The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has introduced two new amendments to take place from January 2016. The amendments applied to the law allow the BVI Companies Registry and the Registered Agents to have more information, in order to counter money laundering and terrorist financing.

The main amendments are:

1. Information of the ultimate beneficial owners

From January 2016, it should provide to the Registered Agents more details of the ultimate beneficial owners of the companies:

  1. Full names.
  2. Dates of Birth.
  3. Complete residential address.
  4. Nationalities.

For companies constituted before January 1, 2016, there will be a grace period to provide this information to the Registered Agent until December 31, 2016.

2. Private registration of the register of directors

From January 2016, is indispensable to present a private register of the directors before the Registrar of Companies of BVI, this apply to new companies and existing ones. The registry needs only the information of the current directors, historic record is not required.

  1. For new incorporations, a copy of the Register of Directors must be submitted within the incorporation or in the 14 following days since the appointment of the first directors.
  2. For existing companies, a grace period to comply with this requirement is granted until December 31, 2016.
  3. In case of change of directors, a period of 21 days is granted to update the information.

Due to the fact that the Register of Directors is private, the information will be available exclusively for the BVI Registrar, unless it is required by the Court or the competent authority. Nevertheless, the company may voluntarily decide that its Register of Directors be public.

The lack of the compliance of these amendments will lead fines for the company by the BVI Companies Registry.