Since the onset of the global COVID-19 epidemic, the Bermuda Government has taken steps to enable commercial operations to continue whilst social distancing and other measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus are in place.
Below is a summary of those measures of most interest to Bermuda’s international client base.
Filings & Company Searches
The Registrar of Companies has been accepting the submission of electronic applications since 18 March 2020 with all general registrations and application submissions now being sent via email.
Company Search requests are now being submitted via email whilst Registrar of Company agents are working remotely and are able to perform limited searches.
All Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) application requests and correspondence must also be submitted electronically and all payments must also be made via wire transfer.
Due to the current “shelter-in-place” policy, the process of certifying corporate documents has changed with some services possible via web conferencing technology instead of meeting in person.
Due to Covid-19 related travel and quarantine restrictions in Bermuda and around the world it will not be possible to hold Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and board meetings within the prescribed timeframe.
Where a company’s bye-laws permit, the company may want to consider postponing the AGM to a later date or allowing for meetings to be held by electronic means. Compliance with economic substance requirements remains important when considering new meeting options.
A formal notice has been issued by the Registrar of Companies stating that they will take all appropriate circumstances into account in assessing compliance. As such, where meetings or other similar compliance measures are not possible due to necessary travel or quarantine restrictions, this may be considered. Entities should carefully document all such circumstances, and otherwise continue in good faith to ensure their ongoing compliance with the economic substance requirements in line with the applicable legislation and Guidance Notes.
As the situation continues develop, Marbury will strive to keep all clients fully aware of any changes. For more information on any aspect of this briefing please contact any member of the Marbury team.