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Offshore Trusts Report: Barbados

Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Trusts in Barbados are governed by English common law and by the Trustees Act Cap 250 as amended, which deals with the powers of trustees. There is no registration requirement or stamp duty; trustees can be non-resident as long as one is resident. A resident corporation acting as trustee must be licensed under the Offshore Banking Act. Exchange controls apply to local trusts.

The Hague Convention has not been implemented.

The International Trusts Act 1995 introduced purpose trusts and asset protection trusts, as well as strengthened protection against forced heirship provisions, non-recognition of foreign judgements, and protection against creditors.

Creditors have three years in which to set aside the terms of a trust, but can only do so if they can establish an intent to defraud. A successful creditor can only set aside the terms of the trust in so far as he is prejudiced - he can't overset the whole thing unless that is necessary to satisfy him.

The rule against perpetuities does not apply, and accumulation of income is permitted for up to 100 years.

The following conditions must be fulfilled when a trust is formed:

  • the settlor must be non-resident when the trust is created and at subsequent times when property is added to the trust;

  • trust property must not include Barbadian real estate or an interest in it;

  • no beneficiary other than a Barbadian offshore entity can be a resident of Barbados at the time of creation of the trust, or at the time of any subsequent addition of property to the trust;

  • at least one of the trustees must be resident in Barbados.

Note that beneficiaries can include Barbadian offshore entities - this means an exempt insurance company, an offshore bank, and an international business company. The Act defines 'resident' to include: ordinarily resident individuals, bodies, whether incorporated or not, majority-owned by residents; and trust management companies.

The Act lays down specific confidentiality rules, protecting the identity of settlor and beneficiaries, the workings of the trustees, the reasons behind trustees' actions, accounting information, etc. Confidentiality can only be broken by the Court or at the request of a beneficiary.

The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas Barbados Bermuda British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Cook Islands Cyprus Gibraltar Guernsey Isle of Man Jersey Liechtenstein Madeira Malta Mauritius Monaco Nevis New Zealand Panama Seychelles Turks & Caicos Vanuatu

Barbados News

Barbados Seeks New Revenues In 2015 Budget
Thursday 18/6/2015
Barbados has published its 2015/2016 Budget, which aims to further reduce the territory's deficit with a raft of changes to the VAT regime and cuts to allowances and deductions.

Caribbean Explores Fiscal Cooperation
Tuesday 9/3/2010
Ahead of the World Bank meeting, to be held on March 11-12, where CARICOM Finance Ministers will meet to discuss challenges that the region faces, CARICOM Secretary General, Edwin Carrington said it was vital for Caribbean economies to increase economic cooperation and remove fiscal barriers, for the prosperity of the region going forward.

IMF Reports On Barbados Visit
Tuesday 2/3/2010
Marcello Estev„o, head of the recent International Monetary Fund Mission to Barbados, has reported on his delegationís findings during their five-day staff visit.

COTED Chair Welcomes Progress On Caribbean Free Trade Issues
Thursday 18/2/2010
On the concluding day of the Twenty-Ninth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development, Minister of Trade for Suriname and Chairman of the Council, Clifford Marica, welcomed progress made on the 20-item agenda, including progression towards the free trade agreements with third parties, and within the Caribbean region.

Barbados, China Sign Protocol To DTA
Monday 15/2/2010
Relations between Barbados and the People's Republic of China will be enhanced, and new business opportunities created, with the February 10 signing of a Protocol to amend the existing Double Taxation Agreement the two countries share.

Barbados Eyes Significantly Lower Fiscal Deficit
Wednesday 10/2/2010
Barbadosí Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, David Estwick, announced in a meeting with business leaders that the government is to introduce a programme to reign in the state deficit to within 2.1% of the islandís gross domestic product to ensure the territoryís future financial vitality.

Agencies Discuss Progress In Caribbean Trade Integration
Tuesday 9/2/2010
The United Kingdom Department of International Development and the Inter-American Development Bank discussed today progress made in joint trade support and in the preparation of projects to promote private sector development and competitiveness in the Caribbean.

European Parliament ACP Report Targets Tax Havens
Monday 25/1/2010
The European Parliament has called on the European Commission and the governments of the African, Caribbean and Pacific states to 'include the fight against abuse of tax havens, tax evasion and illicit capital flight as a matter of priority' in the revised Cotonou Agreement, which governs relations between the European Union and the ACP states.

Barbados's Fiscal Deficit Slips Due To Crisis: Report
Wednesday 20/1/2010
The Barbados Central Bank has released a report on the effects of the financial crisis on the Barbadian economy during the 2008-09 period. It has shown that the dramatic fall in the economy's productivity, cumulatively 10% of gross domestic product over the period, has had a significant impact on the territory's fiscal position.

Argentina And San Marino Sign TIEA
Wednesday 9/12/2009
Argentina and San Marino have signed an agreement to exchange tax information, it has emerged.