Further to the update we sent in late October regarding the enhancement of the anti-money laundering regime in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the relevant legislation has been published in draft but is not yet in force. The proposed changes we expected to apply to the Eligible Introducer Regime are due to take effect on 1 January 2016.

Disclosure of ultimate beneficial ownership for new and existing companies

From 1 January 2016, professional intermediary (PI) clients incorporating a new BVI company will need to disclose ultimate beneficial ownership to the company's registered agent, e.g. OIL.

PI clients will need to provide the following for each ultimate beneficial owner, along with information on the intended activities of the company:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Residential address 
  • Nationality

The changes also apply to existing BVI companies, although there is likely to be a 12-month transitional period. This means that PI clients will have until 31 December 2016 to submit the information for existing companies.

As one of our PI clients, you will still be able to incorporate BVI companies in a fast and efficient manner. You will be able to submit the relevant information through OIL Client Portal. In most cases, you will not need to provide us with any supporting documents.

We will provide a further update before the end of 2015 on the regime and submitting the UBO information through the OIL Client Portal.

BVI companies to file Register of Directors

The BVI government has also announced that, from 1 January 2016, a Register of Directors for each active BVI company will need to be filed with the BVI Registry.

A new BVI company would need to file within 14 days after the first directors have been appointed. For existing companies, a 12-month transitional period is expected. While BVI regulatory and legal authorities will be able to access this information, it will not be publicly available. 

For more information on these changes and how they might affect you and your clients, please refer to our FAQs (click here).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.