ALEXANDRIA, Va. – In a move seen as a positive sign for Bahamas-bound boaters, the Bahamas government recently announced a change in its Cruising Permit Fee structure to allow for two entries within a 90-day period rather than only one entry, BoatU.S. reported in a statement yesterday.
The same fee scale announced on July 1 remains – $150 for boats up to 35 feet and $300 for boats over 35 feet. However, by allowing two entries for the same fee, the rate is effectually cut in half for those who choose to frequent the islands more than once in a 90-day period, the boat owners’ association reported.
Keith Gomez, boating & fishing specialist with the Bahamas Tourism Centre, recently acknowledged that complaints from boaters and the U.S. and Bahamas boating industries were having an impact. Further changes could take place in June 2004 when the government’s new budget year commences, according to BoatU.S.
BoatU.S. has been encouraging its members to contact Bahamian officials since the fee increase was unexpectedly announced last summer, and continues to urge boaters to voice their concerns by emailing Gomez at email@example.com or the Bahamian Comptroller of Customs, John Rolle, at firstname.lastname@example.org, copying BoatU.S. Government Affairs at govtaffairs@BoatUS.com.
“We’ve seen several hundred messages to the Bahamas government, and they were effective,” said BoatU.S. Associate Director of Federal Affairs Dick Thompson.
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