BVI Governor’s Office provides guidance on UK Overseas Territories sanctions
On 12 May 2022, the office of the Governor of the British Virgin Islands (the Governor), the Financial Services Commission (the FSC), and the Financial Investigation Agency (the FIA) held a joint training conference via the BVI Compliance Association regarding sanctions (the Conference). The overriding objective of the Conference was to outline the applicability of the UK sanctions regime to the British Virgin Islands, given the recent rise in Russian sanctions legislation, and to re-confirm the responsibilities of BVI regulated entities as it relates to sanctions.
Each of the relevant competent authorities was given the opportunity to present on the sanctions responsibilities relevant to their operations. The Governor outlined his powers and responsibilities under the sanctions legislation as well as confirmed that where a person has reasonable cause to suspect that they are in possession, control of, or are otherwise dealing with the funds or economic resources owned held, or controlled by a designated person, he or she should:
- freeze the funds or economic resources;
- not deal with them or make them available for the benefit of the designated person unless:
- there is an exemption in the legislation; or
- they have obtained a licence; and
- file a compliance reporting form with the Governor.
The FSC similarly outlined the reporting requirements under the sanctions regime and in addition, reminded licensees to be cognisant that in certain circumstances a suspicious activity report may also need to be filed with the Financial Investigation Agency, particularly where there has been a breach of sanctions.
In concluding the Conference, the FIA outlined the penalties for breach of the sanctions regime as well as their role and duties as it relates to sanctions and anti-money laundering.
Copies of the slides prepared by each competent authority and presented at the Conference may be found below: