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Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs

Posted By: bviicatter

Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 12/31/2019 05:11 PM

Hi, does anyone bring in frozen provisions such as meat and fish from US to BVIs? Is it legal to do so, if yes, doe s anyone know the procedure?

Thanks!
Posted By: Orange_Burst

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 12/31/2019 05:28 PM

We take a cooler with a us every year. This allows me to prepare things at home, making meals on the boat so much easier. We have never had a problem at customs. Sometimes we have been charged a duty, put other times we have not. Never more than $10.

We normally bring 5 dinners; bacon wrapped filet mignons, marinated chicken breast, injected pork tenderloins, homemade lasagna (for a rainy day that you don't want to grill) and burgers made into patties and spiced. I also bring taco meat for lunch. I cook the bacon and sausage for breakfast and package it in one meal packages. Keeps from having all that grease on the boat.

We vacuum seal and then freeze on a cookie sheet. That way they stack very tight, helps keep everything very frozen. Husband packs the cooler the night before we leave and puts 5# of dry ice in the cooler. Before we leave for the airport we toss the dry ice. We don't want the hassles at the airport.

We have been there for 3 days prior to our sleep aboard and everything is still frozen solid. The last couple of years we stayed at Rhymers before our bareboat trip and they allowed us to keep our cooler in their walk in cooler.

Hope that helps
Posted By: Deepcut

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 12/31/2019 06:45 PM

I pack similar.
Have some frozen "extras"(Sausage or pork tenderloin for us) to fill cooler as much as possible. The pork tenderloin or link sausage can be cooked on the grill after evening meal is done. I use the tenderloin for next day sandwiches for lunch. Also, sausage goes in zip lock bag for breakfast next morning or 2.
Up to 5 pounds of dry ice is legal for carry on. But I have gone 24 plus hours with Polar Bear cooler without dry ice and all still frozen solid upon arrival at boat.

Customs not issue. Declare and state a value and they may tax you $10 or so. And often hear "buy here and support economy" . The reason we take it down is to be certain of good quality meats(frequently grocery stores are out of some items) , but more importantly we can prep food before going, making it easier on Galley Winchs. Also less chance of blood drip into freezer since vac pac'd, and allows for quick thaw in bucket of water when time slips up on you.
Posted By: GeorgeC1

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/01/2020 12:34 PM

The duty is 10% of the value. They will generally accept what you state the value is but I try and keep it honest. For the most part we just purchase locally.
G
Posted By: jagmansr

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/01/2020 02:52 PM

We go down 3 times a year and always bring frozen meats. We cook on the boat a lot. I always declare what I have and have yet to be charged a tax. Just the $10 environmental tax.
Posted By: joeboo

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/02/2020 02:58 PM

W have been bringing down frozen meats for more then 20 years. We buy a cheap cooler for about $20.Check it in as a piece
of luggage with AA. Use it thru out the trip, and just leave it there.
Posted By: JasonHelmbrecht

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/02/2020 03:05 PM

I haven't brought any meats in but sometimes I bring some sand from Ohio. I prefer the feel of it to the sand in the BVI and sprinkle it under my beach chair to feel more at home. I always declare it and so far have never been charged duty. They did ask for a small fee when I bought salt water one year.
Posted By: Manpot

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/02/2020 09:00 PM

Jason...we take wine back to Sonoma from Tortola. The vineyards on Tortola provide a much better product.
Posted By: sail445

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/02/2020 10:12 PM

Originally Posted by Manpot
Jason...we take wine back to Sonoma from Tortola. The vineyards on Tortola provide a much better product.

Of course they do, there’s no better grape then pure Cane Cabernet.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/03/2020 12:27 AM

OK, guys, you've had your fun.

If someone could respond to the original poster's question, that would be good..
Posted By: Orange_Burst

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/03/2020 03:26 PM

A question was asked, I answered it. I'm tired of defending myself. To each their own.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/03/2020 03:51 PM

Colleen--you certainly aren't the only one who takes down fish or meats, and you shouldn't have to feel you have to defend yourself. Sorry that my post seemed to imply that no one had addressed the original poster's question.
Posted By: gordaguy2

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/03/2020 04:11 PM

WE bring down a frozen Costco tenderloin usually as well as an assortment of cheeses when we bring a group to the villa - no problems declaring it and never had to pay a duty as they are for personal consumption.
Posted By: RickinAtlanta

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/03/2020 04:19 PM

This topic resurfaces every couple of months. Can the threads be made an easily seen link so those asking can find the answers without going through this same ritual? Just asking.
Posted By: Orange_Burst

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/03/2020 04:29 PM

It was't your reply Carol.

