Boat owners face tenfold fee increase

| 25/09/2012

product_img2_24 (300x265).jpg(CNS): Updated – Owners of large boats and luxury yachts registered with the Port Authority will be paying ten times more tax on their vessels as a result of the fee increases in the 2012/13 budget. The licence for local boats (those normally operating in Cayman waters) exceeding 100 feet will now cost their owners $10,000 per year, up from $1000, which was the old  fee for all vessels over 70 feet. According to the amended regulations, which have now been published, the fees begin on boats over 30 feet but fees for smaller boats remain the same. The amended fees under the new Port regulations do not apply to yachts registered under the Merchant Shipping Law unless locally owned and operating in Cayman territorial waters.

Local boats under 21 feet are not taxed and owners are not required to pay a fee. Government has also chosen not to tax private wave runners and jet skis though owners renting these types of craft will pay $150 fee.

Vessels over 30 feet and under 40 feet will now attract a fee of $1,000 per annum, up from $300 in the previous regulations. 

Boats over 40 but under 50 feet will go up from $300 to $2,000, while those between 51 and 60 feet will increase from $500 to $3,000.

Vessels exceeding 61 feet but and 70 feet will pay $4,000 instead of $500 and those over 70 feet will now cost their owners $5,000 per year.

Boats over 80 feet will be $6,000 and over 90 feet $7,000, with the vessels exceeding 100 feet now attracting a whopping annual license fee of $10,000.

See amended regulations below.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The issue, I feel, is that whilst drivers pay vehicle import duty, license fees and tax on fuel we do at least get paved roads in return. Boaters in Cayman have to put up with hopelessly maintained channels and little or no support from the emergency services when things go wrong. In other words the funds aren't used for what, at least, theoretically they should be. 

    The US has their Coastguard the UK the (voluntary) RNLI and we get the DTF………….

  2. Anonymous says:

    My god, what a bunch of whiners! I completely understand everyone reacting negatively to anything that this government does with regard to increasing costs, especially since we know the money will be mismamaged and squandered on foolishness, but you all need to consider what other folks pay their governments in other countries. And before I hear about how expensive it is to live in Cayman already, etc, let me say that I have travelled enough to know that in places like New York, London, etc, it really is no cheaper to live, no matter what BS people tell you. And Cayman has no patent or monopoly on oversized government staffing or useless, incompetent civil servants either.
    In my view, if you can afford to buy gasoline or diesel for a large pickup truck, you can afford to pay 400 bucks a year to drive it on Cayman Roads. After all they’re not built for free (no matter what McGyver and the FCIA propaganda machine tells us). Same for boats. If you can afford to own and maintain a boat in Cayman, you can damn well afford to pay tax on it. So stop whining about paying to live in luxury, because you habe todo that anywhere you go in the World, and spend more time demanding accountability for the money you contribute to the Government’s coffers. And while you’re at it, steel out and support some decent competent people to run in the next election, so we can vote out this lousy, corrupt bunch of goofers, so that we can have some balance and accountability for a change.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I can't beleive that they have not charged Waverunners. they toys are a pure luxury and are a pain in the A….. The users of these don't respect the 200yrd speed limit.

    These should be charged $1,000pa


    PA please review this policy and start charging waverunners.


    OH!! and by the way i have a 55ft'r and now have to pay $3,000, i am not happy on the increase but do un derstand that this boat is a luxury item for my family and friends to enjoy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have a boat since ten years and never paid a fee……..nobody collects…..same same for the new fees ))

  5. Abdu Salom Al GotBucks says:

    That's right….I said it must be 99.5 feet!!!!  With a 50' beam!!! And gold taps!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn't mind paying the money if I knew the fee was designed for something other than patching a serious whole in our economic structure.  Unfortunately, we are to blame.  We put in idiots for years and now we're paying for it.  I'd prefer if we did away with democracy and ran the place like a business.  Democracy seems to ruin places once the politics of poverty starts to take hold

  7. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if any analysis has been done to see how many of these boats will now register elsewhere to avoid the fee increase, and how much additional revenue will actually make its way into the public coffers, ie. the Laffer Curve. Likewise the business fee increases. I suspect they just multiplied last year's boat registration revenue by 10 and added that number to the budget without any allowance for lost business.

