I have heard conflicting information regarding pre-clearing customs in the USVI. On one hand, I have heard that once you clear customs you are done and don't need to do anything special on arrival. But the I've also heard that you need to land at an Airport of Entry upon arrival and notify local customs of your arrival. I have even called Customs and Border Protection and gotten conflicting answers! What is actually required?
You're required to notify and clear customs if you land in the 50 U.S. states or Puerto Rico from the U.S. Virgin Islands, even though the U.S. Virgin Islands is part of the U.S.
"All private aircraft arriving in the United States via the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Coast from a foreign location in the Western Hemisphere south of 30 degrees north latitude, or from any place in Mexico or from the U.S. Virgin Islands, shall also furnish a notice of intended arrival. Such aircraft must then land for inspection at the nearest designated airport unless an overflight exemption has been granted under Section 122.25 of the Customs Regulations."
An FBO in the USVI offers the following explanation:
When an aircraft that is inspected by CBP in the U.S. Virgin Islands arrives in the United States, it is considered to be pre-cleared.
However, you must be able to provide evidence of the inspection, and must arrive at an airport with CBP facilities unless that requirement is waived by the CBP.
19 CFR § 122.24 discusses "Landing requirements for certain aircraft arriving from areas south of U.S.", which states that aircraft must provide advance notice of arrival and stop at the nearest "designated airport", but also includes the following exception:
This requirement shall not apply to those aircraft which have not landed in foreign territory or are arriving directly from Puerto Rico, if the aircraft was inspected by CBP officers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, or otherwise precleared by CBP officers at designated preclearance locations.