Author: Jeremy Leese

Jeremy Leese

Recently, Bermuda was placed on the European Union’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. It is the Bermuda Government’s view that the jurisdiction is compliant with EU’s economic substance requirements by way of the Economic Substance Act 2018 and the Economic Substance Regulations 2018 passed into law last December, with all necessary amendments to address EU concerns having been completed before the decision was taken.

Jeremy Leese

The Economic Substance Act 2018 (the “Economic Substance Act”) was tabled on 7 December 2018 and, following revisions, again on 17 December 2018.

Background

In November 2017, the Government of Bermuda made a commitment to the Code of Conduct Group (Business Taxation) (the “COCG”) of the Council of the EU to address concerns relating to economic substance. Bermuda agreed to pass legislation to implement any appropriate changes by 31 December 2018 to avoid being put on an EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.

Jeremy Leese
The Digital Asset Business Act 2018 (the “DAB Act”) became operative on 10th September 2018, creating a legislative framework for digital asset business and services to operate within a regulated environment in or from within Bermuda. Digital assets are defined as anything that exists in binary format and comes with the right to use it and includes a digital representation of value that:

Jeremy Leese
The Companies and Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Amendment Act 2018 (the “ICO Act”) became operative on 9 July 2018 and the underlying Companies and Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Regulations 2018 (the “ICO Regulations”, together with the ICO Act, the “ICO Legislation”) were published on 10 July 2018. The ICO Legislation governs all aspects of offering digital assets to the public in or from Bermuda. A digital asset covers anything that exists in binary format, including all forms of cryptocurrencies, digital coins and tokens issued in connection with an Initial Coin Offering (an “ICO”), which themselves are fundraising mechanisms similar to Initial Public Offerings, or IPOs, except that tokens, rather than shares, are issued.

Jeremy Leese
The General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) came into effect on 25 May 2018 and is designed to harmonise national data protection laws across the EU, while at the same time, modernising the law to address new technological developments. As a regulation, the GDPR is directly applicable, and therefore enforceable, in all 28 EU Member States. For an interesting summary, check out this infographic from the European Commission's official website. However, for those entities based outside of the EU, but who may do business within, or market to, the EU, or have EU clients, you may be asking: how will the GDPR affect you?  This question is the focus of this post, as entities based in the EU will, no doubt, have obtained advice locally with regard to their compliance requirements.