    I guess there'd be too many voters in the net if they taxed smaller locally based craft and jetskis. Which is a shame- a 1000% tax increase on jetskis would make SMB a nicer place to swim!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just another example of the ordinary hard working people of the Cayman Islands being taxed to cover the country's loss of tax revenue from DART and the McKeeva Dart secret 30 year tax free deal. Shame on our Premier and shame on Dart who have both sold us all out. The deception of both Dart and Govt hiding this from the public while the For Cayman Alliance road show sold us a different story has been disingenuous and outright dishonest. The entire Govt and the Dart organisation especiallyMr Dart,  Jackie Doak and Mark Van Develde have lost all credibility in hiding the facts from the public while they secretly plunder the country's earnings which belong to the people and are not the premier's to give away. This will never be forgotten by the people and the entire Dart organisation should remember that only they themselves have been responsible for how are perceived by the public.


  9. UH UH UH says:

    Seriously Folks! Let us stop and think about why, and for what reason Mr. Bush and his "minions" are doing this to us. Please don't think it's because of ignorance or ineptitude. UH UH! This a contrived long term plan in collaboration with one "Mr. Dart Raider" who [as much as we may hate to admit it] is a lot smarter than most of  those who were fortunate enough to have been here during the years  when unlimited  opportunities were present  for so many  to become  wealthy. And many of them became rich but few gave back to help build the country! Now these are the same ones who are now complaining about the "IMPENDING DEMISE"  of that little piece of paradise we all enjoyed over the years, all because they were so busy enriching themselves they never noticed the deterioration of those wonderful assets  and qualities we were known for,  like our pristine beaches where one could sit quietly in the evenings after watching the sun slide below the horizon winking  with a flash of green as he said goodnight. We took for granted the kindness of our people, the selflessness, congeniality, neighborliness and love of country. These were the things that made us the envy of the Caribbean, but we let greed, avarice and complacency infiltrate our every thought and waken moment, and so we became the"YES MEN" and the "ASS KISSERS" of those in power, because by so doing  we found ourselves being handed lots of money [not earned] which enabled us   to acquire all the status symbols of the day. The large homes the fantasy cars the mega yachts, and as they say, we were  "Living The Life of Riley."  But throughout all this there was one major caveat that few of us  considered, and that was, the fact that most of these things were bought on credit, and that one day the "Piper" would come calling. After all he has to be paid.  Guess what folks?  HE'S HERE !


    And so begins the sale of the the cars, the boats, the foreclosures and the removal of kids from private schools etc. etc. all because " as the song goes" ………. THOSE WERE THE DAYS MY FRIEND, WE THOUGHT THEY'D NEVER END. And that's why we find ourselves in the quagmire of this  economic morass.   So with the help of our inept political leaders, we have no reserves and we are in "SERIOUS DEBT" all because we have no checks and balances and our politicians are allowed to spend "OUR" money as if it grew on trees! Now we're broke and we find ourselves in desperation, trying to acquire  enough money to appease the F.C.O. What is most ridiculous, is that, they are trying to raise these funds through unreasonable taxation of more fees & tariffs  which will affect our poor and  middle class, thus the demise continues  which enables our friend Mr. Dart Raider to buyup every piece of land and building at  rock bottom prices, and this Government is doing everything to assist him. So don't be surprised if one day we'll be no longer known as "THE ISLAND TIME FORGOT"  But as "THE ISLAND DART BOUGHT"





  10. Anonymous says:

    Maybe we could register them in Cayman Brac. I'm sure there is a different fee structure over there!

  11. Peanuts says:

    Why not Tax Private Planes…………….

    • Anonymous says:

      or maybe you could read the miller shaw report and cut gov expenditure!!!

  12. Chris says:

    And where are the enforcement officers responsible to collect this fee?

    This will be another hole in the government budget where uncollected revenue  will result in another appropriation…..oooops, no appropriations allowed this year!

