The Cayman Islands (‘Cayman’) Government has published in the Cayman Gazette eighteen new bills with proposals for new legislative measures. Some are to address criminal measures such as stalking and gambling, others such as those on Stamp Duty will be of general interest and there are five proposals which affect regulation of non-profits, banking groups, disclosure of beneficial ownership information and its exchange with other jurisdictions for limited liability partnerships. We will cover several of these new Bills in detail in later pieces, but for the moment these are the proposed changes in summary.

Finance Industry Bills

          The Non-Profit Organisations (Amendment) Bill, 2018 proposes amendments to the Non-Profit Organisations Law 2017 to expand the functions of the Registrar to enable periodic assessments of the non-profit organisation sector and identify vulnerabilities to terrorist financing activities. It will also provide exemptions for the disclosure of confidential information, and identify additional organisations exempted under the legislation, such as non- profits designated as non-financial business under the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations (2018 Revision).

          The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2018 looks to amend the Companies Law (2018 Revision) to establish a regime to monitor companies registered under section 80, that are not required to be registered under the Non-Profit Organisations Law, 2017, including the examination of financial records and documents.

           The Banks and Trust Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2018 sets out amendments to the Banks and Trust Companies Law (2018 Revision) to give the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (‘CIMA’) the power to supervise Cayman banking groups on a consolidated basis, and to ensure capital and other prudential measures are being met on a consolidated basis. To check this, auditors will be obliged to audit the accounts of entities forming part of a licencee’s Cayman banking group. CIMA would get the power to refuse to grant a licence or impose conditions on a licensee where it considers the structure of the overall economic group hinders effective supervision.

           The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2018 proposes that Cayman limited liability partnerships are required to maintain registers of information concerning their beneficial owners, whether they are individuals or legal entities and to allow that information to be shared on valid request from a designated official in a jurisdiction that has entered into an agreement with the Cayman Islands Government.(Essentially an extension of existing BOR requirements for companies to LLPs.)

          The Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill, 2018 would amend the Proceeds Of Crime Law (2018 Revision) to allow the Cayman Financial Reporting Authority to enter into agreements and arrangements with overseas financial intelligence units without consulting with the Anti-Money Laundering Steering Group (although it will have to inform it of any such agreement), and to remove the requirement to obtain the consent of the Attorney General for the disclosure of information.

Land and Property

 The Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2018 proposes changes to the regime for Stamp Duty on linked property transactions (where the purchase of raw land is linked to the construction of a dwelling), to change exemptions and to increase the thresholds for payment of Stamp Duty by first time Caymanian buyers.

Immigration

          The Immigration (Transition) Bill, 2018 is part of Cayman’s overhaul of how it organises some Immigration functions, along with the two bills below. It proposes the repeal of the Immigration Law (2015 Revision); the establishment of both the Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman Department (‘WORC’) and the Customs and Border Control Service (‘CBC’).

          The Customs and Border Control Bill, 2018 aims to establish a single integrated border management agency. It repeals parts VI, VII and VIII of the Immigration Law (2015) and repeals the Customs Law (2017 Revision) and establishes Cayman’s new Customs and Border Control Service. This will take over some of the functions of the Customs Department and the Immigration Department.

 The Advance Passenger Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018 looks to amend the Advance Passenger Information Law (2018) to deal with changes brought about by the introduction of the Customs and Immigration Bills above.

Legal and Administrative

The Evidence (Amendment) Bill, 2018. this proposes to amend The Evidence Law (2018 Revision) in respect of the rules of hearsay evidence and witness statements. Among the many changes, it will allow an adverse inference when an accused does not give evidence and for the accused’s own bad character to be exposed where he or she attacks the character of witnesses/others.

The Legal Associations (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2018 tidies up existing laws as a result of merging two legal associations and provides for regulating Cayman attorneys, in particular their continuing education in Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-terrorism legislation.

The Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018. proposes amendments to clarify and modify the scope of access and restricted access to certain exempt records under the Freedom of Information Law (2018 Revision).

The Roads (Naming and Numbering) Bill, 2018 sets out changes to how roads are named and numbered and who is responsible for doing so.

The Formal Validity of Wills (Persons Dying Abroad) Bill, 2018 proposes changes to how the testamentary disposition of the property (both chattels and land) is dealt with for people who die while abroad.

 The Cadet Corps (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2018. would bring The Cadet Corps Law (2016 Revision) into alignment with the Public Service Management Law (2018 Revisions).

Criminal law Bills

The Gambling (Amendment) Bill, 2018 proposes significant increases to the penalties for a range of general gambling offences, for example a CI$400 fine is increased to CI$10,0000, and the fine for taking part in a public lottery increases from CI$10 to CI$2,500. Prison terms for offences see significant increases, for example from one year to three years.

The Stalking (Civil Jurisdiction) Bill, 2018 would introduce a law to provide protection and remedies in cases involving stalking; to establish an investigative and complaints procedure and the The Penal Code (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2018. will introduce the offence of stalking.

Solomon Harris

If you would like advice or assistance on how these new laws and regulations may affect your business or advice or guidance on any international information exchange agreements, reporting or on other regulatory matters then contact us on info@solomonharris.com to see how we can help.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this article is necessarily brief and general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. Appropriate legal or other professional advice should be sought for any specific matter.

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