ICS Offshore Belize

On-site Inspections

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

According to the Third Schedule to the Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) Act (“MLTPA”), the International Financial Services Commission (‘IFSC’) is the supervisory authority for trust and company service providers and other persons engaged in international financial services. Under Section 21(2) (a) of the MLTPA, the IFSC, as the supervisory authority, is responsible for examining and supervising international financial services providers and for the regulation and oversight of effective compliance with relevant obligations in the MLTPA and any other preventative measures in relation to combating money laundering and terrorist financing, through on-site examinations, or other means.

Following the enactment of the International Financial Services Commission (Amendment) Act (No. 15 of 2013), giving the IFSC the necessary power to conduct on-site inspections, it is proposed to commence this exercise without delay. Accordingly, Ms. Madri Ramdass, Attorney-at-Law and financial services Examiner, of the office of the IFSC, has been appointed to spearhead on-site inspections. She will be assisted in this exercise by Ms. Edlene Webster of the Financial Sector Supervision Department of the Central Bank of Belize.

The inspections will cover not only anti-money laundering and terrorist financing compliance required by the CFATF but also the availability of information that may be required under the various Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) signed by Belize. For this purpose, the measures put in place by service providers to maintain and retain accounting and financial records as required under the Accounting Records (Maintenance) Act (No. 18 of 2013) would be of critical importance. This exercise will also assist us in the Phase II Review of Belize to be conducted by the OECD’s Global Forum early next year.

Ms. Ramdass will shortly be writing to the individual service providers directly, advising them of the date and time of the inspection. You are requested to render Ms. Ramdass and her team full cooperation in conducting the exercise and make available to her for inspection all books, records and other documents that may be required.

Your assistance in facilitating this exercise would be greatly appreciated and any inconvenience caused is regretted.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me.

Best regards.

GIAN C. GANDHI
DIRECTOR GENERAL
International Financial Services Commission
Sir Edney Cain Building
BELMOPAN
Tel: 501-822-3800 or 501-822-2974
Fax: 501-822-3810
Email: director@ifsc.gov.bz or legalconsl@btl.net