If it was just the 2 of us I wouldn't bring anything down. But with a group of 8, it just makes making meals on the boat SO much easier. No frying up bacon or sausage in the morning. Taco meat for lunch, or when we had an afternoon at White Bay and don't feel like making a big meal, just nuke the already made up meat, cut a few things up and dinner is ready. Chicken breast are all trimmed of fat and marinated, filet mignons are bacon wrapped and seasoned ready for the grill.

We live in the midwest with some great steaks available to us. I know what I'm bringing is good and available. I can't say that for some of the meat I have purchased in the BVI's.

We spend several thousand dollars on provisions. We are down for a minimum of 16 nights. We take 5 dinners with us. We spend PLENTY at restaurants.

Rant over.
Posted By: bviicatter

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/03/2020 07:26 PM

Thank you everyone for your courteous and helpful responses- and I agree with Rick- if the topic comes up every few months it would be great to index it.

For background, I would like to mention that I have owned charter cat and bareboated in the BVIs since mid 1990's- I have about 40-50 charters done in Nature's Little Secrets.

The most experienced and competent skippers I know mentioned to me that they bring provisions in- for them it is not only about cost, but also quality control and saving time. I have never done it, and i was curious if there is some elaborate procedure or paperwork, and judging from this forum, the answer is no.

Wishing all fair winds, followings seas, and good times wherever the wanderlust takes you......

Best-

Josh
Annapolis, Md
Posted By: DaveF

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/03/2020 11:08 PM

These may be a foolish questions but I have never done the dry ice routine. Typically I pack the frozen food with gel packs and it lasts. So maybe some odd questions but here I go:

1. Dry Ice is really cold, -109.3 F. Does this super low temp effect the quality of the food?
2. Normally we pre- prepare the food with spices. Does the dry ice effect this?
3. Do you need to vacuum seal with dry ice? We normally just zip lock and squeeze out the air.
4. Does vacuum seal protect the food in any way compared to Zip Lock and squeeze out the air?
5. Any issues with separating the dry iced frozen food bags?
6. Say we leave the house at 5 AM and arrive BVI at 3 PM. We will stay on the boat overnight, do you think we can just keep the food in the Polar Bear Cooler overnight then load up the fridge in the morning? Or should be load up the fridge that day we arrive? Maybe it helps cool the fridge?
7. What about foods that you cannot / or do not freeze? Yogurt for example? My wife has special brands / issues, so can you bring this in? With the dry ice frozen food effect something like this?

I can understand the ease of using dry ice as no need for carrying the gel packs, but you see I have some crazy questions to get a better understanding of using dry ice.

Dave
Posted By: Deepcut

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/04/2020 02:41 AM

Dave

If trip is less than 24 hours, I would not use dry ice. I do fully pack with frozen meats, as full as possible (except for space reserved for non-frozen items such as cheese. I do Vac packs as more secure than zip locks). I pack polar bear cooler night before (we usually leave 6am for airport) and then place entire cooler in freezer. I pull out in morning and load items from the fridge.

I don't think dry ice changes the spices or the meats.
Gel packs are not necessary if your Polar Bear cooler is full or nearly full of frozen meats.
Posted By: RickinAtlanta

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/04/2020 04:22 AM

Polar Bear soft side, frozen and vacuum sealed, no dry ice. Lasts about 24 hours as carry on.

BTW BVI wine is comparable to Sutter Home as to Sonoma/Napa just cheaper which is what sone focus on🍷
Posted By: crmoores

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/04/2020 03:06 PM

Great feedback here from Colleen and others.

What are the limits for bringing wine in (a favorite not available on Tortola, for ex) via ferry? I see varying responses on other sites ranging from 1 liter/pp to 3 liters/pp...
Thanks
Posted By: DaveF

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/04/2020 06:45 PM

Thanks for all the info and the discussions on this tread.

I do like the fact this and other subjects are brought up now and again. I for one am not a regular visitor, basically I start reading and looking about 6 months before a trip, which is about every 2 years or so. Seeing this (and other routine subjects) helps refresh my thoughts and plans.

Dave
Posted By: caribbeangirl13

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/05/2020 12:25 AM

Make sure to bring your receipts. I have been asked for these to prove how much I paid. I think if you keep the cost below $100 you are not charged a duty.
Posted By: crmoores

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/05/2020 04:56 AM

So there is no official volume limit (litre)? I’m not finding anything in the customs site which is odd...
Posted By: RickinAtlanta

Re: Bringing Frozen Fish/Meats into BVIs - 01/05/2020 07:48 PM

Originally Posted by crmoores
So there is no official volume limit (litre)? I’m not finding anything in the customs site which is odd...


It'[s either 40 or 50 pounds of meat.
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