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Singapore Base For Tuvalu OIFC

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Tuvalu International Companies Registry Pte Ltd, a company incorporated and operating from Singapore, was recently appointed the Deputy Registrar of the Tuvalu International Companies Registry. Tuvalu International Companies Registry was set up by the Tuvalu Government to facilitate the conduct of businesses by the international business and shipping community, and operates out of Singapore on a 24-on-7 basis to serve the global business market-place.

Situated in the Pacific ocean near the intersection between the equator and the international date line, Tuvalu has emerged as a modern and cost effective offshore jurisdiction to register an international business company, particularly for the shipping industry.

Formerly known as the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu consists of nine islands scattered over a million square kilometers in the Western Pacific Ocean. Tuvalu separated from the joint administration of the Gilbert & Ellice Islands and became an independent state on October 1, 1978 after more than eighty years of British colonial rule. It enjoys political stability, low taxes and a familiar legal system for international business based on common law principles.

Senior Lowtax Business Editor Jeremy Hetherington-Gore welcomed the advent of the Tuvalu International Offshore Financial Centre (OIFC): "You could say that Europe and the Americas are well-served by OIFCs, with nearly forty operating in the Atlantic basin; but there are many fewer in the Asis-Pacific zone, and this is all the more remarkable when you consider that it is going to be the dominant economic region of the world in the next twenty years. So I am very happy to see that Tuvalu is making strides both in terms of its Companies Registry and in terms of its Shipping Registry. I am sure that it will be successful, particularly as it has made the wise choice of basing itself in Singapore."

Tuvalu International Business Companies are governed by the Tuvalu International Companies Act which is regarded as a modern piece of corporate legislation tailored specifically to the needs of international shipping related businesses. Incorporation is quick and straight forward, and a company can be formed within one business day

Under the International Companies Act, a company incorporated as a Tuvalu IBC is required to have only one shareholder and only one director.

Every company incorporated as a Tuvalu IBC is required to keep a Register of Directors and one or more Share Registers. However, the copies of the Register of Directors and Share Register kept by the registered agent and the Registrar are kept confidential, and do not form part of the public record of the Registry.

IBCs are not subject to any tax liability in Tuvalu and need not file any financial statements. There is no minimum issued share capital requirement and offshore companies are exempt from stamp duty on all transactions. Shelf companies are also available.

Like most offshore jurisdictions, certain restrictions are placed on Tuvalu IBCs; for example, they cannot carry on business with persons resident in Tuvalu or own real property located in the jurisdiction. Separate licences must be applied for if a company wishes to carry on banking, trust, insurance or reinsurance business.

Incorporation costs are relatively low; a new incorporation costs USD750 inclusive of the full 'corporate kit.' An annual renewal fee of USD425 is payable from the second year onwards.