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New Charities Act to come into effect

The Charities Act 2014 is to come into effect on December 31 as will the Charities Regulations 2014.

The new Act designates the Registrar General as the authority for supervising charities, and gives the Registrar the power to conduct investigations, seize documents, to disclose information in his possession to other public authorities and to charge an annual registration fee. The 2014 Act is based on the UK Charities Act yet some of it is specific to Bermuda.

Acting Registrar General Aubrey Pennyman said: “The new Act basically imposes a more rigorous regulatory regime for charities and brings Bermuda into compliance with international standards on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism pursuant to Recommendation 8 of the Financial Action Task Force.”

“Additionally, the 2014 Act will allow for the submission of applications for a temporary charities license.”

The Charities Regulations will be separated into two instruments a) the Charities Regulations 2014 and b) the Charities (Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist and Reporting) Regulations 2014.

The regulations will prescribe the application form needed to register a charity.

The new regulations explain what information and particulars are required in a charity's annual statement of accounts and annual report, the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing measures that must be implemented, the particulars required when applying for a temporary licence to solicit and collect donations from members of the public, and fees payable by charities to the Registrar.

“The new Act and Regulations will ensure that local non-profit and civil society organizations have a legal and regulatory framework that reflects the needs of charities in modern times,” said Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy.

“A sound legislative framework will assure and continue to confer special charitable status, and match public perception as to what is, and should be, charitable.”

The new forms and policies concerning charities are available on website www.registrygeneral.gov.bm.

Members of the public are invited to a series of information and training sessions on the new regulations which will be held at the Centre on Philanthropy on December 11 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, January 14 from 12pm to 2pm, and January 19 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

For more information contact the Registry General at registrygeneral@gov.bm.

Minister Fahy (Photo by Nicola Muirhead)

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Published December 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm (Updated December 12, 2014 at 12:49 am)

New Charities Act to come into effect

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