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The BVI announced the main condition for the disclosure of beneficial owners information

Jul 05, 2019

London requires the British Virgin Islands (BVI), to create an open database of offshore owners. Local authorities already have a system for registering company owners, Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System (BOSS) with a limited access. In fact, full access to this system is granted to only two people, employees of the BVI’s Financial Investigation Agency.

BVI authorities use BOSS to respond to international inquiries and to register owners of registered companies. It holds details of approximately 600,000 owners who have direct or indirect control over companies in the British Virgin Islands.

The Prime Minister of the BVI, Andrew Fahie, stated that the BVI will not introduce public registers of company beneficial ownership until it is a global standard.

In May 2018, the UK Parliament passed a law according to which Overseas Territories of United Kingdom (for example, the BVI and Cayman Islands) by 2020 shall create public registers of companies' owners registered. Later, the UK postponed the creation of such registers till 2023.

"They trade under our flag, and they have to accept our values," says Andrew Mitchell, the British Conservative Party representative. He also mentioned that without public registers it is impossible to identify cases of ‘clever’ money laundering crimes.

There are no taxes on profit, no personal income taxes, as well as VAT and sales taxes in the British Virgin Islands.The companies registered there don’t pay taxes. It is estimated the company formation services account for 62% of the BVI’s government annual revenue.

The British Virgin Islands is a home to more than 400,000 companies that hold $1.5 trillion in assets. At the same time, the largest country without public registries of beneficiaries of companies is the United States. The decision of the British Parliament led to a protest in Road Town on May 24, 2018. People marched in protest and signed a petition of disagreement with the actions of London. The then-deputy premier, Kedrick Pickering, declared “open war against the U.K.”

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