1. Does Bermuda have a sanctions regime in place?
Yes. As a British overseas territory, Bermuda implements the international sanctions obligations of the UK.
The International Sanctions Act 2003 (the “2003 Act”) empowers the Minister responsible for the Legislature to make the regulations necessary or expedient to give effect in Bermuda to the international sanctions obligations of the UK.
The International Sanctions Act Regulations 2013 (the “2013 Regulations”) were made under the 2003 Act. The 2013 Regulations list all of the sanctions-related Orders in force in Bermuda, and are amended on an ongoing basis to ensure it remains up to date. In this regard, Orders will be added or removed from Schedule 1 of the 2013 Regulations from time-to-time as required.
The International Sanctions Amendment Regulations 2020 came into operation in Bermuda on 31 December 2020. These regulations re-align the Bermuda sanctions regime with the new UK sanctions following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
2. Does Bermuda implement UN sanctions?
Yes. The Government of Bermuda implements the international sanctions obligations of the UK, which is a member of the UN. As a member of the UN, the UK is obliged to implement the resolutions of the UN Security Council (“UNSC”).
3. Does Bermuda implement an autonomous sanctions regime?
Yes. As a British overseas territory, Bermuda has an obligation to implement all international sanctions that are extended to it through legislative action by the UK Government. The 2003 Act states that the minister may make such provisions that appear to him to be necessary or expedient for enabling any international obligation of the UK relating to economic or other sanctions imposed on any country, organization, person or group of people. The Minister also has the power to make regulations which may include provisions for the apprehension, trial and punishment of people who contravene the regulations. Bermuda also has an autonomous terrorist sanctions regime and has power over the regulated sector under the Anti-Terrorism (Financial and Other Measures) Act 2004 and related legislation.
4. What is the nature of the sanctions regime in Bermuda?
The most frequently applied measures are:
- arms embargoes and bans on associated technical assistance, training and financing
- bans on exporting equipment that might be used for internal repression
- export controls
- asset freezes and financial sanctions on designated individuals and corporate entities
- travel bans on named individuals
- bans on imports of raw materials or goods from the sanctions target
In general terms, it is a criminal offense to:
- deal with funds or economic resources belonging to, owned, held or controlled by a designated person, if it is known, or if you have reasonable cause to suspect, that you are - - dealing with such funds or economic resources
- make funds available to, or for the benefit of, a Designated person if it is known, or if you have reasonable cause to suspect, that you are making funds so available
- make economic funds available to, or for the benefit of, a Designated person if it is known, or if you have reasonable cause to suspect, that you are making economic resources - so available and, in the case of making economic resources available to a designated person, that the Designated person would be likely to exchange the economic resources, or use them in exchange, for funds, goods or services
5. Does Bermuda maintain a list of sanctioned individuals and entities?
Yes. The Governor of Bermuda must maintain and publish a list of designated or listed persons who are the target of financial sanctions under any of the Orders listed in Schedule 1 to the 2013 Regulations. This is deemed to be fulfilled by publishing a web address that provides a link to the UK Treasury’s Consolidated List of persons constituting the target of the sanctions.
The Governor must also maintain and publish a list of restricted goods under any of the Orders listed in Schedule 1 to the 2013 Regulations which is deemed to be fulfilled by publishing a web address that provides links to:
- the Common Military List of the EU
- Schedule 2 to the United Kingdom Export Control Order 2008
- the relevant annexes to the relevant EU Regulations
which constitute the consolidated list of restricted goods.
The web address https://www.gov.bm/international-sanctions-measures provides links to:
- HM Treasury’s Consolidated List of persons constituting the target of financial sanctions and relevant guidelines
- the consolidated list of restricted goods
in respect of each applicable Order, listed in Schedule 1 to the 2013 Regulations.
6. Are there any other lists related to sanctions?
No. There is, however, a list of prohibited business activities in Schedule 10 to the Companies Act 1981. Prohibited business activities include trafficking in armaments as defined in the Armaments (Control) Act 1964.
7. Does Bermuda have a licensing or authorization system in place?
Yes. All sanctions-related license applications, notifications and authorizations are made by the Governor of Bermuda.
8. What are the consequences for a breach of sanctions in Bermuda?
It is a criminal offense to breach an obligation under a relevant sanctions measure without an appropriate license or authorization from the Governor of Bermuda, where available. The penalties for breaching sanctions can vary across the various regimes. However, in general terms, any individual found guilty of an offense shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment and/or a fine. Specific penalties can be found in the UK overseas territories orders which are, as stated above, brought into force in Bermuda through regulations or by direct extension to Bermuda. Entities acting in breach of financial sanctions can also commit a criminal offense and be liable to a fine. Where an offense has been committed by a body corporate, partnership or other form of unincorporated association and is proven to have been committed with the consent of, or neglect on the part of, an officer or partner, as applicable, of the entity, that individual is guilty of an offense (as well as the entity) and may be proceeded against accordingly. In addition to the criminal penalties, a failure of a licensed entity under the regulation of the Bermuda Monetary Authority may lead to a regulatory action by the Authority that could result in cancellation of registration, public censure and a civil fine of up to BMD 10,000,000
Who are the relevant regulators in Bermuda and what are their contact details?
Office of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee
Office of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee Government Administration Building, 2nd Floor 30 Parliament Street Hamilton, HM12 Bermuda T: (+1) 441 294 9797 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.gov.bm/what-is-namlc
The National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (“NAMLC”), while not a regulatory body, is the intra-Governmental Committee established by virtue of section 49 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 1997 (“POCA”) for the purpose of advising the Minister of Justice in relation to the detection and prevention of money laundering in Bermuda. The NAMLC’s remit includes the making of Regulations for this purpose, and the development of a national plan of action to enable the competent authorities in Bermuda to coordinate policies and activities to combat money laundering, and to ensure the participation of Bermuda in the international effort against money laundering.
Financial Intelligence Agency (“FIA”)
The Financial Intelligence Agency (“FIA”) was established by the Financial Intelligence Agency Act 2007 to act as an independent agency authorized to receive, gather, store, analyse and disseminate information relating to suspected proceeds of crime and potential financing of terrorism received in the form of Suspicious Activity Reports. The FIA may also disseminate such information to the Bermuda Police Service and foreign financial intelligence authority.
Bermuda Monetary Authority
Bermuda Monetary Authority (“BMA”)
The Bermuda Monetary Authority (“BMA”) is Bermuda’s financial regulator established under section 2 of the Bermuda Monetary Authority Act 1969. The BMA’s principal objects are enshrined in section 3 of that Act and its objectives and responsibilities include:
- supervising, regulating and inspecting any financial institution which operates in or from within Bermuda
- assisting with the detection and prevention of financial crime
- monitoring AML/ATF regulated financial institutions to ensure full compliance with Bermuda’s AML/ATF framework as required by section 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Regulations (Supervisions and Enforcement) Act 2008
Barristers and Accountants AML/ATF Board
The Barristers and Accountants AML/ATF Board (http://www.amlatfboard.bm) act as a supervisory authority with guidance as to how barristers and accountants should carry out their obligations as required under Bermuda’s legislative framework for the prevention and detection of money laundering and terrorist financing.
Charities Act 2014
The Charities Act 2014 makes provision for the establishment of a Charities Commission under the auspices of the Registrar General to regulate Charities. The Registry General (https://www.gov.bm/department/registry-general) has issued Guidance on the Charities (Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorist Financing and Reporting) Regulations 2014.
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