This blog post serves as a timely reminder that the transitional period under the Virtual Assets Service Providers Act 2022 (VASP Act) will come to an end on 31 July 2023. This leaves just two months for businesses engaging in virtual asset service providers (VASP) activities to take action.
The VASP Act came into effect in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on 1 February 2023, which establishes a legal framework to regulate the activities of VASPs. The VASP Act puts in place a transitional period, which enables VASPs that came into operation before the VASP Act was effective (on 1 February 2023) to continue to operate provided that they apply to the BVI Financial Services Commission (BVI FSC) for a VASP registration before the end of the transitional period. This period will, as explained above, come to an end shortly.
Failure to comply with the deadline may result in the cessation of regulated activities. To ensure compliance, stakeholders are urged to promptly submit their VASP applications to the BVI FSC. Incomplete applications submitted near the end of the transitional period may be rejected, further highlighting the importance of starting the application process without delay. Once a fully completed application is submitted, the BVI FSC will extend the transitional period to accommodate the assessment and evaluation.
The VASP Act applies to both individuals and companies operating from the BVI or BVI companies and undertakings engaging in VASP activities globally. Detailed guidance on VASPs prepared by Harneys is available for reference and can be found here.
As the countdown continues towards the closure of the transitional period for the BVI VASP Act, it is crucial for individuals and businesses involved in VASP activities to take immediate action.
The VASP Act can be found here.
BVI FSC guidance to VASPs on the prevention of money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing is here and the BVI FSC guidance on application for registration of a VASP can be found here.
Our previous blog post on this topic can be found here.
Harneys has launched the BVI VASP Initial Assessment tool to offer a preliminary indication as to whether your BVI entity and its operations may be conducting VASP activity. You can access the tool here. Its use is free of charge.