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BVI Highlights Trust Expertise

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The benefits of using the British Virgin Islands as a jurisdiction for trusts and estates were the recent focus of a BVI International Finance Centre (IFC) sponsored roundtable discussion with senior private sector individuals at BVI House in London.

According to Executive Director of the IFC Sherri Ortiz, last week lawyers from BVI and London-based firms discussed the uses of the Virgin Islands Special Trust Act, 2003 (VISTA) and Private Trust Companies (PTCs).

Ortiz said: “The BVI continues to provide a balance between meeting the requirements of international business within a regulatory environment that meets international standards.”

Zac Lucas, a partner at Ogier BVI explained that VISTA deregulates trustee investments obligations with respect to shares of BVI companies held in trust and is therefore "a very simple mechanism to invoke".

The trust law of the BVI is based on English trust law. The Trustee Amendment Act 1993 updated the original British Virgin Islands Trustee Act (itself largely based on the English Trustee Act 1925). The Amendment Act introduced a fixed perpetuity period not exceeding 100 years, and has modern 'wait-and-see' provisions to deal with interests that might vest outside the perpetuity period. The Amendment Act also introduced purpose trusts.

BVI trusts are exempt from registration under the Registration and Records Act, and trustees are exempt from any need to file annual returns and from any other reporting requirements.

The majority of BVI trusts are exempt from all taxes provided there are no beneficiaries resident in the BVI, and that the trust does not conduct any business in the BVI or own any land in the jurisdiction.

Other areas of discussion at the event included an overview of the different legislation supporting trust business and the impact of the different rules and their uses. Additionally, the participants discussed the typical BVI trust structures and how international developments were likely to impact the sector in the future.

The roundtable followed on the heels of the BVI’s representation at the Transcontinental Trusts conference in Geneva, Switzerland, and the signing of a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the Czech Republic. It is the twenty-second such agreement the BVI has signed.

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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