads of Departments (HODs) will report on whether they have achieved the targets they set earlier this year, and if not, we will discuss what needs to be done to ensure that they are met. And if they are successful, we will review why they were successful.”

With regards to the motivational workshops, Mr. Hodge said, “The aim is to ensure that our employees are motivated to achieve. We want them to know the




In an interview with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Mr. O’Neal said, “The terminal will be a state-of-the-art facility. It demonstrates the BVI Ports Authority’s commitment to the Territory, in enhancing not only the local travelling experience, but also the experience of the international traveler.” – The Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA), Mr. V. Victor O’Neal, has announced plans of the BVIPA to begin works for the new West End port facility very soon.

The Managing Director explained that persons travelling to and from Jost Van Dyke will have comfort, as the new facility will provide a covered terminal and waiting lounge with adequate seating.

“In addition, there will be accommodation for small landing craft type badges, to facilitate cargo movement to the surrounding islands,” said Mr. O’Neal.

Ports Engineer with the BVIPA, Ms. Asiyah Grant, said that the new terminal will also cater to boaters, including provisions for mega yachts.

She said, “The Territory is known as the sailing capital of the world, and the BVI Ports Authority is




In his opening statement, he said, “Our economies in the English and Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories are heavily reliant on our physical infrastructure and therefore the quality of this environment is a determining factor in the quality of everyday life and economic development of our Territories.” – At the first project board meeting for the Overseas Countries and Territories’ Regional Risk Reduction Initiative (OCT R3I), the Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith, who was appointed the first chairman of the new board, said that the economies of English and Dutch OCTs “depend on physical infrastructure.”

At the meeting, which was held yesterday at the Commercial Court of the Virgin Islands, Mr. Smith told attendees that his background in engineering and finance makes him uniquely aware of the issues; along with the fact that he has worked closely with the Department of Disaster Management (DDM).

To that end, the Financial Secretary noted, “This initiative is a natural and logical project for me to partake in. I understand the importance of risk mitigation in economic development.”

Mr.




In a recent GIS Radio Report, Senior Auditor, Mrs. Lorna Fahie, encouraged the public to make their submissions on time. – The Inland Revenue Department is reminding members of the public that the submission of the 2009 Annual Payroll Tax Returns is due on or before this Friday, April 30.

“It is very important to submit all proper documentation for Payroll Tax before the deadline. If you own a business, or you are self-employed, then you are obligated by law to pay Payroll Tax. Further, I would like to thank the tax payers for contributing to the Territory’s economy by paying taxes,” she said.

The forms required when making submissions are the Annual Return of Payroll Tax (Form P7- the blue form); the Return of Notional Remuneration and Financial Statement (Form P11- the green form); the Annual Payroll Remittance Form (F48- the white form); and the record of Employees Tax Deductions (Form P1- the pink form). Mrs. Fahie also emphasised that the forms should be completed in full, and signed.

During the radio report, tax




The Territory is charged with facilitating the programme in its capacity as the Deputy Regional Authorising Officer for the Caribbean members of the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA). This function is carried out by Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith. – The Virgin Islands is well on its way to further develop the action fiche attached to the recently approved proposal for the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean Regional Programme.

According to Assistant Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Mrs. Elvia Smith-Maduro, “The regional programme is geared towards strengthening the development of small and medium enterprises (SME’s) of the British and Dutch Overseas -Countries and Territories (OCT’s) in the Caribbean Region.”

“Funds from the 10th EDF will be used to build the capacity of SME intermediaries, such as Small Business Bureaus, Trade Departments and Chambers of Commerce, to help them to better service the SME’s,” said Mrs. Smith-Maduro.

She continued, “This may involve building their capacity to assist with securing loans, management training, accounting, book keeping and even business plans.”

The Assistant




Status: Electrical Work was awarded to Skelton Electrics and the Mechanical Work to ADC Construction Company (July 22, 2010)




Status: Tender Process was cancelled by the Ministry of Communications & Works




Status: Project awarded to Trevor Blaize dba Electronic Solution (February 17, 2010)




Status: Tender Process quashed by Cabinet (December 1, 2009)




Her Majesty’s (HM) Customs in collaboration with the BVI Tourist Board, Department of Immigration, BVI Ports Authority and ferry operators will implement faster clearance procedures at the Territory’s ports of entry beginning April 21.

Following a series of meetings with the agencies involved, it was agreed that faster clearance procedures must be implemented at the Road Town and West End ports of entry to alleviate passenger congestion and to facilitate better service delivery.

At a press conference held on April 6 Comptroller of Customs Mr. Wade Smith said given the limited space at these ports the agencies involved have agreed to implement the green and red line system which will assist in addressing safety concerns and alleviating passenger congestion at the ports of entry. ”We have embarked on an initiative, the red and green line system, which simply means that passengers with goods to declare will go to the red line and special needs passengers and passengers with nothing to declare will go to the green line,” Mr. Smith said.

In addition to alleviating congestion,




Status: This project was cancelled and retendered. Tender Notice 11 of 2009




Status: Project awarded to Tortola Carpet Sales & Services Ltd. (June 1, 2011)