From 00:01 on 7 January 2021, the Isle of Man moved into a 3 week circuit-break lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes the re-introduction of social distancing, working from home and the closure of schools. This follows evidence of community transmission following over 6 months of only isolated non-community cases. The lockdown is proposed for a period of 21 days, and there are currently 30 active cases on the island. For further detail on the current situation in the Isle of Man, click here.

1. Filings

Court Documents

The Court public counter is currently closed to the public. Filing of court documents is still possible by physical delivery. Hard-copy documents and files, delivered to the Courts, will be collected at regular intervals. Documents for distribution will be posted on a daily basis, taking account of the possibility that a document may be sent electronically if urgent.

Companies Registry

The Companies Registry are accepting electronic filing of all documents. Their public counter is currently closed to the public.

Land, Deeds and Probate Registry

The public counter is now closed however all services remain available and it remains possible to submit deeds by post. Land applications are also being accepted by email or post.

2. Can searches be conducted? 

Company searches are being carried out online per usual practice. Litigation searches can be carried out remotely on request.

3. Certificates of good standing – if and how these are being conducted

The current procedure is largely electronic so is not affected. Requisition forms can be emailed to the registry, or a certificate can be ordered by phone. Further information can be found here.

4. Other searches – how are these being conducted?

Land

It is possible to submit Land applications and requests for Office Copies and Survey Map extracts electronically. More information is available here. The Land Registry, which is situated in the same office as the Probate and Tribunals office, is now closed to the public.

Deeds & Probate

Searches of the deeds and probate registries can be conducted online per usual practice. For further information, please click here.

5. Court sessions 

The Courts will remain open for those having to attend Court and Tribunal hearings. The Courts are currently actively contacting parties with listed hearings over the 3-week period from 7 January 2020 to ascertain whether such listings may proceed remotely or be adjourned. Where hearings must take place physically, social distancing and other COVID-secure practices will be followed. The Courts are reacting to a dynamic situation, for further information that will be updated when necessary, please click here.

6. Any travel restrictions 

The Isle of Man is currently operating at Level 5 of the border framework. This means that entry is permitted only for key workers required for the preservation of life, public safety and critical national infrastructure, as well as for returning residents.

7. Other temporary regulatory measures

The Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (the FSA) have closed their offices with the majority of staff working from home. The FSA have stated that they are not undertaking standard onsite supervisory inspections but will continue to undertake desk based inspections (which will be kept under review).  The FSA continue to ask that all correspondence and materials are sent in electronic form. Further information can be found here.

8. Implications for economic substance compliance and residency

No formal guidance has been issued on the subject of economic substance.  Companies that are “relevant sector companies” (as that term is defined in Part 6A of the Income Tax Act 1970) continue to be subject to the economic substance requirements of that Act.

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