The deadline by which those Cayman Islands (‘Cayman’) companies and limited liability companies that are required to provide data on their beneficial ownership to the Beneficial Ownership Competent Authority (‘BOCA’) is Friday 29 June 2018.
Where can I find out more information?
For more information on Cayman Beneficial Ownership legislation see our earlier article Guidance on Cayman Islands Beneficial Ownership Registration, which gives guidance on the legislation, regulations and exemptions. Further information is also available from Cayman Finance here. Briefly, certain companies and limited liability companies (‘LLCs’) are required under existing Cayman legislation to provide information on their beneficial ownership. All directors of all Cayman companies and LLCs should check whether their company or LLC falls within the scope of the legislation and regulations requiring them to provide Beneficial Ownership data to BOCA. Those who made an assessment before December 2017 should check again to ensure that their company or LLC is not affected by changes which were made to exemptions from the regime. (See also The Cayman Islands Beneficial Ownership Register and why your captive shouldn’t need one.)
How do I get information on to the Register?
There is a protocol in place by which the company or LLC’s corporate service provider (‘CSP’) and their data handlers should submit beneficial ownership data to the system. This provides that:
- 1. Upon arrival at the Government Administration Building, the CSP data handler will notify reception security that they are there to upload BO information. The data handler will be required to provide official identification (Government ID is preferred), which the security officer will check ID to ensure that it matches the person in from of them. The data handler(s) will then sign his or her name, and note their arrival time, on BOCA’s log (which is separate from the building’s visitor’s log).
- 2. The data handler will be escorted by security to the designated room where he or she will submit the BO data. Upon completion, the data handler will be escorted back to the reception area and note the submission completion time on the BOCA log. This will represent the end of the data submission protocol.
- 3. Please note that in addition to the BOCA protocol, data handlers will be required to follow the Government Administration Building’s usual sign-in / sign-out visitors’ protocol.
- With the exception of public holidays, data submission can be made between 9am and 3:30pm, Monday to Friday.
- There may be occasions when the person who is submitting the data may not have an ID; in those situations please make of this occurrence to the back of the sign in sheet along with the date, time and name of the entity the individual in representing. They would then be allowed to provide the encrypted data to the transfer room.
Is there any more information on submitting the data?
Back in 2017 Cayman Finance provided the following guide: Summary guide for Companies & Limited Liability Companies – centralised platform providing access to the Beneficial Ownership Information. As of 5 April 2018, CSPs need to use the new CD which is available at this link. The link also gives a File Guide, a sample file and the CD Image required to validate and encrypt the new file format (Version 1.20). The Cayman Islands Government has completed a security enhancement to its non-public beneficial ownership platform, which is being evaluated to check for any deficiencies in the air-gapped platform.
Is this new?
Cayman’s existing verified ownership regime has been in force for 15 years, recognized by international bodies as an effective approach to the situation and is superior those in the UK and others around the world (the majority of European Union Countries do not even have such a register). According to the Financial Action Task Force (‘FATF’) Cayman-style verifiable private registers which are searchable by appropriate tax authorities and law enforcement agencies remain the more effective approach. This is reflected in the OECD Global Forum rankings which places Cayman with Germany, Canada and Australia in its international standard for transparency and exchange of information.
Is the register public?
Information held on the register can only be accessed by the BOCA and is not public. The UK is introducing legislation which would potentially require changes to beneficial ownership regimes in British Overseas Territories (‘BOT’s) such as Cayman by 2020 to make their ownership registers open to the public. Cayman and other BOTs have registered their opposition to this move. We at Solomon Harris will continue to monitor and report on developments.
For further information please contact Richard Addlestone or Rob Humphries at Solomon Harris.
The information contained in this note 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.