ANTI MONEY LAUNDERING CODE FOR BVI COMPANIES
The government of the BVI recognizes the evolving international standards of transparency as promoted The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as well as the government of the United Kingdom. As a result, BVI’s government announced changes to the regime for BVI companies:
– As of 1st January 2016, minimum beneficial ownership information of BVI companies, will be required to be held at the Registered Agent immediately upon incorporation.
– Eligible Introducers shall supply the minimum Beneficial Ownership information for all existing companies they have formed on behalf of their clients before 31st December 2016.
– Additional information and supportive due diligence documents provided upon request within 48 and 72 hours (i.e. bank account details, source of funds, etc)
– Registered Agents can rely only on Eligible Introducers that are:
- a regulated person; or
- a foreign regulated person; or
- a member of a professional body (1) whose rules of conduct or practice embody legal requirements for the detection and prevention of money laundering consistent with the FATF recommendations generally; and (2) who, in relation to customer due diligence and record keeping producers specifically, is regulated, supervised or monitored by that body for compliance with those requirements and
- Located in a country or territory that is in the Financial Services Commission’s List of Recognized Jurisdictions
– Eligible Introducers that comply with the requirements in points a, b or c above, shall have in place a written terms of business agreement in line with the requirements of the new legislation
– A Registered Agent shall not rely on an Eligible Introducer that is relying itself on a third party or other third parties to conduct and maintain information on the customer due diligence (known as multi-level or tiered introduction). Due diligence information must be held at the Eligible Introducer directly conducting business with the Registered Agent.
– Companies that are struck off before January 1st 2016 will not be included in the new regime, unless they are restored to good standing. Companies that are struck off as from January 1st 2016 will be subject to the new regime. As this is of great concern to the industry, the subject of the inclusion of struck off companies is under discussion but at the present time it is expected that these will also be subject to the new requirements.