    We will see about that! 😉

  13. Anonymous says:

    Another classic move by our "democratic" government.  One that, I dare say will have far reaching effect.  How can the government ( I mean Mac) simply impose these increases that were probably thought up while sitting on the back porch?  "Hmm, lets see….where can we get some quick money to help us out of this mess?  I know we'll screw the small business owner again.  They're used to it."  What about the democratic process?  How can a watersports company survive with such increases?  And this sector of our tourism industry is the biggest draw for the visitor. And all to bail out a failing government.  Register to vote, people!! Let's change things if we can.

    • Married to a Caymanian - says:

      Funny how these same politiicians kept it very quiet that all you need to vote now is status and a birth certificate?  I called 928-VOTE (8683) and the vote drive repscame to my home after hours.  Too easy, took five minutes.  Can also phone 328-vote.  

      The old saying goes, "vote with your feet

    • Anonymous says:

      Please licence your boat, my friend, you can afford it so stop blaiming Mr Bush.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Right Horrible Mac put me off buying a house here a month or so ago with the Expat tax fiasco, so I think "what now, how about getting a boat instead" & he ups the fee, so adding that on to all the other crazy running costs (fuel, mooring, servicing, insurance) it's better for me to do the occassional booze-cruise/boat dive now & again paying someone a few bucks a time than to have my own one; think I'll send my cash overseas to invest as it earns nothing here (another ripoff).

    So many people are telling me of putting homes up for sale that they cannot sell, or moving businesses/funds/directorships etc. overseas where it is cheaper. This guy is such a ****; cut spending & reduce taxes.

    • Anonymous says:

      and it would help if he kept his rear end in Cayman for more than 2 days at a time and did something to earn his huge slary, two pensions, all utilities paid, first class travel around the world – oh that's right, that's why he and all his cronies don;t have time to do any work.   Whilst we the people, thei idiots, fork out more and more for everything while earning less and less.  This place is a disgrace.  

  15. Anonymous says:

    All vessels on the Cayman Islands Shipping Register are registered under the Merchant Shipping Law and not under the Port Regulations. 

    The maximum you would pay to register a vessel with the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry is US$1,200.  The fees quoted in the article above and the related comments are for locally operated vessels.


    • Diogenes says:

      The Port Regulations simply refer to "local vessels".  There is no definition of what "local" means.  There is certainly no indication that it is limited to those operated in local waters (or for that matter what that means either). 

      To say a vessel flagged in Cayman and on its register is somehow not Caymanian is a bold statement but one that only has no legal foundation but could prove quite dangerous for the foreign owner trying to persuade an overseas tax or regulatory authority that its not "local" there.  Oh ho, they could say, you claim its Caymanian but its not subject to Cayman port regulations or licencing fees, which specifically apply to local vessels.  When you have millions at stake why take the risk –  just register it in another jurisdiction that did not have these added complexities. 

      Another piece of knee jerk revenue raising without proper thought or industry consultation, highly unlikely to raise significant additional revenue and with the potential to seriously reduce it.  If you are going to do this do it properly – amend the law to include the appropriate distinctions between what attracts port authority fees and what does not, and without using the word local, for heavens sake.  Amateur hour.

      • Anonymous says:

        Most ships on the Cayman register never come within hailing distance of Cayman. They are not "local" in any sense of the word. The ones that sail to Miami, Jamaica etc  are engaged in foreign trade, which is also not local. It might be nice to have said domestic or coastwise or interisland but local has meaning and it appears it will be interpreted sensibly.

        • Anonymous says:

          Interpreted sensibly by who? If you are a super yacht owner you don't really care if the Port Authority suddenly decides you owe them $10K – if you never turn up here, why would you care.  But you do care if the tax authorities in your home port say that the fact that the Port Authority says that Cayman local vessels pay the $10K, and you are not paying it because the boat is not in fact local to Cayman, makes the boat local somewhere else and liable to tax.  Read this and tell me that as the owner you would rather avoid the risk by switching registration to somehwere like BVI, which not only does not have inconsistent law that raises questions over a boat being "local" or not, but is $9K cheaper to boot. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    Just one more of many reasons to wave at Cayman as you pass on by.  Wouldn't be any where near so bad if you were paying for a service instead of private parking lots, vote buying churce donations, court cases for incompetence, never ending school building by family members etc.  In other words your going to pay for something you will never need or want.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Mac suggested that work permit holders pay a lil fee and everybody jumped up in arms.. now guess what? Da wa unny get.. or I should say Da we WE get..

