BVI: Bill passed for relocated offshore companies to operate overseas under VI law – Continuity of Business Act 2017, formerly Financial Services (Special Circumstances) Act 2017, passed in HoA

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WICKHAM’S CAY II, Tortola, VI – The bill entitled Continuity of Business Act 2017 was passed on November 16, 2017 during the continuation of the Eleventh Sitting of the Second Session of the Third House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands (VI) at Ritter House in Wickham’s Cay II, Tortola.
Previously the Financial Services (Special Circumstances) Act 2017 but retitled to the Continuity of Business Act 2017, the bill will allow local financial service businesses to operate in other countries temporarily, while still operating in accordance with the laws of the Virgin Islands (VI).
The Act was created in light of the catastrophic hurricane that interrupted many businesses as well as those of financial services.
Government did not collapsed after hurricane Irma
Honourable Myron V. Walwyn (AL), Minister for Education and Culture, during his contribution to the House stated that he is in support of the bill, while commending the Premier for a job well done on the bills being brought before the House.
“I’m in full support of this and I want to say that doing things to help the country is not just things you can see in terms of concrete but the other things that you do that you can’t see physically,” explained the Education Minister.
He continued, “Premier I want to congratulate you very much because all these bills that are here raising revenue for the country are coming from you and you get some blows sometimes but when its time to get praise you have to get it too.”
The minister then mentioned to the House that persons were saying that the government collapsed after hurricane Irma, while noting that he, along with other ministers, was out on the road as soon as the hurricane was over to see if the people of the territory were alright.
“Thankful for bill but it was drafted late”- Hon Fraser
Meanwhile, Third District Representative, Honourable Julian Fraser RA expressed that he is ” happy” that the members of government crafted the bill, adding that it was done too late but he’s still thankful.
Hon Fraser told the members of the House that the bill is a good start but it is not exactly what he was hoping for.
He explained, “This particular bill is not catering to local businesses only, it has an international component to it but I think that it is revenue driven. Once that is the case, it won’t be long before our local companies that we are now trying to capture will be in the same position that they are in right now.”
Every 60 cents of every dollar comes from the financial services industry contributing largely to the territory’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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