Economic Substance in the Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands, following the lead of other offshore jurisdictions such as Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, has introduced an economic substance regime effective 1 January 2019 in response to the work of the OECD and the European Union on fair taxation. The legislation has since been twice amended and supplemented by guidelines which were last updated in January 2020.

The guidelines provide some clarity to the international business community in interpreting the regulations, especially for shipping and pure holding companies, with further clarification provided on the launch of the reporting portal on 1 July 2020.  We have provided an updated overview.

Hong Kong to increase maternity leave to 14 weeks

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council has recently passed the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2019 (the Bill) which enhances the leave benefits of female employees who are employed under a continuous contract of employment. The key changes are as follows: An increase in the statutory maternity leave entitlement from the existing 10 weeks to 14 weeks. The daily rate of maternity leave pay for the extended four weeks of maternity leave shall be at the rate of four-fifths of the employee’s daily average wages. The maternity leave pay for these four weeks of maternity leave is capped at HKD80,000 per employee.  The Government has committed to reimburse employers payment in respect of the extended period of maternity leave (details are still to be confirmed). The period of pregnancy mentioned in the definition of “miscarriage” will be shortened from 28 weeks to 24 weeks. A female employee who suffers a miscarriage at or after 24 weeks of pregnancy may thus be entitled to maternity leave. A certificate of attendance, as an alternative to a medical certificate, will be accepted as proof of entitlement to sickness allowance for a day on which a female employee attends a medical examination in relation to her pregnancy. The amendments are not yet in force. The Bill is expected to be effected by the end of the year.   Marbury services Marbury offer a comprehensive HR & payroll solution to employers in Hong Kong. Marbury’s professionals help our clients to understand local operating conditions, tax regulations and company and labour laws and then keep them compliant throughout helping to manage all the company’s statutory obligations. Marbury can assist to assess the company’s eligibility for available subsidies and to make the application … Discover More

Cayman Islands Private Funds Law – Expanded Scope

On 7 July 2020, the Private Funds Law, 2020 (PF Law) was amended to vary the definition of a “private fund” by clarifying the definitions of certain entity types and extending the scope of the PF Law to additional entities.

The deadline for registration under the PF Law remains 7 August 2020.  We recommend that all Cayman Island investment vehicles be re-assessed to ensure compliance particularly considering the new Administrative Fine regime. Open-ended mutual funds and hedge funds are unaffected.

New CIMA fines and TIA offence in force in the Cayman Islands

The Monetary Authority (Administrative Fines) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 was enacted on 26 June 2020 extending the ability of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) to impose significant fines.

It is now also an offence for knowingly or wilfully supplying false or misleading information to the Cayman Islands Tax Information Authority (TIA).

BVI Economic Substance framework now fully operational

The International Tax Authority has informed all Registered Agents and legal entities with reporting obligations under the Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act, 2018 and the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System Act, 2017 that the Economic Substance portal as integrated with the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search system (BOSS(ES)s) went live on 12 June 2020.