The Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) is now working remotely. The Registry is working in an entirely digital basis and document submission is through the electronic filing portal Easy Companies Registry and by email for the JFSC.
2. Can searches be conducted?
Company searches may be conducted in the usual manner, through the electronic Companies Register.
3. Certificates of good standing – if and how these are being conducted
Certificates of good standing, whilst available electronically, are not a customary feature in relation to the execution of transactions with Jersey companies.
4. Other searches – how are these being conducted?
Bankruptcy enquiries continue to be serviced by the Viscount’s Department but contingencies are in place should they be unable to respond to enquiries. There is an online list of the bankrupt estates under the Viscount’s administration.
5. Court sessions and position (including filings and hearings)
Jersey’s Royal Court has put in place revised procedures for civil and commercial matters which are designed to ensure that the Court can continue to operate effectively and safely through the COVID-19 crisis. The Court has adjourned non-urgent cases to limit the amount of person to person contact with the Court service and has issued revised protocols in relation to filing electronic and hard copy documents with the Court. Procedures have been introduced to permit hearings to take place by video link or by telephone where appropriate. Further officers have also been sworn in to ensure that the Court can continue to sit should officers be required to isolate.
Revised procedures have also been issued for Magistrates and Family Court matters to ensure that those Courts can continue to administer justice and deal effectively with urgent criminal and family law matters. Like the Royal Court, these procedures include limiting the number of non-urgent matters dealt with and conducting hearings by video link and telephone where appropriate in order to limit contact.
The Samedi Division of the Royal Court is continuing to sit to deal with property transactions although the Court is restricting attendance to legal representatives of the parties.
6. Any travel restrictions
There are currently no restrictions in place on travel within, to or from the Island, although all non-essential travel away from the Island is not advised. Guidance is currently in place advising social distancing within the Island and requiring self-isolation for a 14 day period for all individuals arriving into the Island from any other country.
7. Other Temporary Regulatory Measures
In light of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 virus, the JFSC has capped at GBP55 late filing fees for delayed annual returns. Processing of paper returns is delayed due to the remote working procedures in place but good standing certificates will be available for companies whose returns have not been processed. The JFSC has extended the deadline for Jersey regulated businesses to respond to its Supervisory Risk Data Collection Exercise until 30 April 2020. The JFSC has asked all regulated businesses to confirm their business continuity measures and has given guidance on business continuity .
8. Implications for economic substance compliance and residency
Where companies’ operating practices have to be adjusted to compensate for the Corona virus outbreak, the Comptroller will not determine under Article 6, Taxation (Companies- Economic Substance) (Jersey) Law 2019, that a company has failed the economic substance test. Where a company incorporated in another jurisdiction has been tax resident on the basis of control and management in Jersey, and the Comptroller considers that any changes dictated by the Corona Virus are temporary, then this will not disturb the determination of corporate tax residence from that prevailing before this outbreak. This treatment will only apply to adjustments to the normal operating practices, and to the extent required to mitigate the threats from this outbreak. More information can be found here.
The Government of Jersey has made an number of reliefs available to businesses operating in Jersey and individual residents on account of COVID-19 including the postponement of GST payments and recognition of exceptional circumstances affecting the residence of individuals.