    • Diogenes says:

      A little fee – are you kidding?  Work permits for labour I simply cannot get locally despite advertising and running our own in house apprenticeship program now exceed $175K.  They have gone up over 300% in 5 years.  We were thinking of expanding, but those jobs will now go to the BVI where the work permits for the same job are less than 10% of what they are here.  We may have to cut back headcount here too – so that's work permit revenue that will not be raised, salaries that won't be spent in our shops, duty on everything from groceries to fuel that won't be raised. Da wa unny get…. all because someone simply cannot stop spending money on luxuries like round the world travel, the nation building fund etc.  At the same time we have to watch the NRA getting cut to pieces, cause spending money on roads is either less importantthan flying first class to Greenland, or because someone else would like the road paving work (which wil of course cost more than the NRA doing it).  Boat tax is the least of it.  Sheesh.  Think before you throw a rock at work permit holders. 

      • Anonymous says:

        "We were thinking of expanding, but those jobs will go to the BVI where the work permits for the same job are less than 10% of what they are here".

        Either you haven't done your research or you are being disingenuous. The BVI also charges 10% payroll tax for small employers and 14% payroll for larger employers, 8% of which is deducted from the employee's salary. I think you will that even our increased work permit fee costs less than the BV work permit fee and the payroll tax combined.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I'll pay my boat fees when Mac & JuJu repay all of the money they have wasted on travel!

  19. Anonymous says:

    yet another step in the wrong direction for the overpriced cayman islands…..

    can the last one to leave please turn off the lights……zzzzzzzzz

  20. Anonymous says:

    the latest 'udp mismanagement' fee……

    all because they refuse to cut the overstaffed, over paid, underworked civil service…….zzzzzzzz

  21. Anonymous says:

    Well, we will be moving or selling our boat.  Guess what? The boat industry loses out!  That is the most crazy hike I have heard of!  How can you make such unbelievable hikes?  All that will happen is that we will move or sell our boats.  Very simple.  Well done Mac.  Another net loss for the country!


  22. peter milburn says:

    I for one support some moderate increases in the various avenues created by the Govt.But give me a break.My truck has gone from CI$200 to CI$400 What the hell???Most if not all would support a small increase of say 25-50$sbut all we are doing now is increasing the cost of living to help get the UDP out of a mess that they have compounded ever since coming into office.The PPM are also to blame BUT come on lets be rational about all these increases.We cannot and I dare say WILL NOT help you to try to pay off your national debt in one fell swoop.Boat fees are also a point of serious concern.I pay my fees each year BUT on the other hand the so called "W/end worriors"half of whom dont even know how to handle a boat are getting off scott free??Across the board moderate increases are acceptable and I must add that those of us who are in the tourism business (suffering like everyone else)will have to pass these large increases on to our guests who are already paying through the nose now.I would seriously like to say to our govt re-visit these huge increases and try to remember that many of us cannot afford to pay much now much less more.I think the old saying goes "One one fill basket" but "greedy choke puppy"

    • Morse says:

      Well said Peter but there again our Premier is a basket case.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree as well. A slight increase to provide additional government revenue yet still be manageable for us residents. Not a massive percentage hike like this. As we sometimes like to say, "ridiculousness".


        It's as if our government doesn't understand the simple supply and demand model. Geesh, I learned that in high school. The more it costs to create a product, the more expensive the price will be. So if he's increasing the fees on the boats which are used in the tourism industry, obviously the cost per tourist will go up. Obviously this will deter consumers. Obviously this will shrink the consumer pool. Obviously. Perhaps not so obvious to those in government blinded by dollar signs. Sometimes I have huge urges to smack some sense into them. Or throw a dictionary at them. Or both.

