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The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has today published the Exchange of Notes and Technical Protocols agreed with the United Kingdom (UK) Government relating to beneficial ownership of companies.
The agreement is part of a determination to ensure that the BVI, as the one of the pre-eminent jurisdictions for company incorporation, continues to have a best in class regime for beneficial ownership.
Under the agreement the BVI and the UK have mutually recognised the need to share beneficial ownership information for preventing and detecting illegal activity in both jurisdictions as well as the importance of sharing the information expeditiously.
They have also committed to ensuring the information is adequate, accurate and current and that it will be held securely; as well as sharing the information in a timely (and in urgent cases within an hour) fashion.
It is intended for the information in BVI to be held through an electronic portal that will be accessed by BVI competent authorities only. That information, in turn, will be shared with UK law enforcement agencies on request. For the BVI, its law enforcement authorities will be able to request from UK law enforcement all of its non-public (i.e. not available on the UK public register of companies) beneficial ownership information.
Honourable Premier said: “The new agreement will further enhance the BVI regime which already surpasses that of many other jurisdictions in the world. It will also ensure that in order to protect our business and the interests of BVI, when it comes to transparency and information exchange, BVI’s rules and regulations are totally fit for purpose. As the UK Prime Minister said recently the commitments we and our colleagues in other Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies have made will be far in advance of many other countries, including the United States.
He added, “The BVI has worked for over 30 years to carefully and legitimately build an industry that is well regarded and trusted by clients, global regulators and other international authorities. This agreement will play its part in ensuring that this continues to be the case.”
Note: Please see below the pdf file for the Exchange of Notes and Technical Protocols.