DPM: Fair balance struck on boating fees

DPM: Fair balance struck on boating fees
Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest (file photo)

NASSAU,BAHAMAS – The Government believes it has “struck a fair balance” for the new boating fee increases to take effect in January Deputy Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest said yesterday.

Speaking on the sidelines of a grant cheque presentation for eight entrepreneurs impacted by Hurricane Dorian Mr Turnquest stated, “We had extensive discussions with the marinas association to come up with what we thought would be a fair fee scale. The rate hadn’t been changed in quite some time. Though collaborative effort, consultation with industry and charter companies, we believe we have struck a fair balance for the new rate structure.”

Mr Turnquest continued,  “So far the market appears to accept that it is reasonable. This is potentially a very lucrative market we have not been able to tap. We know that we are missing tremendous revenue opportunities. By putting in this fee structure we seek to capture some of that. We hope to very soon launch an online registration  process which will help us even more because now these yachts will be able to register online before they even come to the country.”

According to the Ministry of Tourism’s website, the fees for boats entering The Bahamas will be increased from the current $150 for boats up to 35 feet in length and $300 for larger vessels.

The new fees, to take effect from January 1, 2020, are: boats Up to 34 feet: $150 for three months; $300 annually; boats from 35 to 100 feet: $300 for three months; $600 annually; boats from 100 to 150 feet: $500 for three months; $1,000 annually; boats from 150 to 200 feet: $800 for three months; $2,000 annually and oats over 200 feet: $1,000 for three months; $2,000 annually.

The Ministry’s website added that the fees will cover a cruising permit, fishing permit, and the departure tax for up to three persons. “Each additional person above three will be charged a $20 departure tax. This fee is good for a second re-entry within a 90-day period,” it said, adding that special arrangements must be made with Bahamas Customs and Immigration for staying longer than 12 months.