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NEW REAL ESTATE LEGISLATION TABLED BY PREMIER TO BRING INDUSTRY UP TO INTERNATIONAL COMPLIANCE STANDARDS

NEW REAL ESTATE LEGISLATION TABLED BY PREMIER TO BRING INDUSTRY UP TO INTERNATIONAL COMPLIANCE STANDARDS

The Hon. David Burt, JP, MP, Premier and Minister of Finance recently tabled in the House of Assembly, the Real Estate Brokers’ Licensing Act 2017 and The Corporate Service Provider Business Amendment Act 2017.

The purpose of the Real Estate Brokers’ Licensing Bill 2017 is to modernize the operation and supervision of the real estate industry according to international standards established by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).Such amendments are essential to ensure that Bermuda’s laws and their implementation meet the objectives of FATF standards on combating money laundering and fighting terrorism financing within the real estate industry.

The changes are to come into force in time for Bermuda’s mutual evaluation by the Caribbean branch of the FATF in September 2018. It is, therefore, important for Bermuda to be able to demonstrate the effective implementation of the Superintendent’s supervisory powers for at least one licensing period prior to next year’s evaluation.

The purpose of the Corporate Service Provider Business Amendment Act 2017 is to revise the provisions relating to the classes of licensing for corporate service providers.

The Bill clarifies that the limited license holders may, only in special circumstances, provide services relating to share transfers, changes in partners, and transfers of Limited Liability Company interests.

The services are provided only in the case where the company, partnership or limited liability company being provided with the services has obtained, in accordance with the applicable legislation, the consent, approval or permission of the required Controller of Foreign Exchange or Bermuda Monetary Authority.

This proposed amendment is a component of Bermuda’s compliance with international standards established by the FATF for corporate service providers which requires them to be subject to certain regulatory and supervisory oversight.

The passage of this legislation is part of the continuing national priority to prepare Bermuda for themutual evaluation in September 2018 by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force. The crucial assessment measures Bermuda against international standards for combatting money laundering and terrorist financing.

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