From 00:01 on 3 March 2021, the Isle of Man entered a circuit-break lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19. This follows evidence of community transmission. The lockdown was initially proposed for a period of 21 days but has now been extended. It is intended that if there are no more unexplained community cases, the island will exit the lockdown from 19 April. For further detail on the developing 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. More information can be found here.

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 conducted in the usual way through the online platform. 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. Technology will be used as far as practically and legislatively possible to limit the number of non-essential visits to the Courts and Tribunals buildings, including by witnesses and defendants. Extra information is being provided separately to key stakeholders. Where hearings must take place physically, social distancing and other COVID-secure practices will be followed. 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.

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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