Charter boats and commercial fishermen will no longer have to pay new licensing fees that were aimed at luxury boat owners in the Cayman Islands last year.
According to regulations approved by Cabinet and made public last week, registering fees charged based on the length of a watercraft will not apply to commercial vessels.
The revised Port Authority of the Cayman Islands regulations state: “Where a local vessel is used for commercial purposes, the owner of the vessel shall be exempt from paying the fee so specified in respect of such vessel”.
Tourism Minister Cline Glidden Jr. said earlier in the year that the new fee schedule had been inadvertently applied to tour boats, charters and commercial fishermen, contrary to legislative intent.
“There was a specific exemption [for commercial vessels], but apparently it got miscommunicated,” Mr. Glidden said.
The luxury watercraft fee increases were approved as part of a raft of new fees and taxes during the last government budget process, and the biggest fees were charged to boats longer than 30 feet.
Rates on vessels between 31 and 40 feet went up from $300 to $1,000. For vessels between 41 and 50 feet, the rates went up from $300 to $2,000. Similar scale increases were introduced on a sliding scale up to 100 feet.
The top rate previously was a charge of $1,000 for boats of more than 70 feet. The top rate is now $10,000 for boats of more than 100 feet.