The British Virgin Islands is making plans to get its shipping register more focused on the merchant fleet. The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry (VISR) is best known for its yachting business, but the premier of British overseas territory, Andrew Fahie, has outlined details to beef up the flag this week.
Fahie will make VISR a government statutory body and is aiming to attract merchant ships.
“There is economic diversity where vessels can register in the BVI through company registers … It is important that we continue to improve our product offerings/deliveries and expand the services we provide to our clients and to attract other categories of vessels such as larger vessels — tankers, bulk carriers, container ships, and one day perhaps even cruise ships,” Fahie said at a press conference this week. Fahie also has portfolio responsibility for shipping.
“Vessels that have never come to the BVI can register here and perhaps we can structure our substance requirements to make it beneficial for shipping companies to have operational and management functions and offices in the BVI,” the premier added.
The Caribbean is already home to many flags of the merchant fleet such as Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, St Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago.