1. Filings

Bermuda Monetary Authority

In line with the Bermuda Government’s directive, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) is working remotely until at least 6 April 2020. All correspondence and application requests must be submitted electronically. The BMA is unable to accept payment via cheques at this time and have requested all payments be made via wire transfer.

Registrar of Companies

With effect from 18 March 2020 the Registrar of Companies (RoC) has been facilitating the submission of electronic applications. All payments to the RoC should be made via wire transfer.

General Registration Application Submissions

All general registrations and application submissions should be sent via email to rocdailyapplications@gov.bm and rocaccounts@gov.bm which will ensure that both the Registration Division and the Revenue Division receive the application and can process it concurrently.

Name Reservation Requests

Requests for name reservations should be submitted as normal via the RoC website.

2. Can searches be conducted?

Company Searches

Physical Company Searches of hard copy files have been suspended until further notice.  All search requests are now being submitted via email using a form created by the RoC and should be sent to rocsearch@gov.bm.  The RoC has a skeleton staff working in the office that are able to perform searches.   Please expect delays.

Litigation Searches

Searches of all Cause Books are suspended unless the search is urgent. Urgent requests should be emailed to supremecourt@gov.bm and must include an explanation as to why the search is urgent.

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

Requests for certificates of compliance should be submitted to the RoC electronically.  If the entity is in compliance, the RoC will issue an electronic certificate via email. Please expect delays. Once operations have returned to normal hard copies of the certificates will be available if necessary.

4. Court sessions and position (including filings and hearings)

The Magistrate’s Court and the Supreme Court of Bermuda are in operation, but have reduced services and limited access.

Magistrates’ Court

With effect from 24 March 2020 all matters currently scheduled before the Magistrates’ Court have been adjourned administratively to a date to be fixed. The Magistrates’ Court is closed to all filings until at least 6 April 2020 and the public access window and cashiers desk are also closed. The Magistrates’ Court, however, is making every effort to list any applications that are urgent or time sensitive. New applications which have been previously been filed that have yet to be provided with first return dates will be issued, but will not be provided a date prior to 1 July 2020.

Supreme Court

All hearings listed between 23 March 2020 and 3 April 2020 have been adjourned administratively to a date to be fixed. The Supreme Court Registries are closed until at least 6 April 2020. Certain applications may be determined on the papers during this period. If applications are considered urgent or time sensitive the parties must contact the Supreme Court by email at supremecourt@gov.bm explaining the urgency of the matter.  The Supreme Court will make every effort to list any application that is considered urgent or time sensitive.  The Supreme Court is not accepting the filing of pleadings via email unless the parties have been directed to do so by the Judicial Department.  The Supreme Courts’ delivery service has been suspended.

Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal concluded on 18 March 2020.

5. Any travel restrictions

A travel ban has been in effect in Bermuda since 20 March 2020. The travel ban does not permit travellers into Bermuda unless the person:

  • belongs to Bermuda,
  • is a resident of Bermuda or a dependent who has permission to reside in Bermuda,
  • is a crew member of a cargo or commercial aircraft,
  • cargo ship, or
  • has written permission of the Quarantine Authority of Bermuda to enter.

All persons entering Bermuda, residents, visitors, and crew, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from arrival and comply with any further requirements under the Quarantine Act 2017 and the Public Health Act 1949. Visitors and crew may depart Bermuda based on their travel itinerary if shorter than 14 days if they remain asymptomatic.

6. Implications for economic substance compliance and residency

The RoC has advised that it will take circumstances surrounding COVID-19 into account when assessing compliance with the application of the economic substance requirements pursuant to the Economic Substance Act 2018, and the principles set out in the applicable Guidance Notes.   The RoC may therefore take into account situations where meetings or other similar compliance measures are not possible due to necessary travel or quarantine restrictions.  Entities should keep careful records of all such circumstances, and should continue in good faith to ensure their ongoing compliance with the economic substance requirements.

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