Anguilla: Law of Offshore
This page was last updated on 13 Feb 2019.
The Anguillan government has enacted a range of legislation designed to strengthen the regulation of the jurisdiction's financial services.
The legislation put in place at the beginning of the decade addressed the issue of money laundering. It includes the Proceeds of Crime Act (PCA, 2009), which superseded the Proceeds of Criminal Conduct Act 2000 (PCCA). The aim of the PCA is to deprive criminals of the benefit of their criminal activity and enable the Court to confiscate assets originating from criminal conduct.
The government also established the Money Laundering Reporting Authority for Anguilla via the Money Laundering Reporting Authority Act 2000 (MLRAA). Under the act, persons involved in the provision of financial services are required to report to the Authority any suspicious transactions derived from drugs or criminal conduct. Under the MLRAA, procedures are established for customer identification, the keeping of records, internal reporting and training procedures. The Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regulations 2009 significantly increased fines for the failure to adhere to due diligence rules or the reporting of suspicious transactions.
In addition to this legislation, the government introduced two new laws - the Company Management Act 2000 and the Trust Companies and Offshore Banking Act 2000 - to replace existing legislation. The former provides for licensing and regulation of company management business by setting minimum criteria for the granting of a licence, and a further provision allows for exchange of information with overseas regulatory authorities.
The Trust Companies and Offshore Banking Act 2000 sets out the duties of licensees of banks and trusts and the minimum criteria for the granting of a licence. It also enables the surrender, suspension and revocation of licences.
In early 2004, the Anguilla Financial Services Commission (as it had by then become) proposed some legislative changes under the Companies Act, one of which requires all firms recognised as licensed service providers to have a registered agent.
In June 2008, the Anguilla Foundation Act 2008 came into force in a move to further increase the competitiveness of the Anguilla financial services industry. The Act allows the establishment of a foundation by either natural or legal persons. Initial capital must be no less than US$10,000.
Anguilla signed its first tax and information exchange agreement (TIEA) with the United Kingdom on 21 July 2009. The agreement, which allows the sharing of tax-related information to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) standards, was signed in London by Chris Bryant, UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Osbourne Fleming, Chief Minister of Anguilla.
The taxes covered by the arrangement in the case of the UK include income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and value added tax. In the case of Anguilla, the taxes covered by the TIEA include property tax, stamp tax, accommodation tax, the vacation residential asset levy and various duties, fines and other levies in relation to the import, export, transhipment, storage and circulation, among other things, of certain goods.
In April 2010, the OECD welcomed a late drive by three Caribbean territories including Anguilla to conclude multiple tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) to gain a place on the list of territories that have substantially-implemented the internationally-agreed standard in transparency and tax information exchange.
Anguilla, which signed an agreement with Australia and Germany on 19 March, had previously signed 11 other agreements – including agreements with the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the seven Nordic economies – and this signing brings their total to 13 agreements that meet the internationally agreed tax standard. Anguilla thus joined the OECD's 'white list'.
Since the inclusion on the OECD list, Anguilla has signed a further four agreements, namely with Belgium, Canada, France and Portugal.