After moving to suspend the regulation that required the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) to pay a wharfage fee of 10 cents per gallon on imported petroleum products, the Government has announced that it will be permanently removing the provision.

Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Kye Rymer, made the statement in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, in response to a question posed by the leader of the Opposition, Hon. Ronnie Skelton.

On May 18, 2021, the BVIEC issued a press release announcing that under an amendment to the BVI Ports Authority Regulations, which was approved by Cabinet and Gazetted on April 15, a wharfage fee of 10 cents per gallon would be charged on petroleum products discharged through a ship’s pipeline to the BVIEC’s facilities.

The BVIEC in the press release informed the public that due to the new fee, the cost would be transferred to residents’ electricity bills from May 2021.

After the news broke, residents voiced their dissatisfaction with the Government for introducing the fee, which would have been an additional burden to their expenses.

The then Premier, Andrew Fahie, in a subsequent press conference announced that he was moving to exempt the BVIEC from paying the wharfage fee.

That exemption according to a Cabinet Statement from the May 28 meeting, only lasted for a period of one year with effect from April, 15 2021.

According to Rymer, despite the stipulated period, the fee continues to be suspended to date.