British Virgin Islands to Accept Technical Calls, Warm Lay Ups

Ships in Tortola

The BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) has announced that permission has been granted for the acceptance of technical calls and warm layups at its seaports for cruise ships.

The goverment has agreed on conditions to allow cruise ships to carry out short-term berthing at the BVI Ports Authority’s Cruise Pier and Port Purcell dock under strict health and safety rules, according to a press release.

"It is important for the BVIPA to stay in line with the Government’s decision to suspend cruise liner visits to the Territory during the current COVID-19 Pandemic," the port authority said, in a press release ."But the cruise business can be continued via what is known as a technical call or warm layup. This is not a cruise call, the vessel does not have any passengers on board, and it will be berthing exclusively to take on bunkers, provisions, spare parts and other services. No crew members will be allowed to disembark from the vessel, and no attendance on board the vessel from shore based staff will be permitted during its stay in the BVI."

The economic benefits of extending technical calls or warm layups include ships carrying out refueling, repair and start-up activities in the territory before they can set sail again, according to the  BVI Ports Authority.

Deputy Managing Director Oleanvine Maynard said: “The government is already looking ahead and has created an economic task force which is tasked with evaluating and preparing the BVI to be best positioned as we reboot the economy. The Port is one of the areas which is considered critical to our economy and as such we must adapt.”

“We wish to thank the Government of the Virgin Islands and our local shipping agents for its collaborative approach, and for working closely with us on this initiative. Providing supplies and fuel is of vital importance for the maritime industry,” said Dean Fahie, Ag. Managing Director of the BVIPA.

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