  23. Anonymous says:

    This is so sad. The Premier and his government is ringing the death knell for Cayman businesses. Who are advising him on these fees anyway. The company where I work represents Cayman companies and a few are owners of yachts that are registered here and proudly flies the Cayman Flag. I can tell Mr. Bush that my clients will not pay CI$10,000 to register their yachts – especially when they are located very close to Gibralter, Malta etc. Does this man get it? Don’t he realise that Cayman exempt companies are closing down left rignt and centre? Don’t he realise that he is killing the goose that laid the golden egg? Why don’t he discuss things like this with people on island who knows? Don’t he know that there are other countries/islands who can and are offering these services for half or less of the fees they are paying in Cayman?. Investors flocked here in the past to get these services done, because the fees were reasonable; services were and is very efficient and timely but if Cayman continue with these rise in cost our clients will have no problem in moving the business to another jurisdiction. In fact many are doing just that. They will have no problem with waiting one day extra to get an exempt company with half the cost. Can some body sit him down (or sit on him) and pound this into that knob he calls a head. Is’nt it better to get en yachts paying CI$1,000 each and none paying CI$10,000. ROLSTON, MARK. MIKE DO YOU ALL UNDERSTAND THIS? CAN YOU TALK TO YOUR PREMIER OR ARE YOU GUYS JUST AS FRUSTRATED WITH HIM AS THE REST OF US ARE?? WE ARE GETTING READY TO SCUTTLE ALL OF YOU FOR BEING TOO COMPLIANT!!

    • Anonymous says:

      As you work for a company that “represents Cayman companies” you will already be aware that the Port Regulations do not apply to vessels operating outside of Cayman waters. Vessels that fly the flag of Malta, Gibraltar, etc would more than likely not be doing domestic trade in Cayman waters so your owners would need not consider moving their vessels to those locations as the $10,000 fee DOES NOT apply to them.

      • Diogenes says:

        Where in the regulations does it say that?  It doesnt – it just says "local vessels" – there is nothing to say what constitutes local, and at the same time a registry that defines any vessel on it as Caymanian, entitled to fly the Cayman flag, be governed by Cayman law and to even have George Town written across its stern. 

        • Anonymous says:

          But that does not make it local. E.g. exempted companies and ordinary companies are both Cayman Islands companies but only companies doing business within the Islands qualify as local companies hence the Local Companies (Control) Law. A vessel which is registered elsewhere but operates here would also qualify as a local vessel. The plain and ordinary meaning of local will mean a vessel operating here or from here. Yes, I know it is not well drafted but I don't have any doubt about how it would be interpreted by a court.      

    • I can read... says:

      Without adding to the debate on the merits or impact of this fee hike, the attached Gazette clearly states that these fees are for LOCAL vessels only.  This is not an offshore yacht / CI flagged vessel issue.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Good article. One point though – it really is pathetic when you hear the whispers that they are "frustrated" or "its all outside their control". Rolston, Cline and the rest of this ruling party are paid to govern in the best interest of this country and it is beyond belief that all of them have failed in that regard.    

    • Married to a Caymanian - says:

      Shipping regsitration has a max of USD$1,200 so if you are overseas this will NOT affect your boss's yachts.

      The fee is aimed at local boats in the North Sound, you know the weekend folks who work hard and get shafted by big Mac. 

      He refused to cut the fat so we must all PAY.


      • Anonymous says:

        Your right. It's aboput local boats in the North Sound. The National Watersports Association. You made the big big mistake of going against Premier Mac on the dredging of the NS, Now you will pay. You will now need a real T&B plus a fee for your big boat. You screwed up big time and it is now pay day.

        • Anonymous says:

          I would hope that our premier would not be so vindictive that he would damage the country to get back at people who opposed one of his policies. If that is true he needs to be removed from office sooner rather than later.      

  24. Anonymous says:

    Don't think you'll see the Cayman flag on Mitt Romney's boat next year!

