British Virgin Islands - Covid 19 Response

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Contributors
Fiscal Measures

1. Spending Measures (Budget Allocations)

The government is currently considering a fiscal stimulus package for SMEs. As of the 16 April the stimulus plan had been approved by the BVI Cabinet but no news of its content has yet been made public.

2. Tax Measures (Deferral of Payroll Tax Obligations, Extensions of Tax Filing Deadlines)

A proposed 7% tax has been levied on money transfers exiting the jurisdiction. The Financing and Money Services (Amendment) Act 2020 will impose a 7% transaction levy, on all Class A licensees, on the gross amount being transferred.

3. Subsidies to Preserve Jobs, Employee Benefits, Food Assistance

The government has provided food packages to those in need during lockdown. further. water delivery and refuse collection have also been centrally located without charge.

4. Public Loan Guarantees and Expansion of Loans to Businesses

The UK government to provide relief and PPE Equipment;

5. Student Loan Relief

N/A

6. Insolvency Law Relief

A package of statutory protection measures is actively under consideration. At present there are no plans to amend directors’ duties and insolvent trading thresholds.

Monetary & Macro Financial Measures

1. Reduction of Interest Rates

A number of private and retail banks have offered capital and interest holidays on loans and mortgages upon application.

Government has been liaising with several banks in the Territory to organize loan moratoriums. So far FirstBank, Banco Popular, National Bank of the Virgin Islands, VP Bank, Scotiabank, and CIBC First Caribbean International Bank have all agreed.

2. Expansion of Central Bank’s Holdings of Government Bonds

N/A

3. Other Measures to Support Flow of Credit

N/A

4. Suspension of Foreclosures/Evictions

N/A

5. Reductions/Suspensions of Mortgage Payments

N/A

6. Asset Purchases (Liquidity Facilities, Purchase of Private and Public Sector Securities, Acquiring Equity of Larger Affected Companies)

N/A

7. Exchange Rate Adjustments

N/A

Health Policy Responses

1. Social Distancing

  • A complete 24 lockdown of 14 days implemented for all but essential workers. A softer curfew between 1pm and 6am is being introduced as of 27 April for defined businesses;
  • Numerous Imposition of a Curfew Orders have been made as the situation has unfolded. The current one allows persons out from 6am – 1pm to access essential services, supermarkets, banks etc, this is set to last for two weeks.
  • Defined businesses may open outside of curfew hours following a successful inspection of procedures including distancing and hygiene control.

2. Closure of Public Places for Gathering

No meetings of more than 20 people.

3. Closure of Non-Essential Businesses

  • All borders are closed;
  • A gradual reopening of the ports for cargo imports;
  • Online prescriptions and medical consultation service launched by BVI health services authority;

4. School Closures

Schools are closed.

Global Cooperation - International Assistance
  • The International Tax Authority (ITA) has not acted to extend compliance with common reporting standards, foreign account tax compliance, country-by-country reporting and exchange of information on request.
  • The ITA however has adopted a guidance on direction and management of BVI cos in relation to the deployment of alternate directors and location of board meetings.
Other Measures

The court shave issued three practice directions with respect to conduct of matters during COVID.

These include provision for for:

  • virtual hearings;
  • electronic filing of all documents;
  • service on parties via e-mail

Provision for virtual notarization of documents.

Published Date
2020-04-15