Statement From Ministry Of Finance
The Extension Of The Incubation Period Of The BVI International Arbitration Centre
On 30th March 2023, the minutes of Cabinet of the Virgin Islands was published via the Department of Information and Public Relations.
One of the announcements shared was, that on 15th February 2023, Cabinet decided to extend the incubation period of the BVI International Arbitration Centre (BVIIAC) to 31st December 2026 to facilitate the Centre becoming self-sufficient and to afford it time to meet the Government’s vision that it should become an international arbitration centre of choice to meet the rapidly evolving dispute resolution needs of arbitration users in the Caribbean, the Americas and worldwide.
The public is advised that during the extension period, the BVIIAC will continue to be financed by and remain under the oversight of the Financial Services Commission.
It is expected that the BVIIAC will no longer require financial support from the Financial Services Commission upon the expiration of the incubation period.
When the Government of the Virgin Islands created the BVIIAC to meet the demands of the international business community for neutral and impartial dispute resolution services in 2016, it recognised the critical importance of assuring users of international arbitration of the independence and impartiality of the BVIIAC.
For that reason, it was established as a non-profit statutory body independent of the Government of the Virgin Islands. From its inception, the BVIIAC’s operations have been supported by the Financial Services Commission, which was charged with its oversight for an incubation period of five years while the BVIIAC established its credibility in the dispute resolution market. Unfortunately, the BVIIAC was unable to become financially independent within the initial five-year incubation period as early momentum was lost as a result of the impacts of first Hurricane Irma and then the Covid-19 pandemic.
The BVIIAC will remain an independent body, operating within its statutes and the terms of the Arbitration Act. The Government of the Virgin Islands will continue to have oversight but no direct control over its operations or management.
The Ministry of Finance through the Government of the Virgin Islands continues to support the BVIIAC and is confident it will positively contribute to the economic development of the Virgin Islands.