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NPO Obligations

  1. Submit an application for Registration to the NPO Board

    Section 11(1) of the NPO Act requires all NPOs operating within the Territory to be registered with the Non-Profit Organisation Registration Board. This means that all NPOs must maintain an active registration at all times if they are in operation. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

    Details of the registration process and guidelines on the NPO Act can be obtained from:

    Non-Profit Organisation Registration Board
    Ministry of Health and Social Development
    Road Town, Tortola VG1110
    British Virgin Islands
    Email: [email protected]
    Tel: 284-468-5147
     
  2. Contact the Financial Investigation Agency

    Section 18(1) of the NPO Act notes that the Agency is responsible for the supervision and monitoring of all NPOs operating in the Territory. To fulfil our mandate all NPOs are advised to contact the Agency and advise them of their operations. The Agency will undertake a risk assessment of the NPO and its operations and advise of next steps.

    Our details are:

    Supervision and Enforcement Unit
    Email: [email protected]
    Tel: 284-852-3200  
     
  3. Appoint a Designated Person

    NPOs are not required to appoint a Money Laundering Reporting Officer, however, given the importance of suspicious activity reporting, NPOs are required to appoint a Designated Person – who will be responsible for carrying out the reporting function, outlined within the AML Code.

    The Agency has further provided guidance in the form of a Public Notice. The notice informs all NPOs that they are required to appoint a Designated Person who will be responsible for any AML/CFT matters within the organisation. The Designated Person is responsible for the filing of suspicious reports to the Agency. In addition to appointing a Designated Person all NPOs are required to inform the Agency of who that individual is.
     
  4. Report suspicious transactions or suspicious activities to the Agency

    Section 4A(6) of the AML Code provides guidance on reporting a suspicious activity or transaction to the Agency and clearly notes that once there is a suspicion the donation should be refused by the organisation. Internal reports should be reported to the Designated Person, who may or may not, based on their investigation, externalise the suspicion to the Agency.

    Please note that the Agency has recently updated its suspicious activity report form.  
     
  5. Put in place controls to forestall and prevent money laundering and counter the financing of terrorism

    Section 4A of the AML Code details the specific requirements for NPOs to establish internal control systems. This should include policies, processes and procedures for the prevention of money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.  

    NPOs are thereby required to:
    1. establish and maintain a written and effective system of internal controls;
    2. effect customer/donor due diligence measures;
    3. maintain proper records; and
    4.  provide appropriate AML/CFT training for employees and/or volunteers.
       
    These requirements should be contained within a formal document, often referred to as a Compliance Manual. The Compliance Manual Checklist should be used as a guide when completing the manual. You can obtain a copy of the Checklist by emailing [email protected].
     
  6. Undertake due diligence

    Due diligence is knowing who you are dealing with. NPOs are required to undertake due diligence in their dealings with applicants for business. Section 4A(3) of the AML Code provides guidance on this obligation where a single donation or a series of donations from the same donor exceeds $10,000 within a one (1) year period.  This obligation also applies to non-financial donations or assets which are of the same value. Equally, there may be instances which warrant enhanced due diligence, where there is a greater risk for money laundering or terrorist financing, such as engaging in a business transaction with a politically exposed person or an individual from a high-risk jurisdiction.
     
  7. Provide training to members/volunteers in relation to money laundering and terrorist financing

    Section 47 – 49 of the AML Code offers clear guidance in relation to staff training.  All members/volunteers are required to be trained at least annually in anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.  Such trainings should be proportionate to the responsibilities of the member/volunteer. Penalties are enforced if such requirements are not met.
     
  8. Maintain records

    Section 23(1) of the NPO Act notes the importance of maintaining records as well as the minimum retention period for retaining such records. Schedule 4 of the AML Code outlines the penalty for keeping insufficient records.

    The Agency is committed to providing the necessary support and guidance to all NPOs, in order to ensure that the sector and the Territory are fully compliant with both regional and international AML/CFT standards. Therefore, all NPOs are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the NPO Act, the AML Code and the other AML/CFT laws which govern their operations within the Territory.

 


Any person that fails or refuses to provide information to the Agency that it considers relevant to the performance of its functions commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Address :

PO Box 4090
Road Town, Tortola VG1110
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Phone : (284) 852-3200

Email : [email protected]

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