Cayman Islands

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1. Does Cayman Islands have a sanctions regime in place?

Yes. As a British overseas territory, the Cayman Islands implements the international sanctions obligations of the United Kingdom (UK). Sanctions which are in effect generally apply to:

  • any person in the Cayman Islands
  • any person elsewhere who is a British citizen, a British overseas territories citizen, a British overseas citizen, a British subject, a British National (Overseas) or a British protected person and is ordinarily resident in the Cayman Islands
  • any entity incorporated or constituted under the laws of the Cayman Islands
  • any person on-board a ship or aircraft that is registered in the Cayman Islands

2. Does Cayman Islands implement UN sanctions?

While the UK is a member of the UN, most of the British overseas territories (including the Cayman Islands) are not. The Cayman Islands is nevertheless subject to the UK’s foreign policy which supports the UN’s sanctions regime.

3. Does Cayman Islands implement an autonomous sanctions regime?

Yes. As a British overseas territory, the Cayman Islands must implement all international sanctions that are extended to it through legislative action by the UK government. As well as following the sanctions put in place by the UN and EU and extended to the Cayman Islands by the UK, the Cayman Islands has an autonomous terrorist sanctions regime and has powers over the regulated sector under the Terrorism Law (2018 Revision) and related legislation such as the Proliferation Financing (Prohibition) Law (2017 Revision) and the Proceeds of Crime Law (2020 Revision).

4. What is the nature of the sanctions regime in Cayman Islands?

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 Cayman Islands maintain a list of sanctioned individuals and entities?

Yes. The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority maintains on its website a published list of sanctions orders that have been given effect to in the Cayman Islands. That list contains, under the sanctions orders relating to any particular country or group of terrorists, a direct link to the consolidated list of the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation.

In addition, subject to certain exceptions, the Governor of the Cayman Islands must publish in the Cayman Gazette the Governor’s designation of any person under the Terrorism Law (2018 Revision).

6. Are there any other lists related to sanctions?

Yes. The lists generated by the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, the Home Office and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills in the UK are relevant.

7. Does Cayman Islands have a licensing or authorization system in place?

Yes. All sanctions-related license applications, notifications and authorizations are handled by the Governor of the Cayman Islands via the office of the Financial Secretary of the Cayman Islands.

8. What are the consequences for a breach of sanctions in Cayman Islands?

It is a criminal offense to breach an obligation under a relevant sanctions measure without an appropriate license or authorization. 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 a fine or imprisonment or both. 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 and is proven to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or neglect on the part of, a director, manager, secretary or similar officer of the body corporate (or anyone purporting to act in any such capacity), that individual is guilty of an offense (as well as the body corporate) and may be proceeded against accordingly. On conviction of an offense under the Terrorism Law (2017 Revision) for dealings with a terrorist organization, an entity is liable to a fine and an individual is liable to a fine or imprisonment or both.

9. Who are the relevant regulators in Cayman Islands and what are their contacts?

Cayman Islands Monetary Authority

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has overall responsibility for the Cayman Islands’ policy on and implementation of sanctions and embargoes. It is responsible for ensuring that regulated firms have adequate systems and controls to comply with sanctions requirements. Six Cricket Square PO Box 10052 Grand Cayman KY1 – 1001 Cayman Islands T: (+1) 345 949 7089 F: (+1) 345 946 9730 E: See website and drop-down menu for all of CIMA’s divisions, each of which has its own telephone number and fax number W: www.cima.ky

The Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants (CIIPA)

The Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants (CIIPA) regulates the accountancy profession in the Cayman Islands and supervises the profession for AML/CFT compliance. CIIPA Liaison Officer Suite 3116, 9 Forum Street Camana Bay P.O. Box 1577 Grand Cayman KY1-1110 Cayman Islands T: (+1) 345 749 3360 E: admin@ciipa.ky W: www.ciipa.ky

The Cayman Islands Legal Practitioners Association (CILPA)

The Cayman Islands Legal Practitioners Association (CILPA) was appointed by the Government of the Cayman Islands as the supervisory authority for monitoring anti-money laundering/counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF) compliance by law firms within the Cayman Islands. CILPA has delegated this supervisory function to its operationally independent regulatory arm, the Cayman Attorneys Regulations Authority (CARA). CARA’s contact details are: 2nd Floor Century Yard, Cricket Square Grand Cayman Cayman Islands T: (+1) 345 749 2272 E: info@cara.ky W: www.cara.ky

Contributor law firm

Jacob MacAdam

Partner, Corporate

Inge Poulus

Professional Support Lawyer

Mark Holligon

Practice Group Head, Dispute Resolution

Barbara Padega

Appleby Global

71 Fort Street

PO Box 190

Grand Cayman

KY1-1104

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