We would like to bring to your attention the new changes announced from the Government of the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The changes will be valid as of 01 April 2016. For existing companies, there will be a transition period for filing the Register of Directors from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. For new incorporations, the Register of Directors needs to be filed within 21 days after the appointment of the first directors and Any changes have to be filed with the Registrar within 30 days.
BVI in an effort to comply with the criteria set out by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the international standards of transparency as promoted by The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has announced changes in the Register of Directors and the Eligible Introducer Regime.
the BVI government has enacted new laws and regulations to enhance the compliance regime for BVI companies. These changes mainly affect the requirements regarding providing information in respect of directors and ultimate beneficial owners of BVI companies and are intended to ensure that the BVI maintains its position as a successful financial services jurisdiction by keeping pace with international standards for compliance in relation to the automatic exchange of information and the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. Supra-national government bodies have demonstrated that offshore jurisdictions that do not keep apace with international compliance expectations will be targeted (and blacklisted in the event of non-compliance) in the future and that failure to do so will create barriers to doing business with those offshore centres. With this in mind and given all of the wellknown qualities that BVI has to offer, clients should rest assured that BVI remains the premier offshore finance centre in which to do business.
Information about directors filed at the registry will be private and will only be accessible with written authorization by the company, or by Court order or on a written request by a BVI regulator or law enforcement entity acting within the scope of its authority.
The penalty of a BVI company for failing to register within the stipulated time is US$100. This includes failing to file the register or file changes, in particular a Register of Directors that has already been filed. Additional penalties will be applied to the company as follows:
- for the first month US$ 300
- during the next 3 months after (i), add US$ 500
- during the next 3 months after (ii), add US$ 750
- thereafter, per month, add US$ 1,000
The British Virgin Islands has maintained a robust public policy commitment to ensuring that the Territory plays its part in the global fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Successive Virgin Islands governments have promoted policies to ensure that the jurisdiction can play its part to effectively combat cross border financial crimes, maintain a reputation of being a clean jurisdiction. This government commitment has led to the jurisdiction being in the forefront in the introduction of modern financial services legislation such as a licensing regime for trust and corporate service providers, immobilisation of bearer shares and the introduction of mandatory suspicious activity reporting obligations.”