    • Anonymous says:

      Mitt Romney’s vessel (if indeed he owns one) would not be registered under the Port Regulations, which covers only domestic/local/in Cayman water use vessels. So he would not be charged $10,000 and hopefully would not de-register his vessel from the Cayman Islands Shipping Register as the fees that relate to interrnational vessels have not been changed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why not? he doesnt seem to be a cheap skate like some of us . At least he paid over one million plus in taxes. Go Romney

  25. Anonymous says:

    Looks like Big Mac will soon get his wish for more yachts visiting the Cayman Islands. Nevermind that they once resided here permanently, but they will be registered somewhere else and just be "visiting" for now.

  26. Check it out says:

    The category that Macs boat falls into suffered the smallest percentage increase LMAO

  27. Load of Fail says:

    Bye bye ship registry business – it was nice having you here while it lasted.  In BVI ships over 24 metres cost only $300 US a year so we understand why you are leaving – bye bye big ships. 

    As for Cayman, another load of McFail has arrived.  If only we could charge The Traveller by the ton for these loads.

  28. Anonymous says:

    The thing about the wealthy is that they don't have to stay here.  I've never been to a place that pays so much for so little.

  29. Beachboi says:

    Just another piece of proof that Mc Wutless knows not what he does.  Imagine if you will that something imported in such proliferation as coffee is duty free!!  Its imported duty free by the supermarkets etc. and we pay just as much a mark up in price for it then as if it was imported with the 27% duty!!  Oh "doh" Mc Homer (Simpson) such logic!!  I think the unofficial term would be "oxymoron"!!!  Its so laughable but so expected of him and his abacus math and chalk board logic!!!  Educators who use chalk boards please take to insult!! 

  30. Anonymous says:

    he hath founded it upon the fees….

  31. Anonymous says:

    The majority of private boats are not even registered.  Rather than increase rate  how about in force existing laws and start clamping sown on those who have boats and do not pay.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Shaking my head.  Who comes up with this stuff?  $10000 to register a yacht in Cayman?  HA! 

  33. Anonymous says:

    SMH.  Work permit fees, business fees, cigarettes and alcohol, boat registration fees…. everything going up not because of the cost of living for us generally, but more to support the cost of the lavish lifestyles and spending habits of our politicians.   Cayman is doomed. 

  34. Anonymous says:

    Is there any MLA with a 95 foot yatch?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Smart move. All the owners will now go find somewhere cheaper to 'flag' their toys.

    This makes about as much sense as the Cayman Islands hotel owners who have gone bust in the past trying to get $250+ a night for rooms that anywhere else would be $70-$80.

    You're rapidly pricing yourselves out of the markets. Remember there are times when more actually means less and this could be one of them.

  36. Anonymous says:

    They SHOULD put a "noise" or "nuisance" fee on wave runners and jet skis, or at least have designated zones where these craft can operate that is away from shore so the noise is not so great. It is terrible on the weekends in South Sound when I am trying to enjoy a quiet afternoon and you hear 10 – 15 wave runners blowing loudly on the water, crowds of wave-runner fans on the beach with loud music blasting from their cars, many of which are parked half way in the public road.


    What can the police do about these weekend noise bandits? If this is part of an organised sport group or association, should they not have to get the permission of the neighbours before carrying on?

    • Anonymous says:

      9.12 The problem has alway stemmed from minority groups that have been allowed override the common interest. It started with rice-rocket motorbikes, that have caused 10  to 20 deaths on the roads since their introduction. Cayman also refused to prevent the establishment some types of fast food  that have contributed to our high obesity rate, particularly among children. Just wait till the tsunami of  hospital bills rolls in! Regarding the waverunners, they should race in approved areas away from habitation, as the noise is incessant and carries a great distance. Some of the racing engines are particularly noisy. There used to be a group that rode at Northside on Sundays inside the reef, and enjoyed blasting the patrons of the Edge Restaurant at 40 mph. Their behaviour was illegal, but the various authorities seemed unable stop it. And don't get me started on our truckers, where a minority can be heard from two miles at times.