British Virgin Island Law Update
Synergy News • Jun 21, 2017
A new BVI law has been passed, the new law – the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System Act, 2017 (the “Act”), involves all registered agents for BVI entities to make certain information on the beneficial owners of all BVI companies and limited partnerships accessible.
The private secure government search system to be used is the BOSS System. This is in addition to BVI’s existing Anti-money laundering AML legislation, where all registered agents must collect and maintain beneficial ownership information for all the entities to which they provide a service.
What is the BOSS system?
The BOSS system, is set up as a decentralised data repository. Whereas each registered agent preserves its own remote, secure database. Whilst beneficial owner data is being uploaded to the BOSS system it is at rest in the registered agent’s database. The infrastructure of the system is set up in a secure, stable G7 jurisdiction trusted by and independent of the BVI and the UK.
When will the Act start?
The Act, will come into come into effect on 30 June 2017, it was drafted to implement the terms of the Exchange of Notes which the Governments of the BVI and the United Kingdom entered into on 8 April 2016. Here the legal framework for logging correct beneficial ownership information and the disclosure of that information to law enforcement authorities in jurisdictions with which the BVI has entered into bilateral agreements is similar to the UK Exchange of Notes.
What is the process?
Currently, the UK authorities can call for the BVI authorities to make available the beneficial ownership information that will be available via the BOSS system. The information available throughout BOSS will be:
- Nationality of each beneficial owner of a BVI company/limited partnership.
- Date of birth
Penalties and fines can be imposed against companies and registered agents that fail to comply with their corresponding requirements under the Act or those which intentionally supply untruthful and dishonest information. A designated person who fails to treat search requests as sensitive and confidential or who otherwise acts contrary to the search protocols established under the Act may also be liable to some significant fines and or a period of imprisonment.
By 30 June 2017 all registered agents in the BVI must have collected and uploaded the prescribed beneficial owner information onto their respective secure databases.
For further information please contact your usual Synergy representative, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +971 4 563 7302.